Return to 1970-1974

Vision 105

December 74 No. l OS
Those snowy stunners known as
samoyeds always put us in mind of
a white Christmas — and who better
to pose with them for our December
issue than Jennifer Thomson of
Personnel Department, the daughter
of Father Christmas — By
For the eighth year in succession,
Jennifer’s father has been
commanded to appear at
Buckingham Palace, complete with
white beard, bringing party presents
for the children of the Royal Family
and Household.
He arrives in a gift-filled coach,
drawn by a couple of greys, and
with a samoyed sitting either side
of the coachman.
These beautiful sledge dogs
come from north-west Siberia,
but despite their Arctic origin they
have warm and friendly natures,
Jennifer assured us.
She and her father breed samoyeds
at their jointly-owned Kaluga
Kennels, and their dogs have been
in great demand in the past for
pulling a sleigh round children’s
homes and hospital wards at
Christmas, opening fetes, etc. ‘I
started taking part when I was a
toddler,” she said. ‘We raised £2,500
during the last five years we did
charity work.’
Jennifer was delighted to be able
to accompany her father to the
Palace the first time he carried out a
command performance as Father
Dean Forest Studios
Jennifer poses with her whiter-than-white samoyeds. She washed them in baby soap
specially for this photograph.
Christmas. ‘I was shown round the
Royal Mews afterwards,’ said
Jennifer, who is as mad about
horses as she is about samoyeds.
For relaxation she likes nothing
better than to gallop off on her
half-breed Arab horse ‘Whiskers’
which she keeps at Flaxley. She did
consider travelling to work by
horse-power, but had an idea that
car owners at the Plant might object
to having four-legged transport
stabled next to their four-wheelers.
What of the non-quadruped side of
Jennifer’s life ?
She was a policewoman in
Birmingham for nearly two years
before switching to a secretarial
career in the Personnel field; she
joined us two years ago and works
as secretary to Personnel Officer
Pat Cassidy.
Though only 24, she’s moved
around quite a bit — and at quite a
speed. She’s parachuted out of the
skies half a dozen times (‘I’ve never
done a free fall, though,’); she’s
raced round the circuit at Brand’s
Hatch; and now she’s thinking of
giving kiting a whirl!
Not essential secretarial skills,
perhaps, but the picture that emerges
is of a decisive person who can
face up to a new challenge without
losing her cool.
One of Jennifer’s most recent
challenges was the organising of the
Personnel Christmas party for
around 100 — a mediaeval banquet
at Tewkesbury on December 10.
Said Pat Cassidy: ‘Her calm attitude
in the face of this particular challenge
was remarkable!’
New Year party details to add to the list of a dozen departmental do’s in our November
J a n .
9900 and associated
10 Machine Shop,
11 Electrical
11 660 Assembly
Paddocks Hotel,
Symonds Vat
Park Hall Ballroom,
RX Ballroom,
Paddocks Hotel,
Symonds Yat
Roy Powell
Peggy Herbert, Tony
Pritchard, Ray Raw lings,
Geoff Wood
Daisy Barnard,
Mary Brookes, Ruth
Reid, Percy Brain,
Bob Davies
Marion Brain, Christine
Horlicks, Pat Yates,
Bill Cindery
C a r o l S e r v i ce
This year the Carol Festival organised
by the Rank Xerox Christian
Fellowship is taking place in St
Michael & All Angels Church,
Mitcheldean, on December 16.
If this item reaches you in time, you
and your family are asked to regard
it as a personal invitation to come
along at 8 pm.
The guest speaker is Roger Chilvers,
the Gloucestershire County
Evangelist, and the Evangelical
Choir from Swindon are leading the
Henri Debuisser Robert Keen Dr Fred Winternitz Dr Theo Williamson
Henri Debuisser has been appointed
Director of Personnel and Organisation
with effect from November 1, 1974.
He succeeds Gerald Dennis who
has left us to take up a senior
appointment with the British-
American Tobacco Company.
Mr Debuisser has been with Rank
Xerox for the past three years, as
Assistant General Manager —
Personnel and Training, Rank Xerox
France, and more recently. Divisional
Director, Employee Relations in IHQ.
He reports to Mr F. Wickstead,
Chief Staff Officer.
Robert Keen took up his appointment
as Director of Communications on
October 1, reporting to Mr. J. M.
Thomas, Chairman and Chief
Mr Keen joins us from Infoplan Ltd,
the public relations component of
the Interpublic Group, where since
1968 he has been Managing
Director. Prior to joining Infoplan,
he was a Group Director with
Lexington International, part of
J. Walter Thompson Ltd.
John Hackett continues in his role
of International Co-ordinator,
Communications, and will be
working closely with Mr Keen on
the implementation of the Company’s
public relations policies at home and
Research & Engineering
Dr Fred Winternitz, Group Director
Engineering, has accepted the
position of Vice-President, Research
& Development, in Stamford with
Xerox Corporation in Stamford and
takes up the appointment at the end
of this year. Dr Winternitz joined
Rank Xerox in April 1973.
Dr Theo Williamson, FRS, will be
taking over as Group Director
Engineering from January 1975. He
joined us in March 1974 as Director,
Central Engineering Site, and for the
time being will act in a dual capacity.
Following Dr Williamson’s
appointment, Stan Pratt, currently
Director of Engineering — Technical
Co-ordination, has accepted the
position of Director of Engineering,
Manufacturing Sites, reporting to
Dr Williamson.
College Governor
Works Manager Don Elliott has been
appointed to the Governing Body of
the Gloucester City College of
Technology. He already serves on
the Advisory Committee for Business
Studies and Administration at the
The annual social held on November
2 in the Social Centre was generally
rated one of the best ever. Some 300
people turned up and enjoyed a very
happy evening.
Bill Beech has had a letter from
Tom Smith, who worked in
Engineering years ago, and who has
now emigrated to Ontario, Canada.
He was with us for 14 years and
likes to have news of old friends at
He says the hundredth edition of
VISION ‘has given me many
pleasurable hours’.
‘I have to admit’, he writes, ‘one has
to leave one’s country to appreciate
it. I really miss my old friends (and
my racing I) and often have a yen to
Three LSA members retired at the
end of November — former assistant
secretary Jackie Smith (Engineering),
Kath Munden (Auto Plating) and
Frank James (RX Lydney). They’ll be
featured in our next issue.
We were sorry to hear of the death
on November 5 of Neville Barnett at
the age of 64. Neville had been
with us 26 years; he was an
assembly operator when, some six
years ago, he was obliged to give up
work for health reasons. He derived
great pleasure from painting, and
several of his pictures, entered for
our ‘Sell a Picture’ competition in
1972, were purchased by the
Company and add colour to our
waitress service restaurant.
We would like to convey our
sympathy to his relatives.
Safety Award
‘We’re all in it when it comes to
safety” — this was the theme of a
note in VISION way back in 1971
explaining a new scheme which had
been brought into operation to
improve the standard of safety
within our Plant.
Briefly, this involved the introduction
of a number of specialist subcommittees
covering employee
safety in areas where various
operations or processes are carried
Since then, because of the growth of
our Plant and subsidiaries, the
number of such sub-committees has
increased and they have, from the
Main Safety Committee’s point of
view, proved successful in helping
to reduce the number of accidents
on site.
You can draw your own conclusions
from the fact that a three star
certificate has been awarded to
Rank Xerox by the Engineering
Employers’ Federation for a 25 per
cent reduction or more in works
accidents over two years, based
upon the previous three-year
The presentation was made to our
Company, and a number of other
West of England companies, at a
Health & Safety at Work Conference
which took place on October 2 at
Ashton Court Country Club, Bristol.
It was organised by the Engineering
Employers’ West of England
Association, one of the many such
associations which make up the EEF.
Les Davies, as chairman of our hAain Safety
Committee, receives the three star Safe
Working Award Certificate from Martin
Jukes, QC, Director General of the EEF.
‘ . iiiiiliiiiw Les Bullock (centre), recently appointed
Assistant Manager, Sub-contract, and his
opposite number in Venray’s Production
Control Department, Paul Verhoeven {left),
talk with Kevin Horrobin, Assistant
Manager, 7000 Sub-assemblies.
The decision to move 7000 major
sub-assembly work out of Venray and
relocate it in Mitcheldean’s Building
24, the former home of the 4000
mini line, has created a unique
For the first time, Mitcheldean Plant
has, in part, become a sub-contractor
to another Rank Xerox plant.
It is only a year and a half since we
made our last 3600, revered parent
of the 7000, and the existence of a
considerable amount of 3600
expertise at Mitcheldean has oiled
the wheels for this change of
A certain amount of the original
paperwork (the 3600 QIC’s) has
been brought back into circulation,
and conversion of Dutch
documentation hasn’t presented any
insuperable difficulties.
Nevertheless, the move has produced
circumstances never encountered
before, and initially, a working party,
headed by Ralph Zimmermann and
comprising managers from both
plants, was set up.
The project started by Mitcheldean
sending a mixed team of Production
Engineers and Shop Floor
Supervision to Venray to ‘sniff out’
the required tooling, and some
Production Control personnel to
assist in setting up various
procedures necessary for the transfer.
Kevin Horrobin, Assistant Manager
responsible for the production of
7000 sub-assemblies, told us:
‘We took 20 operatives over to
Venray in two groups last September.
The first ten went on the 23rd,
followed by the second group one
week later, each staying for four
‘The aim was twofold : to assist in
the building up of buffer stocks for
Venray to cover the period of the
move to Mitcheldean, and to allow
opportunity for training.
‘The men were all experienced 3600
personnel, so it was somewhat in the
nature of a refresher course.’
Transport ‘Hiccup’
The actual transport of the tooling,
gauging and piece parts created a
major ‘hiccup’. Steve Ferriman, who
is co-ordinating the operation from
the Supply Centre aspect, told us
something of the problems with
which they have had to grapple.
‘The chief problem was getting
clearance through Customs.
Initially, parts were being held up at
point of entry for two or three days.
‘We arranged meetings with the
Customs authorities and worked out
a special procedure under which
containers could be cleared in a few
‘Previously the containers were
shipped from Rotterdam to
Felixstowe; now we ship them from
Zeebrugge (Belgium) to Dover,
which has proved a much faster
Every day about two TIR vehicles
will come into Mitcheldean bringing
parts, and go out loaded with subassemblies.
The 40ft long
containers unload directly on to the
shop floor where the handling of
them (parts and finished assemblies)
is the sole responsibility of the 7000
assembly department — quite unlike
our normal system.
The whole operation is planned to be
carried out in two phases. The first
involves 12 major sub-assemblies,
and the build of the first of these
commenced on November 4.
For the first two months we are
running in parallel with Venray; but
by the beginning of 1975 Mitcheldean
will be acting as sole supplier of the
12 sub-assemblies concerned.
Some 120 direct personnel and 25
indirect personnel are involved in the
‘factory within a factory’. Qne of the
biggest of the assemblies is the
paper feeder, which requires 30 or so
people. Qne of the less complex is
also perhaps the most interesting —
the ‘H’ frame assembly.
Here, instead of splitting the assembly
into three operations, three people
do the whole job, rather on group
technology lines.
Ralph Zimmermann, now Production
Administration & Special Projects Manager,
and (far right) supervisor Peter Whiles in
the new sub-contracting set-up.
As coordinator for the transfer, Mr
Zimmermann headed the working party on
which Les Bullock (seen left) and Geoff
Howell, Production Engineering Manager,
7000. represented our PCD and PED
functions respectively.
rUNG 24
‘The method has advantages
quality-wise,’ says Kevin. ‘It permits
greater flexibility and the men get
more satisfaction out of their job. We
feel we could possibly use the
method in other assemblies on this
Procedures and paperwork apart, the
co-operative atmosphere in which
the project has been undertaken has
made a major contribution to its
We had a chat about it with some
members of the advance party of
operatives who went to Venray. They
stayed at the Biyenkorf (Beehive)
Hotel in Eindhoven, a lively town
about double the size of Gloucester
some 40 minutes’ drive from the
plant, and had to get up at 5.30 am
in order to be at work by 7.30 am.
Language differences presented no
obstacle, and our people acquired
quite a taste for coke and lemonade —
and indoor plants on the shop floor
(at Venray they even have the odd
one trailing up the airdrop I).
The constant, and sometimes
conflicting, muzak programmes,
boosted by individual transistor
output, offered quite a contrast with
the comparative quiet of Mitcheldean
assembly floors, they told us.
Relations with their Dutch fellow
workers were excellent, by all
accounts. They went ten pin bowling
L e f t : The Venray party of operatives with
some of the items ‘among their souvenirs’.
Below: John Hyett who won the Trafalgar
Pub’s annual challenge cup at darts.
‘ f
The ‘H’ frame assembly area. Ron Wilks
(second from right) and Terry Ward
represented QA on the working party.
together, and met socially on various
other occasions.
Our Production and PED groups
joined forces for one outing to
Amsterdam to see the Dutch
football team Ajax play Stoke City
(because of the rowdyism of fans at
a number of earlier international
matches, Mr Zimmermann was
asked to vouch for their behaviour!).
The two teams, incidentally, showed
admirable tact in making it a nil-nil
Trafalgar Pub
A popular spot with our people was
the Trafalgar Pub, run as a typical
English local — ‘It was the only place
where we could get Double
Diamond.’ And John Hyett won
their annual challenge cup at darts,
with John Parry, one of the two
chargehands who went to Venray,
as runner-up.
‘I feel shattered 1’ was one of the
comments frequently heard on the
many mornings after the nights
We hope we won’t embarrass
anybody by mentioning that the
Personnel Department at Venray
were very complimentary about the
way things went during our people’s
stay. To quote Gurrie Peters, the
Personnel Liaison Manager: ‘It was
a pleasure to have them here.’
•n o
m m
The Trafalgar Pub, which provided
our people with a bit of English
atmosphere during their stay, is the
headquarters of the Anglo-Netherlands
Among the friends they made at the
Pub was Paul Weyts, a member of
the society, who runs the latter’s
Holiday House-Exchange Scheme.
Now five years old, the scheme puts
British and Dutch families in touch
with each other with a view to
arranging a holiday house-exchange
for the summer.
Paul has written to say how nice it
would be if some Gloucestershire
people could exchange houses with
the people of the province of North
He explains that Eindhoven, which
offers excellent shopping, wining and
dining, and other tourist facilities, is
situated in the south-east of Holland,
only ten miles from the Belgian
border and 30 miles from the German
border, so day trips to these countries
as well as to many parts of Holland
can easily be made.
The scheme is absolutely free of
charge, writes Paul; if you are
interested, write to him at
Vorselaarstraat 9, Eindhoven, Holland,
stating when you want to exchange
(with alternative dates), how many
beds you require and how many beds
you can offer yourself.

The girl at the switchboard; the girl
tapping out a message on the
teleprinter; the girl standing by the
Telecopier; the girl putting out a call
over the PA system – they all play a
significant part in our system for
getting the message across by
An ex-Telephone Rentals man, Roy
Brooks is our Communications
Manager within Administration
Department; concerned with the
technicalities of communication, he
talks rapidly, as if aware that time
spent talking costs money.
‘With ever rising charges, we have to
be very cost conscious today,’ he
told us. ‘We have to think several
years ahead and consider our future
needs as well as our current
communications requirements. And
we have to ensure that the systems
within Manufacturing Group are
Taking a look at present trends, he
told us: ‘Data transmission is
growing : it accounts for 5 per cent
of communications now and I
estimate it will rise to about 1 5 per
cent in ten years.’
‘Facsimile transmission (sending
documents via equipment such as
the Telecopier) is currently only
about 2 per cent, but it too will grow
as compatibility of equipment is
1 In the Telex Room — (/ to r) Maureen
Ingram, Pearl Phelps, Anne Lodge,
Margaret Powell
2 Margaret gets a message across by
3 Joan Rooke in Reception answers the
‘phone while Linda Bale puts out a call
over the PA.
4 Keeping the communication lines open
are (front to back) Ann Stally, Jane
Strickland, Liz Denby, Jennie Jones,
Sylvia McGuire, Denise Meek, Norah
Dyer and Joyce Willis, backed up by
Diane Morgan (standing).
Background: an engineer at work in the
internal automatic exchange with its
1 100 extensions.
Changes in technology come along
so quickly it is difficult to keep up
and equipment ordered takes many
months to get installed. Sighs of
relief were heard all round when,
about a year ago, our up-to-date
nine-position switchboard (replacing
the former four-position one) was
set up in a large, cheerful room
behind the reception office in
Building 23.
Wall-to-ceiling orange curtains,
Venetian blinds at the windows, green
carpeting all help to keep a smile in
the voices of our ‘hallo girls’.
Despite everything, the girls try to
keep that smile there, even though, at
the end of the day, having said
‘Good morning (or afternoon). Rank
Xerox Mitcheldean’ about 300 times
each, it gets a bit thin at the edges.
‘The girls project the image of the
Company,’ says Madge Jenkins,
Telecommunications Supervisor.
‘Quite often the impression they give
is the first a caller may get of the
Company, so they have a great
Calls are made and received from all
over Europe, America and even Japan.
‘We talk to thousands but we never
see a face,’ said Liz Denby as she
plugged in a call to one of the 600
The board operates from Sam to
5.1 5pm, after which it is cleared to
enable the night service to be plugged
in. Peak hours are between 9 and
12 am, with Friday perhaps the
busiest day of the lot.
In cases of queries or trouble, the
girls have leading clerk Diane
Morgan behind them, literally. She
talks to them over an intercom so
they don’t need to turn round. Apart
from keeping a general eye on the
switchboard, she effects the transfer
of calls, and liaises with the
travelling GPQ supervisor.
Qur telephonist/receptionists, as they
are called, move from board to board
daily, alternate boards being
identical, with one exception. A
board has been specially arranged
for Norah Dyer who is partially
sighted. A secretarial audio/typist,
she helps out on the switchboard
when a relief is required and manages
every bit as well as if she had normal
Numbers 1 and 2 are the international
boards; after a grilling couple of days
on these, a day in Reception comes
as a pleasant change.
Communications Manager Roy Brooks and
Madge Jenkins, Telecommunications
Receiving visitors for Buildings 23
and 44 is only a part of Reception’s
function. Much of their time is
devoted to putting people in touch
with each other via the PA.
Locating people on the site is an
activity which has grown along with
the Plant. They may be wanted to
answer a trunk or international call
where every minute costs money;
they may be needed in an emergency.
Some PA calls are of the ‘all circuits’
variety; others are made only in
areas where the person sought is
liable to be found. There are ‘quiet
areas’ (such as Information Systems
and Engineering) where ‘whisper’
speakers are installed ; and there are
a few places where people don’t hear
the message (we don’t, like some
firms, go as far as installing whisper
speakers in the toilets I).
Qbviously abuse of the system has to
be guarded against, and Roy Brooks
suggests people should ask
themselves before they request a call
over the PA: ‘Is it really necessary?’
Coping with private calls, passing on
requests for transfers of outside calls
to Diane, reporting internal telephone
faults to Telephone Rentals, are
other duties carried out by
Reception who, equipped with a
cabinet full of directories, provide an
information service to the Plant.
Delay is perhaps the most
frustrating drawback to telephoning.
Because of heavy pressure on lines,
and the rising cost of calls, the
Company has been developing a
private wire network over the years.
There are eight private wire speech
circuits from Mitcheldean to places
such as IHQ in London, Welwyn and
Venray Plants, Plessey at Swindon
and other locations we are constantly
needing to contact.
Four years ago we announced the
acquisition of our ‘hot line to the
States’, enabling us and other RX
locations to transmit telex messages
at 70 wpm, via a ‘gateway’ at Rank
Xerox House, over a shared trans-
Atlantic leased line.
Continued from page 7
Last October this was superseded by
an even ‘hotter’ line which is entirely
ours. Although still passing through
IHQ, messages can now be
transmitted to the USA at 125 wpm,
using what is known as the Telnet
control system.
At Rochester terminal, a computer
receives the messages, decodes the
computerised coded headers which
indicate who the ultimate recipients
are, and automatically refiles (relays)
them to their correct locations.
With leading clerk Maureen Ingram
as guide, we penetrated through the
door marked ‘No Admittance’ to take
a look at the Telex Room, and
watched as a message from Welwyn,
sent to us in the form of punched
paper tape, was refiled to the States.
One of the girls added a coded
header (there are around 300 Xerox
location codes) and fed the tape into
the ‘lease send’ teleprinter. Within
seconds the wording of the message
was being typed out on the ‘lease
receive’ machine, confirming that it
was at that moment being received at
the Rochester terminal.
‘If the header code is incorrect, the
computer notifies us that the message
has been rejected,’ explained
Maureen. ‘It also checks that the
receiving locations are prepared to
receive messages.’
Other members of the team were
busy at the machines on the telex
circuits and private wire network to
various RX locations, typing out
messages that were arriving
simultaneously at the receiving end.
Long messages and lists, etc, are
first converted into punched tape as
this can be transmitted at full speed
without interruption – cutting costs
Tape transmission also helps to
speed up the direct links which the
central Telex Room has with Design
Engineering and the Supply Centre.
The girls work in shifts to provide a
continuous service from 8 am to
5.30 pm. Machines are left switched
on to receive messages overnight
from locations abroad where the
office hours don’t coincide with ours
because of time differences.
‘Every message is recorded in print
and copies are filed with the
originals for a month,’ said Maureen.
‘The pace is terrific – everything has
to have gone yesterday I’
The teleprinter, whether operating
over private wires or the public telex
circuits, offers the advantages of
speed and a printed record. In order
to make this type of communication
still more attractive to ‘the other side
of the Plant’, and so help utilise our
private wires more fully, a facsimile
Sitting at tfie controls in the push-button office of the future, our executive
has still retained two humanising features of the present day — the comforting
cuppa and the girl-about-the-office I
facility in the shape of four
Telecopier 400 transceivers (two
internal, two external) is being
This will enable a telex message to be
got across the site via the transceiver
far more quickly than any messenger
and more reliably than by ‘phone.
And the external Telecopiers ? Roy
Brooks told us that anyone with
compatible equipment can ring
Drybrook 542571, bypassing our
switchboard, and transmit documents
to the new ‘fax’ facility.
At present these can only be relayed
to the other in-Plant Telecopiers in
Buildings 36, 38, 42 and 44, but
‘three more transceivers are planned
for strategic locations.’
Integrity, security, speed and
economy-these are the maxims
instilled into the telecommunications
team. ‘The girls are specially chosen
for their qualities in this respect,’ says
Madge, who is responsible for their
Be prepared’ is another byword
which Roy Brooks observes (and
that’s not just because, in his leisure
time, he is Assistant County
Commissioner for the Hereford &
Worcester Venture Scouts).
While we spoke to him, a major
engineering job was being carried out
in the internal automatic telephone
exchange, hidden away on the lower
floor of Building 23.
‘They’re making alterations on the
exchange to facilitate future
developments. You could call it
“freeing the 0”,’ he said, before he
got too technical for us.
And, as you’ll have noticed from the
latest telephone directories, the ‘0’
has disappeared from the codes
formerly used for contacting
Cinderford, Lydney, radio paging
receivers, etc.
Talking of directories, don’t forget
those pages provided for notifying
alterations. The directory can only
be as accurate as the information
supplied for inclusion. ‘It’s practically
impossible to be up-to-date all the
time, but we are printing the directory
more often now,’ added our
Communications Manager.
Join the Car Pool
With petrol costs rocketing, it makes
sense to share car transport whenever
possible. The only problem is, how
do you get in touch with others who
travel the same way to work ?
The answer is: through VISION.
David Stokes (Group Inventory
Control) suggests we publish
regularly the names and telephone
extensions of people who would
like to join a Mitcheldean car pool,
together with their points of origin.
They can then contact each other
and work out the details.
He’s starting the ball (or should we
say wheel?) rolling himself:
David Stokes, ext. 923, Tewkesbury
(M50 route).
Russell Griffiths, ext 866, Hereford
(Tupsley area).
If you are interested, write down
your name, extension and point of
origin clearly; put the details in an
envelope marked ‘Car Pool’ and
address it to the Editor, VISION. You
can leave it at any Gate House for
collection by me, or post it to me at
Tree Tops, Plump Hill, Mitcheldean.
i 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 r r i e e t l n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e met
n e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e meeting p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g plac:
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 c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m et
An ex-apprentice (he did the last
two years of his mechanical
engineering apprenticeship with us),
Graham Lockwood has worked in
the Model Shop ever since he
received his indentures nine years
He is one of a team of skilled men
who can turn their hand to any type
of instrument or engineering work;
it may be a sample model of a
component to be made when there is
a modification of design in a product,
or the building of a complete
prototype model.
Graham has his own ‘shop’ at
home — a den where he keeps safe
from the little fingers of his two
young daughters all the
paraphernalia that goes with his two
main hobbies.
‘I’ve always been keen on amateur
photography,’ he told us. He built
his own enlarger and develops his
own colour slides. ‘There are 11
processes to go through and it takes
me about 90 minutes to process a
film. I’m also working on taking
prints from slides,’ he added.
He recently bought a developing
tank for handling cine films, both
b & w and colour — ‘but I’m not
looking for business.’
Clocks and watches are his other
main interest, and he finds the
variety of movements fascinating.
‘Each one is a new adventure,’ he
explained, and he gets a kick, as well
as a tick, out of taking them apart
and rebuilding them.
All of which keeps him so
preoccupied that the household
clocks get overlooked and his wife
Cynthia has been heard to mutter
threats about WAT (Wife Added
Tax) I
‘I like to see things moving,’ says
Christine Denton — and as secretary
to General Manager Ron Morfee, she
gets a broad picture of the Plant in
In Mitcheldean village itself, she
plays a useful part in getting things
moving. She and her husband, John,
who is Mechanical Maintenance
Manager, came here from
Manchester early in 1972, and in a
comparatively short time Christine
has become closely involved in local
She is secretary of the Community
Association and, as a practical step
towards getting the projected
Community Centre built, she does
a regular waste paper collection
on Sundays.
‘We’ve got over £6,000 in the fund,
£1,600 of which we raised this year
alone,’ she told us, ‘and there’s still
the Christmas Fayre profits to
Mother of a lively five-year-old
daughter, she devotes one night a
week to helping Pam Bolton run
Mitcheldean Brownies. With the
co-operation of the Guides, they are
putting together a Christmas show
to take to old people’s homes, etc.
They hope it will win them £250,
first prize in a Forest of Dean Round
Table contest aimed at encouraging
youth organisations to help the
Christine doesn’t just help get things
moving, she believes in moving
herself — to music, at weekly Keep
Fit classes at Abenhall.
All of which makes her quite an
Action Girl.
Development engineer Rodney
Swan is the man who brought
EDNA out. Otherwise known as
Electronic Digital Network Analysis,
EDNA is a new logic package which
Rodney developed and which is
currently being used for checking
the logic circuits for our machines.
The Optical & Electrical Laboratory
has a terminal connected by GPO
line to a Sigma 9 computer, used on
a time-sharing basis. With the help
of EDNA (a series of instructions for
the computer) the circuits can be
checked more quickly and accurately
than ever before.
EDNA was partly triggered off by
Rodney’s Open University course —
a broad one covering maths,
computing, systems analysis, and
technology and its effect on the
environment (everything from
nuclear reactors to sewage farms ! ) .
Sponsored by the Company, both
Rodney and his colleague Tony
Simms (a maths student) are well
on their way to gaining their degrees
by the end of 1975.
The New Year will also see Rodney
transferring to PED (Electronics) – and
him and his wife Annette becoming
parents for the first time.
Logic and chess are related, so we
weren’t surprised to learn that
Rodney reached the semi-finals in
the individual competition (his
brother Nick of Design won the
Portman Trophy) and now he’s having
another go at it.
Rodney is the boffin behind the
Track 2 disco booked for the New
Year’s Dance in the Social Centre.
While Nick and a friend attend to
the vocals, Rodney will be there
operating the light and sound kit
which he built himself.
l a c e meeting p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t f n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e mee
car I?
J. Ingram
Bill and Jill Acland
Dean Forest Studios
Fticfiard and Carole Watts
John and Judith Coleman
R. Evans
Gordon and Ruth Harris
Terry and Anne Peates
J. Ingram
Robert Chesney Neal, a son for Don James
(Reliability) and his wife Brenda (formerly
Reliability), on October 11.
Martin Nicholas, a son for Terence Morgan
(Maintenance) and his wife Jenny, on
October 20.
Jill Marshall (Group Inventory Control) to
Bill Acland (PED) at Lydney Register Office
on October 19.
Carole Wozencroft (Canteen) to Richard
Watts (Supply Centre) at Flaxley Church
on October 26.
John Coleman (Engineering Drawing
Office) to Judith Ireland at Holy Trinity
Church, Drybrook, on October 26.
Ruth Chadd (Goods Inwards) to Gordon
Harris at St Stephen’s Church, Cinderford,
on November 9.
Terry Peates (Tool Inspection) to Anne
Whittington at Ruardean Church on
November 9.
Anotlier f i r s t for Mitciieldean
Last month we reported Stuart Harrold’s
wedding in Japan during his assignment
there; now we hear of another ‘first’ from
the other side of the world — the
engagement of RX Engineering resident
Geoffrey Williams to an American girl,
Mary Hall, while on an assignment at
Pittsford, New York.
We are sorry to have to record the deaths of
the following :
Ivor Bennett on November 4 at the age of
63. He had been with us for nearly seven
and a half years and worked in 4000
Material Handling.
Trevor Wozencroft on November 9 at the
age of 47. He joined us in April 1968 and
was employed in the Polishing Shop.
Our sympathy goes to their families.
Tootli Brush?
Who in the Machine Shop, finding he had
a sharp edge on his top set, decided to do
his own repairs and deburred it on the
spot with a wire brush ?
T y r e i e s s Service
Who, when changing the wheel of his car,
found it had acquired a long service award ?
What he’s wondering is whether his wheel
went over the tie pin on the Plant site, or
whether someone had thought the tyre
looked as if it deserved a ten-year award.
Personal Request
Personal details of all employees are again
being audited. Should you have changed
your name, address or marital status during
1974, please advise the appropriate
supervisor so that the necessary action can
be taken to update the records.
It is, of course, possible that some people
may have been absent during the last audit
in January 1974 and so were unable to
notify Personnel Department of any such
If you are in any doubt at all as to whether
the Department has been notified of
changes concerning you since you joined
the Company, will you please contact
Personnel Records (int. ext. 1195) who will
be pleased to assist.
IMomads’ Night Out
Following the exit of Sid’s Sweaty Sinners
from last year’s interdepartmental skittles
competition, some of the players, calling
themselves Nomads, decided to form a
team to enter the summer season of the
Forest of Dean Skittles League. Roy Meek,
their captain, reports: ‘Starting at the
bottom — and after a somewhat shaky
start— the team improved, attaining a
final position of fourth in the seventh
division. To round the season off, it was
decided to hold a very informal night out
at the Pike House, Berry Hill, the evening’s
activities consisting of a skittles game
between team members, followed by a
disco and buffet’ Our photograph above
shows two of the more formally dressed
skittlers on the night. Caveman John
Robinson and streaker John Hart (both of
PED) were on opposing sides, but relations
were friendly despite the clenched fist salute.
Our best wishes to the following who retired
at the end of November: Helen Scrivens
(Electrical Subs.), George Pitt (Works
Engineering), Stan Wakefield (RX Lydney)
and Stan Lewis (Production Control).
Rose Bowl for Poppy People
Sadie Pritchard (720 Assembly) and her
husband Bill have won the Jim Bullock rose
bowl for their Poppy Appeal Fund collection
in Mitcheldean & Abenhall district.
This was in recognition of their having
achieved the biggest percentage increase
over last year’s figure for the district branch
within Group 10, which embraces ten
branches between the Severn and the Wye.
Bill, who as well as being local Poppy
Organiser is Group delegate to Gloucestershire
County, told us that the county came
seventh in the West Midlands area and that
the collection countrywide was the highest
ever recorded.
Sadie was mainly responsible for the Rank
Xerox collection which amounted to
£118-10, almost exactly half the total for
the whole Mitcheldean and Abenhall area
which amounted to £236-33.
Sadie and Bill wish to convey their thanks
to all concerned.
D esidente Niqh
Club president Derek Portman with (from
the left) David Payne, Robin Berks and
(far right) Jack Seal. He\ow. Kyoko
Shermer, Taiji Mishima (Fuji Xerox resident
at Mitcheldean), Veida Seal and Eddie
Shermer doing a pre-recording sound level
check prior to putting sound on the Fuji
Xerox film.
November 22 was Mr Portman’s
night, as president of the RX
Amateur Photographic Club; it was
also International Night. Despite
the attractions of the Miss World
Contest, 300 people (including
representatives of the District and
Parish Councils and Gloucestershire
Constabulary) turned up to see
something of our particular world.
The programme was interesting and
unusual; the refreshments were
excellent and so was the organisation.
In his introductory remarks,
programme director Jack Seal
acknowledged help from various
sources, among whom must be
included Jimmy Bake and members
of the organising committee: club
chairman Robin Berks, secretary
Sandra Snell, Pat Jordan, David
Payne and Cyril Powell.
An appropriate start was made with
the ATV 16mm film of Mr Portman
being interviewed at his home in
Solihull on the subject of the
Company’s multinational mode of
Next, from the Netherlands, there
was a slide presentation by RX
Venray; the ‘Stranger in Paradise’
turned out to be an old friend,
‘Dixie’ Dean, who once worked at
Mitcheldean. Now married to a
Dutch girl, he invited us into their
home and we viewed Holland
through his eyes. ‘It fits me like a
glove,’ said Dixie.
From Fuji Xerox in Japan we had
an 8mm film depicting the activities
of the sports & social club at the
Ebina factory — a sports day, a
‘dance party’ (Western-style
dancing), fencing and Shorinji Kempo
(a form of self-defence). The tea
ceremony section didn’t make the
screen, much to our regret.
After the interval, during which
slides of the Forest of Dean were
shown, Mr Portman paid tribute to
Jack Seal, who retires as works
photographer in January, and to his
wife, for their contribution to our
social life, and on the club’s behalf
he presented some flowers to Veida.
It was Veida’s 8mm film, ‘Who wants
to live in the Country?’, which
formed Mitcheldean’s part in the
programme. It rushed us to
Birmingham’s concrete jungle in
record time, explored the new road
system there, and reached the
conclusion that it’s nicer in the Forest
of Dean (Jack and Veida ’emigrated’
here from Brum 23 years ago).
The audience was taken on a
mini-tour around Rochester, NYS,
via 35mm slides, with couriers Pat
and Ron Swenson providing a
first-rate narrative. With shots
contributed by both Xerox and Rank
Xerox people, it showed us
Americans at leisure, picnicking in
summer (temperatures around
80°—90°F), ski-ing or driving ski
mobiles in winter (well below
freezing), incredible shopping
centres, drive-in banks, Santa’s
Workshop, the Niagara Falls (flowing
and frozen), Xerox Square and a
whole lot more.
Mr Portman’s unique collection of
slides, taken in three Soviet Union
Republics, presented a picture of
Russia that few can have seen
before — vineyards in the Caucasus
foothills (Russians are very
hospitable and have gargantuan
thirsts he told us), gilded onion-domed
churches, spa centres controlled by
trade unions where workers go to
recuperate, photographs displayed
outside a factory of operatives who
had achieved maximum output
(‘Would it go down at RXMP?’).
The programme ended with a
colourful splash in the Caribbean.
‘Underwater Fantasia’ by Bob
Shewan, a ‘sub-aqua’ friend of John
Barratt, took us fathoms down among
the exotic fish and coral polyps, and
popped us back on dry land to
appreciate the flame trees, butterflies
and other delights of Jamaica.
For technical types. Jack Seal supplies
some post-programme notes:
‘President’s Night was the most
ambitious programme we have ever
attempted for the club, from both
technical and operational points of
view. The equipment used comprised :
three tape recorders, a 70W stereo
amplifier, and two Carousel slide
projectors, electronically linked and
controlled by a pulse generator
coupled to the stereo tape recorder
to give automatic slide change.
‘In the case of Mr Portman’s talk on
his Russian trip, we used one
Carousel operated from the lectern
by remote control to give him the
facility of “backtracking” if he wished.
‘In addition to the foregoing, we
also used the 609 16mm sound
projector. PA equipment was
supplied by Bill Pritchard, and Bob
Shewan brought his own Standard-8
projector and sound equipment.
‘During the show we used,
separately: ten reels of tape, four
tape cassettes, over 1,000ft of film
and more than 400 35mm slides.
‘Quick change was the order of the
evening and David Payne’s help in
operating and, more importantly,
acting as a memory bank, was
absolutely invaluable.
‘Many hours were spent recording
speech and music, the former with
the willing co-operation of Pat and
Ron Swenson, Taiji Mishima, and
Eddie and Kyoko Shermer. Despite
the vast amount of time spent in
this part of the pre-programme work,
we thoroughly enjoyed it.’
V a r i e t y at W e l w yn
Introducing the travelling Variety
Club show at RX Welwyn Garden
City on November 16, compere
Andy Hardy apologised for the fact
that ‘we couldn’t muster the whole
But the audience got good value
for their money. Supporting the
show were some really famous
personalities, like Gracie Fields (by
courtesy of Andy), Michael ‘Frank’
Crawford (from Ken Farmborough),
and Al Jolson (John Earl).
Slow to start with, the show and the
audience warmed up nicely, and
even the canteen workers stopped
getting the ploughman’s supper to
watch. Welwyn made their
contribution during the interval when
‘Danny and Dave’ played some
lively music on their piano
Encores were the order of the evening
(Denise Cooper, making her maiden
speech as club chairman, practically
got encored for that) and it was
after 11 pm when the show finished.
While performers changed for the
long trek back home. Sports &
Social Club chairmen Tony Haynes
and Malcolm Howard had a quick
Tony learned that Welwyn, though
lacking a variety club and a skittles
section, have activities we don’t
have at Mitcheldean — for example,
lawn tennis (they hire courts),
badminton, bridge, horse-riding and
tropical fish (we noted the
well-stocked tank in the club
lounge). The billiard table and the
bar, now offering no less than 12
draught ales, drew admiring glances.
The 1,500 employees at Welwyn
are automatically members of the
club; there is a full-time steward
and members can treat
the club house as their
local and drop in for a Sunday
pint and snack lunch if they wish.
Our Variety troupers and friends
left Welwyn around midnight, and
although Andy and Gordon Davies
gave a first-rate performance on
their harmonicas en route, people
nodded off one by one. It was
3.30 am, and very frosty, when the
coach finally pulled in at the Plant.
We heard later from Malcolm
Howard that the show raised £70
which the Variety Club have asked
to be donated to Welwyn’s chosen
charity, the spastics.
C h e s s C o n t i n u i ty
The final match in the Wickstead
Shield contest, which ended in a
stalemate between Ray Barnett of
Information Systems and Richard
Walker of Group Inventory Control,
has been replayed. Victory went to
Ray, giving possession of the shield
for the next 12 months to
Information Systems.
Now the next interdepartmental and
individual (Portman Trophy)
competitions are under way,
governed by a set of rules drawn up
specially to assist in the smooth
running of the contests.
‘Some concern was expressed about
certain delays during the last
competitions and it is hoped that all
matches this time will be played
promptly and a real continuity
maintained to the end,’ said John
Johnson, hon. secretary.
At a meeting held on October 17, a
committee was formed under the
chairmanship of John Ireland to
run the Chess Club, which is now
affiliated to the Sports & Social Club.
G u i d a n c e f o r G o l f e rs
Recognising the non-attraction of
annual general meetings, the
Golfing Society which, with over
100 members, is one of our biggest
clubs, decided to hold a joint
AGM/trophy presentation/social
evening on December 11.
The lessons now being given to
members by the Ross GC pro, Tom
Gurney, have proved a great success.
He comes along on Tuesday
practice nights and if anyone wants
to have some professional guidance,
it sets them back only 20p per
Secretary Derek Parker tells us that
the rubber mats which protect the
Ballroom floor were supplied free by
Uniroyal, the idea being that while
our golfers improve their swing, the
mats get a tough reliability test
which provides some useful
feedback for the makers.
S h o o t i n g S t a r ts
Those joining the newly formed
Rank Xerox Shooting Club will be
able to get instruction and help
from a member of the England team
for clay pigeon shooting — gunsmith
Ian Coley.
The annual membership fee is 50p
and the club are organising not only
rifle and pistol shooting but also
rough shooting.
If you’re interested, get in touch
with one of the following (their
extension numbers are given in
brackets): Chairman: Frank Tonge
(412); vice-chairman: Jeff Lewis
(398); secretary: Charlie Probert
(319); treasurer: Graham Riddiford
(988); committee: Neil Williams
(318/321), Hubert Burton (2942),
Tony Salice (Lydney, 728).
HOME n ^ m ^
For Sale
Vauxhall Viva HB Manufacturers Workshop
Manual (5 books), £1-50. R. Cronin,
ext. 551.
Aluminium patio doors and double glazing.
Ian Thomas, Whitecroft 703 or ext. 265.
1964 Vauxhall Cresta, excellent condition,
£100 o.n.o. A. Rawlings, 3600 loading bay,
or call at 2 Steam Mills, nr. Cinderford.
Pye 20 in. teak monochrome TV, 2 years
old, in very good condition, £20 with
stand. Drybrook 542146.
Modern semi-detached house with 5ft
walled garden, 20 Orchard Close,
Mitcheldean. Lounge, dining-room,
kitchen, back porch, 3 bedrooms, fully tiled
and mirrored bathroom/toilet, solid fuel full
c.h., fitted carpets throughout, telephone
and various fittings. Very good decorative
order. Garage base, Cotswold stone wall
frontage and flower boxes, 3 lawns, shrubs,
etc. £9,000 o.n.o. Tony Sharpe (Machine
Shop), ext. 324 or Drybrook 542458.
Teak finish ‘Avalon’ gate-leg dining-room
table with 4 chairs. Absolutely as new,
with attractive unusual grain, £50.
Ext. 369 or 18 Deansway Road, Carisbrook
Gdns, Mitcheldean.
Hotpoint automatic cooker, good condition,
£20. Electrolux fridge, 2-star, good working
order, bargain £10. Pifco electric multi-curl
styler, used once, £2-50. Longhope 643.
Grey 48in. tiled surround and hearth, as
new. Offers. Lyd brook 687.
Budgerigars, Danish Pieds, also normals,
1974 birds, £1 each. Austin, Sunview,
Second Avenue, Greytree, Ross-on-Wye,
or ext. 191, Tool Room.
Must sell — modern detached house at
Huntley, 3 bedrooms, 2 reception, car port;
any reasonable offer considered.
Alan Ravenhall, ext. 340 or Longhope 730.
Raleigh convertible, for girl or boy, suit
5—9 year old, £10. G. Cornwall,
tel. Gorsley 452.
Lucky charms and home-made pegs and
flowers, 15p per dozen. Ken Griffiths,
ext. 770 or 439.
Coal bunker (sectional). Mrs M. Meek,
ext. 680 or Drybrook 542568.
Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.