Return to 1970-1974

Vision 067

May/June 71 No 67 House Magazine of Rank Xerox Mitcheldean Plant
The camera focusses on two models – sophisticated, good looking and, we trust, with a great future.
The lady we hardly know, but the machine, the RX 4000, is all set to become an important feature in the
future life of our Plant. This was one of a series of pictures taken at Mitcheldean recently in readiness
for the RX 4000’s ‘spring showing’ to the world press. The model ‘key operator’ is demonstrating the
improved methorf of toner replenishment which is a feature of the mirhino
As many of you know, we are in the process of
moving more work from Mitcheldean to Venray,
and I should not be surprised if some of you are
wondering what effect this will have on
Mitcheldean’s workload. I certainly would be if
I were not directly involved in top level decision
In the November/December ’69 issue of VISION,
Mr Wickstead wrote frankly about the Company’s
policy for Venray development, and the effect of
this on Mitcheldean. I quote:
‘The skills and experience of the Production and
Supply Operations Division are concentrated at
Mitcheldean. It therefore makes sense to move to
Venray existing products, for which assembly
procedures, machine tools and techniques have
been tested and proven at Mitcheldean, and to
free Mitcheldean for new products.
‘This policy will ensure work continuity at
Mitcheldean. If we kept existing products here,
and placed new products in other plants, what
work would there be for Mitcheldean when the
existing products were phased out? None of us
wants Mitcheldean to go the same way as the
coal-mines in the Forest of Dean.’
The progressive move, which is now taking place,
of part of 3600 machine manufacture – in
particular assembly and sub-assembly operations –
to Venray, and the start up of the new RX 4000
machine production at Mitcheldean, is the planned
outcome of this policy.
In the past six months or so, Mitcheldean, because
of its heavy workload, has kept Venray supplied
with Mitcheldean sourced parts only with the
greatest difficulty. Therefore, in the interests of
Mitcheldean as well as Venray, the sooner Venray
are capable of sourcing at least some 3600 parts
independently of Mitcheldean, the better.
Competition in the market place stiffens. You
don’t need me to tell you that, at this time of
sharply rising material and labour costs and an
almost non-existent economic growth rate, we
must continually increase our efficiency in order
to keep our prices competitive and our Company
in the forefront of the copier market. The next
two or three years could be crucial.
Deputy Director, Operations
Mr Peter M. Salmon takes up his appointment as
General Manager of Mitcheldean Plant on May 17.
Born at Staines, Middlesex, Mr Salmon is a
chartered electrical engineer who commenced his
career as a student apprentice with R. A. Lister Et
Co. Limited, of Dursley. After a succession of
appointments with that company he became
General Works Manager at their Cinderford plant
in 1946. Following this, in 1959, he became
Assistant Director of the factory at Dursley, where
he had overall responsibility for all manufacturing
In 1963 he accepted an appointment as Director
and Manager of the Lister Swindon factory, which
manufactures diesel engines and diesel electric
generating plants. Mr Salmon’s responsibilities
were widened in 1966 to include two other plants,
one at Walkden in Lancashire, the other at
Cinderford, the latter for the second time in his
During his time with Lister he had experience not
only of diesel engines, but also of the design and
manufacture of a variety of other products,
including pumps, mechanical handling equipment,
special purpose machine tools, and electric trucks.
In his various management capacities he has
initiated and been deeply involved in the extensive
reorganisation and re-equipment of the plants
under his control he has also introduced improved
management techniques in a number of areas, in
particular value engineering, quality audit, and the
computer control of stock and production
scheduling. Mr Salmon’s deep interest in people
has resulted in the introduction of management
development and job evaluation in the three Lister
plants in which he has been involved.
When R. A. Lister merged with the Hawker
Siddeley Group in 1965, Mr Salmon’s
responsibilities became increasingly group wide,
and since 1969 he has been Chairman of the
Hawker Siddeley Diesels Group Production
Mr Salmon has extensive interests and connections
with the Forest of Dean: he was at one time
Chairman of the Development Association, and
also a Governor of the Cinderford Technical
College. His other interests include membership
of the Dilke Hospital Welfare Committee. Care of
the Physically Handicapped, and the Forest of
Dean Employment Committee.
Mr Salmon and his wife, together with their two
daughters, Gillian and Pamela, are looking
forward to renewing their ties with the Royal
Forest of Dean.
Mr F. Wickstead, our Director of Production
and Supply Operations, was awarded the OBE
in the 1971 New Year’s honours list in
recognition of his services to industry and the
community in which lie lives. Here he is with
Mrs Wickstead and his three children – Pat. Susan
and Malcolm – outside Buckingham Palace after
the investiture last March.
If all goes according to schedule, by the time this
issue appears the press launch of the RX 4000,
lasting from May 10 to 13, will have taken place,
and our latest model will be venturing into the not
untroubled waters of the copier world.
It will have to compete not only with the products
of other major international companies but also
with our own products. The 4000 is, in part, a
replacement for the 720. But whereas with
previous models it was almost always a case of
an older model phasing out as the new model was
starting, this is not the situation today.
The 4000 is significant in that, firstly, it
incorporates a number of advanced technological
developments and, secondly, it is being produced
on a very tight time scale – the shortest planned
at Mitcheldean to date. We are following Xerox
Corporation into the marketplace by about six
months in order to meet the increasing competition
in the world markets in which we operate.
We’ve got
it Taped
Mitcheldean employees, whether their work is
directly or indirectly concerned with actual
production, are being put fully in the picture about
the launching of our new model. Some months
ago a series of presentations on the 4000 were
held for departmental managers; so that everyone
can have the same opportunity a similar
presentation, this time on video tape, is going the
rounds of departments. The tape version begins
with an introductory talk by Mr Portman;
Mr Vic Parry, Controller, Product Quality, Works
Manager Mr Don Elliott, and Mr Ralph
Zimmermann, Manager of RX 4000 Assembly, all
Members of the press not only of the UK but also
of Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Italy,
Spain, Switzerland and Sweden were invited to
our model’s debut. Executives of the Rank
Xerox operating companies also came along to
answer questions relevant to the particular
countries concerned.
Every facility was afforded our guests. At a
conference in the Royal Lancaster Hotel, where
overseas visitors were accommodated, there were
demonstrations of the 4000, coloured slides
illustrating the merits of the model, a filmstrip with
commentaries in seven languages, not to mention
plentiful literature on our range of products, our
Company, and xerography.
So the visitors were well briefed before they
travelled to Mitcheldean on Wednesday May 12.
Joined by the local press, they toured the Plant,
on film and on foot, and were entertained to lunch
with Management and key personnel.
have ‘speaking parts’, and there are shots on
location throughout the Plant as well as a
performance by the ‘star’. Made by an Education
Er Training team, the tape is entitled ‘RX 4000 at
Mitcheldean’ and lasts about half an hour.
Our pictures, taken on the 4000 floor, show (left)
Mr Portman and key personnel watching some
results of shooting on closed circuit TV; (right)
Mr Zimmermann and co-ordinator Mr S. Scott,
with members of the pre-production team,
looking pleased with the Duplex copies made on
the first Mitcheldean-built 4000.
The ‘New Generation’ Copier
The 4000 Copier is considered the most
sophisticated xerographic device ever developed.
And as it is the first of the new generation of
copiers, we ought to put on record the story of
how it came into this highly competitive world.
One of the first successful xerographic copiers was,
as you know, the 914, which has had a remarkable
life, being subsequently developed into the 420
and ultimately the 720, and still able to hold its
own in some markets. But, of course, competitors
are already making progress.
The 4000 was conceived in 1967 to meet
performance requirements which would place it
ahead of the competition not only when
introduced, but for some years afterwards. These
requirements were reviewed against the new
technologies being studied, and a rather bold step
was taken to use six brand new technologies which
represented the most up-to-date knowledge of the
art of xerography. Also included in the concept
were many automatic and convenience features
that customers wanted.
This concept created a tremendous challenge to
the several hundred engineers and scientists at
Xerox Corporation, not the least of which was the
time limit on the programme. Thus the programme
for design and development started.
The 4000 Copier is a compact, quiet, console
machine that operates at a rate of 45 copies per
minute. It is capable of reproducing halftone
originals on ordinary unsensitized paper.
An important new feature is its ability to copy
automatically on both sides of a piece of paper.
The machine is equipped with two paper trays to
allow automatic double sided (or Duplex) copying
but alternatively allowing push-button selection of
two different sizes, colour or weight of paper.
It also allows replenishment of one tray whilst
copies are being made from the other tray.
Other significant features are improved copy
quality, high reliability and better servicing.
‘Compact’, ‘high reliability’ – expressed in words
these requirements sound simple enough but they
were to tax the ingenuity and inventiveness of
Xerox technical staff.
New technologies, although shown feasible
individually on test rigs, tend when built into a
machine to throw up new problems caused by
interaction between each other. To resolve some
of these meant using ideas which were still in the
development stage; however, the challenge was
taken up by Xerox technical staff.
The three main problem areas were the fusing
system, photoreceptor system and cleaning system.
A typical problem was the cleaning system which
in this compact machine is allowed one half of a
cubic foot space, so any vacuum-cleaning system
was out. A blade-cleaning system was chosen and
34 materials were tried out with ten different
cutting techniques to obtain the correct type of
edge. With the blade system, which literally
scrapes toner off the drum, the question arose of
what to do with the toner. The answer proved to
be a toner reclaim system which returns the toner
to the developer housing.
When the main process problems were finally
resolved the time came to evaluate reliability, and
a milepost test programme was established.
Further problems were identified, fixes found, and
of course as more machines are built so new
problems will emerge.
Changes will continue to be issued at a fairly high
rate but these are essential if we are to have a
‘New Generation’ product better than that set by
its forerunner the 914.
The inherent capability and customer appeal of
this machine will make it a worthy successor to
the 914/720 and retain the Rank Xerox position in
this market. -Ray Pyart
Design Manager, New Products
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Company Awards
Rank Xerox has won the Queen’s Award to
Industry for the second time. As on the first
occasion, in 1966, the award was made for export
achievement. Since then, the value of our annual
exports has risen from £15.7 million to £38.7
In recent years our Company has mounted a
concerted export drive into East Europe and last
March Rank Xerox East European Operations
announced orders amounting to nearly £2.5
million, including copiers, duplicators and
microfilm equipment, together with spares and
For the fourth successive year, a gold medal has
been awarded to Rank Xerox Limited at the
Leipzig Spring Fair. It is believed to be the first
time that a Western European firm has won four
medals in succession. This year’s gold medal was
for our 1860 printer, which copies engineering
41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 41 11 41
cix on Skis
The winter in North East America can be fairly
devastating with a seasonal snowfall of anything
between 110 and 130 inches of snow. To help
pass the time, six of the Rank Xerox ‘Residents’ at
Xerox, all from Mitcheldean, joined the local ski
classes at Webster.
None of us had ever been to a ski slope before,
much less worn all the paraphernalia that goes
with skiing, writes Maurice Pask. The fitting of
the skis and boots is quite a ritual in itself. The
boots are a Frankenstein creation which when
fully buckled up make you feel you have suddenly
put each foot into a vice.
The length of the ski depends upon your height
and weight and also if you are a beginner. On the
skis are fitted what is called the ‘bindings’, and
the theory is that when you fall over, which is
fairly frequent, the bindings release your foot from
the skis.
The first couple of lessons were held in a school
gymnasium and they taught us a few exercises
and showed us how to stand up on the skis. It’s
difficult to explain the sensation of that first
movement on such unfamiliar equipment –
suddenly your feet are six feet long.
The fun really begins when you go out on the
slopes the full meaning of
the ‘force of gravity’ becomes very apparent. Did
you know there are a hundred different ways of
hitting the ground ? Between the six of us we
found the lot. It doesn’t do too much for the ego
either when you watch little ones of seven or
eight flashing down the slopes at breakneck speed
whilst you’re stumbling about like a drunk trying
to stand up in a bathful of live eels.
But we soon got the hang of it, thanks to
excellent instruction, and at the end of the
12-week session had suffered nothing more than
the odd bruise. On the final night, the instructor
surprised everyone by reading out a citation for
each member of the class, and here’s the gist of
what he said about the Rank boys:
To Dick Skyrme went the title of ‘The Wrecker’ ;
unknown to the rest, Dick was an undercover
agent for the ski manufacturers, and his job was
to wreck as many skis as possible. On several
occasions the instructor failed to take evasive
action as Dick hurtled either across his skis or
into him. But joking aside, Dick mastered the
‘snow-plow’ (the art of stopping correctly)
quicker than most.
Winner of the ‘Persevering Skier’s Award’ was
Ron Boakes; for weeks Ron battled a persistent
tendency to lean uphill and stay that way, while
negotiating a snowploy turn (needless to say, with
the usual disastrous results). However, the pieces
The Rank Xerox Resident Ski-ing Team lieu their
skis well under control when this picture was
taken by Mrs Boakes Under the bonnets are
Dick Delahay, Ron Boakes. Maurice Pask,
Samil Phillips, Dick and Sid Palmer
eventually fell in place ( !) and Ron’s been gliding
gracefully on ever since.
For Dick Delahay there was the ‘Rapid Learner’s
Award for Foreign-born Students’ – he’s been
ski-ing faster and more smoothly every week.
To Sid Palmer went the ‘Order of the Runaway
Skier’-it was apparently pretty hard to complete
any instruction to Sid during the first several
meetings as he always had urgent business at the
bottom of the hill just after beginning any
manoeuvre. Paraphrasing yet another famous
Englishman, the instructor said- ‘Never had so few
done so much with so little.’ But Sid won praise
for his determination and guts.
Proving that ski-ing wasn’t only a small man’s
game Sam Phillips negotiated his ski-ing
manoeuvres with as little difficulty as his smaller
classmates, and his friendliness won him the
‘Mr Congenial Skier’ award.
Your writer walked off with the award of the
‘Most Spectacular Fall’. There were also
congratulations for me on my completion of
the only two and a half-egg-beater with back flip
seen that season !
All in all we had a great time, and are looking
forward to next season’s snows.
Congratulations on your efforts, resident skiers.
Maybe you could give us a demonstration when
you get back – the new IDC site looks as if it
might make a useful ski run some time.
Our new computer, the Honeywell 427, about
which Data Processing Manager Mr Jack Bonney
wrote in an earlier issue (it was then known as
GE.425) has been installed and testing is in
progress. Here David Howells is seen sitting at
the control console operating the typewriter with
the papertape reader and central processor
ahead of him. Tim Humphries is mounting a disc
pack while Gwyn Richards (far left) puts a tape
on one of the drives. The new machine enables
all master information to be held in one common
data bank and this is necessitating the revision of
our existing systems and design of new ones.
joined the Data
Processing Department
on March 1 as
Systems Manager He
is responsible to
Mr J. Bonney. Before
joining us, Mr
Outhwaite was
employed by Rolls
Royce Ltd, Derby. as
Systems and Progiamming
Iron Brass
You’ve heard of brass rubbing as a hobby ? Well,
Ray Wright of Design has developed this a step
further. Ray has always been keenly interested in
the history of this area, and the famous brass on
the Greyndour Tomb in Newland Church, which
depicts a free miner of the 14th century in full
working costume, gave him an idea.
Having obtained permission from the vicar, Ray
took measurements, made some rubbings and
investigated the historical background of the brass.
He asked colleague Stan Cherry of PED to make
a wood carving to use as a pattern and then got a
Forest of Dean foundry to cast replicas of the
original in iron – so it can truthfully be said that
each casting contains a percentage of iron from
the ancient iron mines of Dean.
The brass, which is 1 ft. 8 in. high, shows the
free miner in his protective clothing of leather with
a pick in his right hand, a stick which holds his
hod in his left hand, and in his mouth a clay stick
holding a candle which was his only form of
light. He stands on a plumed knight’s helmet and
one theory is that the helmet represents the
authority of the time and the miner is walking over
this authority with his free miner’s rights.
Ray Wright (left) and Stan Clic’, , compare three
stages of the process -a brass rubbing, the
carving, and the finished casting.
Focus on
It was the Cine Er Photographic Club’s big night
of the year on April 15 – with the accent
definitely on cine.
Vice-chairman Doris Barker welcomed around 80
in the Social Centre and a start was made with the
showing of ‘Dean Forest Miscellany’. Taken by
Jack and Veida Seal, it told of the Forest’s past
history and present activities and emphasised the
impact which Rank Xerox at Mitcheldean has
made, and is making, on the environment. Our
Plant has generated millions of pounds’ worth of
spending power, as is evidenced by the new shops
which have sprung up in villages and towns, and
by the improvements which are transforming some
of the older properties.
The prize-winning colour slides were a hit as
usual. Valerie Jordan, who came second last
year, achieved first place this time, with
Brian Jones and Dorine Berks coming second and
Vice-president Arthur Mason once again walked
off with a first in the film competition. His subject
was the traditional and delightfully colourful
‘Fownhope Annual Walk’ which takes place on the
first Saturday in June. A procession of villagers,
carrying bunches of flowers on poles and led by
a band, make their way first to the church for
spiritual refreshment and then to various members
of the village Friendly Society who ‘roll out the
barrel’ for them. We would have liked to see how
they made their way home afterwards!
Below. Mrs Don Elliott presents a prize to
John Jennings who submitted the best portrait.
Right: Little Rowan Berks goes up to receive his
mother’s prize in the colour slide section.
Another film of Arthur’s about a walk – this time
round the spectacular southern coast of
Guernsey – was also shown.
Making a record (we don’t recall an entry from a
camerawoman before) was Mrs Seal’s imaginative
film ‘Who wants to live in the country ?’ We were
taken by car at breakneck speed along the
motorway and then at a more law-abiding pace
through its maze of multi-lane roads and
underpasses which are part of a massive
reconstruction of the city’s road system. (By the
way, her answer to the question posed was
‘I do !’)
Bob Farnham (another name which hasn’t
appeared in this prize list before) came third with
his holiday film taken in superb Snowdonia.
Judging had taken place earlier at Walwins of
Gloucester, and a tape recording of the judges’
comments was played back for the benefit of the
audience. Another film, not shown, was also
awarded a prize by Mr Swanston, chairman of the
panel : it was for the best film from an entrant who
had never won a prize before and it went to
Dennis Robbins.
It was good to note that, despite the attractions of
the more glamorous aspects of camera work, the
‘print’ side still has its devotees, although this
competition was not as well supported as last
year. There were two black and white sections –
portraits and ‘after dark’ – and these were won by
John Jennings and Pat Jordan respectively. (It
certainly was prize night for the Mason family,
with Arthur, his daughter Valerie and son-in-law
Pat all getting firsts!) John Ingram won the
coloured print section, while Don James came
second, and all the entries were on display
during the evening.
Photographs, however, got the upper hand in the
club film ‘The Independent Operator’ which was
given its Mitcheldean premiere on this occasion.
Produced and devised by Jack Seal with
Robin Berks and Pat Jordan as cameramen, it was
based on the sad experiences of a man (played by
Dennis Robbins) who aims to win friends by
putting on a film show at home.
At the first attempt he gets no audience at all.
much to the chagrin of his wife (Dorine Berks),
and when he does pull them in, they lose interest
during the performance and creep out to the
adjoining room to enjoy food and, ironically, the
family snapshots!
Shot on Fuji Single-8, the film has a cast of about
40 and is taken partly on location in the Plant.
(You don’t need to go to Pinewood to get on the
screen – it’s all happening here at Mitcheldean !)
A showing of an oldie, ‘Follow that Camel’.
provided entertainment for the late stayers with
Bill Austin doing his customary stint as
£224 for Scanner Appeal
There may be a mystery about what happened to
the famous bear of Ruardean, but there’s none
about the giant teddy Alpha, raffled by the Medical
Department at their recent dance. He was won by
Harold Boseley, delivery control clerk in Purchase
Department, and has gone to live in Ruardean,
which is a nice coincidence.
Harold hasn’t any problems about what to do
with the bear – he has three young sons from the
age of six downwards.
Alpha brought in £142, the lion’s share (sorry to
mix animals) of the gross amount of £267 raised
to help pay for the Scanner equipment, used in
conjunction with the North Gloucestershire Cobalt
Unit for diagnostic purposes. (No wonder Harold
took him for a celebration pint at the local where
we understand he caused a sensation.)
The dressed doll, won by Mrs Pat Gates of Spares
Et Sub-assembly, accounted for another £5025.
while tickets for the dance and the raffle at the
door produced £75; after expenses had been
defrayed, the net amount totalled £224. Medical
Department offer their grateful thanks to 3600
Department for their donation of £9, to the Sports
El Social Club for theirs of £10, and to all who
donated prizes or gave of their time for this worthy
The Last of the Mitcheldean Mohicans hold a
powwow in the Social Centre during the fancy
dress dance on March 19. They won the prize for
the best group. Below: Big Chief (from another
tribe) gets the ‘best dressed man’ prize from
Mr Henry Phillips. He and Mrs Phillips, Sister
Collins, Mr Brian Crosby and Mr Len Peacock
acted as judges.
Paleface prizewinners included gipsies Pamela
Turley (Personnel) and Geoff Wood (Machine
Shop) who won the ‘best couple’ award; Geoff
came first again as the ‘most original man’.
Gail Meek (Supply Planning) identified the
mystery man but the mystery woman remained a
mystery. Proceeds of the dance went towards the
Variety Club’s charity fund.
‘I wonder whether in five or ten years’ time some
of the indentures we are presenting to engineering
people this evening will be presented to girls!’
If it disturbed their digestion, the apprentices
didn’t let on when Mr Len Peacock, Personnel
Manager, produced this thought-provoking
remark. He was speaking to them at their ninth
annual dinner on March 12 when he presented
indentures, financial awards for examination
achievements, and Engineering Industry Training
Board first-year certificates.
His remark was touched off not merely by the
topicality of the Women’s Liberation Movement,
but by the presence at the dinner, for the first time,
of a group of five girl secretary trainees.
Warning the young men to be on their mettle, he
said: ‘There are some pretty bright girls about these
days, and if you are not careful they are going to
be competing with you for jobs.’
Just so that the ladies shouldn’t assume it was all
going to go their way, he reminded them that
men have made good secretaries in the past and
may well do again !
Before making the presentations, Mr Peacock
asked his young audience to bear three things in
Firstly, life was for living and not for wasting and
squandering. ‘I believe’, he said, ‘that the people
who have interests which reach outside their
workplace sometimes make the happiest people
inside the workplace.’
Secondly, there was a prime need for a more
responsible attitude towards work in this country.
‘We have responsibilities which are vital and it is
important that young people start off with an
understanding that this is so.’
Lastly, the rate of change is so much greater now
than ever before. As the architects of change in
the future, he told his audience, they must learn to
deal with change, with more sophisticated
techniques, with different social standards. There
was a need for better understanding between the
young and the not-so-young.
Because of other company commitments,
Mr F. Wickstead was unable to attend the dinner
as he would have liked, but he sent a message in
which he underlined the great opportunities that
existed in our international company for those who
were enterprising enough to grasp them.
He mentioned particularly the chances for travel
to the States and other countries which broadened
a young man’s experience of the world of
business today.
As chairman of the apprentice committee,
Roger Byett proposed a vote of thanks to all who
had had a hand in making the occasion the
success it was.
Then, speeches and official duties over, the
youngsters relaxed in the social atmosphere of the
ballroom where they were entertained by ‘The
Zeroes’ group.
James Andrews (Data Processing) ; Andrew Davis
(Accounts), Philip Fisher (Maintenance), Richard
Gaze (Data Processing), Terence Gardner
(attending course at Bath University), David Hart
(Tool Room), Richard Hawkins (Design D. Office).
Michael Howell (Design Engineering), Stuart
Meek (Reliability Engineering). Richard Morgan
(Tool Room), Michael Read (Production
Engineering), Morrison Roberts (Machine Shop),
Raymond Shufflebotham (Training School), Brian
Smith (Recond. Operations), James Taylor
(Maintenance), Derrick Trigg (Training School),
David Wood (Elec. Laboratory), Terry
Zimmermann (Spares & Sub-Assembly).
Stuart Barnes, Michael Best, Stephen Carpenter,
David Cowmeadow, Alan Edwards, Roger Imm,
Allan Keily, Clive Manns, Graham Morris, Graham
Parker, Christopher Peg ler, David Phelps,
Richard Probert, Brian Reeves, Michael Smith.
Richard Walford (also EITB certificate)
Antony Walk lett (also EITB certificate), Alan
Wilkins, David Williams.
EITB first-year certificates
Roger Baldwin, Christopher Barnard, David
Baynham, Clive Davies, Stephen Davis,
Keith Davis, David Dobbs, Peter Hughes,
Graham Jones, Peter Jones, Roger Kempster,
John Martin. Richard Mayo, Frederick Meek,
Terrence Phillips, Christopher Reed, Peter Walby,
Patrick Ward, Derek Workman.
(Some of those receiving indentures also received
financial awards.)
Mr Peacock, Personnel Manager, presents
Richard Morgan with his indentures. During his
apprenticeship Richard regularly won prizes in
craftsmanship competitions outside the Plant,
It was a very close game, said organisers
Des Haines and John Mould, reporting on the
final match of the Interdepartmental Skittles
Knock-out Tournament, held on May 1.
The finalists were Machine Shop Inspection and
PED Peasants, and the former went into the lead
at the beginning by ten pins. PED soon reversed
this and after three legs they went into the lead
6 themselves, by 11 pins. Their opponents fought
back and at the end of five legs Inspection were
one in the lead with all to play for in the final leg.
PED slipped badly here, only getting 49 pins;
this left Inspection a reasonably easy target which
they achieved with a final leg of 58, their total
score being 337 against the Peasants’ 329.
Fifty-eight was the highest individual score for
the whole competition, chalked up by Bill Reed
of Machine Shop Inspection – so altogether it
was a great night for the department.
The trophies were kindly presented by Personnel
Manager Mr Len Peacock.
It didn’t look at all hopeful for Purchase. The
team consisted mainly of novices – its members
hadn’t played together at all until they joined
forces on Mitcheldean playing fields on April 22.
On the other hand, their opponents, representing
our suppliers Potter & Brumfield of Oxford, had
trained for two weeks prior to the match and they
scored a goal in the first five minutes.
But the men of Mitcheldean are used to challenges,
and having got the measure of the opposing
team they began to show P & B that it was going
to be no walkover. In fact, by the end of the first
half the score was 4-2 to Purchase, thanks to
Harold Bose ley (1), Les Meadows (2) and
Barry Hall (1), and also to veteran player
Jim Maskill who, though he didn’t actually score
goals, certainly helped them along.
During the second half, reserves Bob Hook and
Barrie Lewis replaced 011ie Evans and Les
The winning team from
Machine Shop Inspection:
‘Yanto’ Stephens, captain
(holding cup) with Frank
Bayliss, Bill Carpenter, Ray
Hawkins, Keith Horrobin,
Colin Lewis, Jock
McGeachy, Bill Reed
(highest individual score
winner, seen furthest right),
Michael Stephens, Jock
Thom and Chris Tyler.
J. Ingram
Meadows. P & B caught up but a last-minute
goal by Stewart Fox made the final score 5-4 to
Purchase, much to the delight of supporters from
the Plant.
There was one awkward moment when linesman
Jenkins had his name taken by the referee for
giving unorthodox signs with his flag, but the
match remained a friendly one, and victors and
vanquished retired to the bar of the George to
relax their pulled muscles.
A return match is likely to be held in the autumn.
Positions were as follows: P. Knight (G),
H. Bose ley (LB), 0. Evans (RB), D Newman
(CH), T. Bradon (RH), J. Butt, captain (LH),
L. Meadows (LW), J. Maskill (IL), C. Hobbs (CF),
S. Fox (IR), B. Hall (RW). Reserves: B. Lewis,
R. Hook. Referee: R. Walker. Linesmen:
J. Jenkins, A. Williams. Sheep removal consultant :
R. Dixon. Manager: W. Beech.
If anyone asks you whether you have been
converted yet, don’t jump to the conclusion that a
wave of evangelism is sweeping through the
locality. The questioner will most probably be
referring to the arrival in this area of natural gas
from the North Sea.
As from May 24, diners in our canteen at
Mitcheldean will be eating food cooked by
natural gas, while employees at Cinderford will
experience the changeover a week later.
Surveys of our existing gas-fired equipment were
carried out some time ago to determine how much
modification needed to be done before conversion.
Drying and curing ovens in the Paint Shop,
furnaces in Heat Treatment, plating baths and
degreasing equipment are all affected in addition
to the cooking equipment.
Necessary modifications, planned so as not to
interrupt production are now being carried out;
they include the changing of meters, modification
of controls such as thermostats, introduction of
pressure-reducing valves and special safety
devices, and adjustment of burners.
Why can’t North Sea gas just be fed into the
existing pipeline systems and distributed direct to
us without all this? The reason is that natural gas
behaves differently from manufactured town gas.
Firstly, it has double the heating power of town
gas (every cubic foot contains twice as many
British thermal units as town gas) and it requires
more air to burn. If put straight on to an existing
burner designed for town gas, and at the same
pressure, it would give a floppy, rather smoky
flame and deposit soot on saucepans and the like.
Secondly, because of its burning velocity, natural
gas flames are unstable and easily extinguished,
so burners have to be changed or modified.
Since natural gas is cheaper, you may wonder why
we aren’t converting the oil-fired boilers which
take care of our space heating requirements. This
is something which has had to be shelved for the
time being because of supply problems. But the
three new boilers on order to cope with the
increased load resulting from the I DC development
at Mitcheldean will be dual-fired so that, when
necessary, they can be converted without any
It is estimated that every 2,000 million cubic feet
of gas a day are equivalent to 15 million tons of
oil a year – so the discovery of North Sea natural
gas should benefit the country’s economy as a
whole, quite apart from our own personal
Without getting too technical, petroleum is found
in solid form (asphalt, tar, etc.), liquid form (crude
oil) or gaseous form; it is the latter which is
referred to as natural gas. Intensive search for this
‘buried treasure’ in the North Sea began ten years
ago and the first major strike was made by
BP late in 1965 some 42 miles off the Humber
estuary; by the end of that year, BP were satisfied
that gas would be available in quantities which
would justify piping it to land, and the Gas
Council entered into a contract which provided
for supply at an average daily rate of not less than
100 million cubic feet for 15 years.
Later strikes by this and other groups confirmed
that a large reserve was waiting to be tapped. So
far, four large gas fields have been located
and these have been named West Sole (the
original BP one), Indefatigable, Leman Bank and
Hewett. And there has been a substantial find in
Yorkshire which has also opened up the possibility
of gas fields extending to the mainland.
The Gas Council are planning on the assumption
that there is at the very minimum enough gas to
supply the UK with 2,000 million cubic feet a day,
equivalent to twice the total output of the whole
British gas industry at present.
Acting on this information, the conversion of
whole towns and cities with their inter-connecting
complex of distribution networks to natural gas
was commenced and this will take a further five
years to complete.
In the South Western Gas Board area conversion
has been in progress for over a year and
approximately 2,000 customers have their
appliances converted each week. Nearly 100,000
customers with over a quarter of a million
appliances are now using the new fuel in
Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and
The largest town so far converted was Cheltenham
where the Board’s conversion unit spent the winter
of 1970/71. The outskirts of Gloucester have been
completed and after the Forest of Dean area is
completed during May and June, the unit will
move to the Stroud valley.
For Sale
French model wedding dress, white embroidered
heavy brocade with train, size 14. [12 o.n.o. Also
long and short bridesmaids’ dresses, size 12 and
14; offers invited. Reply to: Rawlings,
5 Fir View Road, Hewletts Lane, Ruspidge,
Cinderford, or contact Mrs A. Powell. Tel. 152 int.
Semi-detached house, centre of Ruardean village.
Four bedrooms, large lounge (21ft x 15 ft),
dining-room, fully fitted kitchen, partial central
heating, attractively laid-out garden, garage. All
mod cons. Very good decorative repair.
Tel. Drybrook 441 (preferably evenings).
1 I’ve laid myself wide open to
Derision with this silly clue. (8)
7 But in the Spring (what young
men do !)
This turns to thoughts of love. (5)
8 And now to lay the gauntlet down.
9 A wise old bird with plumage
brown. (3)
10 And Merlin with his steeple crown,
(with Arthur hand in glove). (4)
11 Er 7 d. Two words of noble sentiment
Which, strangely, many girls resent,
And misconstruing good intent-
‘Remove your hands!’ they’ll
scream ! (6 Et 7)
13 The business of a tired hen. (6)
14 A ‘new arrival’ now and then. (6)
17 A Thames-side town. created when
the cattle crossed the stream. (6)
18 How to aid a crooked friend. (4)
20 This little man will often send
His panting oarsmen round the bend
When rowing on the Isis. (3)
22 The guts you need to ‘make the
grade’. (9)
23 Finished-stopped-or just
delayed. (5)
24 A leading lawyer. highly paid
To save a legal crisis. (8)
1963 Triumph Herald, also 1964 Ford Anglia
Estate, both excellent condition. Any reasonable
offers, HP can be arranged. Replies to:
F. Barnett, Gaggs Row, Newham Bottom,
Woodside, Ruardean, Glos.
Two five-berth caravans, Saundersfoot, near
Tenby, all dates. Contact : D. Bluett, Goods
Inwards Inspection. Tel : 705 int. or Cinderford
Holiday cottage set in the Nant Peris pass in
picturesque Snowdonia. Two beds (sleep five),
new large kitchen, Calor gas cooker, usual offices.
Contact : M. Hartley, Works Engineering.
Tel. 123/234 int.
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by Paul Gregory
1 A simple anagram presents
A scare for general track events. (5)
2 Reverend cleric’s residence
Where forestry is taught ? (7)
3 A pistol or a youthful horse. (4)
4 A mounted spear-man, now of course.
Outdated as an active force
When modern wars are fought. (6)
5 Make a gift to happy bride. (5)
6 He takes an energetic ride. (7)
7 (This one’s already been applied in double clue
Solution on page 15
12 How one doused the candle-wick (7)
13 Old-time bleeding doctor’s trick;
(They bled you white when you were sick-
A genuine bloody loss !) (7)
15 Poor and backward Balkan state. (7)
16 Sorted out by size or weight. (6)
17 A nasty, rusty concentrate,
Which sounds like Cockney leather. (5)
19 The subject-matter you will find
Within the measure of the mind. (5)
21 And last of all, three of a kind
In harmony together. (4)
‘We’re all in it when it comes to safety’
A new scheme designed to improve the standard
of safety within our Plant has been put into
operation by Management in agreement with
workers’ representatives.
Six specialist sub-committees have been formed
covering employee safety in areas where various
operations or processes are carried out, each
sub-committee member having responsibility for
specific aspects (mechanical and machinery,
chemicals, electrical, etc.) These sub-committees
will meet at regular monthly intervals under the
chairmanship of a manager or supervisor of the
location concerned.
In addition two staff safety representatives have
been appointed to cover the larger staff areas –
Design and Administration Buildings 38 and 23.
The area sub-committee members are as follows:
Putting YOU in the picture
Allen Stuart, a son for John Hart (TED), on
February 6.
Sharon Marie, a daughter for Dudley Bevan
(Remodelling) and his wife Gail (formerly
Remodelling), on February 13.
Wendy Louise, a daughter for Ted Tuff ley (TED),
on February 20.
Louise Ann, a daughter for John Watkins
(Remodelling), on March 2.
Tracey Kim, a daughter for Gordon Cruickshank
(Cost Office, Accounts) and his wife Elaine
(formerly Design), on March 8.
Samantha Jane, a daughter for Derek Wintle
(Salary Administration Officer, Personnel) and his
wife Margaret (formerly Design Print Room), on
March 12.
Haydee, a daughter for Roger Roberts (Design
Engineering), on March 16.
Kerry, a daughter for Vernon Brooks (Design
Engineering), on March 26.
Building 23 – J. Outhwaite, J. Spratley.
Bldgs 11 & 24 (top and bottom) – G. C. Linley
(chairman), R. Meredith (vice-chairman),
R. Morgan, G. Howard, T. Wear.
Bldgs 2 & 29 (top and bottom) – P. R. Cleat
(chairman), R. Taylor (vice-chairman), Mrs E.
Peglar, I. Jordan, J. Davies.
Bldgs 32 & 34 (38 Stores) – D. F. M. Lewis
(chairman), L. Ellis (vice-chairman), G. Wade,
C. Lyes, R. James.
Bldg 36 & Oil Store – D. F. B. Tedds (chairman),
R. Powell (vice-chairman). A. Cale, W. Wall.
G. Howard.
Bldg 38 – M. J. Brain.
Bldg 40 (top and bottom) – R. W. Powell
(chairman), R. Lewis (vice-chairman), E. Martin,
L. Jeffrey, H. Cecil.
Cinderford- V. S. Buhlmann (chairman),
K. Saville (vice-chairman), T. Williams, R. Gibbons.
S. Foster.
21st Birthday
Michael Phillips (Paint Shop) on April 16.
Miss Sandra Crowden (Spares Er Sub-assembly)
to Leslie Warren on March 6.
Miss Shirley Jenkins (Purchase) to Jeffrey
Nicholls on May 1.
New Arrivals
Clare, a daughter for Tony Murrell (TED), on
December 14.
Carol Marie, a daughter for Graham West (TED),
on December 23.
Elizabeth Ann, a daughter for Gordon Davies
(TED), on January 11.
Shane, a son for Mrs Pauline Wicks (formerly
Supply Planning), on January 27.
Michael James, a son for David Storey (TED), on
January 31.
Mr and MIS Ray Spencer
Mr and Mrs Peter Gargan Mr and Mrs Owyr, WInney
A main safety committee under the chairmanship
of Mr R. E. Baker will meet at bi-monthly
intervals. It will be attended by Mr C. R. Steward
in his capacity of Safety Officer/Secretary,
together with Production Manager Mr F. V.
Whinyates, Chief Security Officer Mr C. A.
Charnley, and Mr E. J. Spratley of Accounts
(Insurance), the Works Convenor or his Deputy,
plus one member of each sub-committee and the
two staff representatives.
This body will act as a steering committee and at
the same time endeavour to solve problems on
major safety matters. If necessary, a member of
the Works Engineering Department, Facilities
Planning or other departments may be co-opted
so as to speed up any measures involving
additional guarding of plant or machines, changes
in plant layout, and so on, considered advisable
in the interests of safety.
It is envisaged that these safety procedures will
operate on a six-month trial basis during which
Tracy Jane, a daughter for Christine Meek
(formerly secretary to Mr E. G. Elliott, Change
Co-ordination Manager, Design), on March 28.
Carl Geoffrey, a son for Len Miller (Turning
section, Cinderford), on February 8.
Richard, a son for John Leeves (Reliability
Engineering), on March 7.
Peter Boon (PED) to Miss Pauline Porter at
Buckingham on January 30.
Ray Spencer (TED) to Miss Margaret Green at
Walford Parish Church on April 10.
Peter Gargan (Machine Shop) to Miss Annette
Harris at St. Michael’s Et All Angels. Mitcheldean, on
March 6.
Brian Marshall (Spot Welding) to Christina
Flowers at St Mary’s Church, Ross-on-Wye, on
March 6.
Gwyn Winney (Supply Planning) to Miss Jane
Whilding at Ross Parish Church on April 3.
Mr and Mrs Peter Boy, MI and MIS tir,d, Marshall
time the new structure will be open to new ideas,
criticisms, etc, which could lead to ultimate
modifications to the benefit of all concerned.
The Management would like to take this
opportunity to express their thanks to all past
members of the Safety Committee who have
contributed so much towards keeping the
Mitcheldean Plant a safe place to work in.
ACROSS : 1 – Ridicule. 7 – Fancy.
8 – Challenge. 9 – Owl. 10 – Seer. 11 – Fellow.
13 – Laying. 14 – Infant. 17 – Oxford.
18 – Abet. 20 – Cox. 22 – Endurance.
23 – Ended. 24 – Advocate.
DOWN : 1 – Races. 2 – Deanery. 3 – Colt.
4 – Lancer. 5 – Endow. 6 – Cyclist. 7 – Feeling.
12 – Snuffed. 13 – Leeches. 15 – Albania.
16 – Graded. 17 – Oxide. 19 – Theme.
21 – Trio.
Tony Luckett (Turning section, Cinderford) to
Miss Maureen Dobbs at St. John’s Church,
Cinderford, on March 20.
John Brown (Warehouse, I DC Gloucester) to
Miss Maureen Jones at Lydney Register Office on
March 16.
Our good wishes go to the following who will be
retiring – in May: Edwin Phelps (Machine Shop),
Gilbert Simmonds (Facilities Planning) ; – in
June: Joseph Brown (head gardener, Works
Engineering), William Giles (Cleaning Services),
Raymond Sargent (labourer, Reconditioning) ; also
to Mrs Lena Wilks (Heat Treatment) and Harold
Robbins (Factory Progress) who retired in April.
We regret to record the following deaths:
Mr Sidney G. Annis (Machine Shop) aged 59, on
April 11 ; Andrew Brain (retired LSA member)
aged 68, on April 13; Edward J. Masters (Supply
Planning) aged 37, on April 17; and Cecil Roberts
(Remodelling), aged 63, on May 3.
Mr and Mrs 10111 Luckett Mr and Mrs John Brown
Seen on Site
The mammoth ‘Caterpillar’ motor scrapers which
have been crawling back and forth on the IDC
site, the bulldozer/rippers, the vibro-consolidator
which packs rock back into the earth to create a
firm foundation – these have now done the
greater part of their job and the earthworks,
carried out by R. M. Douglas, should be completed
around Whitsun. Most of the big blasting too will
have finished by the end of May. While some
shocks have seemed to be severe this was chiefly
air blast, the actual ground shock being negligible
(seismograph readings have been kept just for
the record). A start has been made on the
main building contract, for which Giles & Sons
are responsible, and their sub-contractors
Boulton Et Paul will continue erecting the
steelwork over the next five months, with roofing
and flooring being phased in.
Join the Army
The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve is
expanding in Herefordshire and a new Company
opened at Ross-on-Wye on April 1. Since it has
just started recruiting, there are ground floor
opportunities for those joining now.
The new Company is D Company (Hereford LI),
The Light Infantry Et Mercian Volunteers, and
vacancies exist for officer cadets who are 26
years of age or less, and for soldiers aged between
171 and 45 years: there are excellent opportunities
for promotion to NCO ranks.
Transport to Ross will be provided or paid by the
A new plating plant is being installed in the Auto
Plating Section, Building 29. Double the capacity
of the present plant, it is expected to be
operative after the summer close-down. A feature
of the plant is that it will be fed by a fully
automatic conveyor.
New occupants have been found for the old Tool
Inspection premises in Building 11. It now
houses the spot welding section from Building 24.
Next door, in the former Press Shop area, certain
3600 sub-assembly work is now being carried
out. By the way, the structure which has appeared
on the roof of this building is an aqua tower -a
device by means of which the water which cools
the spot welders can itself be cooled down and
recirculated instead of running to waste.
The bulldozer-ripper (left) and its fellows lose
their lunchtime audience to a highflyer – the
Pennine crane with fly jib for extra reach over a
mountain of steelwork
TAVR. All those interested are asked to write to:
Major D. Ursell, Officer Commanding, ‘D’ Company
(Hereford LI), The Light Infantry Et Mercian
Volunteers, TAVR Centre, Alton Road,
Ross-on-Wye, or ‘phone Ross 2157.
Employees of Rank Xerox who attend
TAVR annual camp receive one week’s
special paid leave of absence from the
If you have, then please
tell your departmental correspondent
leave it at either 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
Printed in England by Taylor. Young (Printers) Ltd