Return to 1975-1979

Vision 113

Figuring it out in Metric
As drawing technicians in Engineering,
Anne Taylor (left) and Ann Osley are
used to working in m e t r i c ; but even
they were a bit shattered to note that
their vital s t a t i s t i c s must soon be
quoted a s 91.66.96 and 96.71.96 – in
centimetres, that i s (and w e ‘ r e not
letting on w h i c h set of figures
belongs to which f i g u r e ! ).
Our t w o cover g i r ls w e r e caught by
the camera w h i l e v i s i t i ng the recent
Metrication Exhibition; held in the
Social Centre f r om J u l y 21 to 25, it
demonstrated how metrication is
affecting us at home, and h ow the
changeover i s progressing at work.
The exhibition had been s e t up by
Metrication Officer J a c k Timms, w i th
help on the consumer s i d e by the
Metrication Board (who supplied some
useful t a k e – a w a y literature), and w i th
help on the Mitcheldean side by Ann
and Anne (who did the artwork).
Most people stopped to weigh and
measure themselves. Commented
J a c k : ‘ I f we ever have a tug-of-war
contest in the Plant, Small Batch (day
shift) look odds-on favourites — there
weren’t many of them under 100
k i l o s ! ‘ (See a l s o picture on page 2.)
L The Dav
the Rainl
The Management team (top), and the
Apprentices with the bats they never used.
The annual cricket match between
Management and Apprentices, held
on August 14 at Mitcheldean
Playing Fields, was spoilt by the
weather and declared a ‘no contest’.
Management as usual ‘won’ the toss
and elected to bat (rumour has it that
a coin is likely to be used in future
matches). In between thunder,
lightning and torrential downpours,
they reached a total of 130 for the
loss of three wickets in 19 overs.
Arthur Bibey (12), Keith Laken (26),
Roy Powell (39 n.o.), and John
Notley (51) helped themselves to
runs from bowlers handicapped by a
wet ball and fielders sliding yards in
a cloud of spray.
Gary Sladen, captain of Apprentices,
was optimistic about getting the
runs with his team which included a
guest player from Australia (not
Dennis Lillee, as at first thought).
But our cricket correspondent is of
the opinion that the task would have
been beyond them, taking into
account the strength of the
Management bowlers.
After the match festivities commenced
a bit early, with Plant Manager Ron
Morfee acting as host. Everyone got a
little wet inside as well as outside,
and showed determination to try again
next year, should it prove impossible
to make arrangements for a replay
this summer.
Thanks are due once again to
Mitcheldean Cricket Club for the use
of their facilities.
The Teams
Management: Frank Edwards (capt.),
Chris Bell, Arthur Bibey, Mike Cooper,
Steve Ferriman, John Gurney, Keith
Laken, Derek Lee, John Notley, Roy
Powell, Mark Southall.
Apprentices: Gary Sladen (capt.),
Stephen Beard, Lynden Creswick,
Phillip Davis, Roger Davis (Aus.),
Stephen Edwards, John Harding.
David Lewis, Mark Savagar, John
Smith, Dave Tingle.
Umpires: Henry Phillips, Tony Roberts.
» » »
Would-be Students Please Note
The 1975/76 prospectuses for the West
Gloucestershire College of Further
Education in Cinderford, Gloucester
City College of Technology, and other
local colleges are now available for
perusal in the Training Department.
D o w n t h e M e t r i c a t i on
A group of visitors to the recent Plant
Metrication Exhibition stop by the stand
showing typical metric piece parts produced
in Small Batch, while Metrication Officer
Jack Timms explains the technicalities.
Displays on the Rank Xerox side of the
exhibition marked milestones in our progress
down the metrication path: Packaging
went metric in November 1972, Tool
Design has been metric since August 1974;
Stationery is in the process of metrication
now; while the Multinational Task Forces
continue to produce standards covering all
aspects of metrication in Engineering and
Production. The exhibition was also useful
in providing feedback from a wide crosssection
of the Plant (including the night
shift, for whom it was opened for two
evenings). Problems arising from metrication
were aired and these are being investigated.
mBW Diamonds for Reg
In order to support improved Works
Engineering service to the site and
user departments, managerial
responsibilities in the department have
been reallocated as follows:
Bill Phelps is now Manager—
Production Areas, responsible to Les
Inskip for satisfying the Works
Engineering requirements of
production departments.
Reporting to him are : Keith Jones,
now Manager—Manufacturing and
Finishing Areas, responsible for
project engineering and maintenance
work in Parts Manufacture and
Finishing Areas; and
John Denton, appointed Manager—
Assembly and Services, responsible
for project engineering and
maintenance work for all Assembly
Areas, plus Model Shop, Small Batch
Department and Tool Room. In
addition he is responsible for the
operation and maintenance of factory
Tony Newman has become Manager—
Premises, responsible for satisfying
requirements of non-production
areas and for the continuous
development of factory services to
ensure that site needs are
continuously met.
Brian Toombs has been made
responsible for planning and
scheduling all Works Engineering
shops activity, spares and materials
procurement and control, Works
Engineering stores, financial
authorisation, commitment and spend
control activity.
John Notley remains Manager—
Transport, responsible for the
procurement and disposal of Company
cars, and for the operation of all
Company vehicles, except Supply
Centre vehicles, based at Mitcheldean.
Tony Newman, Brian Toombs and
John Notley are all directly
responsible to the Manager, Works
Manufacturing Group
Alan Brown joined Manufacturing
Group on July 21 as Manager
Manufacturing Engineering (Milton
Keynes), reporting to Peter Salmon,
Manager Manufacturing Development,
Manufacturing Group. Mr Brown
came to us from ITT Business
Systems Group where, as Manager
Manufacturing Engineering
Centre— Europe, he was responsible
for the planning and development of
new product start-up activities. Prior
to this he was a Product Manager
with International Computers Ltd.
m L e f t : Richard (Dick)
Holmes who, as reported in
our last issue, joined Rank
Xerox as Divisional Director,
Manufacturing Group,
responsible for Finance &
Information Systems on
July 1, reporting directly to
Group Director Derek
Portman. Right: Stan Lane,
most recently Manager
Manufacturing Operations
Control at the Manufacturing
Division in Webster, who
joined Manufacturing Group
earlier this year as Manager
Accounting Systems,
reporting to John Field,
Manager Finance.
During his two-year
assignment with us, Mr Lane
will establish a management
information network covering
management reporting,
analysis, measurement and
control, both operational and
financial. This will involve
the upgrading and
integration of the various
independent reporting
systems currently being
used, ensuring commonality
and uniformity across all
plants. In achieving this
objective, Mr Lane will be
working with all areas of
Plant and Group Management.
Terry McNamara,
formerly Manager Special
Projects in Finance &
Administration, has joined
Mr. Lane’s staff as business
management consultant.
Tidying up for the Trust
A novel climax to their training year
for girls of the 1974/75 trainee
secretary intake has been a week’s
‘extra curricular’ activity at one or
other of the National Trust Acorn
Camps, situated on NT estates such
as Pumpsaint in West Wales and
MoseleyOld Hall near Wolverhampton.
Turning their backs on their
typewriters, the girls have helped
with forestry work and general
gardening upkeep in company with
other young people, acquiring an
appreciation of the work of the
National Trust. We hope to let you
have a more detailed account later on.
Reg receives fiis long service award from
tiis Manager Des Jones. Jacl( Tester,
Manager, Manufacturing Engineering,
Mil<.e l-lool(. and ottier members of FED
management, earlier offered him their
With Max Miller’s retirement last
May, Reg Arnold of PED succeeded
to the title of ‘our longest serving
employee’. Having recently
completed 45 years’ service, he also
became eligible for a four-dazzler
award in the shape of a diamond
tie-clip, plus a gift of a gold watch,
which were presented to him last
Reg joined Gaumont British, which
subsequently became part of the
Rank Organisation, in 1930 as a
cinema projectionist in the Monmouth
area. Later, as an installation
engineer, he installed sound
equipment at cinemas in the West
Country, including those in
Cinderford, Lydney and other Forest
‘Max was stock-keeper at Gaumont
and he used to send the equipment
down to me,’ said Reg.
He transferred to Woodger Road,
Shepherds Bush, in 1940 to work in
electrical assembly, and in 1941
returned to this neck of the woods to
work in the Sheet Metal Shop at
Mitcheldean. 1960 saw his transfer
to PED where he works today in
9200 section (sub-contract work).
Irish Operating
Company Formed
Currently the RX operation in the
Republic of Ireland is conducted as
one of the 18 branches of the UK
The volume of our business in the
Republic of Ireland now justifies the
formation of a separate Operating
The Irish Operating Company will
nominally come into being on
November 1, 1975. During 1975 it
will remain administratively
associated with the UK Operating
Company, progressing to full
Operating Company status within the
UK Region in 1976.
Computer time-sharing — by remote
terminal using a large distant mainframe
computer — i s a growing trend.
So much s o that a Company-wide
survey called T O P S (Time-sharing
On-line Processing Strategy) is being
carried out by I HQ of all time-sharing
activities w i th a v i ew to rationalisation.
There are a number of instances of
time-sharing at Mitcheldean — w i t h in
Engineering, Manufacturing Group
staff, and the Supply Centre — and we
recently looked these up and a s k e d the
users why they had opted for
time-sharing f a c i l i t i e s.
Computer time-sharing at Mitcheldean
began in the Electrical & Optical
Laboratory. It all happened along
with the use of printed wiring boards
in our machines.
In the ‘sixties, analysis was a luxury;
in the ‘seventies, with PWB’s
becoming so big and so complex, it
is just good engineering,’ says
Manager Stan Wheeler.
‘For the past three or four years we
have been using remote computer
facilities for analysing electronic
circuits and also for optical evaluation
in connection with initial design work.’
In more recent months, time-sharing
facilities have extended from
‘straight engineering’ applications to
include data processing, necessitated
by the call for more detailed analyses
for management reports, the piling
up of parts and jobs lists, etc.
Two further computer terminals have
been set up in the main Engineering
Block and Vaughan Wilson has been
appointed as Assistant Manager,
Information Systems, as part of the
Planning & Control function under
Ray Pyart.
Vaughan was in right at the start —
he used to work in the Electrical &•
Optical Lab and was involved with
the first teletype terminal installed
there. Now located in Building 38,
he is responsible for implementing
systems to meet the particular needs
of Engineering.
It is this ability to write one’s own
‘software’, together with the
availability of specialised packages
and different levels of computer
language, accessibility and a very
quick turn-round, that makes
time-sharing attractive.
And while Engineering have
considerable contact with our own
Data Centre (through the SOLAR
system Bill of Materials), they have a
growing number of applications
which are carried out on outside
computers which may be thousands
of miles away.
For example, personnel records have
now been computerised so as to
enable rapid updating and detailed
Vaughan Wilson, Assistant Manager,
Information Systems in Engineering, looks at
the tracking system print-out with terminal
operator Jean Roberts.
Another system currently being
developed is known as ‘Engineering
Request Tracking System’. ‘This
follows the progress of the ECO or
DR until it is finally issued as an
Engineering Order,’ explained
A Programme Cost Tracking System
has been in use for the past year;
this reports Engineering costs against
Operating Plan to programme
The 9200, being launched this
September, has triggered off quite a
few applications, such as the
computer-based system which
handles all the Reliability test data
and provides diagnostic reports.
‘We are hoping to put the System
Evaluation & Test Laboratory on-line
this autumn.’
Vaughan sees further exciting
developments ahead — such as the
possible link-up with the Xerox
Technical Computer Centre at
Rochester. ‘This should open up a
vast reservoir of systems and
programs and will hopefully
eliminate the need for a lot of hard
copy to be sent across the Atlantic,’
he told us.
And in the ‘eighties, it seems, we
could even be transmitting digitised
drawings — that is, drawings
converted into numbers for normal
data transmission and converted back
into drawings on a visual display
unit or drawing board, using a
special tracing device.
If you hear them mention ‘the box’
in the Manufacturing Group offices
in Building 42, it’s not television
they’re talking about, it’s a computer
across the Atlantic.
Julian Alington, who is Manager
Information Services in Group
Information Systems Department, told
us that about two years ago a need
was felt, particularly in the planning
departments, for the ability to
evaluate quickly alternative
strategies — where and when certain
products should be made, and how
much it would cost in terms of
materials, labour and overheads, etc.
A time-sharing facility which would
fill a gap between the desk
calculator and the use of batch
processing by Mitcheldean’s own
Data Centre was felt to be the
With the experience of Xerox and
Xerox of Canada in mind, the decision
was made to adopt I. P. Sharp’s APL
(a high-level computer language
which is easy for mere human
beings to understand and use).
This was initially run on a pilot basis
for a limited number of carefully
selected users in Group—Resources
Planning in particular. The list of
users has since grown slowly to
include inventory Control, Purchasing
and Production Planning and Control
‘We chose it because it is very good
for a one-off exercise, particularly
where there is a lot of arithmetic,’
said Julian. ‘There is the facility to
plot graphs and do complicated
matrix arithmetic, which means
calculating on several planes
It has 24-hour availability and there
is the added advantage that it can be
accessed by I HQ, by Welwyn and
(eventually) by Venray.
Another aspect of this facility which
endears it to its users is that they
can program it themselves, given
minimal training. Said Julian: ‘We’ve
had one-week in-house courses run
by Sharp’s personnel. It is very
quick and therefore cheap to write
and change programs, and there
are numerous print format routines,
packages simple to use, in the APL
Basic information is fed into Sharp’s
main IBM computer in Toronto,
Canada, via the terminal. In the case
of Resources Planning, for example,
programs bring production
volumes, etc., together to work out
manpower and space required for a
particular production strategy. With
circumstances constantly changing,
the users appreciate quick access to
the arithmetical genius.
Martin Fenn-Smith told us of two
applications which Production
Planning & Control have for the
‘We use it for tracking machine
production programmes at all
the Manufacturing Plants. We
have ‘on the box’ records of
production programmes, operating
plans and both actual and forecast
figures. From these we compile a
summary of production volumes for
the monthly Group ‘Highlights’
report, and more recently, for the
monthly forecasting of availability of
machines to Supply.
‘Time-sharing for us has meant that
a job which used to take two days
can now be done in three or four
We asked Dave Richards in Resources
Planning how to operate the
terminal. He explained : ‘You dial the
number on the telephone (it’s a
conventional GPO affair using either
a Modem or an acoustic coupler
which converts signals into sound
L e f t : Julian Alington {left). Manager,
Information Services, with significant users
of the terminal in Manufacturing Group —
Martin Fenn-Smith, Production Planning 8-
Control (centre), Neil Forrest, Resources
Planning Manager, and, seated at the
controls of the newly arrived Diablo
typewriter for terminal use, Richard Walker,
Inventory Control Below: Dave Richards
of Resources Planning in the hot seat; he
says of the terminal ‘It’s a boon — you can
do a lot of what if’s this way.’
And the next development in
transmission after digitised
drawings? Digitised personnel,
perhaps ? (With apologies to
Star Trek’ I)
tones), you put in your code and type
your request. The message goes via
Sharp’s office in London and is
bounced by satellite to their main
computer in Toronto.
‘This does the calculations you
require in milliseconds and the
answer comes back by the same
route in the form of whistles and
bleeps. These are converted by the
coupler into terms comprehensible
to the typewriter which prints out
the answer. It’s all done in less than
a second.’
But the users aren’t entirely
satisfied. The GTE terminal
typewriter, which works on the ‘golf
ball’ principle, doesn’t move fast
enough for their requirements, and
is noisy.
So a Diablo typewriter with a ‘daisy
print wheel’ is being installed.
This is not only quicker, it also
offers a print-out of sufficiently high
quality to make it suitable for
inclusion in reports, unlike some
competitive high-speed terminals.
Turn the page
for the
Supply Centre story
SUPPLY CENTRE GE Some three years ago we devoted
several pages in VISION to a feature
on the newly named Supply Centre,
hitherto known as the International
Distribution Centre, or IDC.
The change of name reflected a
widening of function (it was also
rather convenient in view of
subsequent developments, as you
will see).
The growth in volume and product
range since 1972 (throughput has
gone up from 12,000 to 20,000
orders per month — a growth of 66
per cent), and the changing demands
put upon the Supply Centre by its
customers, have since resulted in
some further major changes in its
organisation and role.
‘We have become more customeroriented,’
says Roy Nivison, Manager
of the Supply Centre, ‘and over the
last 15 months a Customer Service
department has been set up under the
direction of David Jolley. This has
enabled closer communication not
only with our customers, the
Operating Companies, but also with
Programme Management on new
product launch plans.’
For the past eight years, procedures
for order processing and stock
recording have been entirely clerical
and based on the ticket-order and
invoice system. While this has
worked well enough, it is not
suitable for adapting to the needs of
Technical Services & Supply Group
(TSSG) of which the Supply Centre
is a major component.
To achieve this, a computer system
known as INTERPICS (International
Programming & Inventory Control
System) is being introduced which
will meet Supply Centre needs for
the next generation of Rank Xerox
equipment and improve customer
service, while providing a data base
for complex inventory management
and enabling better forecasting.
INTERPICS is currently being
‘knocked into shape’ to meet the
many and varied requirements; but,
when we talked last month with
David Brisker, Manager in charge of
the new Information Systems
department within the Supply
Centre, he told us: ‘It should be
ready in time to support substantially
the launch of the 9200.’
‘Training of personnel is in full swing
and will extend until the end of the
year. Our target date for full
Pictured with the mini-computer are
Operations Controller John East (left) and
supervisor Ron Cochram. That’s Glenys
Bromage watching the visual display unit.
COMPUTERISED David Brisl(er (standing). Supply
Centre’s Information Systems Manager,
answers a question from one of the
implementation team at a basic
training session on INTERPICS. On
David’s left is senior analyst lain
The implementation team are popularly
known as the Interpixies I
Above: John Brown, data control clerk,
talks to Ruby Aston, who transferred from
Auto-Plating to train as keypunch operator.
Over on the far right is her daughter, Ann
Pudge, who transferred from Electrical
Sub-Assembly: she’s working with Pam
Below: Seated at one of the two APL
terminals in Data Control is Joyce Turner.
The APL facility is being used temporarily
for updating parts location information for
Warehouse picking lists; it will be phased
out when INTERPICS is fully implemented.
operational running is January 2,
In time, the initial system will be
extended to handle all products and
all customers (including the special
requirements of Eastern Export
Operations); full warehouse control,
with monitoring of orders through
picking, packing and despatch; full
invoicing and accounting interface;
interface with Manufacturing
Group’s systems for forecasting and
creation of spares programmes for
input to the SOLAR system; and
fully automatic order entry from
Operating Companies who can
supply orders via computer media or
telecommunications network links.
The system will eventually be
extended to other Supply Centres (at
Welwyn, at Venray and possibly at
two minor centres at Lille in France
and Coslada in Spain).
Mitcheldean was chosen to lead the
field partly because it is the largest
of the Centres, and partly because
the system can greatly assist with
the 9200 launch.
The system depends on the setting
up of International Data Centres
(IDC’s — remember?), all with
identical computers, at Bushey,
Watford, in the UK, at Diisseldorf in
West Germany, and a third in France,
serving all Rank Xerox Operating
Companies in Europe.
Until INTERPICS came into the
picture, the Supply Centre had no
computer power of its own at
Mitcheldean. ‘With a daily intake of
around 1,000 orders,’ says David
Brisker, ‘no one Supply Centre has a
need for an on-site computer, but
for some complex processes such as
the equitable allocation of spares, a
powerful processing capacity is
The answer to the situation has been
the installation of a remote batch
terminal (a mini-computer) linked to
a main-frame computer — initially at
the DiJsseldorf IDC; but it will be
transferred during 1976 to the IDC at
Bushey when this becomes available.
This plan will also enable Operating
Companies eventually to access a
direct link between their Technical
Service and Supply Systems, Supply
Centres and TSSG-HQ.
It is felt that this new development
will provide the necessary capacity
to meet the rapid growth anticipated
over the next few years.
During the launch of the 9200 there
will be a very intense level of activity,
but, said Manager Roy Nivison :
‘After this period we expect a
residual growth of approximately
50 per cent over the next two years.’
i l a c e irieetlriB pSace meeting p l a c e rneetins p l a c e meeting p l a c e mee
neeting p 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 ao
tiaoe meeting p l a c e meeting p l a c e meseting p l a c e meeting p l a c e mefe
‘I thought he was a very nice chap,
friendly and ordinary,’ said Ken
Davies who works in 4500 Sorter
Assembly. He was talking about
Prince Charles whom he met during
the royal visit to Monmouth on
July 14.
After looking round the Nelson
Museum, Prince Charles went into
Great Castle House for a cup of
coffee. The Castle is the HQ of the
Royal Monmouthshire Royal
Engineers (Militia), the oldest TAVR
unit in Great Britain.
The catering arrangements were in
the experienced hands of Ken who is
steward of the officers’ mess and a
sergeant into the bargain. Before he
left, the Prince had a word with the
catering staff; he shook hands with
Ken and chatted about conditions in
the TAVR.
An ex-regular (Service Corps), Ken
was well qualified to talk on the
subject; he’s belonged for over 12
years and is due to receive his long
service award.
When we took photographs of the
Sorter Assembly area recently Ken
was away at summer camp in
Hamelin, West Germany, and our
picture shows him talking to some
youngsters while over there. The
town was immortalised in Robert
Browning’s poem ‘The Pied Piper of
Hamelin’, and the local people bring
the story to life by enacting it on
stage every year. Ken has the show
on slides and film.
Incidentally, there were two other
Plant people who met the Prince —
Johnny Johnson of Packaging
(Supply Centre) and his daughter
Dionne (secretary to Jeff Kew in
Twenty-three-year-old Pam Jones,
secretary to Training Manager Derek
Lee, believes in keeping herself in
training. In fact, we reckon she could
qualify for the title of Mitcheldean’s
Sportsgirl of the Year.
Having caught up with her just past
the finishing line of a 90 wpm speed
writing test, we asked her about her
varied sports activities.
Qne of the three lady members of
our Golf Society, she is playing in the
Rank Xerox Tennis Tournament
mixed doubles.
She also belongs to the Adventure
Club and goes walking with them
(‘I haven’t been caving yet but I
don’t mind trying’).
Pam does enjoy relaxing too; she
recently had a ‘smashing holiday’ in
Tenerife, along with Jane Elsmore of
Personnel, and came back looking
fitter than ever.
‘I feel one needs plenty of outdoor
exercise if one’s doing an indoor
job,’ Pam said.
Just in case she might be thought to
be slacking, she’s planning to learn
to play squash in September as well I
A Kentish man, John Earl first came
to the Forest to meet 32 Girl Guides.
They had ‘adopted’ him while he
served in the Army (he lost his left
arm in action on his 18th birthday)
so after hospital treatment he made
his way to Bream to meet them
personally (‘I thought I was in
Wales,’ he said).
He stayed to work at the Princess
Royal pit, first as a welder then as a
clerk, joining us at Mitcheldean in
1964 to work in Production Control.
Today he is supervisor. Common
Parts, dealing with the provisioning
and progress of ‘W’ items, packing,
consumables, etc.
Ever since his Army days John has
been in amateur showbiz — singing,
acting, making people laugh.
One of the original members of the
Variety Club, he was its chairman and
is now its treasurer. He specialises in
an Al Jolson act, one of the few
times he wears his artificial arm. The
other is when gardening — ‘Well, you
can’t wheel a barrow with one arm.’
The club put on numerous shows in
the Plant and outside, all in aid of
charity or to please the old folk.
This year, while enjoying a holiday at
Butlin’s, in Barry, John came second
in the over forties’ talent competition
and won the singing waiter
competition. ‘That was fun because
you have to drink and I can do that.’
His son Ronald worked at Lydney
until recently, his daughter Janet also
used to work here, and his married
daughter Myra Winman works in
Purchase Office.
• n e e t m g p l a ce meeting p l a c ej
We can’t tell you how many pins
have been knocked down, or how
many pints have been knocked back,
in the course of the recent
Interdepartmental Skittles Knockout
Tournament which started last
But we can say that 83 teams,
compared with 75 last year, took
part in the men’s skittles while the
ladies’ skittles involved eight teams,
three less than last year.
As reported in our last issue, the
winners of the ladies’ skittles finals
on July 8 were Lou’s Lot (Production
Control) who beat 660 Castaways,
last year’s winners, by two pins in an
exciting finish.
But the Castaways had the
consolation of producing two top
individual scorers — Janet Jones and
Daphne Cooper. They tied with 45
and had to play it off, with the result
that Janet won the title of highest
individual scorer, just as she did last
Below (top): Lou’s Lot of winning lady
skittlers from Production Control; (bottom)
the runners-up — 660 Castaways, who
included the top lady scorer Janet Jones
(third from right at the back). Right (top):
The Cap Flatteners (Press Shop) who won
the men’s skittles, (bottom) 4000
FlashPack who were runners-up.
Pat Cassidy of Personnel Department
kindly presented the elegant sets of
silverware — rose bowls to the
winners and flower vases to the
It was a pretty close finish in the
men’s finals too on July 19, with
Cap Flatteners (Press Shop,
Cinderford) coming out on top with
288 to 4000 FlashPack’s 280.
Highest individual scorer in the men’s
tournament was Eric Woodman
(Machine Shop, Mitcheldean) who
chalked up a splendid 56 — two
higher than last year.
Handsome silver tankards and
trophies were presented by Sports &
Social Club chairman Tony Haynes.
Owing to the fact that Accounts
seemed to be reluctant to relinquish
the trophy they won last year, the
runners-up received a table tennis
trophy as a substitute, which led to
some confusion as to whether they’d
been playing in the right tournament I
Eric Woodman of the Machine Shop
who with 56 was highest individual scorer
in the men’s skittles.
Said Tony: ‘I had hoped the
competition this year would be
played in the proposed new centre.
However, we are still aiming to get
new facilities; we have now got a
billiards and snooker room in Building
6 and we hope to move into a further
part of the building before long.’
Thanks are due to Sadie Pritchard
who, with the help of Cyril and Nancy
Beard, organised the whole show.
Photo Club Outing
Summer’s nearly over, but there’s
still the summer outing of the RX
Amateur Photographic Club to look
forward to. On Sunday, September
14, members will be visiting Barry
Island and the Welsh Folk Museum,
St Pagan’s, near Cardiff, with its
reconstruction of an old welsh village
complete with smithy, etc.
Non-members are welcome too —
just give your name and remittance
(£1 per person) to Pat Jordan (TED,
BIdg 44). The coach leaves the
George Hotel, Mitcheldean, at 9 am
and will arrive back somewhere
around 8.30 pm.
Our Wimbledon
If you’d rather sit still and watch
others running around, how about
going along to watch our own
‘Wimbledon’ on September 14?
The finals of the Rank Xerox Tennis
Tournament are being played at
Cinderford Tennis Club in Dockham
Road — men’s singles and mixed
doubles. All being well play starts
about 2.00 pm.
Concert Date Altered
The date of the visit to Mitcheldean
of the Caldicot & District Male
Choir, originally planned for
September 20, is now to be a week
later on the 27th. The evening’s
entertainment in the Social Centre
will include dancing and a cabaret.
Whose wife said to a member of a skittles
team: ‘For heaven’s sake let my husband
win tonight or he won’t speak to me for a
week’ ?
Golf — Sunny and Soaking
The Golf Society’s third and fourth
outings of the season were held at
Filton (Bristol) on June 20 and
Abergavenny on July 11.
The Filton outing was rather poorly
attended, possibly due to the
all-too-recent holocaust at St Pierre.
It did, however, have two saving
graces. One — the weather was
superb, and two —the writer
managed to win a prize I Results
Mike Cooper 66 net
George Swainson 70 net
PM (Bogey)
John Cash +2
George Swainson Level
The Summer Cup at Abergavenny
brought out the hopeful hordes,
despite reports that the course
represented a desert more than a golf
course. It had been six weeks
without water from either heavenly
or man-made sources.
Why did it have to wait until we
arrived to get a soaking ? The
morning’s play was conducted
through a series of decidedly heavy
showers. It was, of course, still very
warm, so the options were simple:
either get soaked to the skin from
the outside or sweat your whatsits
off from the inside under your
It was a steaming mass of bodies
that arrived in the clubhouse only to
have to sit through England’s
miserable performance in the First
Test Match on the telly.
The sun, however, did come out for
the afternoon and with it, as usual,
the ‘snakes’ that crawled out of the
wet grass. Scores rocketed
downwards, especially that of one
“Spotty” individual to the chagrin
and financial embarrassment of the
Winner of the Summer Cup was
Richard Matthews (137) with Don
Parkinson (139) second and Don
Meek (141) third.
Our revered secretary managed to
break the stranglehold that the above
three gentlemen had on the day’s
prizes by winning the morning round
with a fine net 71. J.C.
We have been warned — by Sam Foster,
lately of Finishing Department. A keen
amateur cine operator, he came across a
second-hand 624B Bell & Howell camera in
mint condition while holidaying in Paignton.
It was in its original case with the original
handbook plus a note stating : ‘In case of
complaint, ring Drybrook 421.’
» # #
The Plant collection on St John Ambulance
Flag Day at the end of June amounted to
£58-29 — for which Tony Cale would like to
thank givers and helpers.
If you have, then please —
let your departmental correspondent know,
or leave it at any Gate House for
collection by me.
or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
or ring me — it’s Drybrook 542415.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
We report with regret the following deaths :
Freda Brown (RX Lydney) on July 24, at the
age of 50 (Freda had been with us since
March, 1969); and Riley Price (Machine
Shop), aged 4 6— he left recently under the
early retirement scheme and was on holiday
when he died on July 31.
LETTER John Ingram stopped the traffic to take this picture before the group
set off from Mitcheldean.
It was sunny all the way to Sudeley
Castle on July 2 — couldn’t have
been more different than on last
year’s outing. Sixty-one retired
members of the LSA, looked after by
Val Cleal, Edna Hanman, Lil Howell
and Tony Cale, travelled by coach
via the Stroud Valley and Cirencester
through Cheltenham to Winchcombe
and Sudeley Castle, once the home
of Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIM’s
last wife. There was an excellent tea
waiting at the Harvest Home, Greet
(all expenses were met by the
proceeds of the draw at the annual
dinner and social, boosted by LSA
funds). Later a stop was made at
the Cross Hands, Teddington, to
quench a few thirsts.
George Turner, LSA treasurer, back
at work after 18 weeks’ sick leave,
told us he feels fitter than ever, and
he’d like to express his appreciation
of people’s kind wishes for his
David and Jane Weyman R L Evans Marvin and Megan Westmore
J. Rose
John and Alison Skilton R. L. Evans
Zara Rossiter (Purchase) to David Jones on
July 19.
B i r t hs
Stephanie Jayne, a daughter for Niall
Andrews (PCD) and his wife, Janice
(formerly RX Lydney), on July 18.
Amanda Clare, a daughter for John Spratley
(Administration) and his wife Sheila, on
August 4.
Best wishes to Austin Hale (Engineering
clerical services) who retired in August. He
came to us in May 1966.
Gary and Sandra Cooper ‘”^’^”^
Megan Hale (4000/4500 floor) to Marvin
Westmore at Coleford Baptist Church on
June 21.
Jane Reed (secretary to Mr R. S. Pyart,
Engineering) to David Weyman (supervisor
Engineering Records) at St Michael’s &
All Angels, Mitcheldean, on July 26.
Sandra Davies (4000/4500 Assembly) to
Gary Cooper at Holy Trinity Church,
Drybrook, on July 26.
Also on July 26, Alison Hobbs to John
Skilton (both BOSQA—Goods Inwards
Inspection) at Abenhall Church.
Above: Bill Jenkins, who retired from Security in July, receives a gold watch
and cuff-links from Works Engineering colleagues, presented by Chief Security
Officer Bert Charnley. Below: Phil Lever, electrical inspector in 4000/4500 Assembly,
receives a present of a clock from his colleagues on his retirement in July. It was
presented by Ted Price, Assistant Manager Quality Control (Assembly).
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
Continental tow bar, plus electrics for
Toyota Carina, as new condition, £10.
P. Trigg, ext. 522.
Austin 3-litre, white. May 1969, 30,000
miles only, excellent condition, one owner.
Anne Boyd, ext. 633.
1 973 Vauxhall VX490 Transcontinental, very
good condition, £1,175 o.n.o. R . J .
Kempster, ext. 309 or Drybrook 542993.
1972 Fiat 128 2-door saloon, blue, 28,000
miles, two owners from new, £675 o.n.o.
Ext. 450 or Gorsley 205.
Piano accordion, 120 bass, treble coupler,
‘Alvari’, £12 bargain. Mrs G. A. Nevell,
96 Eastern Avenue, Mitcheldean.
45,000 BTU Wilson oil boiler; also
encyclopaedia set and stand. Ext. 677
Two-wheeled bike, suit 4-6 years; 8 solid
wooden doors with hinges, locks, etc.
(pre-1914). Offers. Also Triumph Tiger
10OA, £70 spent on new parts, needs
finishing, £100. G. Burch, ext. 578.
300 Marley Redstone roofing tiles, £25.
Also oddments of 2-ply and mineral
insulated roofing felt — offers. D. Duke,
ext. 648.
4-piece wickerwork suite comprising :
2-seater settee, 2 easy chairs and matching
coffee table; also needlecord cushions for
settee and chairs. £75—offers near.
Rob Taylor, ext. 1244 or Cinderford 22799
after 6pm.
Grass track outfit less chair.
Triumph motor, twin carbs, H/C pistons,
3134 cams, 16in. wheels, new tyres needs
finishing, offers. Mike Jones, 9200 floor.
Mitcheldean — end of terrace house,
3 bedrooms, night storage heating, large
garden, garage space, £8,700. Tony Giles,
ext. 388.
Ford 1500 GT engine, only 4500 miles since
rebuild, A l cam very good condition.
Presently attached to 1964 Cortina Estate
but could be parted. Engine £75 o.n.o. — a
further £15 secures the lot. Keith Laken.
Group Personnel, BIdg 42/2, ext. 567.
Detached Victorian house, spacious and
comfy, modernised throughout 4 bedrooms,
10 rooms in all. Large walled garden,
garage and hardstanding for caravan,
£16,500. Jean Roberts, ext. 507.
Reliant, ‘ C reg.. taxed & tested, £90 or
nearest. Ray Wright, ext. 870.
Crane Cavendish solid fuel boiler. F. Edwards,
ext. 341.
Storage heaters, 3Kw, 2-5Kw and 2Kw,
Dunlop-Westayr; also 16 gallon and 2
gallon Sadia water heaters. M. Arnison,
Cinderford 22992.
Mackenzie deep freeze 4-7 cu.ft 7 months
old, £60 o.n.o. Ext. 539.
Extendable fireguard and child’s safety car
seat, both in good condition. M. D.
Williams, ext. 870 or Lydbrook 526.
Two drivers needed to complete car pool
from Buckshaft/Ruspidge area of Cinderford.
Staff Hours. Barry Torrance, ext. 675.
Dumped on the front lawn was a
pile of assorted objects — a high
stool, coal hammers, oil and paraffin
lamps and some heavy brass keys.
The immediate reaction of
Mrs Hendy and her daughter Susan
was: ‘Dad’s turned in his job as a
security officer and he’s going to set
up as another Steptoe !’
But it was just that Fred, who
worked on the railways for 30 years
before coming to Mitcheldean Plant
in 1966, was such an enthusiast he
couldn’t resist buying some of the
paraphernalia which went up for sale
when Dr Beeching’s axe fell across
the local lines.
His pride and joy is an engineering
inspection rail-car, complete with
klaxon and fire extinguisher, which
was used on the line which ran from
Grange Court to Hereford via
Longhope, where Fred lives.
‘It’s petrol-driven, and if I had some
more rails I’d run it round the
garden,’ said Fred.
He showed us a photo of the last
passenger train going through
Longhope; Fred has the station sign
and also the metal letters which
spelled out ‘Mitcheldean Road
Another treasure of Fred’s gave his
sister-in-law a bit of a turn when
she walked down to the bottom of
the garden. It’s a sign saying :
‘Please adjust your dress before
•» » «
What trains are to Fred, buses are to
Derek Meek.
An electrical adjuster in Electrical
Sub-assembly, Derek grew up with
buses, so to speak. His father, one
of the Forest transport pioneers, ran
a local bus service in the early
Derek first worked as fitter and
driver in his father’s business (they
had a contract with BAF) and later,
when it was taken over in 1955 by
Edwards &• Co., he worked with
them as a fitter.
Although he doesn’t work ‘on the
buses’ any more, Derek still manages
to drive them. As one of the seven
men who form the Forest of Dean
Bus Preservation Group, he helps
care for two elderly vehicles housed
in the old Red & White bus depot at
One is an ex-Red & White Leyland
coach dating from the late 1940’s
(anything up to the 1950’s ranks as
The other is a 1937 Bedford
25-seater coach bought from the
late Adge Cutler’s estate for £200 or
Fred Hendy with some of
his railway relics — right the
inspection rail-car and
b e l ow a line-up of signal
L e f t : Derek Meek boards the vintage
Bedford. Above: An even earlier bus,
operated by Derek’s father. Posing with it is
driver Horace Hook who later worked in our
Supply Centre but is now retired.
SO; now it’s worth about £1,000,
having been completely overhauled
and kept in superb condition inside,
outside and under the snub-nosed
‘We’ve travelled quite a few distances
looking for authentic spare parts in
scrapyards and so on,’ Derek told us.
The 1937 bus recently repaid their
efforts by winning the Challenge
Bowl for the best Bedford in the
London to Brighton rally for pre-war
commercial vehicles.
We left Cinderford at 6 am on
May 4, arrived in London at
midnight and slept in the bus. We
couldn’t leave a valuable thing like
that lying around I’
This year the bus preservationists
are attending a dozen or so other
rallies as far afield as Weymouth,
Manchester and Harrogate.
Driving is taken in turns; the men
have to hold a PSV licence, but they
don’t have to pick up any passengers!
‘But if you’re rallying a vintage fire
engine, you can get called out to
help fight a fire,’ Derek discovered
The group often take their families
with them on trips so that all can
enjoy dad’s hobby. ‘We haven’t
risen to a double-decker yet, but
we’re hoping to get at least one more
vehicle, provided the wives don’t
object too much,’ said Derek.
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