Return to 1970-1974

Vision 101

Sadie meets the new MD
‘I couldn’t work for a better
company,’ said Sadie Pritchard of
720 Assembly when General
Manager Ron Morfee introduced
her to the new Managing Director,
William Glavin, during his recent visit.
Sadie may be pint-sized but she’s
got gallons of energy. Whether as
shop steward (AUEW), a singer of
Irish ballads, or a committee
member of the Sports & Social
Club, working behind the bar,
helping w i t h the Bonanza Draw or
running a skittles tournament (see
pages 8 / 9 ) , she puts everything
she’s got into the job.
Sadie has been w i t h us — how long ?
‘Thirteen years, darlin’, but I’m not
superstitious.’ Her son Fred in
4000 Assembly has been 19 years
at the Plant, and her husband. Bill,
is a familiar figure at club events,
helping w i t h the ‘sound’ side of
Bob Dixon (PED) explains to Mr Glavin the principles of Group Technology — the
grouping of machines in ‘cells’ where all the machining on a particular family of
components is carried out. The model layout is of the Machine Shop where
this technology is currently being tested on a small scale. Looking on are Mr Portman and
Mike Hook, Manager PED.
Bill Davidson, PED Electronics Manager,
shows him the ATE equipment for testing
printed circuits.
With Fred Court, Brian Weyman and Don
Elliott in Goods Inwards Inspection.
Mr Portman introduces Jim Mitchell,
Manufacturing Programme Manager.
In the Computer Centre with Information
Systems Managers Ron Swenson (centre)
and Jack Bonney (Group and RXMP
respectively). Receptionist is Kim Drewry.
Roger Haggett, Director of Manufacturing
(UK), introduces him to Len Harper
(Drawing Office, Engineering).
Newly appointed Managing Director
and Chief Operations Executive of
Rank Xerox, William F. Glavin
recently made a whistle-stop tour
of Manufacturing plants here and
across the Channel.
He arrived at Mitcheldean at 8.30 am
on June 2 7 ; by 8 pm that evening
he was meeting Venray senior
management in Holland. The
following day he toured Venray
Plant, f l ew to Lille to see the new
plant there, attended more
presentations and returned to
Heathrow by 8.30 pm the same day.
Mr Glavin is obviously the kind of
man who can take this sort of pace
in his stride. And at around 6ft. 6in.
tall, he has a long stride I
On this, his first visit to Mitcheldean,
Mr Glavin was given a presentation
on Manufacturing Group Organisation
and on SOLAR; he toured the Plant,
talked to as many people as possible
and lunched w i t h senior management.
At the luncheon. General Manager
Ron Morfee welcomed ‘the new
boss’ and said how pleased we were
to demonstrate that at Mitcheldean
‘we don’t have straws sticking out
of our ears’.
‘We have as professional a bunch of
people working for you here as
anywhere in the Xerox/Rank Xerox
Derek Portman, Director,
Manufacturing Group, also got in a
commercial on behalf of the Plant,
‘Mitcheldean is the springboard of
the Company’s total success — it
has been our growth point,’ he said.
‘We have sponsored the construction
of our machines at Venray and we
are also substantially sponsoring Lille
from here.
‘We are anxious to play an optimum
role, to respond to new products.
We recognise that changes can be
less than comfortable but we are
not unduly concerned. Our
management team is in very good
Mr Glavin, looking very happy to be
w i t h us, said how impressed he was
w i t h ‘the facility and the people
at Mitcheldean.’ Like his predecessor.
Bob Pippitt, he gave us ‘a pat on the
back’ for the way we had survived
the energy crisis.
‘It was one of the most impressive
things I have ever seen in my career.
It shows the strength of your
With regard to the future, Mr Glavin
sounded positive and confident.
He had been visiting some of the
Operating Companies, taking note
of the differing attitudes to our
current machines, looking closely
at costs of build up, installation,
depreciation and so on.
‘We have been asked to stretch
ourselves in 1975,’ he said. ‘We are
going to be putting together new
plans, balancing the workloads from
the Manufacturing and Operating
Company aspects.’
‘We are going to have a very good
year as regards profit and growth,’
he prophesied.
S a n d r a S n e l l a n d Y v o n n e H a r t m a d e M i t c h e l d e an
h i s t o r y w h e n t h e y f l e w t o A m e r i c a i n J u n e , b o t h on
d i f f e r e n t a s s i g n m e n t s . W e b e l i e v e t h i s i s t h e f i r s t
t i m e w o m e n f r o m t h e P l a n t h a v e g o n e o v e r o n C o m p a ny
b u s i n e s s , w h i c h m a k e s t h e t w o g i r l s o ur
First of the ladies to go was Technical
Librarian S a n d r a S n e l l , who crossed
the Atlantic by jumbo jet for a
conference with her opposite
numbers from all the Divisions of
Xerox within the USA, from Fuji
Xerox, and from Welwyn and Venray.
The main purpose was to discuss a
proposal for a network of information,
aimed at improving the Companywide
exchange of internal reports.
The Company is spending millions of
dollars on technological development
and research, the results of which are
in the form of drawings and reports.
But because reports are not always
distributed to those who should
receive them, or it takes longer than
necessary to distribute them, or they
are not properly indexed for retrieval,
vital information is not available when
and where it is needed.
As Mary Tsuffis, Manager of the
Technical Information Centre at
Xerox put it recently, ‘this is
expensive in loss of dollars’.
Dr Philip Sherman, Xerox Manager,
Information Systems, who opened
the proceedings at the Rochester
conference on June 3, has proposed
that each technical information centre
should continue to process its
reports in its own way to meet its
local needs, that the reports should be
circulated among other centres in the
network, and that an Office of
Technical Information at Xerox
should act as clearing-house,
maintaining an up-to-date file on all
reports which would be accessible to
every centre.
He talked about the equipment that
would be needed to set up this
network, and suggested that
libraries and other technical
information centres within the
Company could prove useful as
‘laboratories’ for testing new Xerox
information systems, since librarians
had the necessary expertise and
opportunity to assess their value.
The point was made that savings
from mailing costs alone could justify
the cost of the equipment needed,
quite apart from the space, time and
operator savings.
The advantages of going over to a
microfiche system (at present Xerox
reports arrive as ‘hard copy’ and
some run to 60 or 70 pages), the
need for a common ‘keyword’ index,
customs regulations and controls, and
the problems of transferring proprietary
information between nations, were
other subjects dealt with.
k . . . . ^^^pQ
The conference received top-level ^”^ “^'”””^
recognition. Archie McCardell,
President of Xerox Corporation, and computer applications to systems,
Raymond Hay, Executive Vice- so on. Educational f i lm shows
President and President US and slide presentations concerning
Operations, spoke to the participants; ‘ibrary management were run by the
Dr Myron Tribus, Horace Becker, and Canadian Film Board and a big
Willis Sprattling were also among exhibition of publishers and agencies
the speakers. Mr Sprattling gave a was staged throughout the entire
presentation on the Multinational week.
Engineering plan, and brought along Commented Sandra on her return:
w i t h him Arthur Willitt and Ted ‘It is hoped that the result of this
Elliott who were over in the States get-together will be the setting up
to attend the Multinational and operation of the proposed
Engineering Conference. network, using up-to-the-minute
Sandra, too, was among the equipment and methods,
speakers, for the various librarians ‘In the meantime, would all those
participating were required to give a initiating technical reports at
presentation about their own Mitcheldean please be sure to send
operation. As Sandra put it, ‘These a copy to the Technical Library
presentations were of great value in which serves the whole Plant.’
making each of us aware of the Sandra’s chief. Engineering Office
different problem areas, user needs Manager John Brain, t o ld us he’d
and services provided, and we were received a telex from Richard
able to exchange ideas and have McNamara, Manager, International
useful discussions.’ Technical Services, to say that
‘We also visited the Technical Sandra’s contribution to the
Information Centre Library (they have conference ‘has been immeasurably
a computer-based system for patent significant because your library
information searches) and the activities are mainly concentrated on
Competitive Products Area which is indexing, storage and retrieval of
of great importance to the Company.” Xerox and Rank Xerox proprietary
The participants spent the f o l l o w i n g technical information.’
week at the Special Libraries As Engineering Group Office
Association annual conference in Co-ordinator, Y v o n n e H a r t carries
Toronto, Canada. There were out various assignments, and one of
lectures on American libraries. Continued on next page
The air is blue w i t h smoke; opinions
are being hurled around at Force 1 5;
a letter bomb exploding in the middle
of the table would probably pass
Then the door opens and in trips
the girl-about-the-office, feet
tall (two inches less without her
platform soles), carrying a tray of
steaming teacups.
The mere sight of the cups (quite
apart from the girl’s legs) causes a
diversion ; the temperature drops,
and the storm may even subside in
the course of the English tea
Sometimes it is the cup, rather than
the ‘cuppa’, which diverts attention.
For your dedicated tea drinker is
often an individualist. He may insist
on having his beverage in a Grecian
urn-type vessel, or a piece of
delicate Royal Worcester, or a mug
w i t h suggestive remarks about its
Whether for diversionary tactics, or
because he is a man w i t h a big
thirst, one character we know owns
a vessel which is not so much a
tea cup, more a ‘gozunder’. In fact,
his secretary was recently
constrained to pour out her heart in
verse on the subject:
If y o u o n l y k n e w w h e n you have your
f i r s t sup
The embarrassment s u f f e r e d t r a n s p o r t i ng
t h a t cup.
Some call it a s o u p b o w l , and some too
have asked
If y o u ‘ r e t a k i n g a shave, for t h e size is
so vast.
At the last count it was reckoned
that we consume 2,100 manual
cups (via trolleys or over the
counter) and 4,250 vended drinks
every 24 hours, tea accounting for
about two-thirds of the total.
The amount consumed in private
‘tea sets’ around the Plant is not
easy to determine, but the assessable
consumption of tea is reckoned to
be rising — in fact, we are downing
more liquid generally.
Our caterers attribute this to the
increase in the number of vending
machines which offer a choice of
liquid refreshment round the clock.
Interesting too to note that there is
now a trend towards tea w i t h lemon
(powdered), hot chocolate and
Bovril — drinks which until the
introduction of the machines were
simply not available.
What, we wondered, does our
individualist do when he is faced,
not w i t h an obliging young thing,
but w i t h a sexless automaton that
doles out plastic beakers?
The answer is that he simply presses
a lever to hold back the beaker, and
places his tea-hallowed piece of
china for filling in its place.
‘Doesn’t this damage the machines?’
we asked the caterers.
‘Oh no,’ they replied. ‘The only
thing we object to is people kicking
the poor things when their coin
gets stuck. The machines don’t
work any better for it.’
Continued from page 3
these recently took her, too, to
Her brief was to assist those
attending the Multinational
Engineering Conference held in
Montreal from June 10 to 13,
working in harness w i t h Judy Gates
of Xerox. There were 85 delegates,
20 of them being from Rank Xerox,
including Mitcheldean personnel.
Her job actually started some weeks
before the conference. One of the
main services offered by Mitcheldean
was helping w i t h delegates’
presentations — typing their talks,
preparing the visuals (works
photographer Jack Seal was kept
hard at it preparing over 200 colour
slides), and generally co-ordinating
all the material for the European
Yvonne has worked for almost all of
her 14 years w i t h us as secretary to
Director of Engineering Stan Pratt,
now located in London, so she is
used to coping with technical
With everything completed on time,
she packed her bags and left Heath
Row on June 4, aboard a jumbo jet
bound for New York. Arthur Willitt
and Ted Elliott travelled w i t h her.
The seven hours’ flight proved one
of the highlights of the assignment.
The cabin was situated in the nose
of the ‘plane, w i t h a spiral staircase
to a lounge and bar. The menu was
equal to that on board a luxury liner.
There were even hot flannels soaked
w i t h Cologne to soothe the travelweary
brow, and knitted slippers to
ease the feet.
Mr Willitt arranged for Yvonne to
visit the flight deck where she met
the captain — and discovered that he
had flown many times w i t h her
cousin, a pilot w i t h British Airways.
From New York, Yvonne went on to
Rochester (‘It’s remarkably rural,’ she
told us) where she stayed w i t h Judy
Gates and her husband. She visited
the Webster Plant, said hallo to some
of our resident engineers, and did a
lot of pre-conference work.
‘I wasn’t surprised at the size of the
p l a c e — I’d heard so much about
it — but I was surprised to find it
wasn’t fenced in. You have to show
a pass every time you go into one of
the buildings, no matter who you
On the 9th, Yvonne f l ew on to
Montreal. What was that like ? ‘I
hardly saw anything of it,’ she said.
The conference was held on the
lower ground floor and she was kept
on the go, dimming lights, fixing up
photographs, coping w i t h travel and
lunch arrangements, seeing to
projectors ‘and all that jazz’.
Facilities included a 3600 and a
telecopier, and telexes were sent via
The chairman of the Multinational
Engineering Planning Committee,
Willis Sprattling, had his suite on the
34th floor of the hotel, and she and
Judy were constantly elevated
skywards w i t h the messages, and
returned to earth w i t h their stomachs
still at 34th floor level.
Everyone was extremely friendly,
Yvonne told us. ‘I was inundated
w i t h invitations that I just wasn’t able
to accept. But we were taken out to
dinner and lunch to some interesting
places — one restaurant was a
converted railway station !’
Her final comment ? ‘It was hard
work, but I enjoyed the experience.’
W h o in Purchase, w h e n leaving h o s p i t a l,
reached t h e g r o u n d f l o o r and w e n t to
s t r a i g h t e n his tie, o n l y t o f i n d he hadn’t
put his shirt on ?
If y o u have, t h e n p l e a s e—
let your d e p a r t m e n t a l c o r r e s p o n d e n t k n o w,
or leave it at any Gate House for c o l l e c t i on
by me,
or post it t o me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
M i t c h e l d e a n ,
or r i n g m e — i t ‘ s D r y b r o o k 542415.
IVIyrtle Fowler, Editor
Stock around the clock
We’ve had the BOM and Demand
Entry; now it’s Stock Update. This,
the third segment of SOLAR, is being
implemented in stages over a period
of 12 months ending in December
this year, and it is the first to have a
general impact on all user
Basically, it is a tightening up of the
existing system of controlling
movements of stock so that records
kept on the data base are far more
accurate and up-to-the-minute.
To achieve this, the system has had
to be made more sensitive to the
daily transactions of stock, both that
manufactured in the Plant and that
bought out, by revising the present
stock records and stock checks,
introducing some new documents
and disciplines into the user areas
and making certain physical changes
on the shop floor.
Cyr// Bevan of Perpetual Inventory cfiecks
stock with Eli Ganster. By weighing these
resistors he can tell exactly the number in
store and see if it tallies with the records.
Our Stock doesn’t stay still. Bought
out supplies come into the Plant, are
taken to Goods Inwards, removed to
Stores and from there to production
lines. If the stock is manufactured in
the Plant, it moves from Press and
Machine Shop to, say. Finishing
Departments and then maybe back
to the Machine Shop before going to
Each move must be noted, the
quantity checked all along the line,
and the necessary paperwork raised
and forwarded to the correct
department so that there is a daily
input to the system of goods
received slips, stores issues, scrap
notes, and stores delivery notes.
To ensure a tighter check, various
control points, including inlet/exit
checkers, are being introduced in the
primary shops and on the assembly
floor (which is potentially the most
difficult area of all on which to keep
a check).
A Goods Inwards Action Plan earlier
identified 65 disciplinary points
which had to be dealt w i t h in order
to achieve better stock update
control; at the time of publication all
but a f ew had been completed. This
plan covers various security aspects.
For example, a check is now kept on
any vehicle bringing in goods (piece
parts, petrol, stationery — no matter
what) so that a record exists on
paper of its arrival at the gate house,
the delivery of its load, and even the
departure of the vehicle.
Entry to Production Stores and Goods
Inwards is also being restricted to
people wearing special badges
authorising them to go in these areas.
It is planned to have a counter
operating in Goods Inwards, similar
to that in Stores, affording an
improved service to people who are
chasing crash items and other
shortages required to maintain
production. This department is being
manned almost 24 hours a day.
Production Stores in Building 41
have acquired space from the Supply
Centre following the removal of 3600
Stores to Venray, and special barriers
have been erected between the t wo
areas to improve security, in addition
to the restricted entry regulations.
In order to check movements of very
important or expensive items of stock
held on inventory at any time,
counting on a cycle basis has been
Earlier this year. Mechanised Stock
Records section moved from
Building 32 to a more appropriate
location w i t h in Production Stores,
and during July the layout of the
Joy Marshall and Jenny Jones (standing)
of Mechanised Stock Records work on the
accounting machines which were specially
purchased to meet the requirements of
SOLAR. These record each transaction on
a card and daily ‘journal’ and simultaneously
produce an input paper tape for computer
section was changed to give a better
throughput of documentation.
The section has six accounting
machines producing punched tape
which record transactions and
produce punched tape for computer
processing to update the Stock File.
These are going full blast; a seventh
was due as we went to press and an
eighth will be in operation during
There are many aspects of this Stock
Update procedure which are entirely
new and they present a challenge to
all concerned. But, as one manager
reported, there is a keenness to
understand and effect the changes as
efficiently as possible.
People are appreciating that the aim
is to benefit everyone throughout the
Plant by cutting out wasted effort,
preventing ‘line stoppers’ and
generally keeping the inventory, and
the production situation, firmly under
F r o m t h e l e f t:
Dick Delahay has been appointed
Design Manager, New Products,
responsible to Ray Pyart, Engineering
Programme Manager (New
Colin Bird has been appointed
Manager, Planning, responsible to
Nigel Percival, Manager, Planning
& Control, Engineering.
Ted Sage has joined us as Manager,
Assembly Shop No. 1, reporting
directly to Frank Whinyates,
Production Manager. He was
previously employed at Rank Xerox,
Welwyn Garden City, as Supervisor,
Electronics Production, until
March 1973 when he joined
Metrosound Audio Products Ltd
of Waltham Abbey, Essex, where he
was employed as Production
Manager responsible for electronic
Dick Delahay,
Colin Bird,
Ted Sage,
Derek Day.
production and company purchasing.
Derek Day has joined Manufacturing
Group as Manager Computer
Technology, reporting to Ron
Swenson,Manager, Group Information
Systems. Mr Day joins us from Ford
Motor Company where he has most
recently held the position of
Co-ordinator for Plant Hardware and
Software Planning.
John Roberts, Senior Manufacturing
Engineer, has been seconded to
Xerox Corporation, based at
Webster, for a period of t w o years.
His job title will be Senior Resident
Manager, Manufacturing Group. He
is succeeded at Mitcheldean by
David Griffiths.
Three assistant managers have recently
been appointed— Dave Nash of Small
Batch, Terry Duberley of the Model Shop,
and Mike Cooper of the Tool Room.
Starline Party
It went on from 8.30 pm to 1 am.
There was a wine drinking contest,
with Hubert Burton (Goods Inwards
Inspection) proving he was the
champion imbiber in the Plant (timing :
4 mins. 47 sees, for a full bottle), and
Wendy, wife of Robert Lambert
(4000 mini line) keeping going for
70 seconds — both thereby beating
the existing Gloucester record, we’re
There was a semi-streaker who was
hastily handed her prize of two
bottles of wine before she had a
chance to prove herself fully.
And there were slide and f i lm shows
on holidays abroad, w i t h dancing to
an excellent band called Variation.
Starline Holidays & Travel of
Gloucester organised the evening in
conjunction with club chairman Tony
Haynes. It was the first time they
had held such a party in a factory,
and the attendance figures (around
350) and the obvious success of
their promotional venture took them
by surprise.
The idea was to promote the idea of
booking groups of people from the
same workplace. Said manager
Ian Ross : ‘If t w o or more parties of
sufficient numbers can be got
together, we will come along and
bring the holidays and our service to
the people concerned.’
Gold Cup Snatched
The Interdepartmental Competition,
for which the trophy is a cup donated
by Mr Morfee, was played over 36
holes at Filton, Bristol, on June 3.
The best t w o cards were taken from
each team of three.
In all there were eight teams, w i th
PED providing the strongest
contingent. And at one time, the
PED ‘A’ team were pretty certain of
success when, the course par being
72, Dave Robinson got t w o net
Then Roger Thomas (bandit!) came
in w i t h his card of net 62, making
sure of first place for the
Manufacturing team at the eleventh
Electric motors made in the Soviet
Union are to be used in Rank Xerox
copiers and copier-duplicators, in
addition to the units already obtained
from other suppliers.
A £1 million contract has been
signed w i t h Energomachexport for
the supply of five different types of
motor to Rank Xerox plants in the
UK and Holland over a period of
three years.
The purchase of machine parts from
Comecon countries has been under
negotiation for some time, as part
of the expansion of supply facilities
to meet increased demand from
existing Rank Xerox plants, and to
support new plants now being
established in Europe.
Two special events for the autumn
programme feature the showing of
sound strips : September 3— ‘The
Stranger’; November 5 — ‘The Book
that Came Alive’. These will take
place as usual in lecture room no. 2,
Building 6, at 1.10 pm.
m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e mee
p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p i a ci
m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n e p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e meel
b l a c e m e e t i n g p l a ce
I n e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i ng
» l a c e m e e t i n g p l a ce
N e v i l l e L i t t l e is a ‘chippy’ off the old
block, you might say — for his
father, the late Herbie Little, was one
of our carpenters for 17 years.
Neville joined the Plant in 1955,
working first in the projector Case
Shop and then in the Carpentry
Shop, and there’s many a cupboard,
or door, or bench that Neville has
had a hand in fashioning.
‘But I’m no DIY fanatic,’ he insists.
Away from work, he finds a
completely different interest in local
government work. He’s been
involved in it now for 16 years, and
was recently elected chairman of
Mitcheldean Parish Council for the
second time, his knowledge of
parochial matters being widely
He’s also a governor of Abenhall
Secondary Modern School — the
first pupil ever to go back as such.
Very much a part of Mitcheldean
village life, Neville lives close to the
Plant w i t h his wife and 15-monthold
son Jonathan. His interest lies
not only in the present and future of
the village, but also in its past.
‘When I was a lad, the postmaster
used to talk to me about local
history and I used to spend all my
pocket money on books on the
subject,’ he told us.
In fact, Neville contributed an
article on ‘The Defenders’ of
Mitcheldean — the pikemen,
pioneers and musketeers — which
was published in VISION in 1963.
If you went to the Spring Showtime
put on by the Variety Club, you’ll
remember that the first solo item
was a performance on the cornet by
D a v i d J o n e s , making his debut at
the Plant.
A member of Drybrook Silver Band,
18-year-old David started playing
the cornet seven years ago; he has
also played the trumpet with the
North Gloucestershire Schools
He came to us straight from
Abenhall School about t w o years
ago, and now works in Materials
Handling as a records clerk. Both
his parents work at the Plant —
Yvonne in Electrical Sub-assembly
and Maurice in the Model Shop.
David is one of four people in his
department who recently took the
Materials Handling & Plant Layout
section of the Institute of Materials
Handling graduate certificate
examination. When we spoke to him
he still hadn’t heard the results, but
he did tell us about another bit of
studying he’d done in the spring.
Last April he went on a course at
Tonbridge, Kent, organised by the
National Youth Band, and David
reckons ‘it’s certainly done something
for my cornet playing.’
The course finished up w i t h a public
concert which was recorded, so
you may have heard David playing —
w i t h 99 other instrumentalists — on
the radio recently I
A blue-eyed blonde from Yorkshire,
T i l l y W a l l works on cable assemblies
by day, but at night she is sometimes
an ex-jailbird, a crook, or even a
Like several others at the Plant, she
belongs to the Goodrich Arts Society
and is never happier than when in a
Acting takes a lot out of Tilly — she
lost half a stone when playing the
wife in Strindberg’s ‘Dance of Death’.
Strong parts are her favourites.
‘I was an absolute bitch in “The
Browning Version” ‘ she confessed.
She even seduced her own husband
in one play I
John Wall worked here too in 1971
(the year the society won the David
Garrick Cup in the Hereford Drama
League) and he shared her acting
He died tragically in an accident last
year, and now she lives in Goodrich
w i t h her 19-year-old son John and
16-year-old daughter Linda.
Tilly is keen to see a dramatic society
started at the Plant and is hoping
for a big response to the recent
During her working week she watches
other people ‘playing their part’ at
Mitcheldean — she is the only woman
member of the Manual Workers
Grading Committee, a role she takes
very seriously.
i a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a ce m e e
T o p : The winning lady sidttlers – 660
Assembly captained by Marion Brain.
Highest scorer with 43 was Janet Jones
{back row, far left).
A b o v e : Runners-up, 4000 Virgins, led
by June Pritchard.
T o p : Jones’ Boys, with Fred Jones
holding the winners’ cup for the men’s
P h o t o g r a p h s b y:
J . I n g r a m a n d P. J o r d an
More presentations: above ( l e f t ) flowers
for Mrs Ron Morfee from club chairman’s
wife Cynthia Haynes; ( r i g h t ) Jack Woods
presents the award for top score (54) in
the men’s skittles to Harry Pincott (Supply
Centre); Harry’s own team were knocked
out in the semi-finals. B e l o w : Roy
Steward hands Geoff Norris, Press Gang
captain, his award; Geoff also achieved
the highest score in the men’s darts
competition. Far right is John Hart who
organised the contest.
A b o v e : Accounts, captained by Dave
Monis, who were runners-up.
T o p : Darts winners. Spares XI, led by
Terry Tate.
A b o v e : Close runners-up were Press
Gang (night shift), captained by Geoff
The Interdepartmental Skittles/Darts
Tournament — a marathon effort in
which well over 1,000 people at the
Plant took part — reached its
climax at the end of June.
First of the finals was the Ladies’
Skittles on June 19. Never before
had the ladies had their own
tournament and this one attracted 11
teams. 660 Assembly won by 35,
beating 4000 Virgins. ‘I didn’t think
there were four, let alone 4,000 !’
cracked General Manager Ron
Morfee as he presented the ladies
with their silver-plated rose bowls.
Excitement rose to fever pitch when,
on June 22, Jones’ Boys (4000
Mini Line) met Accounts, after many
months’ battling between 75 teams
from all over.
Jack Woods, Administration Manager,
was there to congratulate the winners
who scored 289 to Accounts’ 275,
to pay tribute to his own side for
losing well, and to pass over some
fine silver tankards to the skittlers.
There was again a good turn-out on
June 26 to see a very close game
between Spares XI (Spares
Packaging) and Press Gang from
RX Cinderford, w h o topped the 14
darts teams entered.
As they drew six games each, there
was a play-off between the t w o best
men in each team, resulting in a win
for Spares 7 : 6. This time it was club
secretary Roy Steward who
presented the awards — gold-plated
statuettes — to the deserving teams.
Events on this scale involve a great
deal of work, and the efforts of
Sadie Pritchard, w h o master-minded
the skittles side, and John Hart, who
coped with the darts, were sincerely
appreciated. So too was the
contribution made by Cyril and
Nancy Beard who helped w i t h the
paperwork and the thirst-quenching.
Sadie, w h o had spent several
evenings a week for months
attending the eliminating matches,
said : ‘It’s been a particularly friendly
tournament, we’ve loved every
minute of it. Now we’re looking
forward to the next one.’
T h e R a n k X e r o x P l a n t i n V e n r a y ( L i m b u r g P r o v i n c e ) s t a r t e d l i f e w i t h s e v e r al
a d v a n t a g e s . T h e s i t e i s f l a t ( n o m a s s i v e e a r t h – m o v i n g w a s i n v o l v e d ) , s u r r o u n d ed
b y f o r e s t y e t w i t h i n c o m p a r a t i v e l y e a s y r e a c h o f l a r g e i n d u s t r i a l a n d c o m m e r c i a l
c e n t r e s s u c h a s A m s t e r d a m , R o t t e r d a m , t h e R u h r , B r u s s e l s , P a r i s a n d M i l a n .
I t w a s s e t u p a s a c o n s u m a b l e s p l a n t a n d w a r e h o u s e i n 1 9 6 5 ; m a c h i n e a s s e m b ly
b e g a n i n 1 9 6 7 , t h e n i n 1 9 7 1 t h e P l a n t w a s e x t e n d e d a n d a n e w S u p p l y C e n t re
a d d e d , a b l e t o t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h t h e m a i n W e s t E u r o p e an
m o t o r w a y n e t w o r k . D e v e l o p m e n t h a s b e e n r a p i d , a n d t o d a y t h e r e a r e s o me
3 , 2 5 0 e m p l o y e e s . T h o u g h t h e P l a n t i s w e l l k n o w n t o s o m e o f u s , o t h e r s h a ve
n e v e r b e e n t o V e n r a y o r e v e n t h e N e t h e r l a n d s . T o f i n d o u t a b i t m o r e a b o u t i t,
a n d t h e m u c h m o r e r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t a t L i l l e , V I S I O N s p e n t a f e w d a y s l o o k i ng
a r o u n d , t a l k i n g t o M i t c h e l d e a n p e o p l e o n a s s i g n m e n t s t h e r e.
June 17
I discover how trouble-free
travelling is when you go Rank
Xerox style. Driver John Bowkett
chauffeurs me smoothly to Elmdon
Airport, Birmingham. Roy
Whittington of our Service Station
comes too, talks about the weekend
storms, says it was the first time he’d
ever seen cars unable to drive up
Plump Hill because of the water
gushing down.
I think of the Netherlands, all that
land carved up by canals, the
continual fight w i t h the sea which
has given the Dutch such engineering
It looks very watery as w e fly over
the polders — stretches of farmland,
reclaimed from the Zuider Zee. We
touch down at Schiphol (the only
airport below sea level) after one
hour’s flight. Very warm, my fears
of flooding recede.
Jos van Wersch, editor of Venray’s
magazine Xerokrant, drives me to
Venray via Eindhoven, a bustling
town virtually built up around the
electrical firm of Philips. We visit
the Rank Xerox showroom and say
hallo to a selection of RX machines,
then drink filtered tea at carpetcovered
tables in a cafe nearby.
We leave Philipsville and make for
Ranksville, wilting in the heat
despite the open sun roof of Jos’s
Peugeot. 1 notice how straight life
is — the roads, the lines of trees
shaped like tulips. I note the
sidewalk reserved for pedestrians,
bicycles and motorbikes. I see people
on bikes exercising their leashed
dogs. Everything looks tidy — and
so flat.
Am installed at De Zvaan (The
Swan) in Venray’s marketplace.
Hardly a Dutch person in the place.
A Swede, a Swiss, a Spaniard (he
turns out to be a QC man from the
Madrid Plant), a Frenchman, a
German girl (secretary to
Mr Sonneborn, Aachen Plant General
Manager) and several from the UK,
including Ernie Phillips of Production
Control, over here to do a ‘support
Uune 18
Lille is my destination today. I go by
taxi. Oh, those taxis I All black
Mercedes and incredibly punctual,
whisking people off to numerous
destinations (no company cars at the
Plant, I was t o l d ) . My driver, tall
and practically English-less, arrives.
Bob Baker, our galloping diplomat, talks
with Josef Peeters, Manager, New Products
Co-ordination Dept.
It’s a 2 i hour drive to Lille —
straight motorway all the way,
bordered by small fields (no hedges,
just wire fencing and those tidy
trees), the odd house or factory,
forests of conifers, never a suspicion
of a hill. The radio belts out pop all
the way, replacing the conversation
we couldn’t have anyway.
Into Belgium, then over the border
into France and suddenly there it
Ernie Phillips of Production Control with
Gerry van de Vinne, Manager of PCD’s
counterpart at Venray. Their materials
control system is in the process of being
is — the Lille Plant on our left, on a
windswept plain at Neuville-en-
Ferrain. We drive round to the
gatehouse, fail to communicate with
the French gate police but obviously
have honest faces. I meet Isabelle
Roussel, assistant to the PRO of
SIRX (Societe Industrielle Rank
Xerox). She takes me to Lille for
lunch (a major industrial centre). We
drink to the fact that today Xerox
stock has become available on
La Bourse (Paris Stock Exchange).
At the SIRX temporary offices I meet
Lille Plant General Manager
Pierre Couque. I learn that
production is due to commence in
the next f ew months and final plans
are now being formed.
Recruitment is helped by the fact
that facilities and benefits are
superior to those generally available.
Am intrigued by the number of
public holidays, some unknown to
us. On September 2 there is the
Braderie, a feast day peculiar to
Lille area when everyone sells their
second-hand goods!
We take a look at the super modern
building of the RX Lille branch
(Isabelle’s husband is branch
manager), then do a tour of the
new Plant.
The production building is enormous
(24,000 sq. metres). In most of the
buildings all is bare and workmen’s
voices echo hollowly.
The evening sun catches the glass
pyramids over the assembly hall-to-be,
they blaze a golden Rank Xerox
message as vivid as any neon sign.
‘This will be a beautiful garden,’ says
The Lille Plant — showing the office block
and the vast production building.
Some of the PED team, seconded to Venray
for the 3100 (Decoy) transfer — Geoff
fiowell (manager), Dennis Barnard, Don
IVteel<, Roger Pearce and Clive Brain —
outside the main office bloclt. fi/lil George Swainson and Ian Forster returned
first; by September all will be back except
Clive Brain.
Isabella, pointing to a square patio,
blooming with builders’ rubble.
‘That’s the lecture room/cinema. It
will be egg-shaped I Here is the
dining-room for visiting VIPs, there
the medical and training centres.’ I
stumble over scaffolding to peer
through holes in the wall and try to
picture the finished decor.
The ground floor of the main office
building will house a showroom,
w i t h offices on the t w o floors above.
We walk through the cement dust,
up stairs without benefit of bannisters.
A f ew men are working here, among
them Pierre Coppernolle, Manager,
Manufacturing Engineering. ‘The third
floor is for air conditioning plant —
you want to go and see ?’ ‘No
thanks, I’ll take your word for it.’
Goodbye to Lille, hallo to another
2 i hours’ pop.
Uune 19
Around 8.1 Sam most of the Swan’s
guests leave for Venray by taxi. I
f o l l ow and meet the Communications
Department team, headed by Cor
Borsje. I see how the fortnightly
house magazine Xerokrant is
produced — each issue contains a
critical article, not always popular
in certain areas. Artist Cor
Verbraak, who also organises the art
exhibitions, designs the magazine;
it is printed by the local newspaper
and posted to people’s homes.
I get the first of many cups of coffee;
the beverage is dispensed free all
day long — a Continental custom.
Nolly Prinsen, Information Officer,
who heads the team of plant
hostesses (part-time), takes me
round. The plant is not as big as
Mitcheldean (it covers some 200,000
sq. metres) and the buildings are
mostly single or two-storey. Because
of the flat site, one is less aware of
the extent of the place. Overall
colour is grey, not red brick.
Strictly regimented trees, plants in
neat groups, everything tidily
arranged. I note the numerous
bicycles in their shelters, reflect
what hard work it would be cycling
to work over Forest hills. Cars are
mainly Volkswagens, Fords — very
few DAFs.
The aluminium drums which form the
heart of our machines are coated with
selenium in a dust-free air-conditioned
We Start w i t h Building A (all
buildings are lettered, not numbered),
the first to be erected in 1965. The
tallest office building is called the
Nolly stops at the reception desk,
speaks to the receptionist in Dutch,
takes a ‘phone call in French, then
carries on her commentary to me in
English. Three languages in five
minutes. I feel a lesser European.
We take a quick look at one of the
cheerful canteens (the canteen
workers are employees). There was a
restaurant for guests in the Social
Centre before this was taken over
for offices. Current building work
includes new canteen facilities plus
a VIP restaurant and new showroom.
We visit the T (for Technical)
Block and meet Geoff Howell,
leader of the Decoy task force, and
Dennis Barnard.
Remarkable variety of races
represented at Venray (25, I was
told) — people from Mozambique,
Pakistan, Malaya, Borneo, Portugal,
Ceylon, Indonesia, the USA — and
so many speak very good English.
The PED first floor offices have
inside windows overlooking the
3100 assembly floor. Dutch people
love indoor plants but I’m surprised
to see them on the shop floor — I
catch sight of an ivy climbing up an
There are three main assembly lines
for the 3 1 0 0 ; 7000, 3600 and 660
machines are also made at Venray.
Continued on next page
Julian Hazel I doing a work-out in the
Trimming Centre. Part of the 3100
programme management team at Venray,
Julian is a voluntary keep-fitter, but the
centre is dedicated to keeping RXV
personnel who are over 45 and in the
‘stress group’ free from coronaries and other
results of job pressure. The Plant has a full
time doctor who supervises the medical
side and ‘treatment’ in the centre is carried
out during working time, under a qualified
A f i e l d engineer gets d o w n t o grass r o o ts
w i t h a m a n u f a c t u r i n g programme
c o – o r d i n a t o r ; a p r o d u c t i o n c o n t r o l chap
d r i n k s Pils (a light lager) w i t h a
c o m p u t e r operations m a n a g e r ; a plastics
specialist talks to a p r o d u c t i o n engineer.
People of all n a t i o n a l i t i e s representing
all k i n d s of Rank Xerox a c t i v i t i e s get to
k n o w each other in t h i s f a m i l y hotel
( o n e of several hotels used by t he
C o m p a n y ) . M i n e host is a lanky
D u t c h m a n k n o w n as George w h o sees
t o e v e r y t h i n g , i n c l u d i n g supervising
t h e k i t c h e n (he w a s once a Cunard
c h e f ) . He’s been t o M i t c h e l d e a n and
Rochester, he seems t o k n o w everyone.
C e r t a i n l y he p r o v i d e s a u n i q u e service
t o Rank Xerox — a k i n d of informal
o f f i c e e x t e n s i o n . But t h e marketplace
is t o o noisy at n i g h t for some, and
George is p l a n n i n g a n e w hotel just
o u t s i d e Venray w i t h 4 8 bedrooms,
c o n f e r e n c e f a c i l i t i e s , saunas — the lot
— where he can l o o k after RX people
in more u p – t o – d a t e s u r r o u n d i n g s.
Here’s h o p i n g he c a n t a k e t h e ‘ f a m i l y’
atmosphere w i t h him.
Continued from page 11
Offices below house Production
Control Department where we meet
up w i t h Ernie Phillips once more.
The people here are kindly and
co-operative, he says.
Am fascinated by drum coating
operation in consumables department.
Coated in white nylon first, I see the
drums machined by automated
diamond turning to get that polished
surface, the chemical cleaning,
drying ovens, inspection, etc. In
dust-free, air-conditioned coating
room I see rollers cleaned w i t h hot
air then loaded w i t h drums; little
‘boats’ beneath filled w i t h selenium
(like ball bearings). Great white
vacuum chambers swallow them up,
low pressure causes selenium to
coat surface of drums which revolve
during process. Mr Hendrickx
in charge; he tells me he used to work
in coal i n d u s t r y — Limburg Province
has large coal mines.
Visit Supply Centre and chat to
Alan Phelps (now back at
Mitcheldean) who has been helping
develop a spares inventory control
department. Richard van Wijk,
Manager, Supply Centre, says there
has been a big recruitment
programme on the inventory transfer
programme—workforce now numbers
Supply Centre is currently 16,000
sq. metres and it is hoped to be
able to increase this in 1976 by
10,000 sq. metres and again by a
similar amount in 1978. ‘We now
supply not just EEC but also
Operating Companies all over the
non-American part of the globe.’
The Howells and the Barnards come
to the Swan this evening. Dennis tells
of Mitcheldean residents’ debt to
the RAF at Laarbruch station in
Germany where some have
participated in ten pin bowling, golf.
Editor of Venray magazine, Jos van VJerscti
(seated riglit), during fiis visit to
IVIitctieldean witfi supervisor Des Gibbs,
operators Freda Jones and IVIarilyn Moore,
and training supervisor Don Hoider. all of
4000 Dept. R i g h t : RX Venray is one of tfie
few companies in the country to operate a
creche for employees’ children.
squash and swimming. Darts was
introduced into a local hostelry and
Laarbruch people have provided strong
opposition playing at a similar ‘pub’
close to the camp. Jennifer and
Julian Hazell have become members
of a tennis club, but many social
clubs have long waiting lists.
We talk about TV programmes; lots
of old English films on Dutch
screen. Best story of the evening :
full frontal nudes are commonplace
on TV, and arouse no comment. But
when someone impersonated
Queen Juliana (back view, fully
dressed, of course) preparing
brussels sprouts, there was a howl
of protest from the masses.
Uune 20
Jos takes me to visit the creche, run
by the Company for 30 or so
children whose mothers work at the
Plant (cost is around 50p a
day per child). It is located at a
Convent in Venray (it’s a
predominantly Catholic area). A
specially-built single storey building
copes w i t h tinies from one to two
years old — beds for daytime naps,
and garden play area. The older ones
are in a big, bright room in the main
building. Fours and fives attend
nursery school. Children start school
proper at six years.
Later collect Julian Hazell’s wife
Jennifer and daughter from Horst.
Like other school age children, their
son goes to the Philips International
School at Eindhoven. The family live
Alan Phelps with his opposite number at
Venray, Operations Manager Tom van
Lanen, and (centre) Richard van Wijk,
Supply Centre Manager.
in Harry Hobus’s house while he is
in the USA and have made friends
w i t h Dutch and Irish people. We
meet some other residents’ wives at
Brukske for coffee party. Brenda,
Geoff Howell’s wife, is our hostess.
She shows me how Dutch builders
make use of every available space in
a small terraced house — fourth attic
bedroom, downstairs toilet, lots of
cupboards, open plan lounge/kitchen.
We discuss food : Dutch breakfasts —
cold meats, no cereals. Bacon is cut
paper-thin, butter terribly dear,
absence of English sausage keenly
felt. But, excellent breads and
vegetables, meat expensive but filleted
so no waste. Children’s shoes £10
a pair! Shopping easy in
supermarkets. Dutch housewives are
apparently very house-proud —
bedding hung out on lines, furniture
moved into gardens, windows cleaned
energetically. No class discrimination
as we know it, people are
pigeon-holed by their income groups.
«June 21
My last day. I manage a quick visit
to the new Data Centre, due to open
officially on June 27 w i t h visit from
General Manager Paul Kbsters. My
guide operates the badge lock system
and I see the Punch Room (16
stations) with piped pop music,
Input/Output Control, Data Assembly.
I peer through armoured glass in the
viewing room at the hardware, then
take a privileged walk round the
printers, tape units, etc. Same
version as Mitcheldean’s, but all
blue and white.
Coffee again, this time w i t h Anne,
Alan Phelps’ wife, also at Brukske.
She introduces me to her Dutch and
American friends. One has been
teaching Anne and Brenda yoga.
Anne says there are so many strange
customs, regulations, etc, which they
have had to learn the hard way but
she’s enjoyed her stay tremendously.
It’s gone too quickly,’ she says.
She shows me a painting by Eric
Rice of the view from Pleasant Stile,
Littledean, which has brought a bit
of Forest into their living-room. A
talented artist, Anne was planning a
visit to the famous Rijksmuseum (art
gallery) in Amsterdam on the way
home to England.
Our residents have been provided
w i t h Ford (German) cars and have
enjoyed the chance to travel in
Western Europe without having to
cross the Channel.
After lunch I f i nd myself sharing a
taxi w i t h Eddie Carpenter, one of
our Programme Co-ordinators, who
commutes regularly between
Mitcheldean and Venray. He says
mail is exasperatingly slow between
the t w o places, so he and other
commuters often act as postmen.
He always takes a supply of English
newspapers back to Venray with him I
We part company at DiJsseldorf for
our different flights. In no time I’m
at Birmingham Airport, and it’s down
to earth almost with a bang. Just
passed through Customs when the
alarm goes — it’s a bomb scare. I
know I’m back in England all right.
Miraculously I meet my driver and
I return home with a keener
appreciation of the rolling
countryside in this beautiful part of
\Nith residents’ wives (from left) Margaret
Barnard, hostess Brenda Howell (handing
round Limburg apricot flan), Jennifer Hazell
and Lucy, Janet Pearce with Claire and
Jason, and Linda Brain with Richard.
There were many other things of
interest at Venray — like the wellstocked
library where one can sit and
study ‘on the spot’; the big presses
(200-ton machines made in the U K );
the completely automatic plating
and paint plants, in separate
compartments to reduce fire hazard
but linked by overhead conveyor;
the suggestions scheme under which
some 200 ideas were rewarded in
1973. But space is limited.
Art e x h i b i t i o n s , open t o t h e p u b l i c , are
o r g a n i s e d six t i m e s a year, i n t r o d u c i ng
c u l t u r a l c r e a t i v i t y i n t o a w o r k i ng
e n v i r o n m e n t . The w o r k e x h i b i t e d is
l o a n e d by galleries, and can be
purchased. At each e x h i b i t i o n ( w h i ch
u s u a l l y has a p a r t i c u l a r t h e m e ) a quiz
is o r g a n i s e d , t h e prize b e i n g an i t em
purchase d by t h e Company. Another
c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y : an orchestra w h i ch
operates o u t s i d e the Plant.
My sincere thanks go to my Dutch
and English — hosts for their
E n g a g e m e n t s
J a n i c e Fox (secretary to Reg Dixon,
Purchase) t o Billy Gilmour (resident Design
engineer at Rochester, NY) on May 8.
J i l l Marshall (secretary t o David Stokes,
Asst Manager, Group Inventory Control)
t o Bill A c l a n d (PED) on J u n e 10.
W e d d i n g s
J e a n M o r g a n (Stationery Dept) t o Albert
Harper ( S e c u r i t y ) at Ross Register Office
on May 27.
Royston and Denise Meek.
Denise Pearce ( S t o c k C o n t r o l ) t o Michael
J o n e s ( I m p o r t / E x p o r t , S u p p l y Centre) at
M o n m o u t h M e t h o d i s t Chapel o n J u n e 1.
M a u r e e n B a y n h am ( P u n c h Room,
I n f o r m a t i o n Systems) t o C h r i s t o p h e r Reed
(PED) at t h e C h u r c h of Holy Jesus,
L y d b r o o k , on J u n e 8.
Denise J o n e s ( R e c e p t i o n i s t / S w i t c h b o a r d)
t o Royston Meek ( C a r p e n t r y ) at English
B i c k n o r Church on J u n e 15.
M y r a Earl (Purchase) to Terry W i n m a n at
St P e t e r s Church, C l e a r w e l l , o n J u n e 15.
Helen S t a n t o n (secretary in Liaison
E n g i n e e r i n g ) t o M a i d o n W i l c e at Ross
Register O f f i c e on J u n e 22.
S i l v e r W e d d i ng
C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s t o Dennis Beard (Goods
I n w a r d s ) and his w i f e Beryl ( 4 0 0 0 Dept)
on r e a c h i n g their 2 5 t h w e d d i n g anniversary
on J u l y 2.
Maidon and Helen Wilce.
R e t i r e m e n t s
Best w i s h e s t o t h e f o l l o w i n g w h o retired
in J u n e : Beatrice W i l l i a m s ( 4 0 0 0 A s s e m b l y ),
Fred D y m o n d ( D e s i g n C l e r i c a l ) , Hubert
Evans ( M o d e l S h o p ) , and Henry Parr
( P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ).
B i r t h
S i m o n J o h n , a son for Ken Ellway (PED)
and his w i f e J e n n i f e r , on May 1.
G i l l i a n Clare and J e n n i f e r Louise, t w in
g i r l s f o r Gilbert Beard ( M a c h i n e Shop) and
his w i f e Brenda, on J u n e 29.
O b i t u a r y
We regret t o report the f o l l o w i n g d e a t h s:
Iris V i n c e n t on J u n e 24 at t h e age of 5 2;
she came t o us in A u g u s t 1 9 6 6 and w o r k ed
in 4 0 0 0 Assembly.
A r c h i e Roberts, also o n J u n e 24, at t h e age
of 60. A r c h i e w o r k e d in t h e M a c h i n e Shop
and had been w i t h us f o r 6 i years.
Myra and Terry Winman.
Amy Hewlett timed it nicely — she
collected her 25-year award a few
weeks before she retired at the end
of June.
For 15 of those years she has worked
as inspector in Goods Inwards
Inspection, using verniers,
micrometers and different gauges to
check mechanical items such as
shafts, screws and nuts.
Amy’s colleagues were sorry to see
her go — she’s always been a
friendly and helpful p e r s o n a l i t y — but
she looks forward to being able to
spend more time with her daughter
and grandchildren.
She’s looking forward to taking
photographs of them on the Polaroid
camera presented to her, together
with a pendant, by Brian Weyman,
Manager, Bought Out Supplies
Quality Assurance, on behalf of her
colleagues on her last day at work.
A farewell party was held for her the
same evening, June 28, at the
Courtfield Arms Hotel, Lydbrook.
While Amy was being given a good
send-off by friends at the Plant,
Jock Currie was getting an equally
good one a bit further along the road
at the Castle View Hotel, Kerne
For Jock, it was the end of a career
with us which started way back in
1939 at Woodger Road, Shepherds
An apprentice of the Singer Sewing
Machine Company he ’emigrated’
from Scotland and joined us as a
milling machine operator. He became
a setter, was made chargehand, and
then, in 1959, was appointed
foreman of the milling section in the
Machine Shop at Mitcheldean. In the
last t w o years, the bench and
grinding sections had been added
to his responsibilities.
He was a founder member of the
LSA and has been a committee
L e f t : Frank Coy of Quality Assurance presents Amy witti a beautiful bouquet at tier farewell
party. A cheque from the LSA was presented earlier by Fred Court. A b o v e : Seen with all
his Machine Shop colleagues is Jock Currie—the man who went to mow—and the machine
he’ll be working on from now on, dressed overall with ‘L plates and other notices such as
running in-please pass’ and double-sided lawn mowing’. Apart from the electric mower from
his colleagues, there was a cheque from the LSA, handed over by president Bernard Smith.
member since its inception. Talking
about the move from London in
1941, he mentioned that at Woodger
Road they had to sleep in an air raid
shelter under the factory for six
months. ‘I only came to Mitcheldean
to get into bed !’ he said.
His wife Betty was an assembly
worker for five years and their son
was once an apprentice of ours. They
also have t w i n daughters and three
Despite arthritis, Jock keeps chirpy
and his sense of humour is one of
the things which has made him so
popular w i t h his section, who are as
sorry to see him go as he is to leave.
Naturally we assumed that, as a
self-respecting Scot, Jock drank
whisky, but he says he ‘can’t stand
the stuff I’
Sheila Weyman, who has worked for
17 years on the switchboard, left on
June 21 for health reasons. We send
her our best wishes for the future,
and hope her health will soon
Maurice Brain left in July to go into
business on his own account and we
wish him good luck in his enterprise.
We hope to say more about him in
our next issue.
We were sorry to hear of the
death of retired member Ted
Edwards on May 11 at the age
of 62. He worked in the Supply
Centre — as does his identical
t w i n brother Harold, to whom we
extend our sympathy.
Summer Outing
The rain poured down non-stop
throughout the summer outing on
June 26. Somebody thought she
saw sunshine once, but it turned
out she was looking through a bit
of amber glass I
‘I think they ought to fit wipers on
the outside,’ suggested Kate
Matthews helpfully.
Hopes that it might be better up on
the Cotswolds faded, and the two
coach loads of some 80 LSA retired
members and their companions gave
up trying to appreciate the splendid
scenery they’d come to see, and
kept up a cheerful stream of
conversation instead.
There was a welcome stop-off at
Prinknash Abbey where people took
a quick look at the striking new
abbey and hurried into the cafe for
a warming cuppa.
At Cirencester there was an excellent
tea waiting at Stratton House Hotel,
then it was on via Northleach to
Much Marcle for a f ew drinks and
bread and cheese at the Walwyn
Throughout the trip hostesses Doris
Barker, Edna Hanman and Jackie
Smith coped admirably, handing out
fruit, sweets and cigarettes, and
organising the finances, etc. Sister
Collins and first-aider Daisy Bullock
came along too to help.
Thanks are due to the Company
who provided tea and transport, and
to those whose buying of raffle
tickets some weeks ago made
possible the provision of the
‘creature comforts’, plus a little gift
of money to take home.
Unfortunately, owing to trouble with his
camera transporter, Ray Camp’s photos
like the sun, did not come out.
While we were starved of power at
the beginning of this year, energy
was flowing in, and out, of the
Severn Estuary every day.
Schemes for harnessing that energy
to generate electricity have come in
and gone out again like the tide,
either because the power shortage
which triggered them off has
receded before the necessary study
could be completed, or because the
schemes have not been economically
Dr Tom Shaw, Lecturer in Civil
Engineering at Bristol University,
refusing to be discouraged, has been
investigating recently the
possibilities of implementing his own
particular hydro-electric scheme.
Recent events have reinforced his
view that it could be a winner.
Briefly, it involves the installation of
a barrage across the Severn, from a
point below Cardiff to Brean Down,
Weston-super-Mare, where there
would be sufficient difference in
levels of water for generation by
means of turbines.
A constant daytime output, which is
desirable from the Central Electricity
Generating Board’s standpoint,
could be developed from a t w o –
basin scheme. When the tide was
l ow and generation not possible,
water could be pumped between the
higher basin and the smaller lower
basin, thus providing off-peak
The Severn Estuary, showing suggested
location of barrage and link-ups with
existing communications.
energy storage and, in short,
enabling the whole installation to
behave as a normal power station.
The scheme is being considered in
Government circles and a number of
MPs have expressed interest, but it
seems that they require reassurance
that such a scheme would get
sufficient local support.
In an endeavour to get things
moving, the Forest of Dean Trades
Council arranged a conference on
June 14 in the Ballroom when
Dr Shaw was given an opportunity
to explain details of his scheme.
The conference, presided over by
Council chairman Joe Burke, was
attended by representatives of local
planning authorities, staff and
students of colleges of technology,
trade unionists, and local
businessmen, w i t h a strong
contingent from Rank Xerox, headed
by Mr Portman.
Unfortunately Parliamentary
commitments prevented local MPs
from attending ; the absence of a
representative of the CEGB was also
Dr Shaw’s view was that the CEGB
appeared to be dedicated to nuclear
power for future requirements. But,
as he pointed out, there were health
hazards involved in the use of
nuclear reactors, several of which
were already planned for the Severn
Estuary area, and overheads were
‘terrific’ in relation to output.
On the other hand, a barrage scheme.
while being healthier, would bring a
number of additional advantages.
The scheme would allow shipping of
greater tonnage into ports like
Avonmouth and Newport which
were at present tidally dependant.
Communications could be improved,
since the barrage would enable a
link-up by road and rail to
motorways either side of the
Pleasure beaches would be just as
available — in fact, they might
become more acceptable; since the
currents would be curbed, there
would be less sediment suspended in
the water, and thus cleaner water in
which to bathe.
The creation of a 160 square mile
reservoir would give an opportunity
for sailing and other water sports.
Wildfowl and fish would not be
affected, he maintained.
As for effluent, the situation was
admittedly serious already but the
scheme would not make it more so.
Toxic matter would settle instead of
moving up and down the estuary as
it does at present, he said.
By the 1 980s we would have to get
extra energy from somewhere, said
Dr Shaw; now was the time to
ensure the CEGB didn’t neglect a
hydro project in favour of nuclear or
other more familiar methods of
power generation.
Since tidal power schemes exist in
other parts of the world, they can be
costed fairly accurately; Dr Shaw
reckoned the latest scheme could be
implemented at about the same cost
to the CEGB as the building of
nuclear stations to provide equivalent
output of energy.
The Severn area was a rapidly
growing one which had all the skills
and resources that would be needed.
With the meeting thrown open for
discussion, John McCluskey
emphasised that ‘what we have to do
to get this campaign started is to
get the three million people in the
area interested. Unless we do, I
cannot see any MP within the area
putting his name behind this project,
even though it would provide a
“more sane and natural source of
power” than nuclear reactors.’
Council secretary Len Harper
thanked Rank Xerox for providing
facilities and ‘letting us get on with
the j o b ‘ . The Council’s aim had been
to ensure that it was primarily an
industrialists’ conference, and not a
trades union one. He hoped other
bodies would ‘band together as we
have today w i t h a view to putting
the pressure on.’
It was finally agreed that the
conference should be adjourned for
three months to enable those
attending to gauge people’s views;
they could report back on their
findings at a second conference to
be held in the autumn.
Six out of seven members of the
committee of the Wye Valley &
Hereford section of the Institute of
Materials Handling work at
Mitcheldean Plant.
This is a new section within the
Three Counties Division (the others
are Worcester and Gloucester) which
has been formed to cater for the
growing interest in the area; it has a
membership of around 25 and
provides a pool of expertise on
which member firms can draw.
The committee, elected last spring,
is as f o l l o w s : Chairman: Eric Real,
Manager, Packaging Development;
vice-chairman/secretary: Alan Ryder,
H. P. Bulmer, Hereford; treasurer:
Ken Scrivens, Senior Supervisor,
Goods Inwards/Despatch/Raw
Materials; education officer: Mike
Preece, Materials Handling Special
Purpose Toting Analyst; PRO:
Maurice Gibbons, Materials Handling
Engineer; Bernard Bennett, Materials
Handling Engineer; and Dick Harris,
Mechanical Equipment Manager.
• • •
Packaging Development (Supply
Centre) have just won a Silver Star
Certificate. It was awarded by the
Institute of Packaging for an entry
in the Starpacks Competition, held
at the Packex Exhibition at Olympia
in June.
Manager Eric Real t o ld us that
the entry consisted of a packaging
design incorporating a new material —
a heavy duty corrugated board coated
w i t h fibreglass — which had been
developed in conjunction w i t h one
of our suppliers.
Some of tfie committee members of the
newly formed Materials Handling section —
from the left, Alan Ryder, Maurice Gibbons,
chairman Eric Real, Mike Preece and
Dick Harris.
To qualify, the design had to have
proved its effectiveness over a period
of six months. It is currently being
used by us for workshop returnable
F o r S a le
A p p r o x . 3 0 0 s e c o n d – h a n d slates, 8 p each,
g o o d c o n d i t i o n ; also oak lamp standard.
H. M o r m a n , H i g h Street, D r y b r o o k , or
RX Lydney.
1 9 6 3 T r i u m p h TR4, t a x e d , t e s t e d , s l i g h t ly
t a t t y , £ 1 9 5 o.n.o. P. Alker, Industrial
Engineering, ext. 625.
Desmo e x t e n d i n g roof rack, as n e w . S/S
sink top, R/H drainer. R. Morris, ext. 272.
Oil Central H e a t i n g e q u i p m e n t , i n c l u d i ng
7 radiators, 5 0 0 g a l l , oil t a n k , Redfyre
boiler, plus t h e r m o s t a t s / p u m p , etc., 2 years
o l d , £125. J. Cruickshank, ext. 7 3 1 .
T w o black Karobe rally seat covers, £15
n e w excellent c o n d i t i o n , t o fit A 4 0 or
similar, bargain at £9. G. P o w e l l , ext. 697.
T r i u m p h Herald 1 2 0 0 , ideal for spares, g o od
engine and 5 radial tyres, £ 1 8 o.n.o.
D. Tuffley, ext. 8 5 0.
65 Cresta, 5 7 , 0 0 0 miles, g o o d c o n d i t i o n,
n e w tyres a n d c l u t c h , MOT, £ 8 0 o.n.o.
L. C o l w e l l , ext. 4 0 5.
3 0 f t residential N o r m a n d y caravan, green
and cream, e x c e l l e n t c o n d i t i o n outside,
requires modest repairs inside, t o w i n g gear,
tyres as new, ready t o t o w a w a y — bargain
at £ 2 0 0 , no h a g g l i n g , W. O T o o l e,
M o n m o u t h 3 2 3 7 or ext. 6 9 7.
Budgies and canaries all y o u n g birds, £1
each. W. Carpenter, 4 0 0 0 Dept, ext. 4 3 3.
Cast iron bath (primrose) c o m p l e t e w i th
taps. Stainless steel sink t o p , d o u b le
drainer, c o m p l e t e w i t h mixer unit.
D. R. Wedley, ext. 248.
HA Viva t o w b a r , £3. J i m N e w b y , ext. 836.
T w o kittens, £1 each. J a n e Coleman,
ext., 104, or D r y b r o o k 5 4 2 9 0 9 after 5.30 p m .
2 2 f t caravan, £ 5 0 . M. Bendall, ext. 8 6 5.
When sending in items please give your
extension number and/or department to ensure
Gas d o m e s t i c boiler, £ 1 0 o.n.o. Derek
Parker, ext. 4 6 7.
1 9 6 3 M o r r i s M i n o r Tourer, g o o d runner,
M O T J a n . 1 9 7 5 , needs some a t t e n t i o n,
o f f e r s . Rigonda S y m p h o n y stereogram,
separate speakers, e x c e l l e n t c o n d i t i o n , £60
o.n.o. Dave W i l l i a m s , ext. 1 8 0 or D r y b r o ok
5 4 2 2 0 6 .
B e a u t i f u l a u b u r n w i g , real hair, cost 17 gns,
s e l l i n g f o r £ 1 0 . A l s o w i g case £2.
R. M. Davies, ext. 998.
Garrard ATS A u t o s l im 4 – s p e e d autochanger,
m o u n t e d on w o o d e n p l i n t h , f i t t e d w i th
m o n o c a r t r i d g e but s u i t a b l e for stereo,
‘ L i n e a r ‘ a m p l i f i e r ( m o n o ) , loudspeakers in
c a b i n e t , £ 8 (or w i l l s p l i t ) . C h i l d r e n ‘s
nursery s w i n g – c u m – b a b y bouncer,
v a r n i s h e d w o o d e n seat w i t h g u a r d rails,
v e r y g o o d c o n d i t i o n , £6. H i l l m a n M i nx
g e a r b o x — t o clear, £3. K. D. W i l l i a m s,
ext. 9 7 0.
M i n i large bore silencer, £ 3 . A n g l i a b i t s ‘ n’
pieces. Karobe headrest, £2. J o h n Ryland,
ext. 1 6 5 or Lea 212.
W i l s o n g u i t a r w i t h t w i n p i c k – u p and maple
f r e t b o a r d . G o o d c o n d i t i o n , £ 4 5 . Ext. 2 4 6.
D e t a c h e d 2 b e d r o om b u n g a l o w and garage,
f u l l central h e a t i n g . W h i t e c r o f t 643.
Cassette t a p e recorder, £7. L e a t h e r – c o v e r ed
s t e e r i n g w h e e l , £3. Parkinson C o w a n gas
cooker, £ 3 0 . M. D o w n e y , ext. 2 1 4 or
L y d b r o o k 2 0 7 after 6 pm.
Vauxhall V i c t o r 1965, 5 n e w tyres, n ew
battery, brake shoes, exhaust system and
gearbox. Taxed, 12 m o n t h s ‘ MOT, £ 8 0 o.n.o.
Beige t i l e d f i re s u r r o u n d , £2. C o l e f o r d 2631
after 5 pm.
1 9 6 7 A u s t i n 1100, o n e o w n e r , g o od
c o n d i t i o n , t e s t e d ‘ t i l l J a n u a r y , £ 2 5 0.
E. G. Reed, 19 Buckshaft Road, C i n d e r f o r d,
or ext. 4 4 3.
K i t c h e n e t t e suite, t w o armchairs a n d s e t t e e;
also f o u r small chairs and t a b l e t o m a t c h.
Offers, H i l d a B a l d w i n , M e d i c a l Centre,
ext. 617.
Tape recorder, M a r c o n i p h o n e 4 t r a c k w i th
6 tapes, £ 1 0 o.n.o. R. Kempster, ADF,
Lydney. Tel. 0 6 – 1 2 .
F o r H i re
M a r q u e e for fetes and g a r d e n parties, 30ft
l o n g X 1 5 f t w i d e , e r e c t e d and t a k e n d o w n.
Terms f r om D. Raine, PED, ext. 8 7 8.
Large 4 / 5 berth f r a m e t e n t , 2 bedrooms,
separate k i t c h e n and l o u n g e . Plus s l e e p i ng
bags, air beds, c o o k e r and many other
useful c a m p i n g aids. £ 1 0 per week.
G l o u c e s t e r 5 2 2 6 2 ( e v g s ) . Will deliver.
W a n t e d
By Forest of Dean Caving C l u b — any o ld
p h o t o g r a p h s , d r a w i n g s , plans, etc,
a s s o c i a t e d w i t h o l d i r o n or coal mine
w o r k i n g s in t h e Forest. J i m Hay, ext. 8 5 7.
Flatley or similar d r y i n g cabinet. Jean
Roberts, ext. 507.
D i s c o
Pete’s Beat Disco for your p a r t y / d a n c e / c l u b.
Features u n i q u e l i g h t s h o w . Pete Blake,
ext. 8 3 6 or C o l e f o r d 2 6 1 7 , or Ray Dance,
ext. 865.
W a n t a L i f t ?
F o u r t h person r e q u i r e d t o share lifts f r om
M o n m o u t h . Staff hours. R. C r o n i n , ext. 5 5 1 .
16 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.