Return to 1975-1979

Vision 111

June 75 No. I l l
Service on the Spot
Many retired, or had j o b s already
lined up, but what of the remainder
after they had received their
redundancy payment?
Throughout the scheme t he Cinderford
District Employment Service Agency
operated an information centre at the
Plant; at the beginning of J u n e they
reported that about 174 men and 33
women had registered for employment
elsewhere and many of t h e s e had
already started work.
Others applied for f r ee training in a
variety of s k i l l ed w o r k under the
Government’s Training Opportunities
Scheme w h i c h gives people a second
chance to equip themselves for a j ob
while receiving an allowance.
‘I w a s s u r p r i s e d a t the amount of
interest s h o w n in t r a i n i n g ; the
situation seems to have given people
an opportunity to re-think their future
career,’ commented Des Nellins (far
left in p i c t u r e ) . Manager of t he
Cinderford agency.
Seen talking to Mr Nellins is
Employment Adviser ‘ B u z z ‘ Evans
who, w i t h the support of
representatives f r om other branches
of the Employment Service, the T S A
and the Unemployment Benefit Office,
handled some 800 enquiries.
Plenty of literature w a s available, and
vacancies advertised on the stand,
pictured outside the Personnel Office,
covered a wide variety of p o s ts
ranging from that of a radial drill
setter to a housekeeper for a
clergyman. Similar f a c i l i t i es w e r e a l so
made available at our subsidiary
And t h e girl in t h e p i c t u r e ? S h e ‘s
Annette Tracey of our Industrial
Relations s e c t i o n , w h o a s s i s t e d the
Employment S e r v i c e s t a f f in a
secretarial capacity.
Below: Compensation B Benefits IVIanager Bernard Morris
with two of his staff. Personnel Officer Eileen Bird (seated) and
Angela Simonds, who worked on redundancy payment calculations.
Right ( t o p ) : Chris Bell (left) and Terry Smith, Personnel Officers
in Bernard’s section, also interviewed applicants with Jackie Burris
providing secretarial assistance. Right ( b e l o w ) : Another member
of the interviewing team was Personnel Officer Pat Cassidy, who
also did the ‘number crunching’. He’s seen here with Cynthia Haynes
who handled the team’s appointments, and coped with hundreds of
calls on the ‘phone and at the window.
At the time of going to p r e s s , the total number of around 470 people
who left under the voluntary redundancy and voluntary early
retirement scheme had j u s t been a n a l y s e d , and a period of
r e – s h u f f l i n g had commenced. S a i d Personnel Manager Ron B a r n e t t:
‘ T h e ratio of w o r k f o r c e to w o r k i s j u s t c o m i n g i n to balance. We feel
we have t a k e n s t e p s in t h e right d i r e c t i o n to meet t h e current
s i t u a t i o n . ‘
It seems a kind of Parkinson’s Law
that when a company cut back their
production of goods, their production
of paper-work increases in inverse
ratio. Obviously many different
problems arise and extra work is
created whenever there are
deviations from the normal course of
No single department can have had
its normal routine knocked sideways
by the introduction of the voluntary
redundancy/early retirement scheme
more than Personnel Department.
They have had the responsibility for
putting it into operation and for a
few weeks went flat out coping with
enquiries, interviews, formal
applications and all the resultant
calculations and other paperwork.
Areas like Wages and the Cashier’s
Office too have suffered a fall-out,
the former being snowed under with
terminations and the latter raising a
record number of cheques.
A team of six, headed by Royston
Charles, Personnel Services Manager,
and including Pat Cassidy, Bernard
Morris, Chris Bell, Terry Smith and
Roy Steward, conducted the
confidential interviews given to
applicants. These took place not
only at Mitcheldean but also at
Lydney and Cinderford, and included
the night shift.
In the case of sick people (most of
them early retirement applicants),
Roy Steward visited them at their
Reported Bernard Morris, Manager,
Compensation & Benefits:
‘Most people we talked to were very
cheerful and t o ld us the scheme
fitted in w i t h plans they had already
‘Many said this was the best firm
they had ever worked for and
quite a f ew were hopeful of being
re-engaged when things looked up.’
Around 700 applications under the
scheme were received from the
affected areas — all Assembly areas
(including Lydney and Spares
Packing), all Manufacturing areas
(Mitcheldean and Cinderford) and
associated Stores; Finishing; Factory
Transport; Quality Assurance and
Production Control Stores areas.
Severance pay, length of service,
etc., had to be worked out by
Bernard’s people in advance of the
interviews, and each person
interviewed was given a written
quote of what would be due to
them, should they opt for voluntary
redundancy or early retirement.
Said Bernard : ‘In the case of the
former, the Company terms provided
approximately double the statutory
amount; in addition, younger people,
and people w i t h shorter service than
provided for in the statutory
provisions, were eligible for the
Company’s redundancy payment.
‘Many of those who accepted also
received more pay in lieu of notice
than their contract stipulated, while
those who were on a contractual
notice of more than eight weeks
received their full notice under the
All this added up to what Des
Nellins, Manager of the Cinderford
Employment Service Agency,
described as among the most
generous terms I have known,’ and
he has had wide experience of
redundancy situations in
Gloucestershire, particularly during
the late 1960’s.
Said Personnel Manager Ron
Barnett: ‘We designed the scheme
specifically to attract sufficient
numbers to enable us to get our
production programmes in balance
again. We studied many other recent
major voluntary redundancy schemes
in the UK and found that ours
compared favourably with them.
‘It was in fact very similar to that of
Vauxhall Motors where conditions
and aims had much in common w i th
our own, although obviously we had
to shape our scheme to suit our
particular needs.’
One thing that concerned the
interviewing team was that so many
people came ready to sign without
first finding out the facts, and how
much was due to them. They hadn’t
done any calculations but had relied
on Personnel to produce the right
Pensions were admittedly rather
difficult to work out and Personnel
kept the RX Pensions people at
Uxbridge pretty busy.
Each applicant was given five
working days to decide whether to
go ahead. One lady tried a bit of
bargaining — she said she would be
w i l l i ng to go ‘if you can get me a
j ob at Butlin’s.’ Obviously she knew
her Rank Organisation.
No promises could be made but she
was supplied w i t h the necessary
address and wished the best of luck.
As promised, the interviews were
without commitment, and it was not
until the application form was sent
in that Personnel advised the MMC
Manager concerned; it was then up
to him to decide whether he could
release the individual.
If rejected, and dissatisfied w i t h the
reason given, applicants were able
to take advantage of the appeal
system, handled by Derek Knibbs,
Industrial Relations Manager.
Several people from unaffected areas
applied but had to be t o l d : ‘Sorry,
you aren’t eligible.’
A surprisingly high number opting to
go had fixed up jobs elsewhere; the
situation had ‘cast its shadow before.’
Those who wanted assistance in
finding another j ob were referred to
Following the retirement of Les
Davies, Mike Carter has been
appointed Manager, Works
Laboratory, w i t h effect from June 2,
reporting direct to Don Elliott, Works
Manager. Mike has been Chief
Chemist here since he joined us from
Welwyn Garden City in August
Brian Lewis becomes Resident
Programme Manager, Webster
(9200/Amethyst) from July 1 ; he
will report to Mike Smith,
Manufacturing Group Programme
Manager for these products and will
be based at Xerox Corporation,
Webster, replacing John Smith, who
returns from the USA in a f ew weeks’
Brian, who has been w i t h the
Company since 1954, was formerly
Manager, 4000 Family, PED. This
function is being incorporated in
Harold Hayling’s responsibilities which
will now cover 4000, 4500, 660/720,
7000 subs and accessories.
Promotions in Engineering — Roger
Roberts (left) who was recently appointed
Chief Draughtsman (9200), and Richard
Holland, whose appointment as Assistant
Design Manager of a new product was
announced in a previous issue.
Phil Currah, who became Manager,
Social Policy, in the Personnel &
Organisation Group last June, has been
appointed Manager, Social Policy &
Employee Communications, reporting
to Robert Keen, Director,
The decision to transfer the Social
Policy function to Communications
Division is in recognition of the
growing range of social pressures to
which the Company is subjected in
its relationships with the outside
world as well as w i t h the employees.
the information centre and ‘job shop’
set up by the Employment Service
Agency on site as featured on our
front cover.
The timing of the whole scheme has,
by chance, fitted in w i t h the peak
period for j ob availability, which is
April, May and June. ‘This is when
employers generally start their
demand for labour,’ said Mr Nellins.
‘But we didn’t wait, we went ahead
and did a ” t r a w l ” of 130 firms,
advising them that certain kinds of
workers were likely to become
available in this area.’
And as one man leaving us
commented : ‘If this had to happen,
it’s certainly the best time of year for
it, w i t h the summer coming along.’
But we can’t pretend that everybody
was happy ail round. There were
many who were in a quandary about
whether they would be doing a
wise thing to opt for voluntary
redundancy. It all depended on
what was going to happen next.
Speculation about the future
continues, but until we have emerged
from the present period of
reshuffling — and uncertainty about
demand for our products — all
anyone can do is ‘guesstimate’.
In his address to those who attended the
annual luncheon and reunion given for our
pensioners in the Social Centre on May 17,
Personnel Director Lionel Lyes gave the
background story to the developments of
the last few weeks. The immediate problem
of 500 or so jobs had now largely resolved
itself, but ‘we live in a difficult world and
there may be further problems ahead. We
remain fairly confident that Rank Xerox will
continue to grow, but not quite so fast as
in the past. We hope to see an upturn in
the markets of the world in the next year
or so.’ Pensioner Eric Higgs proposed a
vote of thanks to all who had organised
the event: he particularly thanked Roy
Steward, Personnel Officer (Welfare), and
‘the Pensions people’ for the capable way
in which they had carried out their duties
over the years. Mr Steward is seen in our
picture (above right) with Administration
Manager Jack Woods, talking to some of
the guests. Left: Among those present
were two representatives of RX Pensions
Ltd—Doug Green, International Pensions
Manager, and John Corke, Assistant
Pensions Manager (UK), seen on the right
of the picture, with recently retired Ron
Wells and his wife.
Fred Court, Assistant Manager, Quality
Assurance, retired last month after nearly
38 years with us, during which his career
embraced a wide spectrum of our production
activities. One of the band of pioneers, he
joined in 1937 as instrument makerjtool
maker and became the first inspector in the
original Machine Shop at Shepherds Bush,
London, two years later. In 1941 he came to
Mitcheldean as Machine Shop and Jig Q Tool
Inspector and started up our first Jig & Tool
Design office. Over the following years he
held various positions — Small Batch
Manager, Assembly Dept Manager, Chief
Inspector {several times). Works
Superintendent and Production Controller.
His career turned full circle when, having
returned to OA, Fred’s department was
brought under the same wing as PED.
Although he’s been writing himself out of
the system in the last few months, Fred will
still be seen around for a while, his services
having been engaged in connection with the
SOLAR Stock Update training programme.
Our picture shows him saying goodbye to OA
Manager Ron Teagueandthe ‘men of Quality’.
Cost and Admin. Supervisor Franly Miileu had
been connected with Transport for most of
his 15 or so years with us. ‘He has been a
great help to me,’ said Manager John Notley,
with whom he has worked closely. Frank has
the reputation of being a direct man, precise
with figures and strict about time — a habit
we guess he’ll not relax despite being retired.
He lives at Symonds Yat and enjoys tending
his ‘High Acre’. Last month Transport people
held a social/skittles evening for him at the
White Horse, Mitcheldean, when they
presented him with a barometer, and his wife
with a box of chocolates. That’s Frank starting
a whole new ball game in our picture.
A lot of familiar faces are missing, or
shortly will be missing, from the
Mitcheldean scene.
Of the 470 or so people whose
applications under the recent voluntary
redundancy/early retirement scheme
were accepted, a good number were
in the latter category.
In the case of long-serving people
approaching retirement age, the offer
was very attractive; so it is hardly
surprising, albeit saddening, that we
have had to say goodbye to many
loyal and experienced workers.
We are particularly sorry that, w i t h so
many going at such short notice, it
has been impossible to feature their
leave-taking in the usual way.
As chairman of the LSA, Henry
Phillips has had to rush around the
Plant on Fridays, shaking hands and
handing over cheques, and in a
number of areas there have been too
many going all at once for the usual
departmental presentations to be
The best we can do is to list here the
names of LSA members w h o have left
or are leaving, to picture some of
those (not all of them LSA members)
whom the photographer managed to
catch on their last day at work, and to
say to each and every one ‘We wish
you all the very best in the coming
Another pioneer, George Weatherley arrived nearly 37 years ago at Shepherds Bush to
work as a universal grinder in the Tool Room. His colleagues were Ernie Blaich,
Harold Goodrich and Henry Phillips, so it was fitting that Henry should present him with
the cheque from the LSA at his leave-taking last May. Now George can be a full-time
‘universal do-it-yourselfer’; at his home in Mitcheldean he has a workshop which he shares
with his son John of the RXC Machine Shop. Their biggest project to date is the building
of a launch which we saw in ‘dry dock’ outside. Down the garden is George’s greenhouse,
another workshop where he likes to potter. Carrying on the family engineering tradition is
young John Weatherley junior, who joins us as an apprentice next autumn.
Operating the spray gun for the last time is
Horace Wintle. Originally in the Maintenance
Department, he has for the last 21 of his 29
years with us been working in the Paint Shop,
giving components a smart new coat of
protective paint. Horace told his colleagues
that, though he had retired, he intended to
carry on working. There was talk of his taking
up his old trade of chimney-sweeping again.
We’ll be featuring more of those who have
left in our next issue.
Cyril Turley, who had been with us 15 years,
had been in Internal Transport since 1962,
having started in Sheet Metal Shop.’I operated
the first forklift truck at Mitcheldean,’ he told
us. So we thought we couldn’t do better
than photograph him sitting at the controls
of a forklift in Building 41, just before he
left us.
Over 1,000 Years of S e r v i ce
Harry Andrews (28), Tony Barnett (17), Hermine Beard (16), George
Bevan (18), Eric Brain (16), Fred Brown (35), Irene Carpenter (15),
J e r r y Causon (17), Eric Coliett (19), Bert Cowmeadow (33), Fred Court
(37), Jocic Cruicl<shani< (27), Les Davies (29), Graham Eddy (16), Eddie
Fleming (27), J a c k Footitt (28), Horace G i l e s (27), Stella Hawkins (18),
Ray Haile (26), Ken Herring (20), Olive Hyett (17), Henry ‘ C a p ‘ J a c k s on
(15), Michael J a r v i s (16), Tommy Knight (35), Mamie Lark (22), Dorothy
Mansell (28), Ellen M a t t h e w s (17), Charlie Maynard (25), Max Miller (47),
Harold Milliner (23), Sidney Mobey (19), Gordon Pask (21), Monica Penn
(22), Charlie Pragnell (28), Riley Price (21), Tom Ruck (16), May Stidder
(31), Bill Wadley (17), Basil Walker (21), Bob Walton (36), Betty Walton
(21), George Weatherley (36), Ron Williams (33), Horace Wintle (29).
Stop press: Bill l i e s (20), Bill Williams (26).
Tiny but tough is how we’d describe Jock Cruickshank, who took his leave in May after
nearly 28 years with us. Although apprenticed in marine engineering, it was as an Austin
Reed salesman that he went to sea on board the ‘Queen Mary’ where he met many
famous people. After war service as a commando, he joined us as storekeeper, later
becoming a progress chaser, shop loader and, finally, a member of the Planning Et Support
section of Production Control. For many years Jock has fought ill-health but despite his
many times in hospital, he’s always managed to look on the bright side. Jock recently
became interested in tropical fish and our picture shows him, with his wife Ellen (also in
PCD), when he was presented with a fish tank. The chef’s hat doesn’t indicate ‘frying
tonight’ but it symbolises Jock’s developing interest in cooking for the family. 7 might
work out a good recipe for a haggis,’ he told us.
Jack Footitt (pictured saying goodbye to
Henry Phillips) has worked in Engineering
for all his 28 years at Mitcheldean — on the
administration side. In his early days he was
responsible for the Print Room: later, as
administration clerk, he kept records of
Engineering personnel. These records were
recently computerised to help ‘keep tabs
on everyone’. Jack has been an all-round
sportsman. Here at the Plant he played
skittles in the works team. ‘But you can’t play
skittles and not drink, so when the doctor
said “No drink”, I gave up both.’ He used to
play rugger for his home town, Ross-on- Wye,
and for Hereford: he’s also played association
football and was a founder member of the
Ross All Whites team. Rowing was another
of his sporting activities — superseded by
first bowls and then golf. Jack, who has
played for the Herefordshire touring team, is
now concentrating on the game of bowls
once more, he tells us.
Tom Ruck (left) and Harry Andrews both
left RX Cinderford at the beginning of May.
A former miner for 30 years, Tom worked
in our Sheet Metal Shop for 16 years, and
reckoned that ‘at my time of life the terms
offered are very good.’ Two of his sons,
Royston and Glyn, work on mills in
Mitcheldean Machine Shop, whilst his
eldest is a master at Bryanston School in
Dorset. 7 might take a trip down there,’
said Tom. Harry, a foreman inspector, was
about to go further afield — to Italy. ‘I’ve
retired to enjoy myself,’ he said, and so he
should after 28 years’ service. He and his
wife have just bought a bungalow at Harrow
Hill nearby, and are looking forward to
enjoying more of each other’s company.
Works Manager Don Elliott described Monica
Penn as ‘one of the most popular members
of supervision in the factory’ when he went
along to 4000 Assembly to present her with
a large box. ‘ What is it — a 660 ?’ someone
asked. Given to her by her colleagues, it
proved to be a splendid ceramic horse-andcart
which Monica told us was something
she had wanted all her life. One particular
episode we recall during her 22 years with us
was when Monica hit VISION headlines in
1962: then working in Camera Assembly, she
represented Mitcheldean as challenger on
the BBC TV programme ‘What’s My Line’,
and managed to beat the panel.
Christian Fellowship
During the summer programme of the RX
Christian Fellowship, several consecutive
meetings are being devoted to particular
These meetings are of an informal nature
and an open invitation to attend (complete
with your lunch) Is extended to all
employees. They start at 1.10 pm and
finish at 1.35 pm in No. 1 Lecture Room,
Building 6.
Details are as follows: June 24: David
Bentley-Taylor, Director, Middle East
General Mission. July 1: Film strip on
missionary work. July 8: Rev Monger on
‘God the Father’. July 15: Discussion on
‘God the Father’. July 22: Peter Glasgow,
team speaker from the Mid 70’s Crusade.
Advance notice of special evening meeting :
September 24 (Wednesday) — the film ‘The
Cross and the Switchblade’.
2 5 – Y e a r A w a r d W i n n e rs
Top: For the first time, a husband and wife both received their 25-year awards at an
LSA dinner. Dennis Burford (Fuser Roller area. Machine Shop) and his wife Mary
(Spares Packing) are seen here being congratulated by our Chairman and Chief
Executive Mai Thomas, on their ‘silver anniversary’. Above: Other 25-year award
winners were (from the left) David Day (Manager, Optical Techno’ogy); Tony
Kibble (Sheet Metal Manager, PED); Ray Reed (Spares Co-ordinator); and Don Trigg
(Autos, RX Cinderford). Ted Vallance (Machine Shop) was also due to receive his
award but had to enter hospital for a hip operation; we wish him a speedy recovery.
‘I regard this as one of the important
functions of Ranl< Xerox,’ said
J. Maldwyn Thomas, our Chairman
and Chief Executive. ‘There is a
special aura here, because this is
where w e started — this is where t he
grass roots are.’
He was proposing a toast to
Mitcheldean LSA at its 22nd annual
dinner held at t he Chase Hotel,
Ross-on-Wye, on May 2.
Commenting on t he downturn in
market demand all over the world and
the reduced requirement for our
machines at present, he said : ‘As you
know, we allowed stock levels of
our completed machines and parts to
grow in the hope that there would
be an upturn.’
But this had not happened and it
was decided that the situation had
to be corrected in t he interests of the
total Company, and to preserve t he
security of employment for the vast
majority of the Company’s workers.
‘We have tried to make this rather
traumatic change in a way that
would do credit to the Company and
those people w i t h a long period of
service will feel gratified and
reassured that the Management of
Rank Xerox are trying to approach
this situation in a humane and
reasonable way.’
As Mr Thomas pointed out, ‘We are
fortunate in that, as a company, we
don’t start the first day of the new
year w i t h a blank account book. The
clever marketing decision which
made us a rental company gave us a
stable base which will be our shield
in this period of stress, and enable
us to move out of the trough when
world conditions improve.
m N
‘We do need to preserve the fabric,
to nurture our own resources, all the
time, preparing for the development
and launching of new products.
‘Don’t let’s become depressed, because
the Company’s future is bright.
There is no need to suppose we
shall be less successful in the years
‘The Company is solid and sound
and safe. Our sales forces are
working hard to meet their targets,
backed by advertising and
promotional schemes. We will see
our way through,’ he assured the
200 or so members present, and he
thanked them for their individual
service put in over the years ‘which
has been of great significance to the
He toasted the LSA ‘for its 22 years
of remarkable existence which goes
back to before the foundation of
Rank Xerox in December 1956.’
Sitting at the top table with
Mr Thomas were (in alphabetical
order) Ron Barnett, Roger Haggett,
Lionel Lyes, Ron Morfee, Derek
Portman and Fred Wickstead.
‘I don’t think I have ever attended an
LSA dinner when we had such a
glittering array of talent at the top
table,’ said president Bernard Smith,
proposing a toast to ‘The Guests’.
‘Seriously though, we are indeed
impressed and proud that Company
officers consider it worth while to be
present on this occasion.’
He extended a welcome to them and
to the representatives of ‘our
sister/brother associations.’
The latter included : Miss Vi Holder,
R. J . Hall and J . Prior (Rank Audio
Visual, London); H. H. Davies and
E. Morgan (Rank Xerox, Welwyn),
Mrs D. Kings and Mrs V. Cann (Rank
Radio International, Plymouth);
Miss H. Shaw and F. Thorpe (Rank
Radio International, Chiswick); and
B. S. Pearn (Rank Taylor Hobson,
Leicester) who replied to the toast on
behalf of the guests.
Henry Phillips, chairman of the LSA,
read a telegram from Stan Pratt who
sent regards to all his old friends at
There was a special welcome for
George Turner, treasurer of the LSA,
and good wishes for his continued
recovery of health.
Among many retirements coming
along of long-serving people
Mr Phillips mentioned particularly
those of vice-president Fred Court,
and ‘Max’ Miller w i t h his record 47
or so years in the Company.
Mr Portman added a f ew words too.
‘I always admire the way you
conduct this function — it is always
so happy.’
Dancing to the Sundown Band went
on till 1 am and many people have
said that it was one of the best and
liveliest LSA dinners yet.
Winner of the draw for members
present was Sam Phillips who
collected a useful £20. There were
also a number of excellent presents
handed out to winners of the
programme number draw.
A total membership of 305 was
reported at the annual general
meeting of the LSA held on
April 28. This figure will leap to
over 350 by the end of the
year, while the list of retired
members has been swelling visibly
as a result of so many members
having opted for the voluntary
redundancy/early retirement
In fact, the officers have had a
hard time of it keeping up with
the unprecedented number of
leavetakings. In the process, the
association has lost a vice-president
in Fred Court and it has been
decided to accept this ‘cutback’
and not appoint a successor.
With this exception, the
association officers and committee
remain unchanged.
(We have done the best we could
to cover the situation on pages
4 and 5).
‘I’ve calculated that the total number
of years’ service of those w h o have
left, or are leaving, under the
scheme comes to over 1,000 — an
average of 24 years per person,’
chairman Henry Phillips told us.
‘When all this is over, Ron
Wrigglesworth and I w i l l be the
only t w o remaining of those with
continuous service who originally
came down from London in the
early days.’
The usual summer outing for retired
members, paid for by the proceeds
of a draw, will be to Sudeley Castle
on July 2 via the Stroud Valley
and Cirencester.
Peter Vince
‘ W i th t h e U K economy in
some d i s a r r a y , w e are
having to rethinl< p o l i c i e s ,’ s a y s Peter V i n c e , IVIanager, F i n a n c e £r A d m i n i s t r a t i o n. ‘Management need more information, tighter control of the c o s t s that are being incurred, and w e are having to remodel our a c c o u n t i ng and reporting s y s t e m s to give Management a better insight into w h a t is happening and to provide a f i rm b a s i s for d e c i s i o n making and t h e means to t a k e c o r r e c t i v e a c t i o n. ‘ T h i s p r o c e s s i s s t i l l in i ts early s t a g e s . Manufacturing Group are arranging meetings of senior f i n a n ce s t a f f f r om all Rank Xerox plants w i t h the a im of developing s y s t e m s that w i l l meet Management requirements.’ Financial r e s u l t s a r e a means of putting on paper what is happening in a b u s i n e s s , s a y s Mr Vince, and a t w o – d a y course, designed to f a m i l i a r i se people at management level w i t h the interpretation of financial s t a t e m e n t s , h as been running s i n c e February. T h i s a r o s e f r om the Appraisal Programme, managers having e x p r e s s ed a w i s h to get to k n o w more about finance. ‘We had 100 nominations f r om all over t h e Plant,’ s a i d R i c h a r d Coleman, Organisation £r Development Co-ordinator, w h o has been r e s p o n s i b l e for the c o u r s e. ‘ W i t h the e m p h a s i s on liquidity and c a s h f l o w , it couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time.’ A lecturer f r om Slough College of Technology h as put over general a c c o u n t i ng p r i n c i p l e s , w h i l e our own financial people. Ken T a y l or and T e r r y MclMamara among them, have given an input f r om the Plant. Operational and Support Audit at work. Above: (from left) Bob Askin, Manager Roger Bennett, John Perry and Trevor Knight Right: Rex Tarrant ‘on location’ in Mechanised Stock Control. SYSTEMATIC TROUBLE-SHOOTING One of tfie qualities necessary in an auditor is the ability to listen; as Latin scholars will tell us, the word audit’ comes from the verb audire, meaning ‘to hear’. In a room next to Personnel Department in Building 23 we discovered Operational and Support Audit, a big name for a small group of internal auditors, and we went along to hear how the ‘listeners’ operate. Said Roger Bennett, Manager of the department: ‘Our work is in many ways similar to that of external auditors.’ Prior to the beginning of the Company’s financial year on November 1, an audit plan is prepared and agreed w i t h Mitcheldean Management, setting out the operational and support audits that will be carried out during the next year. Operational audits are in-depth investigations into systems, both financial and otherwise, carried out on behalf of SPAD (Systems and Performance Assurance Division). These culminate in a report to Mitcheldean Management with simultaneous publication to senior management in Xerox Corporation, at IHQ and in Manufacturing Group, including William Glavin, Michael Hynes, Derek Portman, Roger Haggett, and Fred Wickstead, to whom SPAD are responsible. Support audits, as their name implies, are intended to support both Plant Management and the Company’s external auditors, and circulation of the reports on the audits is thus restricted to these t w o recipients w i th a courtesy copy to SPAD. Since we live in a changing world, the annual audit plan is not regarded as unchangeable and when Management find they have a need for the urgent investigation of a particular area, the plan is amended to incorporate it. Each report produced by the department details their findings as a result of their investigation and sets out, in the form of recommendations, the action agreed w i t h Management necessary to remedy any shortcomings discovered. The early part of any audit involves a lot of field work. The auditors must do their homework before moving in and discussing problems. Listening to managers and others concerned is a vital part. They try to be fair. It’s the shortcomings of systems that they identify (for example, they’re currently reviewing the EO procedures at Mitcheldean). ‘We don’t point an accusing finger at individuals — we’d have to feel very strongly about a situation to do that. We’re not a kind of secret police. Our objective is to help in putting a situation r i g h t’ To help them determine the true facts, the auditors verify by test checks, using recognised sampling techniques, investigating in greater depth when the situation demands. Nothing must be taken at face value. The team of auditors work either on their o w n or in pairs on a job. Sometimes, in a problem area, it takes more people, or longer time, than was at first anticipated. It sometimes happens that matters for action are cleared up before the reports are sent out, in which case a note to that effect is incorporated in the report. 8 From the left (seated) are Graham Thompson, Andrew Davis and Wally Parry who make up the programme financial analysis section in Special Projects. Standing is Derek Wade, who was transferred from Special Projects to Training Department just after our photograph was taken. Wally, too, is leaving soon; he’s going to Rank Xerox in Teheran where, as Accounting Operations Manager, he hopes to rate a Company camel I SPECIAl BRANtH Officially, Special Projects department shares offices with Operational & Support A u d i t ; but the full staff complement of eight is seldom all in one place at one time. In these days of non-recruitment and a somewhat reduced workforce, body-snatching in busy office areas is becoming a popular sport, and Special Projects are, by their very function, particularly liable to lose the occasional individual to another area. There was Clive Johnson, for example; he was borrowed by Financial Planning and they never returned him ! Anne Fox and Don Evans are located in Building 44, their ‘special project’ being to put in and maintain an internal financial and budgetary control system for PED. Left: Terry McNamara, Manager of Special Projects, is temporarily a member of the SOLAR Project Team. Also working in the Terrapin Building on a special project connected with SOLAR is Dennis Wedley (right). ‘We deal w i t h any Manufacturing Engineering projects which have a financial implication — t h e costing of sub-contract work, for example, or the N/C complex. We also assist with the input to the Operating and Capital Plans,’ Don told us. He has been on location in Manufacturing Engineering for t wo years, but was recently prised back to look after the administration of the section for Terry McNamara, Special Projects Manager, who has been seconded to the SOLAR Project Team for some months. (Terry is producing a control package for senior management, designed to enable them to check on how SOLAR is functioning). With Terry in the Terrapin Building is Dennis Wedley, Finance Department’s ‘link man’ w i t h Information Systems Department in the development of computer systems for Finance Department. His current special project is the investigation of that segment of SOLAR known as area costing (the putting of a value on stocks by their location) to see how best this Production Control data can be used by Finance Department. He is also involved w i t h the new Bought Ledger system being developed by IS. Although trained initially as a production engineer, Derek Wade has 0 & M experience and, in his work in Special Projects, he’s had a bias on the management and administration side. Until recently he has been engaged on preparing a procedure manual for Finance & Administration Department; on ad hoc investigations and reports; and co-ordinating the action reports resulting from the recommendations in the SPAD audits, or those made by the Company auditors. Derek hasn’t been borrowed — he’s just moved over permanently to Training Department to assist Wally Hammond in management and supervisory training projects; but steps are being taken to ‘fill the gap’. By the time we’d talked to the group of three men forming the programme financial analysis section, the story of Special Projects had begun to sound like a version of ‘Ten Little Niggers’. Don Evans is currently looking after Special Projects administration for Terry McNamara. At present Graham Thompson, Andrew Davis and Wally Parry make up the section; but soon there will be only t w o , for Wally is ‘defecting’ to Rank Xerox in Teheran later this year as Accounting Operations Manager. The financial analyses they are currently engaged on concern all the emergent programmes, such as the Xerox 9200. By ‘picking the brains’ of people in the relevant areas, such as Design, PED and Manufacturing, and picking up information via existing systems, these financial analysts try to work out the cost per unit of future models and associated production programmes — an almost impossible task, some may say. ‘We have to work out the financial value of these products t w o or three times a year,’ said Graham Thompson. ‘One of the most difficult things is to estimate the rate of design change. We haven’t got capital approval for a crystal ball.’ The section prepares an input both to New Product Control and to Group Programme Management via Group Finance, providing information that is as reliable as possible for the three of them to make it. Sandy d r o p s in The visitor waiting in Reception the other day turned out to be Sanderson Miller (better known as Sandy) back from the States on repatriation leave for his son’s wedding — ‘The last of my four to take the plunge.’ Sandy is our Production Control resident, based at Rochester, and he sounded enthusiastic about life over there. An ex-RAF type, Sandy has travelled the world (‘I think South America is probably the only place I haven’t visited’). The Sanderson Millers are noted for their contribution to the Service; Sandy himself served for 29 years. ‘At one time there were six of the family in the RAF — my three sons and t w o daughters-in-law plus myself.’ Travelling has given him a first-rate opportunity to extend his interest in philately. ‘My collection dates from 1842 onwards and I reckon there are only a f ew stamps missing, so I’m always on the look-out for them.’ Sandy has been making the most of his opportunities to get around while in North America. He is probably the only one of our residents to have done the exciting scenic trip on the Canadian National Railway right across from Toronto to Vancouver (three days and t w o nights on the train). We’ve asked him to let us have a story about it some time. 9 i l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e me&* n e e t i n g p l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p i e c e meeting p l a c e meeting plac4 >iace meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meel
J o h n Powell is a senior systems
analyst — but you won’t find him
working in Information Systems right
now. He’s currently part of the
SOLAR project team in the Terrapin
building, finalising procedures for
control of stock on the assembly
Twenty years ago John joined us as
a clerk in PCD; when we started
mechanising, he moved to 0 & M,
later progressing into the Information
Systems side.
John’s wife Joyce once worked at
Mitcheldean and their son Graham
is now a progress chaser in PCD;
they also have a daughter at the
Forest of Dean Grammar School.
As you can read on the right, he is
related by marriage to Hubert Evans,
and shares w i t h him a great interest
in choral work. John sings t op tenor
in the Drybrook Male Voice Choir
(he’s been with them 20 years t o o ).
He’s their assistant conductor and he
also conducts Lydbrook Baptist
Church choir.
John still finds time for t w o other
hobbies. One is the collection of old
Christmas and picture postcards.
‘The first Christmas card was
produced in 1843,’ he told us. The
heyday of the picture card business
was from the turn of the century to
the First World War, and some of
those cards really come into the
realms of fine art. Quite apart from
the pictures, the messages written on
the back are fascinating for their
sidelights on history.’
John’s antiquarian interests include
books — children’s, natural history
and gardening mostly. Which brings
us to his other hobby — alpine
gardening. He has a wide variety in
his rockery and various troughs but
now he’s planning to build a second
greenhouse in which to lay out an
indoor garden filled w i t h the less
hardy kinds of alpines.
‘I f i nd the work connected w i t h the
Long Service Association is very
interesting and worth while,’ said
Val d e a l .
She was speaking about her honorary
j ob as secretary to Mitcheldean’s
L.S.A. What w i t h the recent spate
of retirements and the dinner
reported in these pages, plus the
routine work of contacting potential
members, inviting them to enroll and
so on, it’s been a bit hectic recently.
‘It’s quite a business keeping tabs on
our 305 members,’ she said. ‘But
Edna Hanman, who is assistant
secretary, is a great help’.
Val says she took the j ob on last year
because ‘I am interested in and like
working with people’. She has got
used to writing many letters — and
‘I find it eventually allows me to meet
more people and I like that’.
Daughter of Phil Cleal, Group Small
Batch Facility Manager, Val joined
us 16 years ago as a junior tracer in
the Drawing Office. Now she is
Section Leader of a five-girl team of
Drawing Technicians.
Some of the section’s work concerns
Engineering Orders. ‘We work in
liaison w i t h the draughtsmen,
tracing and doing alterations to
drawings; we do artwork, display
work and that sort of thing too.’
Dressmaking is one of Val’s main
interests; she is also fond of
ballroom dancing, driving and
tennis. ‘I make virtually all my own
clothes — but I’m not looking for
commissions,’ she added.
Getting a wardrobe together for her
holidays occupies part of her
leisure-time. She loves travelling and
having visited most of Europe finds
Spain high on her list of favourite
holiday-places. ‘I’ve been once this
year and I’m going again later on,’
she t o ld us.
There’s quite a lot of ‘head work’ in
Perpetual Inventory but Hubert
E v a n s , who has been engaged on
stock audit since he joined us
18 months ago, is used to that — he
used to run his own hairdressing
business in Cinderford until obliged
to make a change for health reasons.
‘ M y only hairdressing activity today
is in giving service to the hospital,’
he told us. So there’s no question
of a short back and sides for people
in Building 41 !
Hubert Evans is a name that is
familiar to local football followers —
it used to appear at the foot of a
sports column in the Saturday
Pink ‘Un published by The Citizen.
Hubert has been connected for
many years w i t h the administrative
side of local football activities and
‘ I ‘m still vice-president of t w o or
three,’ he admitted.
Tennis is his main sports interest
today; as chairman of Cinderford
Tennis Club, he was instrumental in
arranging for our newly formed
Tennis Section to have the use of
hard courts and club facilities at the
Rugby & Sports Club in Dockham
We want Rank Xerox people to
integrate w i t h the c l u b ; we’ve some
attractive trophies and we hope to
organise some inter-club and open
tournaments this season.’
The possessor of a rich baritone
voice, Hubert is a keen member of
Drybrook Et District Male Voice
Choir, an interest he shares with
John Powell (also featured on this
page). In fact, he and John have
partnered each other often in
quartets and duets. John is a cousin
of Hubert’s wife Winifred,
accompanist to the choir. Hubert’s
daughter, too, is musical; a mezzo
soprano, she recently made the front
page of the Western Daily Press as
leading lady in a Cleveland Light
Opera Company production.
Y i e e t i n g p l a c e meeting p l a ce
The ‘Best of Show’ slides:
Xerox Competition — Rank
Xerox Stringalong’ by Barbara
Snell (showing a string of
mules against an Argentinian
landscape, this was the only
slide in the entire contest to be
awarded 10 points); Xerox
‘Sky Streak’ (9 points) by
James Wood. Left: RX
Competition — RX ‘Tiddlers’ (8
points) by Valerie Jordan; Xerox
‘Cow Girl’ (7points) by
Court Packer.
We lost — but by only six points, in
the Rank Xerox v. Xerox, USA,
Photo Club contest.
As already announced, the 25 slides
from either side judged over here by
John Knight, chairman of Ross
Photographic Club, resulted in our
gaining 132 points against 119 for
Six hours after these results arrived
in the States, Xerox held their part of
the contest, judged by the Rev W.
George Thornton, w h o is noted for
his colour slides. This time Xerox were
awarded 172 to RX’s 1 53 points.
When the scores were added up,
Xerox came out winners w i t h 291
against the RX figure of 285.
At each contest, a ‘Best of Show’
slide from either side was chosen.
And in the case of the Mitcheldean
entries it was the women
photographers who stole the show,
as you can see from the pictures.
In spite of a f ew minor setbacks
which had reduced t w o of the four
teams to t w o men each, the finals of
the Wickstead Shield Chess
Competition went on as planned in
the clubhouse on May 8.
The Knightshifters, J . Jewell (capt.)
and B. D. Meek, met Information
Systems, R. Barnett (capt.) and
C. Cunningham, to decide third and
fourth places.
N. Watts, w h o should have played
second board for Knightshifters, had
emigrated to South Wales early in the
year, so the remaining t w o members
had to w i n both games to take the
It was, however, too much, for after
a fairly quiet and even start. Info
Systems won both games
R. Barnett (black), after taking an
early advantage of t w o knights for
four pawns, systematically removed
the opposition piece by piece, losing
his queen in the process.
B. Meek had a fine chance to even
things up towards the end of the
game by bold use of his remaining
queen and rook, but missed the
opportunity, and finally, losing both
pieces, resigned.
J. Jewell fought on to the end
against C. Cunningham (white),
despite the rather thin cover provided
for his king during the greater part of
the game, and it required all white’s
big guns to force the checkmate.
Design should really have clinched
the title, for, w i t h J. Taylor (black)
winning a fairly even game,
T. Simpson (white) in the late stages
of his game found himself w i t h a
rook, knight and three pawns against
R. Walker’s rook and four pawns.
Unfortunately for white, the extra
black pawn was clear in the end file
and its progress towards being
queened presented too much of a
problem for T. Simpson who had to
surrender his rook to eliminate it.
R. Walker finally made checkmate by
trapping his opponent’s king w i t h his
rook and king.
The third game was decided on May
27, the result being a w i n by J o hn
Mannering over Dave Bourne, thus
ensuring that the shield went to
Group Inventory Control.
J . J o h n s on
The finals of the Interdepartmental
Skittles Tournament are upon us
once more w i t h the ladies of
Production Control playing 660
Castaways on June 24 and the men’s
finalists — Cap Flatteners and 4000
Flashback — h i t t i ng it off on June 28
in the club house.
Winners of the Interdepartmental
Golf Cup, played on May 8 at
Hereford, were the Accounts team,
Derek Parker (capt.), John Spratley
and J im Timmis, w i t h PED 7000 —
Don Meek (capt.), Dennis Barnard
and Don Parkinson — as runners-up.
Nine teams altogether took part.
Best wishes to those who retired last
month, as follows:
George Turner (Paint Shop), who had been
with us nearly 15 years; Tom Hazelwood
(4000 Assembly), with nearly 6 J years’
service; and George Haile (Finishing) who
had been with us since 1967.
(These retirements were in the normal
course of events, and not as a result of the
early retirement package).
Sam McColiom
We are sorry to have to record the death on
May 2 of Sam McColiom (Development
Laboratory) at the age of 56. Sam had been
with us for nearly seven years.
Neil, a son for Jim Saunders (Engineering
D.O.) and his wife Josie (formerly secretary
to Manager, Works Laboratory), on April 16.
Jonathan George, a son for Barrie Mills
(Design) and his wife Jocelyn (formerly
International Communications), on April 17.
Julian, a son for Tommy Knight, Jnr (Goods
Inwards Inspection) and his wife Pam, on
April 21.
Mark, a son for Ruth Harris (formerly Goods
Inwards) and her husband Gordon, on
April 26.
Peter Richard and Deborah May, twin son
and daughter for Valerie Worsfold (formerly
secretary to Manager, Personnel Services)
and her husband Alan (Production Control),
on May 2.
Bob Wright, Chief Draughtsman (Copiers), presents the
trophy to the captain of the Pot-Hunters, Brian Wragg,
L e f t : Pot-Hunter Roger Preece bowls with style to become
the highest individual scorer of the tournament.
Although commencing later than usual, the
Inter-Design Skittles Tournament completed
its run, with the winners coming from the
Draughting Section.
The competition started on a league basis
consisting of 12 teams competing in four
divisions : Div. A — Reliability Sewer Stars;
Terror Pins; Leg-Overs. Div. B— Little A s ;
Sam-sons; Pot-Hunters. Div. C— Model
Shop Swingers; Model Shop Waltzers;
4000. Div. D — Brown Sauce; Cooper’s
Droopers; Ardri Big ‘A’.
At completion of the league fixtures, the
winners went on to the familiar knock-out
system, the draw being Terror Pins v. 4000,
and Pot-Hunters v. Ardri Big ‘A’.
Although the match between the Terror
Pins and 4000 turned out to be a
comfortable win for the Terrors, the other
match developed into a nail-biting
situation, with the Pot-Hunters running out
winners by a narrow margin of 3 pins.
On Wednesday, May 7, the final, held at
the Club House, gave the impression of the
professionals against the amateurs, since
the majority of the Pot-Hunters play regular
If you have, then please —
let your departmental correspondent know.
However, the game turned out to be more
nerve-racking than the extremely close
semi-final, with the result resting on the last
man — the captain of the Pot-Hunters,
Brian (Oily) Wragg — who required 7 to
win. This he achieved in true traditional
Forest skittling fashion, obtaining 6 with his
first ball and 2 with the remaining 2 balls,
giving the Pot-Hunters the title with a
score of 303 against 301 for the Terror Pins.
The highest individual scores were: Roger
Preece 50 for Pot-Hunters, and Dave Lewis
48 for Terror Pins. The trophies for both
winners and runners-up were presented by
Bob Wright Chief Draughtsman (Copiers).
Due to the notable absence of the
experienced hand of B B C from the
committee, the whole thing went off
without a hitch !
It is hoped that the 1975-76 competition
will commence sometime in November and
that there will be more teams participating,
including (we hope) representatives from
Ken Dobbs & C h r i s C r o ss
or leave it at any Gate House for
collection by me.
or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
or ring me — its Drybrook 542415.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
When sending in i t e m s please give your
extension number a n d / o r department t o ensure
i n c l u s i o n .
For Sale
Mitcheldean — local to RXMP with spacious
rooms; two beds., kitchen, dining-room,
lounge, bathroom, central heating and large
gardens. Room for improvements. View
any time. £9,200 — offers. 2 Fairview,
New Street.
Portable television, HMV 18 in., dark blue,
very good condition, £20 o.n.o. Bush
transistorised amplifier, as new, £10.
Collection of foreign dolls (approx. 30), £5.
Sue Smyth, ext. 1248.
Bedding plants, large or small lots — you
name them, I have them. Delivery arranged.
G. Roberts, The Branch, Steam Mills, or
Heat Treatment, ext. 344.
Modernised farmhouse, 250 years old, at
Kerne Bridge; four beds., two reception,
dining-room, bathroom and toilet,
downstairs toilet, garage. Set in cultivated
half-acre. Price: around £28,000.
S. Wright, ext. 737.
Stereo record player, as new. Also Spanish
12-bore shotgun in good condition.
Ext. 823.
Autovox car radio-stereo cassette player,
with speakers and installation kit, £40.
Graham Hughes, ext. 360 or Ross-on-Wye
Tricinco Stewart oil fuel boiler (65/85000
BTU/H) and 300 gallon storage tank, £135.
Whitecroft 562747 or ext. 408.
Blakeney — one only available, very spacious
3-bedroomed detached bungalow with
garage, oil-fired central heating, large
elevated plot with superb woodland views
yet close to local amenities. Price £14,500.
Ext. 614.
Hillman Hunter tow-bar; spring assistors;
7-pin socket, etc. £12 o.n.o. S. Meek,
Reliability, ext. 578 or Drybrook 542369.
Zeiss Nettar camera in good condition, £7.
Leather case. E. Cook, ext. 321.
Kodak Retinette lA with case and close-up
lens, £1 5. Weston Master 5 exposure meter
with case and Invacone, £8-50. Will take
£20 for pair. C. Betts, ext. 839 or Lydney
Lady’s knee-length real suede coat, brown,
fur on sleeves and collar, size 14, cost £50
new, never worn, will accept £25 o.n.o.
Also mustard pram navy interior. Carrycot
and stand and Rock-a-bye, all in good
condition. Offers. Drybrook 542648
Coleford — close to town centre with rural
outlook, detached 3-bedroom house, full
central heating and garage, £10,750.
R. S. Bowers, Production Control, BIdg. 44/2,
ext. 944 or Coleford 3541.
Cot, good condition, £8. R. Kempster,
RX Lydney, ext. 12.
Caravan ‘Sovereign,’ 13ft, 4-berth, 9 months
old, immaculate condition, £760 o.n.o.
Trevor Knight, Finance & Admin., ext. 814.
Car Pool
Wanted — fourth member for car pool
Stroud-Stonehouse area; staff hours.
J . Bilton, ext. 997.
P W Sounds mobile discotheque. We cater
for all age groups and all tastes in music.
Good sound and entertaining lights.
J . Phipps, ext. 759 or Ross-on-Wye 2611.
The winning Pot-Hunters (left) and the runners-up, the Terror Pins, pose
for photographer John Stephens, who also works in Design.
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.