Return to 1970-1974

Vision 098

Power to Survive
The recent energy crisis generated a
great deal of activity in Maintenance
Department, and the weather
became top of the conversation
Before the emergency regulations on
office temperatures were introduced
we had to reduce consumption of
oil, and attention was focussed on
our three boilerhouses where water is
heated — 90 per cent for heat/
environment and 10 per cent for
process heating, plating and
Said John Denton, Manager,
Mechanical Maintenance, ‘We threw
all our standard practices out of the
w i n d ow and operated the system on
as l ow a temperature as possible
without causing boiler shock.’
By recording tank stocks and fuel
used daily, and by strategic switching
of supplies, allocations were matched
to requirements.
We managed to get hold of 100
portable gas heaters; located
throughout the Plant they helped to
keep up temperatures — and spirits.
If energy resources were failing us,
there was plenty of resourcefulness
among those upon whom we
depended for survival at Mitcheldean.
Our article on pages 2 and 3 tells
the full story.
The heart of our heating system, boilers
such as this one constantly pump out hot
water to warm us while we work.
Boilerman George Pitt understands their
ways. ‘/ can tell by the sound if there’s
anything wrong with ’em,’ he says.
‘ Think tank’ — the weekly Energy Crisis Meeting when Works Manager Don Elliott and
union representatives pooled ideas for keeping our activity at as high a level as possible.
L e f t : ‘Our insurance’ — this 1000 hp generator receiving the attention of Maintenance men
supplied 30 per cent of the Plant’s requirements. OUT OF CRISIS.. The announcement of an impending
National Energy Crisis during
November last could hardly have
come at a worse time for Mitcheldean
Plant, particularly as we were
approaching the build-up to increased
production programmes.
Christmas break was inevitably a
worrying period for employees at all
levels, considering the uncertainties
of 1974.
The days up to Christmas saw
managers frantically dashing to
Departments of Trade, etc., at Bristol,
or making late night ‘phone calls in a
desperate effort to minimise the
effects of the severe ‘three-day week’
energy regulations.
We at Mitcheldean were not
unprepared for some sort of crisis,
having survived the previous coal
industry dispute. Our ‘insurance’
included the provision of two
generators, standby liquid gas
supplies and additional fuel oil tank
However, one of the most important
support aspects was the latent spirit
of survival by joint co-operation that
existed among Plant people at every
Right from the start, our directors
took the lead in confirming a positive
policy, realising that, however well
we coped w i t h i n the Plant, one of
our major obstacles would be the
gradual strangling of supplies from
our many hundreds of suppliers.
That the power crisis would affect
Mitcheldean production there was
little doubt, but the extent of the
reduction in output was largely
influenced by the way in which our
work force used the stringently
rationed working hours and energy
It came as a considerable relief at
Christmas to learn that, for
Mitcheldean at least, five-day
working would be allowed, but at
only 65 per cent of our previous
consumption and maximum demand
—this together w i t h at least a
10 per cent reduction in oil supplies.
Unhappily our Cinderford colleagues
had to face the socially unpopular
‘Items for concern’ — in 4000 Progress, Roger Smith and his team met frequently to assess
the availability of parts in relation to 4000 production.
GO-OPERATION three-day week including Saturday
as a normal working day.
As if by magic, various working
parties suddenly became the order of
the day — some re-activated, some
new — to face the greater challenges :
Vehicle, Fuel and Employee Travel,
Light/Power Allocation, Transport
Operations and Vendor Supplies, to
quote but a few.
In order to co-ordinate Plant
activities, the Works Manager was
appointed Energy Crisis Co-ordinator;
he held a weekly Energy Crisis
Meeting, attended by officers and
representatives of all union bodies
on site, at which they were invited
to put forward ideas, state their
views and generally participate in
coping w i t h the common problem so
as to ensure as high a level of
activity as possible at the Plant.
Such was the general enthusiasm
that ideas poured in from all levels —
constructive criticisms too. We saw
Works Engineering staff rushing
around removing lamps, brandishing
meters, thermometers, and strangelooking
charts, and muttering —
under the hum of thirsty generators —
about strange things such as
‘maximum demand’, ‘kilo-volt
hours/boiler shock’, ‘phased
But the conspiratorial and frenzied
beginnings of the crisis soon gave
way to routine work and a
disciplined saving of all our resources.
The reduction in lighting and the care
in machinery use alone accounted
for 800 KVA of electrical power. The
total saving on demand achieved by
such means, together with relief from
our generator, amounted to over
1500 KVA or, on actual consumption,
to approximately half a million Kw
hours during the dark winter months.
In simpler terms, we saved enough
electricity to supply 600 homes for
a month — a worthwhile contribution
to the community by any standards.
Even more important, none of our
inevitable assembly hold-ups were
caused by energy problems inside the
Plant. Almost unbelievably,
Cinderford, despite a three-day week
for the majority of the time, managed
to avoid causing a major Mitcheldean
hold-up — a fine achievement indeed.
The occasional Assembly Department
layoffs were, as expected, caused by
the gradual drying up of bought-out
parts and material supplies,
particularly where three-day working
existed for our suppliers. The daily
emergency meetings on this aspect,
and some of the mind-boggling
exercises to minimise hold-ups,
needed to be seen to be believed.
On one occasion an RX member of
our USA Task Force joined the ‘jet
set’ w i t h a suitcase full of parts; his
efforts in travelling across from USA
to hand over at Heathrow, plus a
fast car, resulted in the 4000
Assembly line being saved from
lay-off with ten minutes’ stoppage
As we progressed through the crisis,
we saw quite clearly the spirit of
co-operation paying off. The
completion of petrol rationing
arrangements, culminating in a safe
full of coupons; less parts hold-ups;
boilermen squeezing more efficiency
from their boilers, staff looking larger
w i t h extra layers of clothing.
It was clear each employee had
assumed some responsibility for
economies— machine operators,
office staff, supervisors, managers and
assemblers alike.
Discomfort, there was indeed a l i t t l e;
lack of enthusiasm, none. The sense
of cheerfulness in common adversity
is what we have come to expect at
Mitcheldean, but the many examples
of self-administered restrictions and
alternative working practices must
have warmed the hearts of
management and trade union
representatives alike.
The co-operation extended between
Plants when Welwyn, once
established in their power reductions,
loaned Cinderford their standby
generator, so allowing a return to
five-day working at full power.
Not once during the weekly Energy
Crisis Meeting, held without fail
every Thursday, did one see anything
but a determined ‘common problem’
approach, and this example of what
can be achieved from a joint
union/management involvement in
meeting a crisis situation must surely
give us encouragement for the future.
Perhaps the crisis has taught us,
quite apart from mere survival, a
more practical lesson on how to
conserve our precious resources.
There is no doubt we have all been
to some extent wasteful, a legacy of
bygone plentiful supplies. We must
now remember that future energy
requirements have taken on a new
importance, because they will
represent a major yardstick of future
industrial efficiency, the savings
achieved during the crisis perhaps
amplifying our need to assess these
Leaving aside pessimism and the
‘world shortage’ syndrome, there are
signs that we are coming to terms
Continued on page 4
‘Fingers on the pulse’ — checking readings from the switch rooms to ensure that our power
usage fell within the limits laid down. From the left are: electrician Frank Coleman,
Manager Keith Jones, and supervisors Eric Morgan and Ray Powell of Electrical
‘ Y o u ‘ r e s o adaptable,’ s a ys
Mr Pippitt
‘A vast ranging area of involvement
with one common feature —
problems,’ was how Bob Pippitt, our
former Managing Director and Chief
Operations Executive, described his
new job as Senior Vice-President and
Senior Staff Officer at Xerox
Corporation HQ.
He was speaking at a farewell
luncheon given for him at
Mitcheldean on March 26.
Roger Haggett, Director of
Manufacturing Operations (UK),
thanking him for all he had done for
Mitcheldean, said : ‘ I t seems that we
collectively have done such a good
job, we’ve created a first-class
problem solver and got our boss
promoted !’
There was praise from Mr Pippitt for
Manufacturing Group’s ‘outstanding
achievement’ in 1973. The success
of any company or institution during
the next few years would be
measured by its ability to adapt to
change, he said, and the way in
which the Group had coped with so
many changes, and in particular with
the three-day working week,
merited it the title of the most visibly
adaptable group w i t h in the Company.
Procurement activities in particular
deserved a w o r d of praise.
Forecasting demand was difficult, he
said. The 1975/76 operating plan
would probably continue to shift —
this was inevitable in shifting world
conditions. ‘But in view of your
performance in the past three months,
I think you will be well able to face
a challenge again.’
Continued from page 3
with the real problems of industry
and that our abilities in overcoming
difficulties will be motivated more
towards preventing their appearance
in the first place.
Our spirit of participative endeavour
during an undoubted crisis is well
proven — our long term success may
indeed be measured by our ability to
engender this same spirit in normal
times in order to ensure economic
survival in the present world
From all that we have seen achieved,
the future is by no means as ‘dim’ as
the events of the last f ew months
have suggested.
Peter Broomer, formerly Manager,
Stock Control in Production Control
Department, has transferred to
Manufacturing Group to take up an
appointment as Production Control
Resident at Xerox Corporation.
David Sanderson
David Sanderson, previously Manager,
Electrical Sub-Assembly and Sorter
(9100 Dept), has replaced
Mr Broomer w i t h effect from
March 18.
Graham Linley
Graham Linley has assumed
managerial responsibility for the 9100
Dept as well as his present
Department, 660 Assembly, until
such time as the 660, Sorter and
ADF activities transfer to Lydney
(see page 8 ).
Ralph Zimmermann is taking up a
new management position at the
Rank Xerox Plant, Aachen, in West
Until such time as he takes up this
appointment on a f u l l – t i me basis, his
valuable production management
experience will be employed on
‘Special Projects’ within the
Production Departments.
Roy Powell has become Manager,
4000 Assembly, on a temporary
basis, responsible for all 4000
Assembly activity at Mitcheldean and
reporting to Frank Whinyates.
It is intended that Mr Powell will
return to f u l l – t i me responsibility for
9900 Department at a later date.
Brian Mould will continue to control
and co-ordinate the initial production
activities in 9900 Dept on Mr Powell’s
behalf on a day-to-day basis.
Geoff Darke, formerly Quality
Assurance Foreman, 4000 Assembly,
has been promoted to Assistant
Manager, Assembly Quality Control.
Pending the appointment of a QC
Manager in the assembly area, Geoff
will be Acting Manager, reporting to
Ron Teague, Manager, Quality
Jack Turley and Dennis Beddis have
both been promoted to Assistant
Managers, Quality Control — Jack in
the Parts Manufacturing area, and
Dennis in Tool Inspection and Small
Batch. Both report to Henry Phillips,
Manager, Manufacturing OA.
Geoff Darl<e, Dennis Beddis and Jacl<. Turley
Our Fifih
For the f i f th time. Rank Xerox has
been awarded a Gold Medal at the
Leipzig Spring Fair. The award was
for the Company’s Xerox 3100 copier,
a compact mobile machine which
gives high quality copies at the rate
of 20 per minute.
We have exhibited at Leipzig every
year since 1966, and set up Rank
Xerox East European Operations as a
separate unit almost six years ago, to
develop trade in the Socialist
This year, instead of a conventional
stand the Company took its special
exhibition train into the Fair grounds.
The train, w h i c h has covered 6,000
miles and visited 47 towns in eight
countries since its inauguration a
year ago, carries a display of Rank
Xerox reprographic equipment,
including the Xerox 3100.
i The Fuji Xerox liaison team liaise at Mitcheldean —
Ernie Watkins and Eddie Shermer (right) with Mr Mishima.
Ernie Maizes a Change
‘I feel as if I’m in the chrysalis stage,’
said Ernie Watkins, until recently
Manager, Assembly QA, at
‘I’ve been pumped full of information
and vaccines; I’ve been refurbished
medically and dentally. And I’ve
learned a strange new language.’
With the advent of May Day, he will
fly away to the Far East as a fully
fledged Manufacturing Group
Resident Engineer w i t h Fuji Xerox,
replacing Stuart Harrold who has
been ‘our man in Japan’ since
May 1972.
The situation was advertised
throughout Rank Xerox and
applications from some 40 people
from all over were received.
‘What we were looking for,’ said
Ron Mason, Chief Engineer,
Manufacturing, ‘was a man of broad
‘In the matter of RX liaison w i t h Fuji
Xerox, the emphasis has shifted from
Design Engineering to Manufacturing
‘You’ll have noted that Mr Mishima,
who was appointed Fuji Xerox
Resident at Mitcheldean last
December, is not a design engineer
like his predecessors; his liaison
duties at the Plant include matters
associated w i t h production planning,
material control and multinational
manufacture and procurement.
‘Ernie Watkins has had 1 3 i years’
considerable experience in our
manufacturing and quality control
techniques and procedures; w i t h him
resident at Tokyo, and Eddie Shermer
and Mr Mishima here at Mitcheldean,
we shall have a really strong Fuji
Xerox liaison team to handle all kinds
of inter-plant problems and ensure
effective exchange of information.’
Ernie’s appointment is in a sense
repeating history. Let Ernie explain:
‘I’d had a fairly broad experience in
engineering inspection in the motor,
marine, aircraft, hydraulics and
commercial fields.
‘Then in 1960 I saw an experimental
914 machine operating and I was so
intrigued w i t h the revolutionary
processes involved, I decided I’d
like to become part of the outfit
which made it.
‘Don Elliott, who was then Chief
Inspector, took me on as Inspection
Supervisor responsible for quality
control of the 914.’
Ernie, together w i t h Lew Hale
(Senior Electrical Inspector today)
and Norman Griffiths (now in
Reliability), formed the original
inspection team. ‘We’ve seen the
department grow from three people
on the assembly side to something
like 100 on assembly alone.
‘The Company was working
desperately hard in those days to
gain a footing in the marketplace
w i t h xerography. It really was an
exciting time; we got so absorbed in
the j o b we’d work sometimes until
2 or 3 am to iron out the bugs. And
I can’t say my interest has lessened
over the years.
‘In 1962, Fuji Photo Optical became
involved in the manufacture of the
914 — like us, they were switching
products from cameras and
projectors to copiers — and I was
selected to go out to Japan to assist
them w i t h the setting up of their
manufacturing operation in Omiya.
‘And now, after so many years with
Quality Control at Mitcheldean, I
have moved into Group Manufacturing
Engineering and I f i nd myself able
once again to assist in the
developments in Japan.,
Fuji Xerox are making a range of
machines including the 2400 family,
the 720 family and the 4000.
In the course of his two-year
assignment, during which he reports
to Mr Noboru Iki, Director,
Manufacturing Group, Fuji Xerox,
Ernie will be located at the Ebina
factory, some 30 miles south of Tokyo,
and will visit the Iwatsuki plant.
Since Christmas, he has been
concentrating on areas at RXMP with
which he has hitherto had limited
contact, such as the Supply side.
Production Control, and Purchasing,
even visiting various suppliers,
particularly those supplying castings,
to acquaint himself w i t h the latest
methods of manufacture.
He’s also visited Welwyn and Venray
to get to know more about those
machines not made at Mitcheldean.
Ernie’s state of feeling ‘a bit unreal’
has deepened of late. He’s been
undertaking a ‘total impact’ course
in Japanese at a London language
school — f o u r tutors, nine J-hour
lessons per day plus a working lunch I
Four years ago last month, Ernie
remarried, so ‘Janet and I are making
the journey to Japan a kind of second
honeymoon — we’re stopping off for
a couple of days in Bangkok (Burma)
and Hong Kong. She’s absolutely
thrilled at the prospect.’
Ernie and his wife Janet in the garden of their home near Symonds Yat;
looking after it is a favourite hobby of theirs. Ernie has two sons both working at
the Plant — Wally in Field Engineering and Ray in Information Systems.
Yet another Students’ Dinner and
Presentation has come and gone —
the latest having taken place on
March 8 in the Social Centre with
around 160 present.
And the impressions it left?
That our apprentices are more
numerous and surely more talented
than ever. We learned that the Plant
has now just over 100 apprentices
and trainees (out of the 230 who
applied last year, we took 24).
As far as their achievements are
concerned, they are streaking ahead
(don’t misunderstand us I). We
announced in an earlier issue of
VISION that they had again won the
Rank Xerox Cup, awarded annually
to the firm whose apprentices
produce the best collective record in
course-work and examination.
Then known as the Rank Precision
Industries Cup, this was first awarded
in 1958, and, as Personnel Manager
Ron Barnett reminded us, ‘we have
now won it eight times, which is
greatly to the credit of those trained,
and their trainers.’
Those of us w i t h long memories will
recall that, way back in 1964, when
the first dinner for apprentices was
held, there were 11 close-cropped
lads qualifying for indentures (one of
them, Keith Morgan, is featured on
p. 9 ) ; this year there were 28 on
the list.
Things were very different then —
the lads came w i t h their parents !
Now many of them are legally adults
and some are even married.
Looking to the future. General
Manager Ron Morfee talked briefly
about the growth at the Plant. There
was the £i million computer centre
(‘which even I can’t get into easily
because of security regulations’); the
development of a ‘satellite’ plant at
Lydney; the numerically controlled
machine centre, one of the most
advanced of its kind in Europe; and
exciting new machines in the pipeline.
‘The technical complexity of what
we are doing these days provides
unique opportunities for someone
carving out a technical career,’ he
pointed out.
General Manager Ron Morfee presents an
EITB First Year Certificate to Tony Walding.
B e l o w : One for the album — newly
indentured apprentices pictured after the
Quite a number of ex-apprentices
were among those who had ‘made
the grade’ at Mitcheldean — Roy
Powell, John Court, Larry Sterrett,
Brian Lewis to name but a few.
‘In fact, of those who have started
in our Training School, 12 are now
managers or assistant managers, ten
are section leaders, and 30 are on
extended assignments overseas.’
To list the departments in which they
now worked was to list every
aspect of Rank Xerox activities at
With a vote of thanks to all w h o had
helped to make the evening a
success, Gary Trigg, as chairman of
the apprentices committee, provided
the customary end to the conventional
side of things.
The words ‘Benedict Arnold’ at the
foot of the programme proved not to
be a kind of blessing on the
proceedings. A strongly amplified
group in faded denims, they took over
from entertainer Len Hart and sent a
welter of highly intensive sound
waves surging round the Ballroom.
Personnel Manager Ron Barnett
hands the Rank Xerox Cup over to Gary
Trigg, chairman of the Apprentice
Committee, for safe keeping.
Caught by the camera while awaiting presentation of an excellent dinner.
Presenting ttie
Roger Baldwin, David Baynham
(MT 4) *, Patrick Burke, Kelvin Burt,
Keith Davis, Clive Davies, David
Deeley, Michael Duberley, Vance
Hopkins, Peter Hughes, Philip James*,
Graham Jones, Ian Jones, Peter
Jones, Robert Kempster, Clive Manns,
John Martin, Richard Mayo, Graham
Morris, Terence Phillips, Christopher
Rawlings (Elec. Engrg. Cert.)*
Christopher Reed (MT 4) *, John
Ryland, Tony Tovey Peter Waiby
(MTX 4)”. Richard Walford (HNC) *,
Antony Walklett (HNC) *, Derek
Certificate of Engineering
Nigel Bluett*, Kelvin Burt, Michael
Duberley, John Wood.
Mechanical Engineering
Technicians Pt II
Graham Cox*, Kenneth Johnson*,
John Martin, Tony Tovey, Colin
Turner*, Stephen Worgan*.
E I T B F i r s t Year Certificates
Stephen Austin, Victor Ball*, Robert
Bannister*, Malcolm Bevan, Geoffrey
Cecil*, Christopher Dean, Roger Ellis*,
David Evans, Terence Goulding, John
Harding, Brian Hopkins, Richard
Johnson, Timothy Morley-Jones*,
Colin Overington *, Stephen Price,
John Sluman*, John Smith, Stuart
Stephens*, David Tingle, Antony
Walding *.
Financial Awards
In addition to those marked with an
asterisk, the following also received
awards for successful completion of a
certificated course of study :
Richard Andrews, Richard Baker, Chris
Barnard, David Bowdler, Kim Butcher,
David Deeley, Paul Denton, Rodney
Dix, Gary Ellis, Andrew Frowen,
Dennis Hart, David Hobbs, John
Knight, Peter Lee, Glyn Rudge, Gary
Sladen, David Whitfield, Andrew Wilks.
Trainee Secretaries
Jill Marshall, Jane Phillips, Shirley
Once again the need to nnake room
for new products has necessitated
the setting up of another satellite
unit — this time at Lydney.
A certain percentage of the 82,000
sq. ft. available to us there was taken
over last year to accommodate 3600
stores until their transfer to Venray
in March.
By the time this issue appears, and if
all goes according to the latest plans,
3600 sorter assembly will be
functioning at Lydney.
The ADF operation should be
installed at the end of April, and 660
Assembly are expected to be settled
in their new home in Station Road by
the end of June.
Modernisation of the one-time
factory at Lydney, used recently as a
warehouse by J . & C. Ward, has not
involved the filling in of big cavities
or laying of vast areas of concrete
that were required at Cinderford to
support the huge presses, the tons of
metal sheets and bars used by our
‘feeder factory’.
But nonetheless a good deal of time
and effort have had to be expended
Bill lies, co-ordinator for tfie Lydney project, and John Court,
recently appointed manager of the new plant, study a model layout.
Charts on the wall show step-by-step progress in the setting up of the plant.
in order to bring it up to the
conditions to which RX personnel
have become accustomed.
J. & C. Ward, in conjunction with
Preece Payne Partnership, have
carried out a certain amount of
remedial work on the premises;
Works Engineering have completed
the transformation.
Raising the place to acceptable
standards has meant concentrating
mainly on five aspects — ventilation,
heating, lighting and redecoration,
and the upgrading of the canteen
In the dining area, which seats 100,
an over-the-counter single-tier dining
service is provided, the variety of
meals being of comparable standard
to that at Cinderford Plant.
A refreshment area is also located
between the stores and assembly
areas, and both this and the dining
area have vending machines for
beverages, snacks and cigarettes.
There is 24-hour security coverage
and, to cope w i t h emergencies, a
first-aid service similar to Cinderford’s
w i t h a f u l l – t i me nurse in attendance,
and an automatic fire detection
On detection of a fire, an alarm will
be sent automatically to unmanned
Lydney Fire Station where it will
operate a special signalling unit. This
in turn will automatically send a
signal to the Fire Brigades VFA
command system terminal in
Cheltenham, where the necessary
services will be called out.
A minibus service similar to that
running to the Cinderford Plant will
provide a transport link for personnel
between Mitcheldean and Lydney.
As far as parts are concerned, w e are
operating an artic trailer drop-off
system. One artic and three trailers
will cope w i t h the expected three
loads each way; while one trailer is
unhooked and left for unloading, a
loaded one can be hooked up and
driven straight away, thus making
full use of time and vehicles.
As for communications, a public
address system, a GPO system with
one Lydney line and eight
extensions, and an internal telephone
system (18 extensions at present)
have been fitted, plus a public
The internal system is connected by
a tie-line to Mitcheldean’s internal
telephone system (full instructions
for using are given in the latest
internal telephone directories).
Roy Brooks, Communications
Manager, has asfced us to put out
tfiis message: Please keep your
telephone calls as short as possible.
We get pressure on space along
those lines too I
ilace meeting place meeting place meeting place meeting place mee
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An ex-apprentice who completes 15
years w i t h us next August,
Keith Morgan (TED) was ‘doing an
apprenticeship’ on a pipe when we
talked to him. It had already broken
once under the strain I
By the time he gets to the end of his
current leisure-time occupation —
w r i t i ng a play based on ‘Tristan and
Isolde’ — we guess he’ll have bitten
through quite a f ew more.
Writing is his great love, but not all
his manuscripts are in such serious
vein. There was the panto script he
did for ‘Babes in the Wood’,
performed by Coleford Amateur
Dramatic Society (his wife Wendy is
an acting member).
‘I sent a play to Brian Rix once for
his consideration. It came back
covered in egg stains, so he must
have read it through !’ said Keith.
Keith belongs to a small variety
group known as the Clearwell Follies
who do shows for charity; he enjoys
doing a bit of everything — singing,
acting, piano playing, or helping
generally behind the scenes. He’s
equally at home on the political
scene, having been a former chairman
of the West Gloucestershire Young
Ray Dance (Design) and Keith were
original members of the Wye Valley
stompers jazz band, he told us.
Today he still plays the trumpet
‘whenever an orchestra needs a bit
of brass.’
Music obviously means a lot to
Keith. And when it comes to
composers, Vaughan Williams is
always at the t op of my charts.’
V i l m a Powell and Maria Cleary
of TED can hardly wait to become
drop-outs — from a height of some
2,000 ft.
Like her father and her husband,
Vilma (seen on right) is a keen glider;
she belongs to the Cotswold
Gliding Club and has been gliding
since she was 1 1 .
When Maria joined the section some
months ago and mentioned that she
also would like to go parachuting,
Vilma was delighted, and together
they booked a weekend course of
instruction at Shobdon (Hereford)
Parachute Club.
Both in their early twenties, they duly
passed their medicals and equipped
themselves w i t h the white boilersuits,
crash helmets and big leather
boots that no parachuter would be
seen coming down without.
Most of their weekend at Shobdon
was spent getting ground training;
then they had to jump for it. Said
Vilma : ‘Our respective husbands came
along to look us up ! And we made it
a sponsored jump in aid of the British
Diabetic Association.’
The first six jumps they take (£1 -15
each) are on ‘static line’ — the girls
remain connected with the ‘plane by
a line, and the opening of their
parachutes is automatically controlled.
After that, provided the instructor
gives his OK, it’s ‘free fall’ all the way
w i t h , later on, the responsibility of
packing their own parachutes.
Commented Maria : It’s an adventure
and we want to experience it w h i le
we’re young rather than wait — like
one male member of the club — until
we’re 74 years old I’
Despite the unexpected, which is
normal routine in a Works Manager’s
office, Mary Cole always appears
calm and capable. ‘Pressure doesn’t
throw me,’ she said. ‘One just has to
work one’s way through it.’
No doubt her experience working as
a relief typist for Hansard at the
House of Commons has helped train
her to keep her cool. One of a team,
she used to bang out verbatim
reports of debates on Bills at the
committee stage ‘when it hots up’,
w i t h reporters rushing up in relays to
dictate the Hon. Members’ words.
Mary has been Don Elliott’s secretary
since she joined us in 1966 from
International Export Co. in London.
She and her husband came to
Ross-on-Wye when he retired
because of of ill-health.
She has a grown-up family — her
daughter is a social worker married
to the manager of a day centre for
handicapped people in London; her
son, Terry, works in Reliability
‘My husband is my hobby,’ she said,
in answer to our query. ‘He listens
a lot to the radio and tells me the
interesting bits when I get home.
We’re both keen on gardening — in
fact, we’re never short of something
to talk about.’ And it’s not every
couple who can say t h a t!
lace meeting place meeting place meeting place meeting place mee
Philip and June Probert.
Who’s fooling e w e?
Someone in 4000 Department was claiming
to have lool singlehanded.
‘What happened at shearing time then ?’
asked a disbeliever.
‘We didn’t shear them. We let them shed
their wool to make lambs’ nests,’ was the
reply! • • *
Who said: ‘If I won the pools I wouldn’t
go abroad. I’d like to tour England as I’ve
never been to Scotland.’
Noel Parry, a son for John Kilby
(Production Control) and his wife Elizabeth,
on January 19.
Richard James, a son for Charlie Probert
(Small Batch) and his wife Anne, on
January 29.
Alistair Charles Keith, a son for Ian Van
Ryne (PED) and his wife Rosemary, on
March 4.
Gary Stuart, a son for Ken Scrivens, Goods
Inwards senior supervisor, and his wife
Julia (formerly Despatch Office), on
March 11.
Martin, a son for Barry Torrance (PED) and
his wife Sheila on March 16.
21st Birthdays
Jacqueline Davies on March 9 and Susan
Brain on March 26; both work in 660
Michael Watson (Information Systems)
on March 28.
June Sims (Canteen) to Philip Probert
(4000 inspection) at St Michael’s & All
Angels, Mitcheldean, on February 2.
Kay Cherry to Alan Kiely (both of Drawing
Office) at Pisgah Chapel, Coalway, on
March 2.
Derek Donaldson (Engineering DO) to
Denise Davies at Lydney on March 9.
Carole Jones (secretary to Drawing Office
Manager John Brain) to Graham Jones
(Engineering DO) at St Stephen’s Church,
Cinderford, on March 23.
Dennis Williams
We regret to have to record the death on
April 2 of Dennis Williams (Polishing Shop).
He was 50 years old and had been with us
since 1963.
Best wishes to Henry Howell (Electrical
Sub-assembly & Sorter) who retired in
March after working with us for 12 years.
Graham and Carole Jones.
Dashing Driver
Mitcheldean driver Jack Gardner, taking
Transport Department’s first-ever
consignment to Germany, clocked up quite
a bit of mileage recently.
Driving a 35 cwt Ford Transit truck, he
logged close on 1,000 miles between
arriving at Europort, Rotterdam, Holland, and
returning there about two days later, not to
mention the 215 miles each way between
Mitcheldean and Felixstowe on this side of
the Channel.
Jack delivered a 660 machine for testing to
an Offenbach firm, near Frankfurt in West
Germany, and some try-out shafts to a
company manufacturing lathes at
Reichenbach in East Germany.
Silver Wedding
Congratulations to Ken Taylor (Manager,
Financial Planning, Finance &• Administration
Dept) and his wife Rita who celebrated
their 25th wedding anniversary on March 19,
and to Tom Hammond (Electrical
Maintenance) and his wife Eileen who
celebrated theirs on April 2.
Mayoral Visit
The energy crisis over, we have been able
to welcome visitors once again. On
March 20, the Mayor and Mayoress of
Cheltenham, Alderman and Mrs Dodwell,
were shown round the Plant and
entertained to lunch. The Mayor remarked
that, in a year of touring industrial
establishments, he had never before sat
down to a meal with both management and
trades unions representatives, and he
considered us quite enlightened! Our
visitors are pictured in the developing NIC
complex in the Machine Shop with (left)
Ted Tuffley, Assistant Manager, Component
Planning, and Brian Barnes. Assistant
Manager, Production Manufacturing.
Saturday, June 15
Saturday, September 14
and the world-famous
Saturday, October 26
Friday, November 29
At the annual general meeting of the
Rank Xerox (Mitcheldean)
Supervisory Society, held on March 6,
the following officers were re-elected
to office: Chairman — Paul Trollope;
vice-chairman — John Ireland;
secretary—Bert Charnley; treasurer —
Ossie Williams.
Re-elected to the committee were
Sister Collins, Richard Novak, Tony
Nurden and Alan Swordy. They
extend a welcome to newly-elected
committee members Don Holder, Ted
Lewis, Graham Trafford and Dennis
Williams, and wish them a long and
happy stay.
The Spice of Life
The next Variety Club Show on
May 10 looks to be a really varied
Apart from the items named on the
posters, there will be a couple of
humorous sketches, one performed by
the Medical Centre and the other by
Jean Cox and Denise Cooper, David
Jones will play the cornet, and Gordon
Davies and Ken Farmborough will
be kicking up a ‘Sand Dance’.
The winning Glamorous Grandmother
will be showered w i t h flowers,
chocolates and compliments
Interested Glam Grans, please give
your names to Variety Club members.
The proceeds of the show, by the
way, will go to the Muscular
Dystrophy Fund.
Latest Moves
The third round in the Wickstead
Shield and Portman Cup chess
tournament is in progress. John
Johnson, hon. secretary of the
Forest Rooks Chess Club, would like
to remind people concerned that
Wednesday, April 24, is the final day
for the round to be completed.
Skittles and Darts
The climax of the Interdepartmental
Tournament is approaching. Sadie
Pritchard reports that the men skittlers
are now in their final round, while the
ladies’ finalists are already
established — the 660 Happy
Wanderers v. the 4000 Virgins I This
result might have been different had
one of the ladies’ teams not been
mistakenly registered among the darts
entries and obliged to play an entirely
different and hilarious game opposite
some all-male darts throwers.
As far as the darts side is concerned,
all rounds have been completed and
semi-finals are due to start on April 24.
The Society’s programme has
recently included a social evening in
the Club House on March 28 with
the Society v. ASTMS in a skittles
and darts match.
To raise members’ thoughts to a
more serious level, a meeting is being
arranged w i t h an invited speaker to
discuss the day-to-day problems
that confront supervisors.
Other events in the pipeline include
the annual dance and visits to outside
industrial concerns, the latter being
dependent upon firms’ return to
normal working.
8 pm in the
* * *
* * •
* • •
* • •
* • *
J o M o Wo’m’
Seven people will receive their
25-year-awards at the Long Service
annual dinner on May 3 at the
Chase Hotel. They are : Ted Adams
(RX Cinderford), Arthur Barnett
(Machine Shop), Horace Evans
(Machine Shop), Ray Haile
(Polishing & Deburring), Amy
Hewlett (Goods Inwards Inspection),
Charlie Maynard (Machine Shop),
Darrell Timms (Assembly Inspection).
Fred Wickstead, Chief Staff Officer,
Rank Xerox Ltd, w i l l be making the
Society Programme
The best pick-up of the year! No offence, Lesley— we were
delighted to have you with us.
Once again, w i t h the weather as
ordered, the Big ‘E’ International XV
visited the Forest — on March 17.
This time the venue was Ruardean
and the opponents RX Design.
Guesting for the International XV was
Lesley Dudley, lately featured on TV
and in the national press, and
currently studying at Cheltenham
Teacher Training College.
Braving the elements and the Design
pack, Lesley graced the International
XV’s left wing in the style of her
county hero, Dave Duckham.
After replacing a broken post, the
game was got under way by that
famed Forest referee, Gordon Bourne,
who, possibly being misguided by a
sense of fairness, immediately
awarded a penalty to Design. The
kick, assisted by the wind, put
Design three points ahead.
The International XV swung easily
into top gear and, by determined
forward play, which was brilliantly
backed up, scored t w o unconverted
Well into the second half the battle
for supremacy reigned, only to be
brought to a most (un)satisfactory
halt by Design, who obtained t wo
(dead) lucky tries, one of which was
Final score: Design—13; Big ‘E’
Int. XV—8.
Ignoring the friendly ( ?) abuse,
threats to his person, and total
disbelief in his better decisions,
Gordon made this another of the
enjoyable yet competitive games at
present being held w i t h i n the Plant.
Thanks are also due once more to
Drybrook RFC and Cinderford RFC
for providing the facilities.
Question : Is there now enough
interest to form a rugby section for
interdepartmental/Plant friendlies and
possibly a summer sevens
competition ?
• Who in Design ‘put his foot in it’
whilst trying to remove the
stump ?
If you have, then p l e a s e –
let your departmental correspondent know
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 542415.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
For Sale
White wedding dress, worn December, size
16, white lace over satin, swansdowntrimmed,
with train : trimmed hood,
detachable. Long three-tier veil.
Lily-of-the-valley headdress. Whitecroft 693.
Playpen £1 50. K. Rea, ext. 721.
2-burner Calor gas cooker complete with
oven, good condition, £5. Ext. 670 or
evenings 6 Lea Villa Residential Park, Lea.
Triang Sprite pedal car, red ; Raleigh
Sunbeam trike; Qualcast hand mower: all
in very good condition. D. Britton, ext. 351
or Coleford 3078.
Silver Cross Wilson high pram, dark green,
white interior, shopping tray. Cost £40,
going for £10. Lydney 2970.
4-bedroom detached house, large garden,
full central heating, fitted carpets and other
extras. £13,900. S. Tearle, ext. 462 or
Stroud 6830.
Mayland fishing and camping boat with
cabin 13ft 6in x 5ft beam and in fibreglass.
Complete with trailer and 1 973 5hp
Yahama outboard, 5 hrs running only.
£285 o.n.o. W. A. Luker, ext. 374 or
Longhope 397.
2-bedroom, semi-detached bungalow, part
central heating, Mitcheldean, L. Evans,
ext. 225/154.
1971/2 Mothercare pram, tan colour,
excellent condition, one lady driver, low
mileage, £12 o.n.o. J . Hart, ext. 645.
Spacious detached 3-bedroom house, good
sized rooms, car port, conservatory and
store room downstairs toilet, large gardens,
nice district, Ross-on-Wye. £12,500 or
reasonable offer. M. Holbrook, ext. 672.
6-string guitar, good condition, £9 o.n.o.
Drybrook 542696.
Set of leopard skin car seat covers for
Rover 2000, £20 o.n.o. Mrs. K. Allen,
ext 303.
H reg Hillman Minx, golden sand colour,
first class condition, complete set new tyres
including spare, taxed and tested 12 months,
£450. Cinderford 22972.
Detached house, Mitcheldean, 1 year old.
3 bedrooms, 2 reception, central heating,
garage. M. Cheshire, ext. 218.
1970 BMW 2002, white, blue cloth interior,
8-track stereo, Koni suspension, £1,200 o.n.o.
G. Morgan, ext. 565.
Modern semi-detached 2-bedroom
bungalow, detached brick garage, 5 mins
shops, etc. 17 Hampshire Gardens,
Cinderhill, Coleford.
Mitcheldean — superior modern semidetached
house in elevated position.
Lounge-diner with panoramic views, three
bedrooms, bathroom, fitted kitchen, gas
central heating. Large garage beneath
lounge, terraced rear garden opening on to
wooded country. £9,600 o.n.o., inclusive of
some fitted carpets. Drybrook 542037.
Two black Karobe rally seat covers, £15 as
new, excellent condition, to fit A40 or
similar, bargain at £10. Also two new
remould quality tyres to fit 1100, £9.
G. Powell, ext. 697.
Full length sump guard for a Mini. R. A.
Carter, Mail Room, ext. 196.
Caravan, 6-berth, all mod cons, including
TV, at Oxwich, Swansea. Bob Davies,
Inspection, 4000 mini line, BIdg 24.
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printen) Ltd.