Return to 1975-1979

Vision 116

January 76 No. 116
Wa/brook Photography
Jill Phelps holds the doll while Bridget Harris gives the pup a brush-up.
The girls, working in Central Records, collected £40 towards the cause from
PED alone.
This fluffy pup won the hearts of,
and coaxed the cash from, a great
many people at the Plant before
Christmas. Together with the
beautifully dressed doll and other
raffle prizes, all kindly donated,
it enabled Medical Department to
raise a record sum of £232.
This is being given to Gloucester
Royal Hospital towards the purchase
of a mechanical assistant for
operative surgery (an item which
facilitates quicker and more
efficient surgery and also acts as
‘another pair of hands’ for the
operating team).
Medical have asked us to thank all
those good people who sold tickets
or bought them, helping to achieve
such an excellent result.
The pup, by the way, was won by
Derek Boseley of RX Cinderford, who
gave it to his six-year-old daughter,
Joanne. ‘ I ‘m not putting it in for
Crufts this year,’ he t o ld us I
And the doll ? That went to Fred
Pritchard of 4000 Assembly.
Mr Haggett congratulates Bob Askin
(Group Finance Et Admin.) on his
outstanding achievement; he not only
successfully completed parts III, IV and V of
the ICMA Diploma course in the space of
12 months, but was also one of the highest
placed candidates, coming third in part V
and second in the subject of financial
management The lady on the left, Sandra
(Quality Assurance), was another who
packed in the passes during 1975, both in
shorthand and typing. Married to Andrew
Carpenter of 7000 Assembly, she intends to
keep studying and has her sights on an
RSA III certificate.
The presentation of cheques totalling
around £1,000 took place in
the Social Centre on December 10.
They went to some 70 industrious
employees who had been successful
in passing examinations as a result of
their professional studies.
Making the presentations, Roger
Haggett, Director of Manufacturing
Operations (UK), said : T he
manufacturing industries of the
Western world are having a difficult
time. We are not yet one of the
oil-producing nations; and while we
are optimistic about the future we do
not know when that brighter future
is going to emerge from behind the
‘As you know, the 9200 has recently
been launched, and the response
seems to have been quite g o o d ; we
have had a fair number of orders
and it appears to be going well.
‘Life, as you must have noticed, is
changing fast — and never so fast as
it has done in the last t w o years.
‘We have to be able to adapt to
constant change. None of us can be
sure what we are going to need in
the next f ew years. All w e can really
say is that in order to maintain our
standard of living, and to keep our
jobs, we have to be good at more
than one thing.
‘I am very pleased to see that many
of you are helping yourselves, t he
Company and the community, by
giving yourselves another skill, by
becoming qualified in some other
Congratulating the award winners, he
added : ‘I am amazed to discover that
most of you w h o are getting these
awards have carried out your studies
in your own time.’
With the l aw adding weight to the
unisex movement — no sex
discrimination, equal opportunities
and all that — traditional roles may
become a thing of the past. There
was no sign of it this year, but w h o
knows, next time we may see a
shifting of roles w i th a f ew brave
men tackling the typewriter, and a
woman or t w o infiltrating the ranks
of the technical types.
In the meantime, we wish to point
out to any authorities who might
jump to the wrong conclusions that
nobody here enforced segregation of
the sexes, even if it looks that w a y
from the photographs. As Training
Manager Derek Lee pointed o u t :
‘There’s a law against it now.’
Derek acted as MC at the
presentation, and Roger Acland,
Derek Wade and Frank Edwards of
Training saw that the right people
received the right amounts of money.
A goodly number of managers also
came along to applaud the success
of their staff.
Photographed after the presentation are b e l ow the technical types and right, opposite page, the management and supervisory (wait a
minute — there’s one of those linguist chaps there too — he must have dropped out of the ‘commercials’ picture above).
A line-up of ladies who took secretarial subjects, and the ‘commercials’ — the linguists and chaps with an eye for figures.
r/p/nsr—Sheila Beirne (PED), Shirley
Burke (PED), Jackie Burris (Personnel),
Carol Carpenter (Production Control),
Sandra Carpenter (Quality Assurance),
Susan Jackson (Works Engineering), Sally
Meek (Personnel), Gwyneth Nicholls
(Engineering), Ann Parkhurst (PED), Sally
Prosser (Purchase), Denise Rawlings
(Production Control), Alison Skilton
(Quality Assurance), Jackie Smith (4000
Assembly), Kay Thomas (Purchase), Sheila
Tingle (Electrical Sub-assembly), Myra
WInman (Purchase).
Shorthand—Sandra Carpenter, Rosemary
Davies (PED), Jane Hale (Group Mfg
Programmes), Sally Prosser, Lida Williams
‘O’ Level English — Alison Skilton.
‘O’ Levels — English: David Jones
(Materials Handling); Accounts, Economics,
English: Derek Knight (Purchase).
German (Institute of Linguists) — Idris
Camm (Group Engineering), Eric Edwards
(PED), Terry Gardner (Engineering), Roy
Gomme (Milton Keynes), Christopher Orris
Certificate of Office Studies — Geoffrey
Hayward (Production Admin.).
Institute of Cost B Management
Accountants — Part II: Tony Butterworth,
Stephen Panting, Paul Tucker, Michael
Wright (all Finance & Admin.);
Parts III, IV, V: Robert Askin (Group
Finance & Admin.); Part V: Steve Knighton
(Supply Centre).
Telecommunications — Part II: Robert Leach
Mechanical Engineering Craft Studies:
Robert Lewis (Quality Assurance), John
Murrell (Small Batch).
Technician’s Certificate — Electrical: Graham
Cooper (PED), Paul Head (PED), Malcolm
Howard (Reliability), Christopher Pegler
(PED), Michael Rumsey (Goods Inwards);
Mechanical: Raymond Gunter (Quality
Full Technological Certificate — Electrical:
Roger Baldwin (PED), Clive Cowmeadow
(PED), John Davis (Quality Assurance),
Kenneth Johnson (Work Study);
Mechanical: David Baynham (Design),
Clive Davies (PED), Peter Hughes (TED),
Graham Jones (Design), Christopher Reed
Higher National Certificate — Keith Davies
(Reliability), Vance Hopkins (Plant
Facilities), Bob Johnson (Works
Engineering); Endorsement: Jony Day,
Leslie Orchard, Terry Ruddleston, Derek
Russan (all of PED).
Licentiate of the Royal Institute of
Chemistry— Philip James (Works
Management and Supervisory
National Examination Board for Supervisory
Studies— Roger Bennett (Engineering), Sid
Cooper (Machine Shop), Terry Peates
(Quality Control), Clive Ward (Small Batch)
and John Williams (Machine Shop).
Diploma of Management Studies —
Alexander Bisland (Engineering—Technical
Co-ordination), Richard Davies (4000
Institute of Works Managers — Diploma:
Mike Brown (PED), Peter Strickland
(Milton Keynes); Certificate: Paul Franc
(Group Finance), Michael Newman (Work
Progress reports from the three Mitcheldean people n ow providing
F i r s t , a letter f r om E r i c T o s e (Work
Study) who went last October to work
at the Salesian School, Blaisdon Hall,
(pictured opposite) where they care
for some sixty b o y s ; E r i c is involved in
helping the youngsters to prepare for
life in today’s industrial society, and
a s s i s t i n g w i t h social and characterforming
At the time of writing I have
completed almost one third of my
allocated project time.
First impressions? The meaning of
total involvement.
Involvement in the work and play of
sixty boys and the home life of
twelve boys in particular.
Outside of school hours, I share
responsibility for a ‘home unit’ of
twelve boys aged from 11—15 years
with Alan and Lesley Gilbert, Mike
Macnamara and Fr Aiden Murray.
I cannot praise t oo highly their
patience, understanding and
The 3 7 i – h o u r week has gone out of
the window. I normally leave home
at 10 am. each day, getting home
again at 10 pm. What about the
workers, then I
The prime objective — industrial
familiarisation — is coming along
steadily, and over the last three weeks
the questions have started to emerge.
We’ve visited Bryce Berger at
Gloucester and the Rank Xerox
Mitcheldean Plant, w i t h arrangements
made for British Steel, Cardiff, and
Beecham Foods, Coleford, plus,
hopefully, the GPO and Forestry
The Social Service Leave scheme
allows me to perform a dual f u n c t i o n ;
‘dancing a part in West Side Story’
on my day off I help with the
teaching of rugby at Mitcheldean
Primary School — w h i c h brings me
to sport, as usual.
Last month (November), one of my
judo boys at Blaisdon Hall, Mel
Little, w o n the Gloucestershire Junior
Heavyweight Championship, this
being the second consecutive year
for us. At least one third of the boys
practise judo now, so look out in
I’m keeping fit w i th a little football on
Wednesday afternoons where my
height and weight make me t he
biggest if not the Best (pun).
You may not believe this, but for t he
last t w o weeks during my free periods
I’ve been dancing a part in ‘West Side
Story’. Actually, I was assisting t he
drama class w i t h its interpretations
of Bernstein’s famous music. Today
New York — tomorrow ze vorld.
Joking apart, though, may I take this
opportunity to wish all my friends
and readers, on behalf of the Blaisdon
team, every good wish for 1976.
T h i s next report comes f r om Diane
Stratford of Purchase w h o wrote us
j u s t before Christmas, having
completed her f i r s t month’s leave
working with the Bristol Housing Aid
Centre of Shelter — t h e organisation
which provides advice and c a s e w o rk
support to families who are homeless.
As you will read, s h e has made such
good progress that her own research
project has been brought forward and
she is n ow working in t h e Forest of
Dean, doing a detailed study of
housing problems.
Before I could really take it upon
myself to help homeless families, I
had to be familiarised w i t h the laws
of the county, the duties of the Social
Services Department and the help
and advice Shelter was able to give.
I spent a lot of my time reading
reports and bulletins and visiting
social workers (especially those w h o
worked on the temporary
accommodation section), to gather
all this information, but I found that
the best way to learn was by trial and
Because I was particularly concerned
with rural areas, every case that came
into the office involving a family
living in t he country was given
straight to me, and I was therefore
able to get a ‘feel’ of the sort of
problems rural areas have.
At last I was able to put all my
careful studying into practice. I was
soon able to recognise the kind of
help needed for one particular
problem, and act accordingly.
The first thing to do was to get to
the root of the problem. This
involved a lot of gentle questioning
and trying to w i n the families’
confidence without their feeling we
were prying into their lives.
Obviously, in t he beginning, this was
rather difficult for me, but w i t h a
little help from the people in the
office, I was soon able to carry out
an interview quite smoothly.
Now, after being here for four weeks,
my workmates feel that they can
leave me to sort things out for
myself, and I feel quite competent to
do so.
Casework is not the only side of my
job. For example, last week I took
part in an empty property survey of
one of the small Avon towns — Pill.
This involved one of my colleagues
and myself tramping around Pill
looking for any empty houses, and
subsequently finding out w h o they
belonged to and how long they had
been empty.
Inevitably, when it came round to
lunchtime, we dived into the nearest
pub for refreshment, and to rest our
weary feet. But despite our blisters,
it was a very fruitful day, as w e did
find several dilapidated houses.
Another survey I carried out last week
was to do w i th gypsy families in
Avon. A f ew weeks ago, several
gypsy families turned to us for help
as the site they were living on was to
be closed down because of lead
pollution. After some investigation
we found that this site was the only
one in the whole of Avon, and
consequently the families had
nowhere to go.
I have been allotted the task of
doing all t he research work concerned
w i t h this problem, eg f i n d i ng out how
many possible sites there are in
Avon, how many gypsy families there
The Salesian School, Blaisdon Hall.
Hot from an Equatorial climate comes
t h i s letter f r om J a c k Brooks of PED
Component Planning, w h o left for
Sierra Leone, W e s t Africa, early in
December to join his s o n , a leprosy
control officer employed by LEPRA
(Leprosy Relief A s s o c i a t i o n ) . His
s o n ‘ s duties c o n s i s t of seeking out
lepers in t h e Koinadugu district (an
area of some 4,000 square miles) and
arranging for their treatment. J a ck
i s there to help w i t h office records,
charting, provisioning, and suchlike.
are, if they would like to stay in Avon
permanently, etc.
This type of work has been very
interesting and rewarding for me. I
find that I can really get involved
with research work and that is one of
the reasons w h y my o w n research
project has been brought forward a
f ew weeks.
When the Research Officer, Bob
Widdowson, came down from London
to discuss my project, he said he saw
no reason why I could not begin
straight away as I had already had
some good experience. Apparently
there is very little work being done
in rural areas and they need to know
much more about the problems
Bob has written out a programme for
me to follow, and I shall start this
project on January 5, 1976, in t he
Forest of Dean. The four main
aspects to be looked into come under
the headings o f : basic situation,
problems, plans and future.
Hopefully next month (January) my
project will be well under way and
I will be able to write a more detailed
Having arrived at our destination
yesterday evening after a long and
frustrating journey from Heathrow on
December 2, through Accra, Ghana,
where we were delayed for 8 i hours
while somebody mended the ‘plane,
this is my first opportunity to relax
and write to you.
I had heard of the ‘culture shock’ —
the first confrontation a European
has w i t h the African Continent — t he
squalor, the noise, masses of people,
colour, smells.
Everybody lives out of doors. Huts
and shacks are places to sleep in at
night or for shelter from the heavy
My first impressions were akin to
fear, but fortunately we were able to
make telephone contact w i t h the
great people w h o are running the
Leprosy Control programme out here.
After a fine lunch yesterday, we were
transported up to Kabala by road, t he
last 75 miles of w h i c h was like the
Forest track from Hillersland down
to the Biblins (the y o u th centre on
the banks of the Wye).
Fortunately the rains are ending, t he
river levels are dropping and none of
the planked bridges was t oo insecure.
The driver. Mister Bobo, may well
have been the champion rallyman of
Sierra Leone. I have never seen a
man handle a vehicle w i t h such
expertise I
On the way w e hit a bush f o w l . Bob
drove back to pick it up. I asked him
if he was going to put it in the pot.
‘Yes please !’ he replied. (It’s food.)
M a n u f a c t u r i n g Group
The role of Industrial Engineering,
under Tony Bryson, Manager,
Industrial Engineering, is to be
expanded so as to effect an improved
approach towards the planning,
reporting and effectiveness of
Manufacturing Group resources in
terms of manpower, space and
The following now report to
Mr Bryson:
Ian Fergie-Woods, who has been
appointed Manager, Manpower
Planning & Reporting; he joined
Rank Xerox in 1973 and held
appointments in Programme
Management before joining
Mr Portman as Personal Assistant in
March 1974,
Eric Moore, who is appointed
Manager, Facilities Engineering; he
joined Rank Xerox in 1969 and has
held appointments in Facilities
Planning and Forward Planning,
Mitcheldean Plant. Prior to this new
appointment he was Senior Projects
Manager, Manufacturing Group.
Barry Halsey, now appointed
Manager, Industrial Engineering
Services; Barry also joined Rank
Xerox in 1969, has held various
appointments in Work Study in
Mitcheldean Plant, and most recently
was Work Study Co-ordinator,
Manufacturing Group.
We also stopped at the Leprosy
Hospital at Maken, met some of t he
staff and patients and were pleased
to shake hands w i t h a patient w ho
was well on the mend.
The delight at meeting our son
David and his w i f e , also our son
Andrew, put the meeting between
Stanley and Livingstone in the shade.
The first instruction was to ‘put the
kettle on’.
So last night w e spent under
mosquito nets w i t h the sounds of
crickets and t he noise and bustle of
the night life in the village and the
surrounding bush. We slept soundly.
Today we have visited the show in
the village. This is an annual event
where dignitaries of the area meet —
all the ministerial VIPs. Here local
produce is displayed, dances are held
and everybody makes whoopee. We
have had the pleasure of being
introduced to some of the local
chiefs and a number of VSOs and
Peace Corps people, teachers,
agricultural experimenters and so on
from Europe, Canada and the USA.
The locals are a kindly lot, g o o d –
natured and seemingly happy. The
local countryside is hilly and green.
The sun is h o t— it’s rather humid.
As the saying is out here — ‘We will
manage’. Cheers for now.
The Brothers Brain
Someone once said : ‘We’ve got a
lot of brains at Mitcheldean !’
Whether he meant IQ or people
bearing the name of Brain, or both,
we don’t know but he could be
right on both counts.
As far as ‘Brains’ w i t h a capital ‘ B ‘
are concerned, there are something
like 30 of them working here.
The four we’ve pictured on t he right
are, in fact, brothers. And all have,
at one time or another, answered to
the name of Kelly (a nickname that
has been handed down from father
to son). But, to avoid confusion,
we’re sticking to the names on their
dossiers in Personnel.
The oldest—and, incidentally, the
longest serving — is Keith, drilling
operator in the Machine Shop. When
we talked to him he had just finished
six weeks of day s h i f t ; but for the rest
of his eight or so years w i t h us he’s
been one of the band of workers on
‘permanent nights’.
During the winter Keith likes to
spend his leisure time working on
components. Sounds like a busman’s
holiday, but in fact he’s building an
060 tank engine (5-inch gauge) in
his workshop at home.
‘I’ve got the chassis, wheels and
axle boxes, and n ow I’m working on
the valve gear to operate the pistons.
By making all t he bits and pieces
myself I can keep the cost down.’
Later on he reckons he might j o in a
model railway club, but currently
he’s more interested in building than
running an engine.
‘I used to model aircraft but I lost so
many of them, I packed it up,’ he said.
Next in seniority, but w i th
the shortest service — just over
three years — comes Ken.
We found it difficult to get through
to him first — he was wearing ear
muffs. Rather necessary, since the
Vibro section of Finishing, down in
the Maltings area, is not the quietest
place for an interview.
Here it’s wash-day every day and the
machines — rectangular tanks, round
cauldrons — are for ever in a state of
noisy agitation.
Castings are put in amongst a
quantity of plastic cones or small
‘stones’ of varying hardness; a
liquid detergent washes through them
as they are agitated by t he machine
and the combined action removes
the burr from the milled edges.
After a certain length of time t he
parts are rescued by means of
Caravanning is Ken’s way of getting
rid of that wash-day feeling. He and
his w i fe recently joined a caravan
L e f t : Bill Austin and far left Ted Pearce
in PED. B e l o w : Ted’s son Bob in Optical
& Electrical Laboratory, and Bill’s daughter
Penny of the Supply Centre who is married
to Bob.
The section may be the smallest in
PED (it consists of just t w o people,
section leader Bill Austin assisted by
Ted Pearce), but the activity — 75
per cent commercial and 25 per cent
engineering — is very high.
That activity is the preparation of
budgets relating to machine tools and
associated equipment, principally for
the main production areas.
Looking after the money package
involves contact with many areas —
Works Engineering, Facilities
Planning, the suppliers themselves —
getting quotations and ascertaining
the cost of installation, power
requirements, etc., so as to get a
complete financial picture.
The section is responsible for raising
the capital, for the spending of it and
for the monitoring of the wadges of
invoices, working closely w i t h Budget
Cost Centre and Asset Control.
A l l in
club and they enjoy going to rallies,
not just in the summer but all year
Both Dennis and the youngest of t he
quartet, Malcolm, work on the control
side of Production.
Leading clerk in the sales order
section of Planning & Support,
Dennis deals with spares and tool
He recently made front page news
locally by becoming at 25 the
youngest member of the Forest of
Dean District Council. Although
feeling still too much of a ‘ n ew boy’
to comment on council work, he
admitted he was already finding it
very demanding.
‘It takes up practically all my spare
time,’ he t o ld us, ‘what with
committee meetings, seeing members
of the electorate, and so on.’
Dennis had t w o bouquets to hand
out — one to John Ireland, also of
Planning Et Support, w h o acted as
Dennis’s agent, and the other to t he
Company. ‘If it weren’t for their
public service leave w i t h pay scheme,
people like myself would be unable
to take an active part in local
government work.’
He’s also a chess player (he captained
the PCD team when it w o n the
Wickstead Shield in 1 9 7 1 ) ; he’s
Quite the biggest single undertaking
they have handled has been the NC
complex in the Machine Shop. ‘We’re
still working on that one,’ says Bill,
who spent 16 years in the Tool Room
before moving to Machine Tool
Procurement. ‘We’ve had to do quite
a bit of trouble-shooting, particularly
on the import side.’
Shooting, in fact, is something round
which Bill’s hobbies have also
revolved. He has his county badge
for small-bore shooting (he
represented Gloucestershire in the
BSA Cup some 15 years a g o ) ; he
was a member of the Dean Rifle
Club and later joined the Wyvern
Rifle Club, winning the latter’s club
championship in 1 9 6 0 / 6 1 .
A member of the Amateur Photographic
Club since the early days he
was programme secretary for several
years. He doesn’t do much camera
shooting these days, but his work as
Plant projectionist is well known.
Along with Pat Jordan of TED he has,
as usual, played an invisible but vital
part at the children’s Christmas
parties, providing an uninterrupted
showing of Tom & Jerry, Donald
Duck and other sure-fire successes.
By an odd coincidence. Bill not only
works w i t h Ted Pearce but is also
related to him by marriage.
Bill and his wife Pat (of Works
Engineering) have t w o daughters,
and their youngest girl Penny, w h o
works in Supply Centre, is married to
Ted’s son Bob of Optical El-
Electrical Laboratory.
Penny has a j ob which keeps her
fingers and her toes busy. She
operates the telex facility in Supply
through which queries and urgent
orders for machine parts come from
our Operating Companies all over the
She deals w i t h some 2,000 messages
a month, transmitting, receiving and
delivering copies personally to people
throughout the Centre.
Although she works alone, she never
feels lonely. ‘You get to know the
operators in other countries and
establish a relationship. I f i nd it
fascinating making contact with
someone thousands of miles away.’
Penny started work in our Mail
Room after leaving school. She left
at 18 but returned to work in Central
Records before taking up her present
f h e Familtj
A keen dancer, she and husband Bob
often come to t he dances in the
Social Centre, along w i t h the Austins.
Bob came to us 12 years ago as an
apprentice and has worked in the
Optical &• Electrical Lab. ever since he
received his indentures.
His current job is the testing of
power supplies, mainly those for the
9200 machine. The supply is
connected to a similar circuit as that
used in the 9200, enabling Bob to
ensure that it meets the actual
specification laid down.
But despite his electrical background.
Bob insists he’s no w i r i ng whizz kid
in his o w n home.
Another of Ted’s three sons, Jim,
works in Quality Control in t he NC
complex (we pictured him among
other Quality people in a recent
issue); he also has a son-in-law.
Garth Hyndman, at RX Cinderford.
And Ted himself? His total service
w i t h the Company amounts to some
30 years, his first 1 5 years having
been spent in t he Machine Shop as
a setter.
He has a reputation for always being
ready to help others; and his serious
expression belies a dry sense of
humour. Travel books are a
particular interest of his, and we asked
him if he’d been abroad.
No, but I’ve been to Gloucester,’ was
his considered reply I
treasurer of the Cinderford Labour
Party, and he still finds time to help
at the weekly bingo sessions held
at the Miners’ Welfare Hall in aid
of Labour Party funds.
Twenty-two-year-old Malcolm came
to us straight from school, starting
as shop boy, switching to work
on capstans at RX Cinderford, then
becoming a progress chaser for sorter
and ADF assembly at Lydney.
He’s the only one of the four still
single ‘and I shall keep it that way
for a bit.’
Music (mostly folk) and dancing are
his main interests, and any girl
determined to chase this progress
chaser just might be able to run him
to earth at Tiffany’s in Gloucester!
The Brain brothers — t op left Keith in
the Machine Shop and t op right Ken in
Vibro section: right Dennis and f ar
right Malcolm, both of Production
Photos: Dean Forest Studios
RX service engineer IVIilfe Wliite installing
the 4500 at the Institute of Physics
offices in Bristol; it was ordered to
replace the 720 also seen here in the
print room.
A 4500
in the field
of Physics
Some months ago, when preparing
our story on the manufacture of the
4500, it occurred to us that it would
be interesting to do a f o l l o w – up
account of the first 4500 to be
installed in a customer’s premises in
this part of the country.
When we learned that the customer
was none other than the Institute of
Physics in Bristol, we wished we
hadn’t been so rash.
Physics, we’re forced to admit, is one
of those things we were glad to leave
behind us all those years ago, along
with mathematical progressions,
chemical formulae and school dinners.
As we made our way to the modern
office block known as Techno House
in Redcliffe Way, we speculated on
what sort of ‘customer comments’
would be forthcoming from pure or
applied physicists.
Would we find the machine operating
in a sort of Dr Who laboratory?
We need not have worried on its
account, or ours. The 4500 (we saw
it as soon as we entered the offices)
was operating on what we felt was
familiar ground — in the publishing
division of the Institute. The latter,
incidentally, has other offices in
Marsh Street close to the Bristol
branch of our UK Company who
installed the machine.
Here at Techno House, we
discovered, a variety of publications
is produced : a bulletin for members,
two professional magazines for
teachers and for scientists, engineers
and students interested in the
application of physics to current
technology, plus a whole series of
research and review journals covering
various branches of this wide ranging
subject, not to mention a variety of
conference publications, academic
and general books, charts, etc.
Although it is not their main
objective, the publishing division
make a valuable contribution to the
Institute’s finances as a whole.
Divisional director Cecil Pedersen,
who visited Mitcheldean Plant last
summer along with fellow members
of the British Association of Industrial
Editors, had this to say:
‘Over 80 per cent of our publications
are exported and we earned for
Britain in 1974 more than £700,000
in foreign exchange,’ which is a tidy
sort of sum to help the balance of
payments situation.
How does the 4500 play its part in
all this?
Installed last August, it replaces a 720
in the print room. Bruce Spence, who
heads the administration function,
t o ld us; ‘It was chosen principally
for its two-sided copying capability.
saving both on paper and, what is
more important than ever today, on
While the division has its own
editorial staff, they are backed up by
a whole army of ‘referees’ — experts
in various fields of physics — who
give advice on manuscripts submitted
for publication.
Comments have to be passed back to
the authors for their agreement,
papers have to be sent out to
members of the numerous editorial
boards before meetings, quite apart
from the normal administrative
paperwork, so the two-sided copying
represents a real economy.
Over to Clive Baxter, district service
manager at the Rank Xerox Bristol
branch office, for his comments.
Had there been any teething
troubles? we asked.
‘This is a pretty busy machine;
during October it kept coming up on
early warning but it has since
levelled down.’
On the subject of 4000/4500
machines in general, he had this
to say:
‘Within the service organisation 1975
has been the year of the 4000 family.
We have a dozen engineers totally
dedicated to it and they love it. Those
phase IV machines coming from
Mitcheldean — t h e y really are good.’
A happy task for recently retired Fred Wickstead was the
opening of Mitcheldean’s new Community Centre on
December 13. Our picture shows him with Mrs Wickstead
and Bob Young of Engineering who is chairman of the
local Community Association. Since its formation in 1970
the association has carried on an imaginative programme of
fund-raising efforts — a sponsored walk, weekly bingo
sessions, carnivals, waste paper collections among them —
which has brought in £1,000 a year. This income, together
with donations (including £1,000 from Rank Xerox) plus
a sizeable grant, has met the cost of the new single storey
building in which many local organisations are delighted to be
starting their 1976 meetings. Says Bob: ‘We shall still carry on
with fund-raising activities to keep the rental fees as low as
possible, and to provide for future improvements.’
ilace meeting place meetins place meetina place meeting place mee’
meeting place meeting place meeting place meeting place meeting plac.
lace meeting place meeting place meeting place meeting place meei
This month we thought we’d beam
down on some of the ladies in t he
party line.
To Margaret E l i a s , as secretary to
Pat Cassidy, Personnel Officer
(Administration), fell the j ob of
organising the departmental party.
‘We like to keep away from the
traditional dinner/dance; last year we
had a mediaeval banquet, so this year
we decided to make it a square
dance,’ she t o ld us.
Square dancing is hunger-making,
but a buffet and bar kept the 80 or so
people who came to Minsterworth
Village Hall on December 16 in a
‘swinging’ mood. And each of the
ladies was given a gift.
Margaret, w h o hails from Birmingham,
has been in Personnel for about five
years, working most of that time on
records. She likes admin, work, used
to do it in her last j ob w i t h ICL and,
in fact, continues to do it in
out-of-office hours.
Her husband belongs to the Loyal
Order of Moose, and Margaret to
their Ladies’ Circle; they raise money
for charities, mostly in aid of children,
and Margaret helps out. She also
assists her husband in his work as
secretary of the Forest of Dean
Ratepayers’ Association.
Then there’s a family of three to look
after — all Staffordshire bull terriers.
‘We used to breed them but w e
haven’t the room now.’ Chickens
too — the ones the foxes didn’t
manage to steal in 1975.
Margaret copes calmly. But she is
getting excited about one t h i n g .
‘ I ‘m going to be a granny for the
first time next spring I’
Daisy Barnard is a veteran among
party organisers at Mitcheldean.
She’s worked in Electrical Subassembly
for 11 years now, and for
the past six or seven she’s been
involved in organising their Xmas
This season, w i t h the help of Bob
Davies and others, she laid on a
dinner/dance — w i t h entertainment —
for around 150 people just t w o days
before C-Day.
It was at the Manor House Hotel,
Longhope, which made it something
of a reunion since mine hostess.
Primrose McCormick, was a
chargehand in Electrical Subs
herself a f ew years ago.
Explained Daisy: ‘We had a weekly
saving scheme in the department,
and we ran raffles to meet the cost
of the entertainment, etc., and the
transport there and back.’
The biggest problem ? ‘Routeing the
buses; but my husband is a Forester
and he helped me to work out the
various stops,’ said Daisy, w h o
comes from Kent.
To cut costs, she cut the tickets —
literally. She d id them all in one
evening, using pinking shears to give
a deckle edge effect.
One of Daisy’s hobbies is cakemaking,
and in addition t o her other
activities, such as knitting for her
grandchildren and making clothes,
she’s managed to keep on baking —
cakes for Christmas, birthdays,
weddings, or confections to tempt
people into buying raffle tickets in
aid of charity.
Unlike Daisy Barnard, the three
ladies in Spares Packing who, along
w i t h Eric Knight, had taken on t he
organising of the departmental party,
were new at the game. ‘We went in
head first,’ said J o a n Turley,
Peggy Sharpe and B e r n i c e Harris.
About 92 people were booked for
the dinner/dance at Castle View,
Kerne Bridge, on December 20.
‘We’re having a disco, and w e intend
to realise what talent we have among
those coming,’ said Joan before the
party. (In the event, the partygoers
were treated to a display of dancing
which included the Can-can — the
prizewinning dancer obviously did
it just for kicks I)
The responsibility for the money side
was shouldered by Peggy. As
elsewhere, the important thing was
to keep costs d o w n ; tickets,
dignified by t he copper-plate
handwriting of Richard Novak, were
home-produced, while raffles were
held to cover the bus transport.
Eric provided strong supporting
help — particularly when, as a result
of a shopping spree in Gloucester,
there were three dozen prizes to be
brought home.
Joan’s husband Royston (7000
Assembly) and Peggy’s husband
Tony (Machine Shop) must also be
mentioned in dispatches for their
help in doing up parcels, etc.
‘One thing we’ve learned —
organising a party is hard work,
trying to sell raffle tickets is
frustrating, and you can never please
everybody,’ they told us.
But would they be w i l l i ng to do it
again ?
Yes, they thought they probably
m e e t i n g p l a ce
LETTER. More Long Servers Leave Us
On the Friday before Christmas Reg
Arnold of PED, our longest serving
employee w i t h nearly 46 years to his
credit, tidied up his desk for the last
Six months ago Reg was presented
with a diamond tie-clip and a gold
watch to mark his 45 years of service
w i t h the Company — a career which
started way back in 1930 when he
joined Gaumont British (subsequently
part of the Rank Organisation) as a
cinema projectionist in the Monmouth
As we reported on that occasion, he
later worked as an installation
engineer, putting in sound equipment
at cinemas in the West Country,
including quite a number in our o wn
He transferred to Woodger Road,
Shepherds Bush, in 1940 to work in
electrical assembly and then came to
Mitcheldean in 1941 ; many will
recall his being in charge of the Press
Shop here at one time.
Said Des Jones, his manager in
PED, who has known him since
1941 : ‘His ability and experience
have been of great benefit to me and
to the department as a whole.’
Unfortunately, ill-health has been his
lot in recent years and this has
dictated his way of life.
Unable to do any gardening, which he
used to love, he likes to read, when
not cooking or doing housework
(‘which I h a t e ! ‘ ) . ‘Fortunately I have
very good neighbours in Joe Bennett
(Stores) and his w i fe and they give
me a cooked meal every day.’
Reg, w h o became a widower eight
years ago, has a married daughter
living at Whitchurch ; Janet, and her
husband Maurice Brain (both of
whom worked in Production Control
for many years) have given Reg a
little grand-daughter.
‘I shan’t be moving away from
Mitcheldean,’ Reg t o ld us. ‘1 expect
I’ll f i nd plenty to keep me busy — all
the other people round here who’ve
retired tell me they can’t think h ow
they ever found time to go to work !’
Another long-server to leave us at
Christmastime was Ellen Cruickshank
of Production Control, after close on
16 years here.
She will be missed, and by no one
more than Doreen Hopkins with
whom she has worked for so long,
both in Spares Packing and more
recently in the Common Parts
section of PCD to w h i c h both
transferred a year ago.
Whether doing stock transfers and
general clerical duties, organising the
section’s Christmas party or what
have you, the t w o could usually be
seen together— in fact, you might
say they’d a lot in ‘Common’ I
Being home will mean that Ellen
and her husband Jock, w h o opted
for early retirement last spring after
some 28 years at Mitcheldean, can
keep each other company. Jock’s
friends at the Plant will be glad to
know he’s kept fully occupied, what
w i t h cookery lessons (he made their
Christmas cake) and acting as
midwife to those tropical fish.
Another of the pioneers from London,
T e d V a l l a n c e originally joined us
in 1938, left early in 1950 but was
back the same year.
A milling setter in the Machine Shop,
he has for the last year or so been on
the sick list, suffering from an
arthritic hip. He left under the early
retirement scheme just before
Christmas, and was waiting to go
into hospital for a hip operation ; in
the meantime he’s been keeping
himself occupied making rugs.
Two other men f r om the Machine
Shop, sharing the name of
M a t t h e w s but unrelated to each
other, were also accepted under t he
On December 19 we said goodbye
to Don (better known as C h a r l i e ) ,
a milling setter operator who had
been w i t h us for 1 5 years. We
featured him in VISION in October
1973, along with other members of
his family working at the Plant.
With Charlie’s departure, there are
now only five Matthews brothers
and a sister at Mitcheldean ! And
that’s not counting numerous other
relatives of theirs.
The other Matthews is often referred
to as ‘ B ig Ted’, to distinguish him
from Charlie’s brother Ted (‘I was
6ft 3 i i n s . when I was in the Forces
but I’m going down now ! ‘)
A grinding setter operator, T e d joined
the same year as Fred Wickstead
(1948), working down in the Maltings
area under Bob Baker who was then
in charge of the Machine Shop.
His retirement on January 30 will
leave a gap, not only in the ranks
of the veterans, but also on the LSA
committee on to which he was
co-opted last summer. Ted suffers
from heart trouble and it was for
this reason that he decided to
retire, although still in his mid-fifties.
His w i fe Eva, is another familiar face at
Mitcheldean ; employed on the shop
floor in BAF days she has for the last
ten years worked in various
capacities mainly in Engineering.
Ellen Cruickshank beside the paper flowers
Reg Arnold pauses on the stairs for a with which she and Doreen Hopkins The old Maltings area holds memories for
final photograph. brightened their corner at Christmas. leading hand Ted Matthews.
Shooters Widen Range
The Shooting Club, which at the
time of its annual general meeting in
December had 61 members, is hoping
they’ll all renew their subscriptions
(due this month and costing 50p —
h i n t ! ) .
They’d also like to see some new
members turn up. Don’t hesitate if
all you’ve ever done is try your luck
at a shooting gallery in some
fairground — t u i t i on is available from
experienced and successful shooters.
Cut-price cartridges and the use of
reloading equipment are also available
to members.
In anticipation of sufficient support,
the club is dividing itself into three
specialised sections; clay shooting is
already established and in order that
the pistol, rifle and game sections
can become operative in the near
future, committee members have
been trudging around in their lunch
hours looking for suitable premises
and farming land.
Officers and sub-committees for the
ensuing year are as f o l l o w s:
Chairman: Frank Tonge, Transport,
BIdg 3 2 ; secretary: Neil Williams,
Machine Shop. BIdg 3 6 ; treasurer:
Graham Riddiford, Mfg Group,
BIdg 42.
Sub-committees: Clay Shooting —
Field captain Dennis Jaynes, Machine
Shop, BIdg 36, Joe Buckman, Internal
Transport, BIdg 24, Barry Clein,
Machine Shop. Rifle, Small Bore, Full
Bore and Air — Jeff Lewis, Supply
Centre Transport Offices, BIdg 4 1 ,
Bill Acland, PED Planning, BIdg 5 1 .
Game Shooting — Jeff Lewis.
Numerous prizes were handed out at
a Christmas sporting shoot held on
December 21 at Mead Farm, Ruardean.
Dennis Jayne came first w i t h a
score of 19 out of 20 and won
himself a bottle of w i n e ; Gordon
Fisher, also from the Machine Shop,
was more than satisfied w i t h the
booby prize — some boxes of
Sounds of Music
The possibilities of forming a ‘good
music’ society — w i t h trips to concerts,
lunchtime or evening record sessions,
etc., are being explored. If you are
interested, please ‘phone either Ted
Lewis or J im Watts on ext. 707.
Prices Siastied in Saie
January is the month for good sale
bargains. If it’s a badminton racquet
you’re after, try the lunchtime bargain
basement at the Club House. You
could pick one up at a 60 per cent
discount price of £2-60.
Winning Sliots
With the winning shot of the small
cherub pictured here, Des Haines
(Machine Shop NC Complex) came
top in the colour print competition held
by the Amateur Photographic Club.
Runners-up were Valerie Jordan and
David Hawkins (PCD), the judge
being Jack Smith of Mitcheldean.
Last month we reported the placings
in the ‘Architectural Heritage’ section
of the slide competition which Des
also won ; now results of t w o further
sections have come through, with
PED leading the field.
Judged by Paul Smith of Dean Forest
Studios, the ‘Landscape’ entries were
as f o l l o w s : 1 st—Bob Dixon (PED);
2nd—Robin Berks ( P C D ) ; 3rd—Des
Haines (Machine Shop); 4 t h—
Valerie Jordan ; 5th—Angela Powell
(formerly PCD); 6th—Bert Hawkins
Barry Lewis of Purchase, whose
interest in the subject has been
Her name is Julie: her father is Barry
Smith in Production Control: and her
winning glance captured by the camera
of Des Haines (Machine Shop) won
him first prize in a colour print competition.
mentioned before in VISION, judged
the ‘Wild Life’ contest. Reg Morris
came first w i t h Bill Hobbs second and
Bob Dixon third (all of them from PED).
Valerie Jordan once more occupied
fourth place, w i t h Bert Hawkins
(PCD) fifth and Bill Hobbs sixth.
February AGM
The date fixed for the annual general
meeting of the club is Thursday,
February 1 2 ; it’s to be in the Social
Centre at 7.30 pm.
If you have, then please —
let your departmental correspondent know.
Best in the West
You may have heard the news by
now. And if you can watch Harlech
TV at 6.30 pm on Thursday, February
5, you can see for yourself—we
rank among the Best in the West.
At the invitation of HTV, we sent a
team on January 9 to compete
against Dowty Group, Cheltenham,
and beat them 46 :49.
A coachload of supporters from the
Plant went along to see the
competition being recorded for
transmission and to cheer our ten
people to victory.
The team, competing in four rounds,
were: Pop the Question — Linda
Howells (Training), apprentices
Roger Ball and Stephen Gwynn;
Remember This?— Kath Worsfold
(Spares Packing), John Ireland
(PCD) and Bernard Smith (Group
Purchase); Entertainment— Hubert
Evans (Production Stores) and his
wife Winifred; On the Range — Diana
Morgan (Telecommunications) and
Norman Ashcroft (9200 Assembly).
We plan to give you a full report
w i t h photographs next time round.
Road Names Result
The winner of the ‘Name the Roads’
Competition is Stuart Edinborough of
Design Engineering. His choice was:
A—East Link; B — S o u t h Walk;
C—High Road; D —Hillside Road;
E —Central Avenue; F —Northern
Way; G — Bradley Rise; H—Western
On hearing the news Stuart left for a
holiday to avoid the queues of
would-be guests at his prize dinner —
but not before we’d interviewed him
(see next issue).
On a Less Happy
Note.. .
As we went to press, the number
of people accepted under the
voluntary redundancy/early
retirement scheme had reached the
100 mark. But this, even when
combined w i t h the jobs provided
for approximately 50 people (by
bringing back work previously
sub-contracted), was well below
the original surplus figure of 400.
In a letter issued on January 8,
employees were urged to be
flexible in work and outlook to
adapt to the needs of the business,
or, alternatively, to consider carefully
the terms of the scheme before the
closing date, January 16.
Unfortunately we had to ‘put the
issue to bed’ before the outcome
was known.
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
mmm, im m m
i v.”
Richard and Helen Few. Right: Ron
Williams and his bride Teresa (Spares
Packing) whose wedding was reported in
our last issue.
Dean Forest Studios
Janet Priest (Office Services, PED) to
Stephen Goode on October 9.
Kevin Virgo (Electrical Sub-assembly) to
Hazel Simmonds on December 25.
Helen Denton (secretary to Mr Huckett,
Manager, Industrial Engineering) to Richard
Few, at St Stephen’s Church, Cinderford,
on December 6.
Shelley Louise, a daughter for Graham
Parker (Industrial Engineering) and his wife
Megan, on October 8.
* * *
Who at RX Cinderford when trying on a
new pair of steel toe-cap boots, felt the
toes and said : ‘Yes, plenty of room’ ?
Who in the Machine Shop received a
dustbin as a birthday present from his
W h e n s e n d i n g i n i t e m s p l e a s e g i v e y o ur
e x t e n s i o n n u m b e r a n d / o r d e p a r t m e n t t o e n s u r e
i n c l u s i o n .
For Sale
Coleford — terraced house, 3 bedrooms,
lounge, dining kitchen, storage heating,
attractive garden, £7,450, Barry Lewis,
ext. 361.
Three-piece suite, excellent condition,
offers. Ext. 604.
English Rose sink unit base, right hand
drainer, blue and white, £10. Upright black
piano, Scholfield of London, good condition,
£20. D. Lewis, Spares Packing, or
Lydbrook 642 after 6 pm.
To let (furnished) — pre-war detached
house at Selwyn Road, Gloucester; 3
bedrooms, lawns, greenhouse, good sheds.
Not centrally heated. Tenant pays o wn
rates. Handy shops, bus stop, etc.
Mrs F. R. Lyes, Chaxhill, 21 Selwyn Road,
New World gas cooker, very good condition,
£20 o.n.o. Also Cannon Caress gas fire,
good condition, £15 o.n.o. E. Cole,
Coleford 3808.
Cinderford — 3-bedroomed semi-detached
town house, ideally situated close to shops,
etc.; hall, kitchen-diner, lounge, utility room,
bathroom, and side entrance to rear garden,
£8,150 o.n.o. B. Chelu, Machine Shop,
ext. 324, or Cinderford 23224.
Akai 5200 amplifier. 25 watts (RMS) per
channel; facilities for: tape deck, cassette
deck, 2 pairs of speakers, tuner, headphones,
high/low filters. Under guarantee until
March 1976, reason for sale : upgrading.
Normal retail price £124-50, for sale at
£75 o.v.n.o. I. A. Thomas, ext. 255 or
Whitecroft 562703.
Two 560 x 13 cross-ply tyres, part worn,
fit Avenger, £5. A. Davis, ext. 400.
1970 Ford Capri 1300 ‘L’, lively engine
with surprising economy. Group 2
insurance. Price includes radio and cassette
stereo. Up to my neck in debts, hence only
£675. Bill Griffin, 4000 Dept, ext. 841.
Bath, cast iron, white, one pair each bath
taps and sink taps, various interior doors.
M. Walker, ext. 704.
Dining table (extending) and four chairs,
dark oak, £15 o.n.o. Ext. 227.
Colour TV, 4 i years old, 26in. Philips, in
good running order, £100. C. Butler,
Machine Shop, ext. 302 or Ross 3988.
Half set golf clubs, golf bag and trolley
(nearly new), also nearly new men’s golf
shoes size 7, £25 the lot. Stylaphone, £7.
E. A. Sherwin, ext. 1307 or Blakeney 3 1 1 .
To Let
Two-bedroom semi-detached house, fully
furnished, gas central heating, garage;
situated west side of Cheltenham, available
end of January. Vernon Haynes, ext 861
or Cheltenham 23845 evgs.
Tow bar to fit Ford Mk III Cortina Saloon;
also trailer to carry boat up to 400 lb.
Tony Rand, Mfg Group Finance, ext. 597.
Rotovator in good condition, price
negotiable. Ext. 1133 or Drybrook 542838
after 5 pm.
Jumble for the Ross-on-Wye Nursing
Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade.
Contributions gratefully received by Nurse
Norah Miles in Medical Department.
Lift wanted (or shared driving), regular or
occasional, from Broad Oak area,
Herefordshire. Staff hours. Clive Johnson,
Finance, ext. 774 or St. Weonards 372.
RX Christmas Band
Euphoniums, fiijgels, tenor horns,
cornets and trombones, baritone,
basses and percussion, played a
grand lunchtime prelude to C h r i s t m as
in the canteens and ballroom of the
Social Centre. The bandsmen,
representing nine local bands from
Cinderford, Drybrook, Lydney,
Lydbrook, Bream, Berry Hill, Yorkley,
Stanshawe and Monmouth, were got
together under the baton of Derek
Wade, himself a former bandsman and
now an orchestral trumpeter. (Courses
for would-be bandsmen are not at
present envisaged by Training
Department, by the way.) The music
w a s greatly enjoyed and w e look
forward to a repeat performance in
1976. We’ll be letting you have a c l o s er
v i ew of some of the people behind
the instruments in a future i s s u e.
12 Printed in England by Taylor Young (Printers) Ltd.