Return to 1970-1974

Vision 085

Vision House Magazine of Rank Xerox Mitcheldean Plant
There’s quite a difference between five-year-olds
and ten-year-olds, but when it comes to
Christmas parties the formula for success is pretty
much the same. Cartoons featuring Donald Duck
and Pluto, a party tea, a nice present, crowds of
other children of similar age — and you can’t go
wrong. The only difference between the two
parties — one for 400 five to seven-year-olds on
January 6, and one for 400 eight to ten-year-olds
a week later— was that each had their own ideas
about participation. The older ones had a
junior-style discotheque, the younger ones a jolly
time, with paper hats and animal masks, plus a
comedian, a magician, and Father Christmas.
The Sports & Social Club committee and all those
helpers who worked to give the kids a good time
were voted ‘great’ too! (More pictures on pages
8 a 9.)
An historic moment some months ago in the
offices of Burl Stuttgart, when Derel< Portman, Director of the
IVIanufacturing Group, signed the biggest order we
have ever placed for machine tools. With him at
the table are (third from right) Ron Mason, Chief
Engineer, Manufacturing, and (second from right)
Sid Wright, Component Planning Manager, PED.
On January 19 and the ensuing weekend, a group
of people from the Wolfson Unit for Noise and
Vibration Control, Southampton University, could
be seen taking numerous measurements in the
Machine Shop at Mitcheldean.
Testing the vibrations, they said. Not that we’ve
been experiencing any earth tremors lately. It’s
just that before long there’s going to be quite a bit
of banging about going on at the corner facing
Building 38 on one side and Building 40 on the
By re-locating existing machines, about a
quarter of the Machine Shop (some 33,000 sq. ft)
is to be cleared for a completely new centre of
numerically controlled machine tools — the most
advanced of their kind in the world.
Castings for a new Rank Xerox model now in the
pipeline will be much more complex than earlier
types, and with conventional machines they could
be in the Machine Shop for four to five weeks.
This wasn’t quick enough, and to find suitable
machines for the speed of output required,
Sid Wright, Component Planning Manager in PED,
researched the market in the UK, Europe and the
USA. After weeks of consultation, comparison
and assessment it became obvious that the
unique Burkhardt & Weber machining centre was
far and away the best for our purposes.
The drastic reduction of the lead time to around
60 minutes is made possible by the fact that these
multi-spindle machines can each do a variety of
operations — drilling, boring and milling — which
would normally involve a number of separate
machines; tool changing is carried out
automatically; and each machine has two pallets,
so no time is lost loading and unloading.
The machines are expensive and it is important to
keep them in operation all the time. For this
reason the centre will be what is known as a
‘dedicated area’ — that is, it will have its own
support facilities. These will include cutter
grinding, pre-set tooling, paint spraying,
maintenance, inspection, stores, and offices
housing the PED and Work Study sections.
Every machine will be programmed to work on the
same length of cycle and it is in these offices that
the programming will be carried out. NC machines
are programmed by means of punched tape, the
holes representing letters and numbers. These
are decoded by an electronic tape reader linked to
the machine which converts the commands into
machine tool operations. (The manufacturers of
the software are running a course at Mitcheldean
in February on the programming of the machines.)
The first of the 1 8 or 19 machines is due in July.
‘Once we get them in we should get them working
very quickly,’ Machine Shop Manager Fred Tedds
told VISION.
But long before that happens the site has to be
prepared. The machines require special foundations
and the part of the Machine Shop which will
house them was chosen because it is the only
area there which is not founded on rock.
Those vibration experts we mentioned at the
beginning were called in to determine how much
banging can be tolerated and how sensitive other
machines are to the vibrations, so that these can
be cushioned if necessary when the site
preparation commences.
While one of the builders operates a pneumatic
drill, Mike Wicksteed (right) of Plant Facilities
records readings from a monitoring device
set up by a member of the consultant team. In the
background (right) is Paul Franc, also of Plant
Facilities, who assisted in the vibration tests.
In order to make the tests as effective as possible,
a pneumatic drill was used to dig trial holes in the
floor area to be excavated, and the experts even
had a block weighing several hundredweights
dropped on the floor to measure something called
‘the decay of impulsive excitation’ I
During March a partition is to be erected round
the area, from floor to roof; double-skinned and
soundproofed, it will isolate the rest of the
Machine Shop and minimise dust and noise while
site preparation is proceeding.
The contractors are due to move in on April 1 to
dig up some 25,000 sq. ft of floor space.
We plan to ‘dedicate an area’ of a future issue to
a feature on these very sophisticated machines.
Some members of the German class get a
pre-briefing from Keith Laken, Training Officer
From the left are John Robinson (PED), John
For the very first time, French and German are
being taught at the Plant.
A number of Group people, working in connection
with the projected Lille factory, came to the
conclusion it would be helpful if they could better
their knowledge of French. So an in-Plant course,
designed around the PILL system (Programmed
Instruction Language Learning), was introduced
as a pilot run by Training Department.
Under this packaged system, each member of the
course was issued with a tape recorder and
cassettes, and a tutor from the Western Language
Laboratory, Cirencester, came twice weekly to
give guidance.
More recently. Training Department were asked to
organise German classes — initially for certain
people involved in the installation and
maintenance of the German NC machines
featured on these pages. This course, which starts
in February, will be on somewhat different lines
and include short intensive courses at Cirencester.
Another French series will be starting soon; a
two-week probationary period has now been
introduced during which people’s aptitude and ^—
basic knowledge can be assessed and, in
recommended cases, students will be sent for
short intensive courses at Cirencester, instead of
using the PILL system.
This language training programme will continue
into 1974, and members of Mitcheldean
Management Committee and others nominated
from the Plant will be taking advantage of the
opportunity to improve their linguistic ability.
Denton and Keith Jones (Works Engineering) and
Brian Barnes (Machine Shop).
They’re in the ^People Business’
The Personnel & Training Department are in the
‘people business’. If you’ve just joined the
Company, or are about to retire; if you need
medical attention, or your salary or grade are
under consideration, or you seek some type of
training — then it’s one or other part of the
Personnel & Training function to which you turn.
It follows that the growth and development at
Mitcheldean have had their repercussions on
this department as elsewhere, necessitating
changes in its structure.
Now, with the transfer of two of its managers,
Peter Grainger and Peter Hoyland, to new posts,
it has been decided that the developing role of
the department would best be served by
re-organising the staff into three main sections:
Personnel Services, Industrial Relations, and
Training, each led by a manager reporting to the
Personnel Manager at Mitcheldean, Len Peacock.
Personnel Services
These services are important to the Company
and its work force ; they have been placed in the
charge of Royston Charles, who brings a great
deal of experience to their operation.
The section includes: Recruitment (Pat Cassidy
and his section). Personnel Administration
(Derek Wintle and his section). Medical Centre
(Sister Collins and her staff). Safety and Welfare
(Roy Steward and his section), and Pensions.
Industrial Relations
Derek Lee joined us as Industrial Relations
Manager on January 8 and he is taking charge
of this section progressively up to March ; he will
also be responsible for Salary Administration
(which comes under Bernard Morris).
Also joining the I.R. team on March 5 as
Industrial Relations Officer to partner Bill Nivison
is Derek Knibbs. Mr Knibbs is aged 38 and brings
with him personnel and industrial relations
experience at Wellworthy Ltd and Rootes-
New Appointments
Peter Grainger, Manager, Training & Development,
is now Manager, Personnel Development and
Training — Manufacturing Group, and Peter
Hoyland, Personnel Compensation Manager,
has been transferred to Engineering Group to
take up the position of Personnel Manager.
In his new appointment Mr Grainger, who
continues to be based at Mitcheldean, will have
overall responsibility for Personnel Development
and Training policies throughout the
Manufacturing Group, reporting directly to
Lionel Lyes, Manager, Personnel —
Manufacturing Group.
‘Personnel Development is now a major activity
within the Company and Group.’ Mr Grainger
told VISION. ‘We are increasingly concentrating
on the development of potential, the co-ordination
of succession planning and individual career
planning. It is to everyone’s advantage that this
work should be co-ordinated over as wide an
area as possible.
Mr Hoyland will be based in London where he
will be responsible for providing a personnel
function for the Engineering Group Director,
Clyde Mayo, to whom he will report. His main task
will be working with the existing site Personnel
Departments to ensure that the specific
requirements of the Engineering Group are met
and co-ordinated.
When our Chairman and Chief Executive,
J. IVIaldwyn Thomas, visited the Plant recently, and
toured 4000 Assembly with h/lr Salmon, he
stopped for a chat with Harvey Gwilliam, His guide
was Roger Smith (far left), then Assistant Manager,
4000 floor: since then, Roger has taken up a new
appointment as Manager, 4000 Production
Control, reporting to Terry Quartermaine. As
Works Manager Don Elliott said: ‘This particular
transfer is important in that it provides an excellent
example of how lateral development can lead
towards full management level.’ Roger Joined us
about ten years ago; he spent one year as Design
draughtsman, two and a quarter years as a
Reliability engineer and PERT, technician, three
years as Design engineer on 2400/3600/4000,
then a year as Liaison Engineer for Venray for the
Reconditioning Group. After a short spell of duty
as PA to the Works Manager, he was appointed
Assistant Manager 4000 Assembly.
Royston Charles, who Jack TImms, who
now heads Personnel is taking over as
Services. Training Manager.
This section will be organised under a Training
Manager. Jack Timms, currently Drawing Office
Services Manager—Engineering Group, takes up
this appointment on April 2; until then Mr
Grainger will continue to oversee the section.
Monitoring of the Plant Organisation is being
transferred from Salary Administration to Richard
Coleman and will be fitted in with his other
Derek Lee, who has
joined us as Industrial
Relations Manager, is
aged 36 and has
specialised in
industrial relations in
the Plessey Group,
and with Molins.
Apart from overall management of the three
sections, Mr Peacock is continuing to retain
functional control over certain matters, such as
overall plant manpower levels, and certain
organisation and manpower activities.
‘It is hoped,’ said Mr Peacock, ‘that this new
organisation will make for a tidier arrangement
in the future.’
Personnel have for some time had a problem
in fitting into the space at their disposal in
Building 6. However, plans are now afoot to
secure them more space in the building so that
eventually each section can be mustered around
its manager.
Supervisory Society
is growing up
A dinner/dance at the Wye Hotel, Weston-under-
Penyard, on January 5 ended with a flourish the
1972 activities of the very youthful but rapidly
growing Rank Xerox (Mitcheldean) Supervisory
This society was formed last May, with the
blessing of the Company and a generous donation
to help them on their way. Its objectives are
threefold : to encourage a spirit of friendly
co-operation, to provide facilities for the exchange
of knowledge, and to organise social functions.
Paul Trollope is its first chairman, with John
Ireland as vice-chairman, Bert Charnley as
secretary and Fred Brickel as treasurer.
The society’s first outing was on September 21
when 30 members paid a visit to Ansells Brewery
at Aston Cross, Birmingham. They put the firm’s
products through a stringent test and it was clear
that both these and the outing itself were entirely
to the members’ liking I
The second took place on November 9 when 25
members were cordially received by the
management of I.C.I. Fibres, Brockworth, taken on
a tour of the plant and given a film show, all of
which proved most interesting.
Next activity on the agenda is the annual general
meeting in February when it is hoped all members
will come along and bring ideas for 1 973 with
The society’s original membership of approximately
48 people has now practically doubled. ‘There
are still a number of supervisors who have not
joined,’ secretary Bert Charnley told us, ‘but we
are hopeful that they will do so, and make 1973 a
more memorable year than 1972 when we were
in our infancy.’

Which two female chargehands on 3600 floor
received two packets of gift-wrapped
authorisation slips for Christmas?
R. King
Enjoying themselves at the Spares 8- Sub-assembly
buffet dance in the Social Centre on December 15.
The cabaret included a comedian, and
S’Mura Khan who brought the ‘mystery of the
East’ to the West Midlands I
J . Seal
RX Cinderford held their first ever Christmas party
at the Paddocks Hotel, Symonds Yat, on
December 9.
R. King
4000 Assembly held their dinner/dance on
January 5 at Wormelow, near Hereford.
J . Peacock
The Design floor of the Engineering block held
their Christmas ‘do’ at the Manor Hotel, Longhope,
on December 21.
J . Ingram
Sub-contractors D.G. Packing of Cheltenham
were guests at the Stores dinner/dance held at
Castle View Hotel, Kerne Bridge, on December 16.
J . Ingram
Small Batch went to the Beaufort Hotel, Tintern,
for their party on December 22. George Douglas
and his band, and Keith Murrell with his banjo
provided entertainment.
J . Seal
The Information Systems party was held at the
Manor Hotel, Longhope, on December 15; pictured
far right is Jean Marshall, newly appointed
supervisor of the Punch Boom.
J, Ingram
3600 Assembly enjoyed a dinner/dance at the
Paddocks Hotel, Symonds Yat, on December 20.
J . Seal
The Admin party embraced Accounts, Purchase
and Personnel Held at the Chase Hotel,
Ross-on-Wye, on December 19, it was attended
by Mr Wickstead who’s never missed an Admin
party yet.
R. King
Production Control’s dinner/dance with cabaret
was on December 22 at the Wye Hotel,
SI » m 5 RTS & S
Above: John Earl gets in among the Darbys and Joans,
Left: Harry Byett, who worked in Goods Inwards until his retirement,
obliges with a song about a goat! j. Ingram
The Shows go on
The Variety Club are still hoping to be able to
put on a show in the Social Centre and they want
to hear from would-be performers, particularly
among the younger generation. Contact John Earl,
tel. 1 58 int. if you can help.
In the meantime, the club have been busy doing
a series of shows in the Forest for senior citizens.
Particularly successful was one held on January 8
at the Miners Welfare Hall, Cinderford, for the
Darby & Joan Club.
Although ‘flu depleted the number of performers,
John Earl, Jack Benbow, Ken Farnborough and
David Jones, plus three of the four Anjeloes
group, ensured that the show went on, and the
audience of 170 thoroughly enjoyed themselves,
joining in the singing and competing for the
prizes — t e n whisky miniatures.
The numbers, like the children, grow bigger every
year at
Date (or Miss RX
The closing date for our Miss Rank Xerox contest
will be Wednesday, March 7. Entrants must
assemble in the Ballroom for 8 pm that evening
for a rehearsal. There will be no necessity to fill
in the application forms prior to the contest.
Who’ll take on the
Line Stoppers?
The Line Stoppers of Production Control, current
interdepartmental football champions at
Mitcheldean, are throwing out a challenge to all
four corners of Rank Xerox. Their manager,
Robbie Robinson, will be delighted to hear from
any takers.
Ladies lose, Home gains
The Rank Xerox Ladies Football Team lost their
recent return match against Coleford Senior Youth
Club girls 5—2, but they scored a success in
raising £11 for Townsend House, Mitcheldean’s
home for senior citizens.
Skittles Fixtures
The ‘A’ team are playing : February 9—
Wanderers ( H ) ; Feb. 17—Tudor United ( A );
Feb. 23—Club Milkwall (H). ‘B’ team are playing :
Feb. 9—Nag’s Head ( A ) ; Feb. 17—Crown, Aston
Crews ( H ) ; Feb. 23—Causeway Club ‘A’ (A).
Show commences promptly at 7.30 pm
Tickets 25p each (including refreshments)
available from members of the Cine &
Photographic Club Committee.
If you have, then please —
• let your departmental correspondent
• or leave it at any Gate House for collection
by me,
• or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
• or’ring me — it’s Drybrook 41 5.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
The people behind the tables of party fare — they catered
for around 800 young appetites altogether on January 6
and 13. The club committee and helpers provided
waitress service in the restaurant — without charge I
President Bob Bal to Arnold Gaylard. Bob’s own retirement at the
end of January will be featured in our next issue.
Arnold Gaylard, who retired in December, is one
of the ‘pioneers’; he came from Woodger Road to
Mitcheldean in April 1941 and during his 36 years
with us worked in the Machine Shop, Sheet
Metal Shop, and Plating Shop where he was
engaged in jig making. He served on the Sports &
Social Club committee for a number of years.
Arnold’s is a Rank Xerox family. His two sons
work at Mitcheldean — Max in the Standards
Room and Sanford in the Machine Shop, while
daughter-in-law Christine works in Purchase and
his wife Phyllis was in Remodelling until her
retirement last June after nearly 12 years with us.
Arnold was working in the Sheet Metal Shop at
Cinderford at the time of his retirement and he
received from his colleagues a cheque, handed
over by Cinderford’s manager, Vic Buhlmann ;
Bob Baker did the honours for the LSA, who gave
him a cheque and a digital clock (‘My two
grandchildren love it,’ said Arnold).
Off to the Costa Brava
Arnold and Phyllis Gaylard are among the group of
around 23 who are going to Lloret de Mar on the
Costa Brava for a four-week ‘Sunair’ winter holiday
on February 13.
Gene Lark and Jenkin Morgan have been seeing
to all the arrangements. The group will fly from
Gatwick — our Company are providing transport
to and from the airport.
Various activities such as darts matches, bingo,
etc, will be laid on by the San Marti hotel, says
Gene. And, thanks to the generosity of people at
the Plant, the group won’t go short of spending
Les l\AcNealey presents gifts to Arthur Mason at a
farewell party; Mrs Mason was given a bouquet.
To honour his ‘elevation to the rank of senior
citizen after 27 years’ loyal service with BAF,
RPI and RXMP’, his colleagues in Information
Services gave a dinner for Arthur Mason of 0 & M
at Castle View Hotel, near Ross. Les McNealey,
0 & M Manager, presented gifts of a Russell
Hobbs kettle and stainless steel fish knives and
forks. Another surprise was a warm letter of
appreciation from Mr Wickstead at Xerox
Corporation. A founder member of the Cine 8-
Photographic Club, Arthur was its chairman for
several years, his outstanding films winning first
prize in the annual competition ten times over I
Filming and giving film shows for the old folk,
plus recording and gardening, will keep him busy,
he says. In view of his home improvement plans,
the LSA gift of a Black & Decker drill and a
cheque, presented by Bob Walton, was timely.
‘It’s supposed to drill through an egg without
breaking it,’ said Arthur, but he hadn’t put it to
the test when we talked to him !
money. No less than £41 was raised for them
with a raffle held by Spares &• Sub-Assembly, the
prize being a large doll beautifully dressed by
Margaret Jenkins. Another raffle, still to be drawn
as we went to press, will also help money-wise.
No one can guarantee the weather, but Phyllis
Gaylard says she’s taking her swimsuit and Gene
says he’ll be standing by with his camera !
We regret to have to record the death on January 8
of John Waltord (aged 54), warehouseman in
Supply Centre. John had been with us for 22 years.
PuLtinfiYOUinthe picture
Gail Meek (Production Control) and Philip
Townsend (Maintenance).
Philip Burns (4000 Assembly) to Patricia Winney
on December 2.
Shirley Hale (secretary to L. McNealey, O & M)
to Dave Brain, and Gwyneth Lewis (Engineering
Records) to Philip Nicholls, both on Christmas
Joyce Willis (Telephone switchboard) to
Robin Gibbard (New Product Co-ordination) on
New Year’s Day.
Terry James (Pre-Production Control) to
Lesley Turley on January 27.
Lionel Jeffery (Plant Facilities) to Philippa Harper
at St Mary’s Church, Ross-on-Wye, on
December 30.
Two people in Spares & Sub-Assembly retired at
the end of January — Leonard Duce, who had
been with us nearly four years, and Francis Leach,
with just over four years’ service.
Gareth David, a son for Judy Walker (formerly
Plant Facilities) and her husband David, on
December 23.
Richard James, a son for Clive Brain (design
engineer), on January 2.
Julie, a daughter for Barry Smith (Production
Control) and his wife Marilyn (formerly
Production Control), on January 10.
Stephen John, a son for Richard Holland (design
engineer) and his wife Deborah (formerly
Accounts), on January 12.
Silver Wedding
Congratulations to Janet Jones (Remodelling)
and her husband Eddie who celebrated their 25th
wedding anniversary on January 31. Their
daughter Carole works in Machine Shop office.
Stanley Penn and Dick Twohig
We regret to have to record the deaths of:
Stanley Penn (aged 61) on December 22 — he
worked in Remodelling and had been with us for
nine years; and Dick Twohig (aged 49) on
Boxing Day. Dick, who had suffered a long illness,
was main line supervisor in 3600 Assembly and had
worked at Mitcheldean for 12 years.
For Sale
Frame tent, sleeps six, used twice, £45;
BMC 1100 spares cheap — rear suspension,
brakes, wheels, one new radial, etc. W. Kerr,
tel. 314 int.
1965 Austin 1800, light tan, radial tyres, £200.
G. Morgan, tel. 606 int.
Lawn mower (hand), £ 3 ; large windows 6ft by
5ft, metal with wooden frames, £12 each ;
galvanised tank with immersion heater, £5;
suede waistcoat (tan), £6. J. Shipway, 2 Fairview,
New Street, Mitcheldean.
1963 Ford Capri 1500, MOT rated until
November, good working order. Phil Minchom,
tel. 503 int.
A35 van, 1963, MOT, four new tyres, needs a
little attention, £25 o.n.o. Tel. Lydbrook 307
after 5 pm.
Photographic dark room equipment. Alpha II
Rangefinder enlarger, 2 in. Dallmeyer lens plus
full accessories, £18 or offers. 0. W. Evans,
Purchase Office, tel. 778 int.
Smith’s cassette tape recorder with one tape,
six months old, cost £24, going for £1 5.
Ring 317 int.
Ford Anglia spares available at Rock Villa,
Coalway, nr Coleford.
1964 NSU Prinz, approximately 60 mpg, long
MOT test, low mileage, very good appearance and
condition, £120 o.n.o. Tel. 336 int.
22ft Blue Bird caravan, 9ft 6in. wide, all electric.
£300 o.n.o. ‘Phone Whitecroft 428 after 1.30 pm.
Detached house at Edge End, near Coleford.
Alan Phelps, tel. 473 int. or Coleford 2093.
Pedigree pram, green/white, and accessories;
carrycot and stand, charcoal; toddler’s pram seat.
Offers to A. F. Rawlings, Machine Tool
Maintenance, 5 Fir View Road, Hewletts Lane,
Ruspidge, Cinderford.
House for sale, Hucclecote, three-bedrooms, gas
central heating, large gardens, £9,800. Apply
Brian Moore, Work Study, tel. 694 int.
Woodworking machinery. W. Kerr, tel. 314 int.
Child’s car seat. K. D. Ellway, tel. 678 int.
Filling the Gap
The new self-service food hall on the ground floor
of Building 10 is due to open its doors on
Monday, February 15.
As you go in, you’ll take a tray. A menu board
will show what hot meals are available at the
‘echelon units’ facing you ; cold snacks and salads
will be sold at the counter to your right. You
just shop around.
If it’s an ice cream you fancy, you can help
yourself to one from a display unit by the
pay-out desks. The food is, and costs, the same
as in the restaurant upstairs but there’s no extra
7p service charge, of course.
Ther^e’s seating for over 300 in the dining hall.
You will eat your meal off the tray — it’s specially
designed to fit firmly on the table, even has a lip
at the edge to avoid catching your cuffs. You can
get coffee, tea, etc., from vending machines, or
pour yourself some refrigerated water. When
you’ve finished, you are asked to put your tray on
a clearing trolley.
You’ll notice there’s cushioned vinyl sheeting on
the floor and the walls are of gold and soft-white
ceramic tiles, making for pleasant and hygienic
surroundings. (In the kitchen, too, the accent is on
hygiene and all major equipment there is
completely new.)
We think you’ll find it a fine place for filling a gap !
Bridging the Gap
Secretaries Dionne Jolinson (PED) and Pat Smith
(Productivity Services) cross the newly opened
bridge which joins Building 44, our most recent
office block, with Building 23, which was the first
modern office block to be erected on the site.
Bridging a gap of some 15 years, you might say.
food hall 0.
dining hall
c 3
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