Return to 1970-1974

Vision 061

May/June 70 No 61 House Magazine of Rank Xerox Mitcheldean Plant
The 300-ton Malcolm
Miller, one of the Sail
Training Association’s twin
topsail adventure schooners
is here photographed from
the stern of her sister ship
Sir Winston Churchill as they
left West India Docks for
Continental ports on their
first voyage of the season.
Sponsored by The Rank
Organisation, a group of
young men and women from
Mitcheldean are joining
some of the 1970 cruises
and, as part of the ship’s
company, will be taking an
active part in the running of
the schooners, whether it be
climbing the rigging to tie
the sails, or coping with the
less exhilarating tasks in tilt
galley. The cruises are
designed to assist in
character development and
the experiences of our first
adventurer, Terry Gardner,
are recounted on page 6
On Monday, April 13 last, two new men took up
senior appointments at Mitcheldean –
Mr Leonard Peacock, Personnel Manager, and
Mr Anthony Bryson, Chief Industrial Engineer.
Why ?
I cannot do better than quote from Mr
Wickstead’s published statement in the
September/October, 1969, issue of VISION :
‘Our most important task in the next two or three
years is to build on the foundation of co-operative
enterprise which we all helped to lay during the
Productivity Campaign’.
Mitcheldean has expanded so rapidly that we have
until recently had to concentrate on setting up
facilities and producing the goods with the least
possible delay. Henceforth, Mitcheldean’s growth
depends upon higher productivity. We must
strengthen management and increase its efficiency
so that you and I can be fully effective. This is
why we need more people.
Mr. Peacock is experienced in Industrial Relations
and Joint Participation. His major responsibility
is to consolidate, expand and develop the
co-operative spirit and potential prosperity of our
joint productivity venture for the benefit of us all.
Mr Bryson has been involved in conducting and
consolidating successful productivity campaigns.
As Chief Industrial Engineer -a new post at
Mitcheldean – his main task is to help me, and
senior managers and supervisors at Mitcheldean,
to make the most profitable use of available human
and material resources.
This does not mean doing with less people. It
does mean helping you and me and everyone else
at Mitcheldean to be more productive, by working
not harder but more smartly.
I know that you will help Mr Peacock and
Mr Bryson all you can, just as you have been
helping me since I arrived at Mitcheldean.
Deputy Director of
Production and Supply Operations
Recently opened in Building 40, the Medical
Centre boasts a spacious, well-equipped surgery
designed with hygiene in mind. It has two
curtained-off examination areas and a toilet and
shower cubicle. Double doors open on to a
canopied external entrance for ambulance cases:
other patients enter through a waiting/reception
area reached through either an external door or
3600 Department. Our picture top left shows
Mrs Barbara Meek, Sister Collins’ deputy, in the
office adjoining reception where calls for help
arrive via the emergency ‘phone (and here’s an
SOS from the medical staff : when reporting an
accident please give precise details as to location).
Opening on to both waiting room and surgery is
Sister’s private office with examination couch and
washbasin with pedal-controlled taps.
The team of Plant First Aiders render valuable
assistance – even if it means posing as patients !
The surgery scene (above right) shows Mrs Hilda
Baldwin attending to John Stephens while
Lionel Fisher has his pulse checked by
Mrs Norah Miles. At the trolley is Sister Collins,
while Mrs Lillian Howells draws the curtain round
an examination area. Behind the curtain (see
below) senior First Aid man Tony Cale instructs
some of his team – (I to r) John Stephens,
Albert Meek, Mrs Daisy Bullock, Henry Phillips,
Lionel Fisher and David Beard. David, by the way,
drives the ambulance in the daytime, while at
night the driver and Medical Centre man-in-charge
is Ernie Paddock. And the patient in the picture?
That long-suffering lady Resusci-Anne who, when
not needed for demonstrations, spends her time
folded up in a suitcase.
2 3
The East European Operations department has
been hitting the Company headlines in recent
months, and Mitcheldean’s managerial and
supervisory staff welcomed the opportunity
afforded them on March 23 to hear more about
the department’s work and to ask questions on
the spot of the man directing it – Mr Gordon S.
Planner, the general manager.
The area over which the department operates is
roughly as big as the American Continent. It
represents one-third of the entire marketing area
of Rank Xerox and proof of its potential was
provided by the wealth of facts and figures which
Mr Planner had at his fingertips.
The marketing technique adopted in the East
European countries is necessarily very different
from that adopted elsewhere in Rank Xerox
operations, he explained.
Machines are sold, not rented, and they are sold
mainly through systems and applications, which
are demonstrated with great success at lectures.
seminars and exhibitions.
Customer Training Officers play an important part
in the unique service offered by Rank Xerox, and
Mr Planner brought along with him a real live
CTO in the person of Miss Hilda Muir, dressed in
the eye-catching red and white outfit which is
adopted for public appearances. She took over
from Mr Planner to tell about the Company’s
showing at the recent Leipzig Fair where the Rank
Xerox stand occupied one quarter of the British
Pavilion. The gold medals awarded are highly
prized and, by winning such a medal for the third
year in succession, we achieved something which
no other British company has yet been able to
The paramount importance of maintaining a high
standard of quality in our products was manifest
in all that Mr Planner had to tell us.
Above: CTO Miss Hilda Muir chats to
Mr R. Zimmermann during the interval.
Below: Mr Planner (left) discusses the exhibits
with members of the Mitcheldean audience. He
was introduced to them by Mr D. R. Portman, and
Mr D. R. Elliott conveyed our thanks to him at the
close of the presentation.
The amount of paper work in the East European
territories is growing rapidly and secretarial labour
is scarce. Copy volume is tremendous – one
3600, for example, is known to be worked 15 hours
a day and it produces so much copy that forklift
trucks have to be employed to remove its output !
Yet despite the fact that the quality of paper used
on the machines varies greatly (‘Sometimes it has
to be seen to be believed,’ said Mr Planner), there
are remarkably few breakdowns. That says
something for the quality of our machines.
Because of the system of buying, machines are
occasionally ordered before they can be installed,
and some of them have to stand out in the open
in Siberian weather for six months. That says
something for the quality of the packing too !
The department has now sold to every country in
Eastern Europe. Of all the difficulties they face
the chief one is that of hard currency. ‘Every
single currency we deal with is non-convertible,’
said Mr Planner. ‘You cannot continually drain
from these countries sterling and dollars,
particularly in the way of consumables and spares,
without their wanting to know what we are doing
in reverse.
‘Something will have to be done soon to overcome
this problem if we are to exploit the potential that
exists’. And that it exists, in terms of millions of
pounds. Mr Planner left us in no doubt at all.
Mr Planner was invited to return to
Mitcheldean and give a similar presentation
to a much wider audience; as we went to
press, we heard that he had kindly agreed
to give two further talks at our Plant
on May 6.
The use of vodka as cleaning fluid was one of the
light-hearted suggestions put forward for
overcoming the hard currency problem at
Mr Planner’s presentation.
‘Thank you’ dinner
A dinner party, given at the Wye Hotel,
Ross-on-Wye, on April 3 was the Company’s way
of saying ‘thank you’ to the Mitcheldean men who
recently went over to Venray to help start up the
3600 main assembly line.
Mr Wickstead was in France on business at the
time, but he sent a taped message which was
played over at the dinner. He said: ‘I am proud of
the help and support that you have given to
Venray and the co-operative spirit you have
shown – often involving personal hardship.
‘You know, it is this kind of spirit and attitude
which has made Mitcheldean what it is today. I
am sure you can imagine how I feel when I visit
our other establishments and am told “Your boys
could not have been more helpful”, coupled with
the comment that you, who are here this evening,
are so practical and understanding.
‘I know that you would be the first to admit that
there are many other colleagues who have worked
behind the scenes to support you and your
activities. My thanks are due to the many, and I
hope that you will tell them the object of the
evening is to show in some small way our thanks
and I do hope you will thoroughly enjoy
‘When people like you go out and help the newer
sections within our Company in the way you have
done, then I know that, although Mitcheldean has
altered, the spirit of its people remains unchanged,
the attitude is right. Thank you all very much
indeed. I wish I was with you to participate and
thank you personally.’
The dinner was attended by Mr Portman, who
addressed the party, and Mr R. W. Mason, who
read out a message of thanks from Mr L. Stierman,
Venray’s general manager.
In the party were: Fred Batchelor, Don Brown,
Owen Clark, Bill Davidson, Harold Hayling,
Bruce Hubbard, Mick Jeffries, Eric Knight,
Ted Price, John Smith, Larry Sterrett, Jack Tester,
Roy Wynn, and Mr Wicksteads personal
assistant John Hankin.
Training before the
They say that life at sea in a sailing ship is
traditionally one of the hardest that a man can
undertake. Apprentice Terry Gardner. back in the
warm, and steady, Development Laboratory after a
pretty tough fortnight on the Sail Training
Association’s schooner Malcolm Miller,
maintains this is no overstatement.
Originally he had drawn a summertime cruise, but
when he realised that the dates would clash
with his exams, he switched cruises with fellow
apprentice Alan Wilkins and so became the
first of the ten adventurous youngsters from the
Plant to go on the association’s 1970 cruises.
It was certainly no yachting spree, and as he
climbed some 60 feet up the foremast with the
ship rolling, or tied sails on the yardarm with a
heaving sea directly below, he realised just what
the literature had meant when it promised
that trainees would find themselves ‘very
fully extended’.
His previous experience of dinghy sailing on
inland waters bore little relation to being at sea
on a 135 ft long schooner. As part of the ship’s
company, Terry had to take an active part in the
care, maintenance and running of the ship.
The three-watch system used meant that, in
theory, he had four hours’ spell of duty on
watch, four on stand-by and four off. But as the
major part of the maintenance was done by those
off watch, and conditions often demanded all
hands on deck, there was actually very little
free time.
Said Terry: ‘You had to get up at 6.30 a.m. most
mornings. even if you had only had three and a
half hours’ sleep – and you get mighty tired
just trying to keep upright when there’s a swell.
If you went for’ard (Terry threw out these terms
with an admirable air of nautical know-how)
when gale-force winds were blowing, you got
drenched from head to toe – and the sea in
spring is colder than in the winter. But despite
this, we looked forward to stronger weather
because it made sailing more interesting’.
Terry didn’t get seasick, we’re glad to report. Most
people have their own pet measure for warding
off the ma/ de mer and Terry’s was to eat plenty
of bread. He doesn’t claim it will work for
everyone but, as he delicately put it, it kept
his head above water !
After leaving the Port of London, the Malcolm
Miller made for Amsterdam. It was intended
to go on to Cherbourg, but as a Force 6 gale was
blowing they called in at Weymouth, then went on
to Le Havre where they stayed for a day or so.
It was while at Le Havre that Terry and his
companions met a seasoned American
merchantman who was openly envious of their
being able to sail in the traditional way.
They finally came back across the Channel and
anchored at Cowes before disembarking at
What did Terry gain from his experience? It gave
him an opportunity to develop a sense of
responsibility, self-discipline and an ability to
work as one of a team which should stand him in
good stead all his life.
Terry Gardner (second from left) gives some seafaring hints to a few of his fellow adventurers – (from the
left) Bernice Tinton, Ian Hale and Lynne Meek. Terry was considered to have responded so well
to the challenge the cruise offered that he has been invited to return as watch leader and /or
boatswain’s mate for the next year’s programme.
On the debit side he lost some weight and
(temporarily) his best suit. This wasn’t washed
overboard as you might imagine. What happened
was that one of the trainees developed
appendicitis and had to be rushed to hospital in
Amsterdam. An officer took Terry’s suit by mistake.
thinking it belonged to the patient, and Terry
didn’t find out until they were back at sea!
On reflection. Terry felt the cruise had been an
experience well worth repeating. ‘The important
thing to remember.’ he told us, ‘is that with an
adventure like this you get out of it what you put
into it’.
1 Does the hen use this when she’s
broody ? (8)
7 Quiet little Australian dog (5)
8 Music of the masters with grave
associations (9)
9 Everything comes to it (3)
10 Most important water carrier (4)
11 Jack was a famous one (6)
13 Joy-time for wage-slaves (3-3)
14 Whimsy bedwear for the girls
(and sometimes for the boys) (6)
17 Half-idle gossip – suits Sir to a
T (6)
18 A brawl very rough at the edges
20 West country high-spot (3)
22 Pretty little ship, borne by
March winds after April (9)
23 Take a very short walk quickly
24 Cheese chips in the drains (8)
1 Hearty breakfast in Surrey ? (5)
2 Very serious, this die-casting
business (7)
3 The typist’s short this month (4)
4 Very sexy – as shown by Hero
tickling Leander’s fancy (6)
5 This is very nearly bull ! (5)
6 B thoroughfare in New York
(and Worcestershire) (7)
7 Praised, for a change – but
quite hopeless (7)
12 Is it played annually by students?
13 Executive wine merchant (7)
15 Even a game of soft-ball can be
thus victorious (4-3)
He expressed his gratitude to the company for
giving him the necessary fortnight’s leave and
meeting the cruise fee and other expenses which in
all amounted to some £60.
As we went to press, Lynne Meek (Data
Processing), was about to embark on the Malcolm
Miller. The other seven adventurers, who will be
going on cruises between now and November, are:
Bernice Tinton (Design), Clive Griffiths (Factory
Progress), and apprentices Brian Fowler, Ian Hale,
Andrew Phillips, David Tuffley and Alan Wilkins.
There are special cruises for the girls – and
Terry for one is curious to know how they will
make out !
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16 Sportsman’s cigarette (6)
17 Give it a run at the Old Bailey (5)
19 Will such gardens soon be
metric? (5)
21 This is too much ! (4)
by Paul Gregory
(Solution page 13)
Clubs have moved in and out of focus at
Mitcheldean, but the Amateur Cine Et Photographic
Club has remained consistently in the picture and,
in fact, has been enlarged. It now has 60 members
and its 1969/70 season recently came to a close
with some lively and well-attended meetings.
Climax of the club year is the Prize Night, and on
April 8 chairman Cyril Jamieson was pleased to
welcome its president Mr Wickstead, Mrs Wickstead,
and Mr Portman who was making his first visit
to a club night.
The programme commenced with a showing of a
film ‘Tuesdays are such a Drag’ taken by the son
of vice-president Mr D. R. Elliott, and depicting a
student’s ‘Walter Mitty’ dream of life at a London
University college.
The best club slides of 1969/70, as always,
evoked great admiration and we were left wanting
more than the 18 shown. Apart from the work of
the competition winners – Tony Hehir,
Mrs Valerie Jordan, Ted Lewis and Don James (in
One of the three entries by Ray Mabbett which
came first, second and third in the ‘action’
photo contest. Ray gained first place overall
in the photograph competition_
that order) – slides taken by Mrs Deirdre Howells,
Mrs Joan James, Mrs Veida Seal and Brian Jones
were also shown.
The film competition, which does not attract as
many entries as the club would like, was judged
by Jack Timms, Ted Elliott and John Jennings.
They gave third place to a pleasing family film by
the club’s hard-working secretary, Robin Berks.
Its subject was Christmas 1969 – and with snowy
showers outside, it didn’t seem so untopical !
Second came Cyril Jamieson’s Scottish tour which
included some delightful shots of mountain,
glen and loch.
Vice-president Arthur Mason’s film of Europe was
well worthy of first place, and it transported us to
an idyllic life of sunshine in the mountains of
Switzerland, Austria and the Black Forest. Said
Mr Wickstead, when he presented the prizes of
vouchers and trophies: ‘Mr Mason has given us
many hours of enjoyment in the past. I think his
film this evening was the best he has ever taken.’
The interval offered an opportunity to look at the
interesting exhibition of black and white
photographs by members, including the work of
the year’s winners : Ray Mabbett, Bill Hobbs,
Mrs Dorine Berks and Mrs Veida Seal.
Incredible carryings-on in a feature film ‘Don’t
Lose Your Head’ provided a hilarious finale.
The Movie Maker’s ‘Ten Best’ amateur films of
1969, shown at the Social Centre on March 25,
were thought by some to be a little below the
usual standard. The first half of the programme
was devoted to 8 mm films but the rather poor
sound detracted from one’s enjoyment, particularly
of the travelogues.
Outstanding among the 16 mm films shown in
the second half was an American entry about
African wild dogs – fierce creatures who hunt in
packs and eat their prey alive.
We should perhaps mention that full frontal
nudes have at last arrived among the Ten Best,
though their appearance was discreetly brief, and,
Mr Wickstead presents second prize in the slide contest tc,
Mrs Valerie Jordan, who was ‘pipped at the post. by Tony Hehir.
Mrs Jordan has been a consistent prize-winner over the years,
and is particularly successful with her shots of children.
since some were photographs taken in the 19th
century, they might be regarded as having a
certain time-honoured dignity.
The premiere of the club’s own effort, ‘It’s a Boy’s
World’, took place on April 22 in the club house.
A special showing for children was given and
among the audience were the youngsters,
relatives of employees, who made up the cast in
this boyish fantasy.
Also shown were a couple of ‘oldies’ – ‘The
Handymen’ (1959) starring Ken Wintle and
Fred Brown, and ‘Pass the Scissors’ (1966)
starring Cyril Jamieson, all of which helped to
lighten the more serious side of the evening, the
annual general meeting. Bill Hobbs was elected
chairman, Mr Jamieson being made a
vice-president. The committee are now : Miss
Y. Hart, W. Gosnell, B. Jones, P. Jordan, E. Lewis,
D. Robbins and J. Seal.
For their summer outing, the club have chosen a
trip to Blenheim Palace.
‘O/d Mike’, a figure familiar to many Mitcheldean
people, was the subject of this sensitive portrait
by Bill Hobbs, who came second in the
photograph competition.
Computers are wonderful, and with all the
explosions of population, knowledge, paper work,
etc., going on around us, we would be hard put
to it to cope without their help.
But while forms are being redesigned to suit the
computer, one type of formalisation recently
introduced at our Plant has been designed with
humans only in mind. Not only does it depend
entirely for its effectiveness on the assessment of
human values by human beings but it also calls
for enthusiastic participation. And whoever heard
of a computer being enthusiastic !
This particular formalisation is an integral part of
the Staff and Management Development Scheme
which goes into operation in May and will
initially cover managerial and supervisory levels.
The main object is to help the individual develop
his potential and progress in his career so that both
he and the Company get the most value from his
job effort.
It is really a formalisation of management practice
which already takes place in some departments.
Very briefly, it is based on a series of appraisal
discussions which occur at intervals of three or
four months between the individual and his
immediate superior. The questions set out in the
form provided act as guidelines for the discussion
and the answers provide a record on which
action can be taken.
In order to set him thinking about his job, his
performance and his career progress, the individual
is given a review preparation form in advance of
the discussion. He is asked, for example: What do
you consider you have done well in the last
year – and what not so well ? Were there any
obstacles which hindered you from accomplishing
what you wished ? How would you like to see
your career developing in the next five years?
This last aspect is considered particularly
important, because a person’s aspirations can be
useful in indicating the most likely area of success,
and hitherto hidden skills and interests may come
to light which could be better utilised than at
Too often the occasion to talk about a man’s job
arises at a time when individuals are harassed and
emotions are roused. The planned discussion,
however, can take place in a private room so that
the individuals concerned can talk calmly,
amicably and without interruption.
After the discussion the individual has a chance to
read, agree and comment on the notes his
superior has made on the performance review
The completed form goes to the Staff Development
Officer in Personnel Department, Mr Peter
Grainger, so he can identify and co-ordinate
training needs, development requirements, etc.
This should avoid the waste of time and money on
Staff Development Officer Mr Peter Grainger
(left) and Mr Derek Lewis, assistant manager
in charge of Parts Provisioning, discuss the
pilot run in Supply Planning.
training people for jobs for which they are
unsuitable or for which there is no vacancy.
Discussions between the Personnel and Training
Departments and the head of department concerned
follow, and a suitable plan is worked out.
Through this scheme problems can be recognised
officially and dealt with effectively, not sorted out
as a ‘one off’ activity. It may be that the worker
is being asked to do things not on the job
description, or things he cannot do, and the job
description may need to be altered ; it may be that
his workload is unrealistic or a new priority
needs to be established.
The structure of a department and the planning of
succession within it are other aspects which may
have to be reviewed in the light of these
Plans for launching the scheme were made by
Personnel in conjunction with Supply Planning
Department and a pilot run made in the latter’s
Parts Provisioning section. Supply Planning was
selected because it was well structured and
because the management of the department were
convinced of the benefits of such a scheme.
A trial run was made in Personnel, and the first
appraisal interview took place between
Mr Grainger and Mr Peter Hoyland, Remuneration
& Employee Development Manager. They televised
it on to videotape and the result was shown as part
of the training session for the Supply Planning
people who were involved in the pilot run in
order to highlight likely mistakes and suggest
The pilot run itself started last December.
Seventeen people took part, the interviews
commencing at top level and working through to
section leaders. Their experience to date has
confirmed that the scheme can run smoothly and
effectively in an atmosphere of co-operation.
In order that those who will be involved can
acquaint themselves with the scheme and its aims
before they themselves hold appraisal discussions,
an appraisal training course is also being
organised and the first session of this course is
due to take place in May.
It will be some time before the scheme itself can
be appraised. Some of those so far involved have
commented that planned discussions between a
man and his supervisor should be a great help in
improving communications, and the training
courses arranged as a result of the discussions are
already much appreciated. (Eleven of the pilot
run people have attended specific internal training
sessions and one person has been on an identified
external course.)
VISION was told : ‘We are hopeful that it will
mean a fairer deal, and that the scheme will help
the Management discover how they can best help
us to get on.’
One thing is certain : in order to maintain
confidence in the scheme, action must be taken,
and be known to have been taken, on the
discussions. After all, the scheme is only as good
as the results it produces – as the instigators
themselves are the first to admit.
Studying form
We have all heard about the importance of filling
in forms accurately, especially when computerised
methods are in use, but we don’t always
appreciate the thought and work that must go into
the design of a ‘good’ form in the first place.
In the constant endeavour to improve our control
systems there is a major part to be played by
Organisation Er Methods Department in the design
of forms. To assist in this task, Mr Arthur Mason
of 0 Et M attended a week’s residential course on
form design, held at Banbury, Oxford, in April by
the Institute of Office Management.
The importance of good design, recognition of
badly designed forms, relationship of forms to
clerical procedures, and designing forms for
conventional office machines, for office copying
processes and for computers, were some of the
many aspects covered by the course.
Mr Leonard Peacock has been appointed Personnel
Manager, Mitcheldean, reporting to the General
Manager. He is functionally responsible to
Mr L. V. Lyes, Divisional Controller of Personnel,
for the executive control of Personnel and
Training, Mr Lyes now being more deeply involved
on a divisional basis and in Company matters
affecting conditions and employee relations.
After some years spent in India, Mr Peacock took
up the appointment in 1953 of Assistant Personnel
Manager of Courtaulds main plant in Coventry,
subsequently becoming Personnel Manager of
their Nuneaton plant. In 1961 he joined the central
personnel department of Massey Ferguson where
he dealt with industrial relations at regional and
national level, and in 1964 went to Ansells
Brewery as Head of Personnel Services, which post
he relinquished to join us. Mr Peacock is married
with two daughters of 24 and 17, and a son of 19.
He is interested in sport and is a keen soccer fan.
Mr Anthony Bryson was recently appointed Chief
Industrial Engineer, Mitcheldean Plant, reporting
to the General Manager. He comes to us from the
Automotive Products Group, where he held the
position of Group Productivity Services Manager.
He is particularly interested in the use of
predetermined motion time systems and last year
visited Scandinavia where such systems are
widely used. For the past two years he has been
chairman of the Coventry Et Leamington branch of
the Institute of Work Study Practitioners; he is
also a member of the West Midlands Region
Board and an examiner for the Institute.
Mr Bryson is married with two boys and two girls
aged between 10 and 15. His favourite spare-time
activity is the designing and making of furniture.
There are probably many VISION readers of an
engineering turn of mind who will appreciate what
satisfaction can be derived from doing a little
practical work, especially when one is literally
swamped in engineering paper work in the
course of one’s job.
It was for this reason that I took up as a hobby
the building of miniature steam locomotives, and it
may be of interest to some to learn what progress I
have been able to make in the strictly limited
spare time at my disposal.
To build a small locomotive which is coal-fired
and exact to scale is no mean task. Apart from the
natural pride of achievement, there is also the
enjoyment that can be obtained in driving it
on one of the club railway tracks of which there
are many in this country.
The first one I attempted was a free-lance type
2-6-0 which proved a great success as a
passenger hauler. This I had running on my own
private track when living in Banbury and although
this engine has since been sold, cine film exists
to preserve memories of it.
Since joining Ranks more than 12 years ago,
my activities in this direction have slowed
somewhat, for the greater part of that time has been
spent living away from my home in Shropshire
and I have had only weekends and holidays
in which to pursue my hobby.
However, work has progressed on two engines:
one is a 34 in. gauge ‘County’ type engine which is
near completion and ready for steam trials; the
other is an American Hudson Pacific type which
should prove a real goer when completed !
The County engine will be named after its fullsized
predecessor ‘County of Salop’. Although
built to a scale of s in. to the foot, this engine
will be capable of hauling up to 12 adult
passengers, which gives some idea of the steam
No doubt there are many of us who would like to
see the principle applied to motor cars – not only
would the power be there but it would mean the
end of those choking exhaust fumes.
Since the passing of the steam era on our national
railways, interest in small steam locomotives
has reached very large proportions, and collectors
the world over are ready to pay handsome sums
for those built as a true replica of the prototype.
For example. a 5 in. gauge 2-4-0 GWR was sold
at Christie’s recently for 1,300 gns. (So get
cracking, chaps !)
There are firms in this country who are now
building small locomotives representing classic
British steam types to the small track gauge of
Letting off steam
by Ted Price, Production Engineering
Mr Price with his
County type engine,
now nearing
completion. Built to
a scale of g in to the
foot, this engine will
be capable of hauling
up to 12 adult
1.: inch. These are hand-built in limited batches of
up to 100. They are fully functional, whether
steam-powered or electric, but are intended to be
looked at rather than worked. They sell at around
£300 each on the American market. Several big
US stores are showing keen interest and agents
have been appointed for both East and West
Japan has flooded the American market with
mass-produced models made in brass representing
American engine prototypes selling at
approximately £150 each; these are not working
models yet sales have exceeded 300,000 a year.
A colleague of mine, Eddie Shermer of Design
Department, is also a keen ‘steam’ enthusiast. He
has built an American type locomotive of the
late 1800’s and a freight engine of the old
North-Eastern Railway. Both these engines have
done their stint on the Cheltenham and Bristol
club tracks. Unfortunately photographs of them
are not available, and we couldn’t get any taken
for this article because both are at the moment in
a dismantled state undergoing overhaul ready
for the summer season.
Eddie is also building two new engines: one is a
34 in. gauge Stephenson ‘Rocket’ and the other is
a free-lance design which incorporates various
There may be others in the Plant who also indulge
in this hobby; if so, we should be pleased to
hear from them. For the benefit of those who may
think of starting, let me say at once that there
are no short cuts.
You have to start from scratch, working from raw
material. Certain castings are available, but of
course they require machining.
A modest workshop is required to provide the
basic machining facilities such as turning.
shaping, milling and grinding. Most of my own
milling requirements are performed on a lathe using
a vertical slide or other home-made ‘lash-ups’.
Brazing equipment is also required for the engine
boiler work, and with copper being the price
it is, you cannot afford to have any scrap.
While on the subject of boilers, it is as well to
note that these need a hydraulic and steam test
before use, and an insurance certificate must be
obtained before the engine is given an ‘outing’.
(High pressure steam can be a lethal weapon).
Drawings for British prototype and several freelance
type engines can be obtained for different
track gauges from a number of firms, such as
Reeves of Birmingham and Kenions of Hertford.
It is probably true to say that, apart from required
skills, the most important attribute necessary is
patience. Of this you will need plenty. for many
hundreds of man hours are required if you want to
produce a locomotive of which you can feel
For Sale
Tricity Modeq 3-kilowatt convector heater, woodgrained
front, 1. 2 or 3 kw heat, also blows
cold air. When opened contains clothes airer
(complete with cover). Unmarked, cost £26,
bargain at £12. Also gent’s Claud Butler racing
cycle, all Campagnolo equipment – 5-speed,
Q/R hubs, lightweight rims, etc. Light blue. Cost
over £50, new condition. £22 o.n.o. Replies to
K. G. Rea, Supply Planning. Tel : 153 int.
Mirror sailing dinghy, complete with sails, oars.
etc., and outboard motor which can be sold
separately. Tel : 693 int.
New World gas cooker, white, eye-level grill.
As new, £20 o.n.o. Also multi-point gas water
heater. £5. Replies to: Mrs. E. Thomas, Print
Room. Tel : 542 int.
Talis tachometer graduated to 8,000 rpm,
internally illuminated, with full mounting kit and
instructions, as new, £6 10s. Magna 13 in.
diameter leather steering wheel suitable for
Hillman Imp, £5. Black headrest, as new £3. Two
quartz-halogen spot lamps (matching pair),
£3 10s. each. Apply: S. D. Fox, Purchase Office.
Tel : 125 int.
Eltex greenhouse paraffin heater, three months old.
Cost £4 10s. Also Jack Taylor tandem, tourist
model, 1968. Full specification on request.
Cost £112 new. Offers invited. Tel : 217 int.
For Hire
Two four-berth caravans, Saundersfoot, near
Tenby. all dates. Contact : D. Bluett. Goods
Inwards Inspection. Tel : 466 int.
Four-berth self-tow caravan, 1970 model.
*Contact: M. Leake, Machine Shop.
Morris 1000 convertible. Tel : 693 int.
Cassette-type tape recorder. Contact: L. Barre,
Tool Room. Tel : 127 int.
ACROSS: 1 – Eggtimer. 7 – Dingo.
8 – Headstone. 9 – End. 10 – Main.
11 – Ripper. 13 – Pay-day. 14 – Nighty.
17 – Tittle. 18 – Fray. 20 – Tor. 22 – Mayflower.
*23 – Apace. 24 – Gratings.
*DOWN: 1 – Egham. 2 – Gravity. 3- Inst.
4 – Erotic. 5 – Inner. 6 – Roadway.
7 – Despair. 12 – Ragtime. 13 – Portman.
15 – Hard won. 16 – Player. 17 – Trial.
19 -Yards. 21 – Glut.
In case of fire
During the last few months there have been six
potentially dangerous fires in our plant. In each
case, prompt action by personnel near the
outbreak ensured that the fires remained relatively
minor occurrences.
Investigations have proved that all but one of the
fires were caused by carelessness. Typical
incidents were cigarette ends thrown in waste
paper; lighted matches thrown into aluminium
swarf contaminated by paraffin ; matches thrown
on oil waste on floors: and cigarette ends thrown
into empty oil drums.
Following these incidents the procedure to be
adopted in case of fire has been revised. The new
rules should be available by the time you receive
this copy of VISION.
The procedure will outline in detail the action to
be taken in case of fire, how to raise the alarm,
what to do on hearing the alarm and the duties of
personnel evacuating affected areas.
There are two points which should always be kept
in mind :
Electricity is the cause of 56 per cent of all
fires in industry. Any faulty wiring of
electrical equipment must be reported
Smoking is always a potential fire risk.
Always ensure that cigarettes and matches
are extinguished before discarding them.
One final point. Supervisory staff at all levels
should ensure they are aware of the fire risks
within their departments and make sure that,
where special rules apply, they are strictly and
thoroughly enforced.
I DC fire drill
The fire drill held by the International
Distribution Centre at Gloucester recently went
like clockwork, despite the fact that it was held on
Friday, March 13 ! The Trading Estate police
turned out with their fire tender and the Fire
Prevention Officer of the Gloucestershire
County Fire Service was in attendance.
Marshals were: S. Beard, M. Kear, B. Measham,
D. Read, J. Rooke and M. Taylor.
measuring machine
This tape-controlled electronic measuring
machine, at present housed in the Standards
Room, checks incoming cams more accurately,
quickly and economically than any methods used
hitherto. The cam is loaded on to the optical
dividing head which is itself mounted on a surface
table, together with a linear transducer unit
guaranteeing an accuracy of .00004 in. (or two
microns). A punched tape prepared by PED
which gives the design specifications is fed by
the operator into the tape reading unit (far right).
When he presses a button on the tape read-out
(behind operator), it tells him how to set the
dividing head in terms of angle. With another press
of the button, the tape reads out the theoretical rise,
actual rise and error (minus in red, plus in black).
The machine also gives an instant visual reading
of the cam ordinate measurement on the digital
display unit (top left).
Precision Grinding of Mitcham, Surrey, made the
machine, the electronic transducer and read-out
equipment being supplied by Rank Precision
Our photograph shows Max Gaylard, Standards
Room inspector, setting the optical scale on the
dividing head.
Stop Press
Mr. Wickstead, who is president of the Variety
Club, has arranged for them to give a performance
at Denham on Saturday, June 13, and tickets for
the show are nearly all sold. A month earlier, on
May 15, the club will be doing a show in the Social
Centre here to help raise money for the East Dean
Swimming Pool Fund. On April 11, the showband
made their first public appearance as the Rank
Xerox Dance Orchestra, sharing the music making
with the Blue Ramblers at a dance in the Social
Centre, and they got a tremendous reception.
Apprentice Michael Bendall has won the
Gloucestershire Electric Club prize for the excellent
standard he attained in passing his ONC in
Engineering. He went to the West Gloucestershire
College of Further Education on April 10 to
receive his prize, which took the form of a book
The object of a recent visit to our Plant by a
business studies group from The North
Gloucestershire Technical College was somewhat
unusual – they came to study office layouts, and
Mr R. Harris of Facilities Planning showed them
over the new offices in Building 40. They also
had a look round the Supply Planning and Data
Processing Departments.
Apart from officials of Xerox Corporation and
Rank Xerox European companies, other springtime
visitors to our Plant have included : Yorkley County
Primary School Parent/Teachers’ Association (who
were shown over 3600 Department by QC
inspectors Darrell Timms and Terry Ward) ; a
Belgian electronics firm who already use 15 of
our business machines; and 30 members of the
R. A. Lister Engineering Society.
The Interdepartmental Skittles Knock-out
Tournament reaches its climax when Tool Room
‘A’ team and PED Peasants meet for the final match
on May 9.
The trophy awarded to the player achieving the
highest individual score in any match excluding
the final one goes to Roy Jones of Tool Room ‘A’
team whose score was 54.
Mr Nigel Foulkes. Managing Director of Rank
Xerox Ltd. has promised to attend the Long Service
Association annual dinner at Mitcheldean on
May 8. He has been asked to speak on recent
changes in the set-up of the Company and how
they could affect the LSA.
Presentations of 25-year awards will be made at
the dinner to Mrs Marion Cornwall, Roy Jones,
Arthur Mason, Don Peates and Stan Scott.
Frank Wakefield of the drilling section, Machine
Shop, who retired before Easter after over 21 years
with the Company, seems to have become
attached already to this easy chair. It was
presented to him, together with a cheque, by
LSA chairman Henry Phillips. Component
Manufacturing Manager Ken Bunn also handed
over a gift of money on behalf of Frank’s
If you have, then please
tell your departmental correspondent
leave it at the Gate House for collection by me
post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
Mitcheldean or
ring me – it’s Drybrook 415
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
14 15
Putting IYOUlin the picture
Mrs Marlene Marshall (Remodelling) on
February 18.
Mrs Doreen Haggar (Spares Assembly) on April 17.
Apprentice Terry Gardner on May 5.
Mrs Gill Drew (Print Room) on May 14.
Miss Bernice Tinton (Design Office) on May 19.
Brian Marshall (Remodelling) to Miss Tina Flower
on Christmas Day.
Miss Gillian Hodges (Print Room) to Stuart Brooks
on February 14.
Lionel Fisher (Design engineer) to Miss Ann Field
on March 2.
Miss Amelia Turley (3600 OC) to John Williams
(Raw Materials Stores) on March 14.
Miss Elizabeth Cornfield (Purchase) to Glyn Ruck
(Press Shop) at Lydney on February 21.
Miss Heather Macarthy (Canteen) to David Kibble
at St John’s Church, Cinderford. on March 21.
Miss Kathleen Carpenter (Spares Assembly) to
Tony Meek (3600 OC) at Lydney Register Office
on March 28.
Miss Doreen Barnard (Spares Assembly) to
John Haggar (Works Study) at St Michael’s & All
Angels. Mitcheldean, also on March 28.
David Moore (Design DO) to Miss Carol Walk ley
at the Baptist Chapel, Cinderford, on Easter Monday.
Mrs Vera Parsons (Spares Assembly) to Jim Harris
at Lydney Register Office, on March 31.
Miss Julia Fletcher (secretary to Mr. H. Berry,
International Distribution Manager) to Stephen
Christopher at St Aldate Church, Gloucester, on
May 16.
New Arrivals
Derek John. a son for Mrs Susan Hyett (formerly
Supply Planning), on February 10.
John, a son for Bob Smith (Organisation 8-
Methods), on March 1.
Andrew a son for Gordon Brooks (Spot Welding),
also on March 1.
Mandy Marie, a daughter for Brian Fisher (Factory
Progress), on March 3.
Kevin Michael, a son for Paul Cooper (Press Shop
Progress), on March 5.
Lee David, a son for Dave Elsmore (Remodelling),
on March 7.
Vanessa Jane, a daughter for Mrs Shirley Marfell
(formerly secretary to Mr R. Pyart, Design Manager,
New Products), on March 12.
Julie Ann, a daughter for Brian Woodward
(IDC, Gloucester) on March 17.
Get better soon!
His colleagues in Machine Shop send their best
wishes for a quick recovery to Jack Baker,
foreman, grinding section, who has been away
some months because of a hip injury caused by a
fall during the snowy weather.
Best wishes to Bill Cresswell and John Browne,
both of Machine Shop Inspection, and Fred
Underwood, milling machine setter operator, whi
all retire in June.
We regret to report the deaths of labourer
Clarence Bevan, aged 64, on February 19, and
Albert Stevens, aged 61, of Planning, Engineering
Department, on February 20,
Mr and Mrs D. Moore
R. Evans
Mr and Mrs J. Haggar
J. Ingram
“.11111111I “‘MIME!’ -MK_
Mr and Mrs D. Kibble
Printed in England by Taylor. Young (Printers. Ltd

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