Return to 1970-1974

Vision 069

September 71 No 69 0 House Magazine of Rank Xerox Mitcheldean Plant
Before leaving for the USA to take up his
appointment with Xerox Corporation, Mr Fred
Wickstead held a ‘going-away party’ at the White
Hart, Ruspidge, Cinderford, for as many as
possible of his old friends and colleagues who
had helped him build up Mitcheldean Plant. A
letter of appreciation written on their behalf by
Mr Bernard Smith and read in his unavoidable
absence by Mr Bob Baker, expressed the feelings
of Mr Wickstead’s fellow workers. To mark the
occasion, they gave Mr Wickstead two landscape
paintings — ‘Sunset over the Severn’ at Minsterworth,
and the Severn Bridge — by Cinderford
artist Mrs Millie James and these were presented
to him by Mr Baker as our picture shows. {See
story pp. 4 and 5).
The Architect of Mitcheldean
By the time this issue appears, Mr Wickstead will
have taken up his new appointment as Vice
President, Manufacturing & Logistics for Xerox
Corporation, based at corporate headquarters at
Stamford, Connecticut.
Making the announcement, Mr Mai Thomas,
Managing Director and Chief Executive of Rank
Xerox Ltd, said : ‘I am delighted that a Rank Xerox
man should be appointed to this very senior
position in our American parent Corporation. This
is the first time that any executive from a Xerox
overseas affiliate has been appointed to an
important corporate position.’
Mr Wickstead’s new duties will include corporate
staff activities in manufacturing, facilities, inventory
control, procurement and distribution related to
manufacturing operations in Webster, New York,
El Segundo and Pasadena, California, and
Xerox Latin American Division facilities as well as
Rank Xerox plants in Mitcheldean, Welwyn and
Denham, and Venray in Holland.
Aptly described as ‘the architect of Mitcheldean’,
Mr Wickstead joined The Rank Organisation in
1948 as Production Manager of British Acoustic
Films, then making Bell & Howell cine
The production unit was housed in the old
Mitcheldean brewery building, and, on arrival in
the village, Mr Wickstead had difficulty in finding
the company, a fact which emphasizes the
magnitude of the scale on which it has since
The BAF, as it was known locally, subsequently
became part of Rank Precision Industries and
Mr Wickstead took on increasing responsibility,
eventually being appointed Chief Executive of the
Cine & Photographic Division in 1958.
When the changeover to the manufacture of
Xerographic products was made in the early 1960s
and the Company exploded rather than expanded,
employees responded to the challenge under
Mr Wickstead’s leadership. In 1965 — the year
when we finally said goodbye to Bell & Howell
products and production of the 914 and 813
models shot ahead — the Plant became part of
Rank Xerox and Mr Wickstead formally joined the
The following year he joined the Board of Rank
Xerox (Management) Ltd and in 1967 was
appointed Director of Production & Supply
Operations, becoming a member of the Board of
Rank Xerox Ltd last year.
Throughout recent years development has
continued at a phenomenal rate under
Mr Wickstead’s guidance; we have seen the
introduction of new models to the Xerox family of
products, a marked rise in the labour force and
rapid expansion of the Plant itself.
A man of vision, Mr Wickstead has never lost
sight of the fact that Mitcheldean is not purely a
manufacturing complex but a community of
human beings. ‘The Company’s strength is in its
human resources,’ he once pointed out.
He has for several years been President of our
Long Service Association and has also been
President of the Sports &• Social Club as well as
of a number of its sections, such as the Variety
and Cine & Photographic Clubs.
In the Forest area as a whole his services to the
community have been widespread — he was
awarded the OBE this year in recognition of his
work — and his departure has meant the
relinquishing of a number of important posts
outside the Plant.
A Justice of the Peace, he was elected President
of the Wyedean Tourist Board in 1970. He has
been chairman both of the Forest of Dean
Employment Committee, and of the Board of
Governors of the West Gloucestershire College of
Further Education, as well as a member of the
Management Board of the Engineering Employers’
West of England Association.
A prominent member of the Forest of Dean
Rotary Club, he was patron of the Forest of Dean
Society for Mentally Handicapped Children. The
care of physically and mentally handicapped young
people has for long been a particular interest of
Mrs Wickstead and we at Mitcheldean have
supported this cause on a number of occasions.
Mr and Mrs Wickstead will be travelling jf
extensively in the future. It is good to know that
we may see them from time to time, and we wish
them every happiness in their new life.
Mr Wickstead writes ‘To my friends at Mitcheldean’.
Dear Colleagues,
I leave Mitcheldean with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I
selfishly regret that I can no longer directly and personally share in
your future aspirations and success. On the other, I am proud to
have had so many friends and colleagues whose loyalty has never
Mitcheldean is the birthplace of P.S.O.D.
Together we built Mitcheldean from an old brewery into a large
modern factory with one of the finest production records in the
country. Our expansion rate was probably unprecedented, yet
Rank Xerox never really went short of products.
In the early days when the chips were down, I knew that
together, whether it be in the office or on the shop floor, because of
our mutual trust for each other we could get cracking and achieve the
It has been most encouraging to see, as others joined us, how
soon their enthusiasm matched our own.
We were determined to succeed and did. We shared many
painful experiences and learnt from them. Please help as much as
you can your colleagues at our other plants to benefit from your
experience. They must rely heavily on you for some years to come.
Although, as the Senior Corporate Officer responsible for
Manufacturing and Inventories world-wide, I must now leave you in
other hands, I will not completely sever my connections and will
remember you with affection and gratitude. And may the success
continue. „
Yours ever.
Mr Bernard Smith, our Purchasing Controller, put
into words the feelings of those who have been
Mr Wickstead’s fellow-workers over many years
of Mitcheldean’s development:
He has led by example, and we always felt the
pull of his personality rather than the push of his
Though surrounded by experts he often amazed
us by confounding them with his ability to
clarify and simplify and grasp the essentials of
the situation.
He always hated jargon and, pretending ignorance,
got information reduced to language we could
all understand.
He has ever been a willing and patient listener to
other peoples problems even when these were
of their own making.
He always had an imaginative approach to
opportunities for growth, and took many
considerable risks, of which we know very little.
Knowing the need for cold calculation and
scientific planning, even so he was full of warm
humanity in his handling of people, their
aspirations and failings.
He advocated the principles of democracy in
Management but knew when to make the essential
move entirely on his own initiative.
He knew his responsibilities to customers and
shareholders but his first priority was always
towards those who worked for him.
In spite of disappointment and frustration at
times, he remained loyal to the local community
and his deep sense of social obligation was
recently recognised nationally, to our great
His essential simplicity showed his great strength
of character, which disdained the outward
trappings of power and never lost sight of honour
and ethical considerations.
Finally, he has always had the vision of the
prophet who can see the goal ahead in spite of all
who stood in the light. This is what led to the
Mitcheldean Plant becoming what it is, and it
will always be his abiding monument.
Therefore, Fred will carry with him to his new
environment not only our heartfelt wishes for his
success, but an assurance of past achievement
which comparatively few men can experience
at a time when, as we all hope, he has many more
years of endeavour still ahead. May he be happy
and contented as he continues on his way.
When Mr Wickstead first came to the Forest in
1948 to take up his appointment as Production
Manager at Mitcheldean, he made the White Hart
at Ruspidge his temporary home for about a year.
It was therefore an appropriate setting for his
‘going-away party’ on August 27, particularly
since landlord ‘Lyn’ Jones (he worked in assembly
progress at Mitcheldean from 1947 to 1951) and
his wife May still run the White Hart today as
they did all those years ago. ‘They looked after
me marvellously when I came, and are doing so
tonight,’ said Mr Wickstead.
Attending the party were old friends and colleagues
who, said Mr Wickstead, ‘helped me so much to
build up Mitcheldean to what it is today.’ It was,
he said, impossible to invite all who could rightly
claim to have played a part in laying the
foundations of our success at Mitcheldean.
Paul Gregory not only ciuotei i i i u i./u^^vxords
for ‘Vision’ but is also a prolific writer of poems
{as Design Department can testify!) and a
talented cartoonist. He presented Mr Wickstead
with a cartoon card he had drawn for the
occasion, signed by all present.
Pictured at the party with Mr Wickstead: (top
right) John Nankin, Jack Woods, Frank Edwards,
Stan Scott, Reg Arnold and Arnold Gaylard:
{below right, clockwise round the table) Alan
Swordy, Dr Cyril Hart, Stan Richardson, Bob
Walton, Eric Higgins, George Douglas, Paul
Gregory, Les Davies and Arthur Mason.
Those present represented a wide cross-section
of people within this category, and he sincerely
hoped that those who were not included would
He was delighted, he said, to see so many of his
old friends; he spoke of the mutual trust and
respect they had long enjoyed and said how
much he counted on their continued loyalty.
‘The future of the Company is your future’, he
pointed out.
It was an evening for reminiscences, and Mr
Wickstead recalled that when he joined the firm
‘they couldn’t afford to buy me a desk’ and he
had had one made out of the packing case in
which a new milling machine had arrived !
Mr Bob Baker, who was the first member of the
production staff to come to Mitcheldean in
February, 1941, acted as spokesman for the
guests. He read out telegrams from those unable
to attend, and a letter of appreciation, written by
Mr Bernard Smith and reproduced on page 4.
He also presented Mr Wickstead with a leaving
present of t w o paintings, as shown on our front
These friendly formalities over, everyone enjoyed
a very happy evening which included
entertainment by storytelling-yodeller Arthur
Hardy of Centralised Stores and songs by
bass-baritone Ted Chetcuti of Works Engineering.
Highlight of the general sing-song which followed
was a rendering of ‘My bonnie lies over the ocean’ I
Mr Wickstead is to return to this country for two
weeks on September 13 for a two-week visit,
during which he will be entertained to dinner by
P.S.O.D. and Mitcheldean Management
Mr Portman now
Director of Division
Mr D. R. Portman
As announced by Mr Mai Thomas, Mr Derek
Portman succeeds Mr Wickstead as Director of the
Production & Supply Operations Division as from
September 1. Formerly Managing Director of
Serck Radiators, Mr Portman joined us as Deputy
Director, P.S.O.D., in 1969.
Mr Stanley Pratt and Mr Don Shryane continue in
their present posts: as from September 1, their
titles have been changed to Director of
Engineering and Director of Manufacturing
Planning respectively.
Presentation by apprentices
Mr Wickstead tias always taken a great interest
in the training of our apprentices and was
particularly proud of the fact that the F. James
Fielding trophy, awarded for the best exhibit, was
won three years running by Rank Xerox
apprentices entering the Craftsmanship
Competition of the Gloucestershire B South
Worcestershire Productivity Association. On
learning of Mr Wickstead’s new appointment.
the apprentices decided quite independently to
make their own presentation to him, and what
better choice than the entry — a miniature
indirect dividing head — which won us the
James Fielding trophy on the third occasion in
1969. Suitably inscribed, it was handed over to
Mr Wickstead by Gary Rogers, chairman of the
apprentice committee, on August 27.
In the last edition of Vision Mr Portman mentioned
that he was relinquishing the direct responsibility
for Mitcheldean Plant and handing over to me.
Since joining Rank Xerox in May I am getting to
know quite a number of people within the Plant,
and I hope that writing regularly in our house
magazine will help me to become known to many
more of you. This gives me a chance to take part
in a process which, I am sure you will agree with
me, is very important — communications.
It is a subject which has played a large part in the
exciting and successful developments which
have taken place at Mitcheldean over the past
years. To be successful, it must be a two-way
process and provide for a free interchange of
ideas, in which many may participate.
In recent meetings with members of the Joint
Participation Working Party and others, we have
discussed ways and means of building on the
success of the past and asking for ideas on how
we can achieve improvements. We are now
working out the plans which will become the
basis of our next stage — the formation of
Efficiency Committees.
One of our aims in these new Committees will be
to assist in the working relationships existing
between different departments as well within
each individual department. To do this we will
have to rely heavily on our ability to communicateso
that we can discuss our problems and, what is
more, find the quickest and best way of putting
the solutions into effect.
Before we start, I believe that we must all
recognise that this is not a process which we
can ever say we have really finished. I am sure
you would agree with me that we rarely reach
perfection in anything we do — we can almost
always see a better way of doing something.
Now is the time for all of us at Mitcheldean to
look for these better ways and then to get down
to discussing how we can put them into operation.
The 4000 is off to a good start and we are
considering increasing the build rate so as to
achieve the full rate of production by the end of
The landscape at Mitcheldean is to change again,
and before next summer a new administrative
office block will be occupying the site of the old
gasworks. This will release the whole of 4000
floor for production purposes, with the components
being stored in the new warehouse. This is
intended to be the final major building
development at Mitcheldean, and we must
ensure that we take full advantage of our
improved resources.
We have an exciting time ahead of us, and I
know that I can count on all of you to help me to
the full.
General Manager, Mitcheldean Plant
Dennis Barnard of TED comes back from the USA on board— A FLOAT]
The excitement of the children was intense as
with my wife and myself they waited impatiently
that Saturday evening in the embarkation lounge.
Pier 92, on New York’s Hudson River, to board
the QE2 for the voyage to Southampton.
How big is the boat. Dad ? What will our cabins
be like ? Will we be able to go swimming ?
Questions, questions and more questions, none
of which I could really answer for I had been
unable to obtain any real information beforehand
about the QE2, and my own seagoing experience
had been confined to the Isle of Wight ferry.
Finally the doors at the end of the lounge opened
and we jostled along in the crowd towards our
allotted gangplank.
Our immediate impression as soon as we stepped
on board was one of stately luxury-thick carpets,
discreet lighting, deep comfortable settees — an
impression that was to remain with us during the
whole voyage.
Our cabins we found very well equipped and
comfortable with plenty of drawer, storage and
surface space, bunk beds, and bathrooms
complete with showers.
A quick wash and change, an evening meal and
we were up on deck to watch our departure from
New York. Aren’t we high above the level of the
sea, we think, and we realise for the first time just
how big the OE2 is. Actually, she is 963 feet
long, 105 feet wide at the widest point and stands
171 feet 4 inches out of the water. Her gross
tonnage is 65,863 tons and she has 13 decks
with a total deck space of 6,000 square yards.
We leave Manhattan Island with its glittering
skyscrapers behind us on the port side, pass the
Statue of Liberty on the starboard side, and in no
time are under the towering Verrazano Bridge and
heading for the open sea. Time for bed.
No trouble getting to sleep for the ship is moving
very smoothly and we have had a tiring day
sightseeing in New York. Suddenly I’m awake
and a quick look at my watch tells me it’s 3 am
and the boat is rolling from side to side. My
wife wakes too and we discuss the situation. It’s
only the end of March, we’ve left a snowy
Rochester still in the grips of winter, and we’ve
heard chilling tales of the North Atlantic in
wintertime. Ah well, we can’t stop the boat and
get off, the children are sleeping peacefully, so
let’s try and sleep too in readiness to explore this
floating town tomorrow. They’ve given us a plan
of the layout and the programme provided seems
to offer plenty of activities to suit every taste.
There’s even a special children’s programme and
the kids have their own indestructible playroom
right at the top of the ship.
Morning comes after a f ew more hours of
intermittent sleep, we wash and dress and walk
drunkenly along the corridor, supported by each
wall in turn, towards the lift to the restaurant.
The QE2’s Double Room {the largest public room
afloat) extends through two decks, forming the
Double Up and the Double Down rooms. Joined
by a sweeping spiral staircase.
Just the sight of food is enough for my wife
Margaret and eight-year-old Mark — they head
straight for the nearest bathroom. Daughter
Lynne aged 10, six-year-old Jeremy and I eat
Back to the cabin to find my wife expressing
doubts as to her ability to live through another
five days feeling as she does and wishing she had
flown home. I repeat the steward’s opinion that
the first day out is often rough and that the next
day it should be calmer. Reassured, Margaret
falls asleep.
A quick look at the day’s programme and, armed
with the layout plan, the children and I set out to
explore. We find launderettes (three), swimming
pools (four, t w o inside and t w o on deck), a small
gymnasium, hospital, banks (two), ship’s bureau
(where t w o of our 660 machines are installed),
beauty salon, barber’s shop, theatre, coffee shop
(open 10 am to 2 pm and 9.30 pm to 2 am),
many shops, bars, lounges, a deck games area
with quoits, shuffleboard and deck tennis, and the
special children’s play area — a floating town
Lunchtime comes, my wife feels better but
lunch — oh no I What a pity — she could have
had a simple meal of seafood cocktail, roast
stuffed roulade of veal with lemon sauce and
vegetables, followed by blackberry and apple pie,
fruit, cheese, and hot or iced tea or coffee, and
then perhaps have a really substantial meal at
Lunch over, the children decide to take part in
the special activities arranged for them; off they
go w i th strict instructions not to go out on the
open deck. I decide to enter the table tennis
competition, but only the organiser and three
others turn up, so the competition is scrapped
and we decide to play a few games. What a
performance I One second the ball is there and so
are you —the next the ball is still there but you
are staggering away from, or towards and past,
it and trying to hit it at the same time. My
stomach feels fine, but my head is spinning like
a top.
Reunited with the children, we try to go swimming
in one of the indoor pools, but find they have
been emptied because the water had been
washing right over the sides as the boat rolled.
By Monday lunchtime the steward’s prophesy
had come true, we were assured that the worst
was over and from now on it would be plain
sailing. And so it was.
Continued overleaf
During the day the children took full advantage
of their special programmes — games, competitions,
film shows — joining us for meals, deck sports
and swimming in the indoor pools (too cold to
use the ones on deck).
Occasionally we watched the money gamblers in
the casino, browsed around the shops whose
stock varied from exquisite jewellery down to
QE2 souvenirs, or just relaxed in one of the many
indoor sun lounges.
Shopping was amusing since both we and the
crew were handling decimal currency for the
first time — the crew having been cruising in the
Caribbean for the previous six months.
The children made many friends and through them
we also made friends with a couple of our own
age. With the kids safely tucked up in bed at
nights watched over by the stewardess, we were
free to enjoy the night life on board. The cabaret
acts included The Karlins and an excellent group
called The Bigwoods; we followed the latter as
they switched venues from the small theatre bar
with its pocket handkerchief dance floor to the
magnificent Double Down room.
For tourist class passengers like ourselves this was
the showplace of the ship. Luxurious to look at
in the daylight, it was a terrific place at night — all
glitter and glamour. It was here that our friends
won a bottle of champagne and the feeling of
luxury deepened as we helped them down it.
That was on the ‘Roaring ‘Twenties’ night for
which the men had been issued with false
moustaches and plastic boaters and the ladies
with feather headdresses and long strings of
It was here also that we won £27 at a bingo
session (pity it was the game before the big £235
Snowball affair 1) and I’m sure the boat visibly
shook when we shouted ‘House’ — the loudest
and most distinct call of the whole voyage
according to the caller!
Friday arrived all too soon and it was with mixed
feelings that we disembarked at Southampton,
having thoroughly enjoyed our wonderful
experience and our eight-month stay in America
which preceded it, but nevertheless pleased to be
back on English soil and to see our waiting
families once more.
• While I believe I am the first Mitcheldeanbased
employee to return from the USA by sea
since Paul Gregory did his memorable disappearing
trick( I ) , I am certainly not the last. Since my return
John Smith has travelled back in the same
manner and he and his family share our
enthusiasm for this wonderful ship. Sam Phillips
and his family have also followed ‘in our wake’
and were on board the QE2 as this issue of
VISION went to press.
I ha main control room yives push button contru,
of all the major machinery on the ship.
Chief Components Planning Engineer John Smith
was leader of the 4000 task force which went to
the States last year and included writer Dennis
among its members. Shortly after John’s return to
this country on the QE2, he met up again with a
colleague of his while with Xerox Corporation at
Webster — 3600 line foreman Bill Dalberth. Bill
and his wife Gill were holidaying in this country
and had travelled from Kent on a private visit to
our Plant. Here they are in the Tool Room with
John (far right) where Supervisor Roy Jones
is showing them the H/litcheldean-designed belt
stitching machine for the 4000 machine.
J. Ingrarr
Keep your shirts
on girls!
As we went to press the 3600 ladies’ team
(including those lovelies ‘Francesca’ Beard and
‘Lesley’ Tuffley) were all looking in splendid form
for their match against an all-men team at Ruardear
Carnival on August 30.
Captain Bernice Hunter wouldn’t reveal
beforehand what their gear would be this time,
but doubtless special attention was paid to
security by trainer/referee Ray Pickthall — last
year the girls won the cup but nearly lost their
shirts to the losers.
Stop p r e s s—Our girls won 3: 0.
Repeating an event which has taken place in
previous years, three groups of Mitcheldean
employees visited some of our Operating
Companies in Europe during June.
The first party— Russell Lewis (Accounts),
Trevor Jones (3600 Assembly) and Dave
Robinson (PED) — left on June 14 to visit
Zurich and Geneva. The Swiss company’s head
office is in Zurich and it is here that the National
Workshop is located.
Rank Xerox has apparently many competitors in
Switzerland and our service engineers are often
on call as customers demand a consistently high
standard of copy quality, which must be
maintained if we are to retain our position in the
Our travellers were interested to learn that the
German/Swiss in the Zurich area seem to be
particularly demanding in this respect, whereas
the French/Swiss in the Geneva area are not as
insistent. The Swiss Company feel that this is due
to Germans being more meticulous than the
French !
One week later the second party, consisting of
Leighton Avon (Production Control), John Brain
(Design) and Joe Burke (Goods Inwards
Inspection), went to Brussels and Antwerp.
The head office is in Brussels, and here they also
saw the National Workshop which is housed in
the same modern building as the offices. Visits
to customers in the Antwerp area provided an
Mme V/denova, Rank Xerox agent in Bulgaria,
accompanied by Miss Anne Irwin (right) of
Eastern European Operations, visited us at
Mitcheldean recently. Here Inspection and
Quality Control Manager David Mills, who showed
them over the Plant, adjusts the slip gauge
calibration instrument which has just been
installed in the Standards Room.
opportunity to see service engineers at work and
to experience the excellent relationships which
have been built up between the Company and its
The last party — Barry Hall (Purchase), Alan
Pegler (Teardown) and Ronald Turner (Cinderford)
— left on June 28 bound first for Dusseldorf.
The German company’s head office there, a
structure consisting of inter-connecting hexagons,
provides a pleasant working atmosphere as well
as being striking in appearance.
A visit was paid to the National Workshop at
Heerdt and to the Cologne branch — one of the
largest branches in the country, responsible for a
machine population of 2,000 which is expected
to increase by 30 per cent over the next 12 to 18
All the people involved brought back similar
impressions — of Rank Xerox employees
enthusiastic about the Company and its future,
and of customers enthusiastic about existing
products and eager to know what new ones are
on their way. The recent press launch of the
4000, in which Mitcheldean participated, was
well reported in the European press and there
were many questions about when this and future
products would be available.
Everyone felt that the trips had been worthwhile
and that they presented a unique chance for
Mitcheldean people to appreciate the opportunities
and problems met by Operating Companies, and
to contribute to the good relationships which
exist between them and ourselves.
The generous hospitality of their hosts was an
added pleasure. All, however, came back with
one complaint — that the visits had been too
It was the large granite surface table in the
Standards Room which fascinated a party of
senior Government officials from the HMSO, New
Scotland Yard and the Department of Trade B
Industry. Dennis Beddis (far left) is seen showing
them a book on the production of these granite
slabs in California; far right is Tony Allen of
Accounts who acted as Plant guide for our visitors.
Some of the fun of attending an ‘Old Time IVIusic
Hall’ performance is in dressing up in the fashion
of the period. And when our party of LSA
members and friends went on a coach trip to the
Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham, on July 14, we
did our best to add a bit of atmosphere.
Doris Barker had borrowed a genuine oldfashioned
cape decorated with sequins and jet
beads which she set off with a straw hat decorated
with bunches of flowers. Bert Fisher’s wife
Peggy (who used to work in Inspection with
some of us old ‘uns) looked quite the part,
while Bert sported a bow tie !
I had managed to beg, borrow or steal three or
four hats which I hastily decorated with plastic
flowers and feathers, and these were worn with
style by Joan Finlay and some of the other ladies.
Stan Wheeler had promised to turn up in costume
but must have lost his nerve at the last moment!
We arrived late, to find the show had been kept
waiting for us; there was a special welcome from
the chairman for ‘the party from Rank Xerox’ and
we caused quite a sensation as we took our seats.
Drinks were served during the performance which
incidentally was extremely good and the artists
gave us all something to remember.
The lively evening finished with everyone singing
‘Daisy, Daisy’ and other oldies all the way home,
and there were many requests for a repeat
performance.— J a c k i e Smith
We were very sorry to learn that the doctors will
not now allow Marlene Roberts to return to work.
When Gene Lark of QC Inspection retired last
July after 19 years’ service, he received a fine
gold watch from his workmates and a bit of extra
cash which, together with the cheque from the
LSA, enabled him to buy two rocking chairs so
‘Mamie and I can both rock a few a hours away.’
Mamie, who has been on the sick list for some
time, was also presented with some flowers by
Ernie Watkins, Chief Inspector, Assembly at the
farewell ceremony.
Mr Patrick J. McAllister has been appointed
Manager, Works Engineering, with effect from
August 31. He reports directly to the Works
Manager. He was previously employed as
Production Administrator at PERA (Production
Engineering Research Association); while with
them, he was seconded to our Plant to investigate
and advise on the introduction of a Planned
Maintenance scheme, so he is already known to a
number of our people, particularly in Maintenance
Engineering. Mr McAllister has had considerable
experience in works engineering and has written
and given lectures on the subject. He comes to
us from Market Drayton, Shropshire, and has a
wife and four-year-old son.
Two Contenders for Title
This year t w o of our drivers, one from Gloucester
and one from Mitcheldean, are having a crack at
winning the title ‘Lorry Driver of the Year’.
Last issue we reported that IDC driver Ron
Marfell had won the Scott Memorial Cup by
achieving first place in the articulated lorries
class in the Oxford eliminating contest.
A few weeks later Mitcheldean driver Frank Tonge
came first out of 15 entries in Class D, the 30ft.
rigid vehicles section of the elimination round
held at Bristol, winning the Arlington Almas
Garage trophy. Now they will both go forward
to the finals at Bramcote, near Nuneaton, on
Sunday, September 1 2.
Frank Tonge shows his trophies to another
Mitcheldean driver, Ian Lord, who came third in
the class for smaller rigid vehicles
The notice on the board read ; ‘Will all members
please make a special effort to attend’— and if
not all, certainly a record number of them turned
up at the annual general meeting of the Sports &
Social Club on June 28.
The younger element were much in evidence and
the meeting was a lively one, in fact the
thermometer rose quite a bit at times during
discussions about the future organisation of the
club. After four hours the proceedings were
adjourned for a fortnight, but as many again
turned up at AGM Part 2, which was an
encouraging sign of greater participation in club
affairs among the membership.
As a result of the discussions, some changes have
been brought about in the constitution of the
club which, as reworded rule 3 states, is ‘to
provide suitable facilities for the promotion of all
kinds of sports and social activities.’
One of the most radical of these changes is that
the general committee will now include people
actively concerned in the running of the various
sections (Skittles, Variety, Cine etc), and who
therefore have a keen interest in the facilities
Rule 7(a), as revised, requires that the officers
of the club shall consist of a president, chairman,
secretary and treasurer, and the committee of a
maximum of 20 members (instead of 12 as
The officers are to be elected by the members at
the annual general meeting by a show of hands
(rule 7(d)).
Committee members, representing the various
departmental areas in the Plant, used to be
elected by ballot. This has now been changed,
and rule 7(b) has been amended to read that
‘the government and conduct of the club shall be
in the hands of the general committee, eight of
whom shall be elected annually at the annual
general meeting, the remaining members to be
representatives of the various club sections.’
A completely new rule defining a ‘section’ was
introduced to ensure that these offshoots of the
parent club are properly constituted.
Another rule, 13(a), has been altered to read :
‘All funds arising from the membership
subscriptions shall be administered by the general
committee through a finance committee consisting
of the chairman, secretary, treasurer and four
other members of the general committee.’
Two new posts have been created —those of
vice chairman and assistant secretary — and the
Sports & Social Club general committee set-up
is now as follows:
Chairman : Henry Phillips (Tool Inspection);
vice-chairman : Stuart Jones (PED); secretary:
Roy Steward (Personnel); assistant secretary:
Ray Mann (PED); treasurer: George Burndred
(Accounts); Bob Davies (Spares & Sub-assembly)
Dick Frazier (PED) ; Des Haines (Machine Shop);
Tony Haynes (Work Study) ; Ted Wenderlish
(Machine Shop Stores).
Section representatives: Variety : Sadie Pritchard
(Remodelling); Cine : Pat Jordan (TED);
Sidttles : John George (PED); Karate : John Hart
(TED); Ballroom Dancing : Ira Griffin (PED);
Golfing Society : Des Gibbs (3600 Assembly).
New vice-chairman Stuart, who also represents
the Table Tennis section, got off to a bad start —
he broke his leg in a road accident on August 1 2
and will be off work for some weeks yet. He has
our best wishes for a good recovery.
The rest of the new committee are pressing ahead
with plans for a lively programme. One innovation
will be the circulation of a monthly news sheet
giving information about past and future events.
Victor Silvester coining
The Victor Silvester Ballroom Orchestra has been
booked for the annual dance on November 26
in the Social Centre when ‘Miss Rank Xerox,
Mitcheldean’ for 1971/72 will be elected.
Promotion for Tony
First Aider Tony Cale of Machme Shop QC is a
dedicated member of the St John Ambulance
Brigade. During his 18 years as Divisional
Superintendent for Mitcheldean he has organised
training, conducted first aid examinations and
done other voluntary work connected with the
Brigade. It is very much due to his efforts that
we have such a fine team of first aiders at the
Plant who provide Medical Department with
valuable support. Tony’s contribution to the
cause has recently brought him well-earned
promotion to Area Staff Officer for the Forest of
Dean, controlling all the divisions in the Forest.
An opportunity to show our appreciation occurred
recently when a Plant collection was made in aid
of the Brigade; a total of £36 05 was raised.
PED and Design set the ball rolling, you might say,
when they played each other this spring; more
friendly games between departments followed,
and now PED’s Ron Caldicutt and Ray Mann have
organised a Plant-wide interdepartmental football
Eliminating games are being played at Mitcheldean,
Lydbrook, English Bicknor and Weston-under-
Penyard, and the ‘cup final’ will take place at
Mitcheldean one Sunday afternoon in late
September (date to be announced).
The 16 teams playing are: Sorter Shiners v.
Cinderford Flatteners; PED ‘B’ v 660; Small
Batch V. Machine Shop; PED ‘A’ v. Dad’s
Army X I ; Computer Athletic v. Maintenance;
Hell Drivers v. Nomads Admin.; 3600 ‘A’ v.
Tool Room; 3600 ‘B’ v. Apprentices.
Earlier this year Purchase Department achieved
success in a soccer match against one of our
suppliers. Now they have added lustre to their
reputation for teamwork — this time as cricketers
against another supplier. Smiths Industries.
The match took place at Witney on June 29 with
each team playing 20 overs. Writes sports
reporter OIlie Evans (who acted as umpire) :
‘After losing the toss we commenced batting,
and at one stage were five for five wickets. Les
Meadows was bowled for a duck, veteran player
Jim Maskill was caught for t w o while captain
Jack Jenkins was bowled for one. John Butt
(who was always good for a punt) was bowled
for a duck and ‘Ton-up’ Bob Monteith for three.
‘Then came the team’s secret weapon
combination, Derek Porter and Terry Bradon, who
scored 31 between them before being caught.
Carleton Hobbs (no relation to Jack) was bowled
for seven, ‘Hawkeye’ Harold Boseley was 20 not
out. Bob Hook was caught for nine and ‘Fish &
Chip King’ Paul Knight finished the first half with
one not out. This made a total of 87 for nine
including two byes and 11 wides.
‘After a three-minute break the t w o teams were
back in action, with opening bowler Jenkins
being followed by Bradon, Meadows, Maskill and
Butt. By this time Smiths were 55 for five
wickets. The pressure was on and the Purchase
team began to close in like lions stalking their
‘Two hours 17 minutes after play started the last
Smiths batsman was run out, making Purchase
Office winners by two runs.’
The holding once again of the Rank Xerox Sports
& Social Club 14-mile road race at Longhope
annual fete on July 3 must be put on record —
even though no new record was established.
The race attracted 26 runners from places as far
distant as Portsmouth and Derby. First past the
post was last year’s winner, international runner
Eric Austin of Worcester Harriers, who with a
time of 1 hour 8 mins 50 sees was only 24
minutes outside the existing record established in
1968. B. D. Popel of Westbury Harriers came
second while another Worcester Harriers runner,
D. Hope, came third.
S. J . Simpson of Small Heath Harriers was first
veteran (over 40), while the prize for first novice
(a runner who has not won a prize in a major
event of that distance) went to R. Cytlau of
Gloucester Athletic Club. The Worcester men
won the cup for the best team, with Small Heath
second and Gloucester third.
Reversing their 1970 roles, Henry Phillips was
road race organiser while Fred Brown acted as
starter. Other officials were : chief steward:
J. Morgan ; time /(eepers : J. Meredith,
R. Wrigglesworth ; stewards : H. Cornwall,
A. W. Haynes and Mrs Haynes, T. Knight,
W. Luker, R. Morgan, D. Parkinson, E. Parsons,
S. Richardson; first aid: A. Cale.
If you have — and we mean the kind for playing
out of bunkers — or any type of golfing equipment
you don’t want any more, don’t leave them
gathering dust in the loft. We know of at least 20
people who would be glad of them. They are
among the 50 or more members of the Golfing
Society, a new section of the Sports & Social Club.
Anyone who can help is asked to contact one of
the following committee members: chairman —
John Bird (Supply Planning); secretary —
Derek Parker (Internal A u d i t ) ; treasurer and PRO —
Ian Billson (Data Processing) ; competition
secretaries— Dave Elias (Production Control) and
John Jones (Design); Graham Adams (PED),
Des Gibbs (3600 Assembly), Don Meek (PED)
and Bob Monteith (Purchase).
PRO Ian, who has been playing since he was
knee-high to a pitching wedge, told us that the
section was aiming at becoming affiliated to one of
the local clubs, and was hoping to fix up practice
facilities in the vicinity (ex-PGA member Pat
Dulson of TED has offered to act as instructor).
A good start has already been made with outings
to Abergavenny and Monmouth golf courses.
in the picture
New Arrivals
Richard David, a son for John Jones (Design
engineer), on April 30.
Darren Christopher, a son for Jeffrey Hale
(3600 Dept.) and his wife Valerie (formerly
Data Processing Punch Room), on May 5.
Julia Claire, a daughter for Geoffrey Parry
(Div. Mfg. Programmes), on May 16.
Jonathan Richard, a son for David Howells
(Data Processing) and his wife Deidre (formerly
of Supply Planning), on May 22.
Phillip John, a son for Mel Alder (Design
engineer), on June 18.
Robert Duncan, a son for John Harris (Tool
Room), on June 2 1 .
Rachel Anne, a daughter for Fred Gardner
(Tool Room), on June 26.
Jason Stephen, a son for Roger Pearce (Design
engineer), on July 13.
Adrian Charles, a son for Roy Love (Design
engineer), on July 14.
Melanie, a daughter for Ruby Beddis (formerly
Design Dept.), on July 14.
Melanie Louise, a daughter for apprentice
Graham Parker (Design D.O.) and his wife
Megan (formerly Cost Office, Accounts), on
July 18.
Lisa Jayne, a daughter for Brian Barnes (Machine
Shop foreman), on July 22.
Deborah Jane, a daughter for Ron Caldicutt (PED)
and his wife Jenny (formerly Design Dept.),
on July 28.
Sarah Louise, a daughter for Mike Ransom
(Design engineer), on July 30.
Paul James, a son for Glynis Rosser (formerly
Machine Shop office), on August 7.
21 s t s
Sally Kavanagh (Design Office) on July 4.
Joan Dixey (Design Punch Room) on July 15.
Ann Jones (Design Reception) on July 26.
Mr & Mrs Christopher Cox
Susan Ward (Invoice Clearance, Accounts) to
Michael Lazarevic (apprentice), on July 14.
Sandra Worgan (Design Punch Room) to
Robert Smith on July 24.
Dave Byett (Accounts) to Jennifer Wilding on
August 7.
Gordon Baker (Tool Room) to Barbara James at
Talgarth, Breconshire, on May 3 1 .
Roger Dutton (QC Inspection, Cinderford) to
Miss Deborah Griffiths at Tidenham Church on
June 5.
Shirley Toombs (Canteen) to Christopher Cox at
the Church of Holy Jesus, Lydbrook, on June 19.
Richard Cooke (Tool Room) to Annette Faulkes
(Canteen) at Westbury-on-Severn Church on
June 26.
Helen Cooper (Invoice Clearance, Accounts) to
Gwyn Richards (Data Processing) at Church of
Holy Jesus, Lydbrook, and Grace Reece (Design
Records) to Brian Jones (Design D.O.) at
St. John’s Church, Cinderford, on July 17.
Tim Humphries (Data Processing) to Alison
Kingscott at Churchdown on July 3 1 .
Leon Barnes (Wages) to Diane Hadlow at
Longlevens on September 4.
We record with regret the following deaths in
recent months; Geoffrey Wood (Remodelling),
aged 64, on June 1 ; Seefreid Cowmeadow
(storeman. Stock Control), aged 63, on June 2 3;
Arnold Ennis (paint sprayer, Fuser Roller
Finishing Dept.), aged 57, on July 1 ;
George Kidd (Supply Planning progress chaser),
aged 47, on July 2 ; Mervyn Williams (3600
Assembly), aged 45, on August 11.
Just a reminder that applications to take part in
the Variety Club talent contest have to be with
Miss J. Evans, Spares Programming Section,
Building 40 (or at 30 Elmdean, Denecroft,
Cinderford) not later than September 20.
The event will be held in the Social Centre at
8 pm on October 1
MA 8- Mrs Richard Cooke Mr B Mrs Brian Jones
I 15
Lady’s bicycle, cheap (£5 or less), almost any
condition as long as it goes, brakes not necessary
but preferable. ‘Phone C. Constable (Works Lab.),
343 int.
For Sale
ASM luggage rack, chromium with ash slats,
suit estate car, as new, £12. Also Futurama II
solid electric guitar in good condition, suitable
for beginner, £16. Contact P. Rutsch (Works
Lab.), tel. 343 int.
Set of stretch nylon seat covers for use on 1100
model, £3. Set of ‘Cibie’ matching spot and fog
lamp, offers. G. T. Beavan (E.O. Section, Building
40), tel. 182 int.
Deep freeze, English Electric, 4 cu. ft. capacity.
Only two months old, owner selling as she
requires larger model. Cost £60, bargain at £50.
Contact: Mrs Christine Peates, Fair Haven, The
Reddings, Lydbrook.
Electric cooker, Tricity Silver Marquis, four rings,
grill, oven with automatic time switch. Clean
condition, four years old, offers around £35.
Tel. 102 int.
White PVC soft top (without frame) and tonneau
cover for Mark I Spitfire. Offers invited. Contact:
R. Colwell (Design), tel. 535 int.
Phiico record player, hardly used, £6-50. Apply:
Mrs S. Crawley (Technical Library), tel. 539 int.
Tiled surround, back boiler and copper hot water
cylinder (direct supply). Apply Box no. 28,
C/o Editor, VISION.
Pony Trekking
One and two-hour treks at 50p per hour, beautiful
scenery, adults and children welcome. Apply:
H. J . Watkins (Works Lab.), tel. 343 int., or
P. Harvey, Glyn Farm, Redbrook, Mon.
Tel. Monmouth 2705.
Medical Department have already acquired quite a
pile, but they would be glad to dispose of extra
jumble from you, and raise some money at the
same time for the Forest of Dean Society for the
Mentally Handicapped. Their jumble sale will be
held at St. Michael’s Hall, Mitcheldean, on
September 25. Part of the proceeds will go
towards an outing to the seaside next year for
mentally and/or physically handicapped children
of employees from five to 11 years old.
Vision to appear monthly
Ever since the first issue of around 1,100 copies
arrived at Mitcheldean fresh from the printers in
May 1961, while your editor lay in hospital with
damaged hands (the two events were entirely
unconnected I ) , VISION has appeared every two
But it has become increasingly obvious that, in an
organisation like ours where developments come
fast and furious, this magazine frequency just
sn’t frequent enough. So much is happening all
around us — new buildings, or structural changes
to existing buildings ; new departments or
departmental structures; new models: new faces —
that we have been hard put to it to give all the
news the space it deserves.
Now, as from this issue, VISION is to appear
monthly (with the exception of August when
magazine news and readers tend to take a holiday).
There will be 12 pages instead of 16, but the
mcreased frequency will give us 36 more pages a
year in which to write about the Company and you.
As we see it, VISION should maintain a satisfactory
balance of news about the Company and the
people who work in it. And although your editor
does her best to be in all places, if not at once, at
least fairly often, she does count very much on
your continuous and enthusiastic support in
gleaning information, (By the way, a sincere
thank you is due to VISION’S regular correspondents
for their past, and we trust continuing,
co-operation in the gentle art of extraction’.)
More frequent publication should mean more
frequent communication — in both directions. So
when you come across a bit of news, or perhaps
an item which has a story potential, don’t bother
about the deadlines, contact me and I will do my
best to get it in the next appropriate issue. i
The important thing is to check the facts are i
right, write clearly, and give the correct christian
and surname of any people involved, together
with the name of their department if possible. If
they have a nickname that’s publishable, let’s have
that as well.
Prior warning of an event that is to occur helps a
lot in ensuring its inclusion in the magazine.
So please
• let your departmental correspondent know, or
• leave it at either Gate House for collection
by me, or
• post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
Mitcheldean, or
• ring me — it’s Drybrook 41 5.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd