Return to 1975-1979

Vision 117

February 76 No. 117
June in
We’ve been hearing about the need
for ‘cross-fertilisation’ of ideas and
what-have-you. So, apparently, had
this bumper-size bumble bee which
buzzed in out of the cold to do its bit.
It found a hive of activity in
Engineering and zoomed straight on
to this splendid amaryllis. Cosseted
by the team of girl drawing
technicians, the lily had just burst
into pink perfection, bringing June in
January to a section of Design
Engineering, and gladdening the
hearts of the many who stopped by
to admire.
The blue-eyed honey observing
what must be a unique w i l d – l i fe
incident is Jane Davies who works
for Design Managers John Malster
and John Jones.
In view of the challenges which we
all face during the next f ew years.
Manufacturing Operations (UK) has
re-examined its organisation. As a
result of this activity the appointment
of the following senior managers
(who have direct responsibility to the
Director of Manufacturing Operations
(UK)) has been announced, together
with the top level of their new
organisation structure:
Works Management Operations
Don Elliott — Works Manager,
assuming new responsibilities for
total parts and spares manufacture,
control and procurement — including
relevant services.
Manager, Materials Planning &
Control—Tony Fleury; Manager,
Works Engineering — Les Inskip;
Project Manager, Make/Buy
Exercise — J o h n Smith; Manager,
Materials Quality Assurance — Ron
Teague; Purchasing Manager—John
Wilks; Manager, Component
Manufacturing Operations — John
Wood; Manager, Administration &
Special Projects—Ralph Zimmermann.
Current P r o d u c t s Operations
C e n t re
J i m Mitchell — Manager, Current
Manager, Quality Control Current
Products—Geoff Darke; Manager,
Production Engineering Current
Products — Geoff Howell; Manager,
4000/4500 Assembly — Kevin
Horrobin; Manager, Production
Control Current Products — John
MacDonald; Manager, Lydney —
Graham LInley.
9200 Operations Centre
Roy Powell — Manager, 9200.
Manager, 9200 Assembly — Brian
M o u l d ; Manager, Production
Engineering 9200 — Sid Palmer;
Manager, 9200 Programme
Co-ordination—John Pinnlger;
Manager, Production Control 9200 —
Roger Smith; Manager, Quality
Control 9200 — Larry Sterrett.
Manufacturing Engineering
Support C e n t re
J a c k T e s t e r — Manager,
Manufacturing Engineering.
Manager, New Products— Mike
Hook; Manager, Industrial
Engineering — J o h n Huckett;
Manager, Tool Engineering — Tony
Nightingale; Manager, Planning &
Control — Ken Stanbrldge; Manager,
Quality Engineering (New Products)
— to be announced.
Ron Barnett — Personnel Manager.
(The structure of the Personnel
function remains unchanged).
F i n a n ce
J o h n F i e l d — Controller.
(Changesinthestructure of the Finance
function were published separately).
There will be no change in the
responsibilities for co-ordination of
staff relations and related consultative
committees, together with the control
of the industrial staff flexibility pool.
A c t i v i t y Value A n a l y s is
V i c Parry took up an assignment as
Manager, Activity Value Analysis
(AVA) as from January 7.
Mr Parry Is responsible for liaison
w i t h all departments and personnel,
enabling him to co-ordinate
Manufacturing Group responses to
the challenges posed by AVA.
He will visit respective sites and
arrange discussions as necessary. He
will also liaise w i t h IHQ and the
respective senior AVA co-ordlnators
in Engineering Group and TS&SG.
Stop talWng about productivity
and do something about it.
The market launch of the 9200 commenced in the UK on
a regional basis at the end of 1975, and It is currently
being phased throughout the country to the 17 branches
of the UK Operating Company.
For the Bristol branch, early February was the crucial
time, and the launch was a particularly outstanding one,
because Bristol was the first branch to go exclusively on
9200 machines incorporating a zoom lens; this offers the
customer a choice of any magnification within the range
obtainable, whereas previous machines have offered
three rigid choices.
To mark the great occasion, Bristol branch organised a
star-studded programme.
TV personality Raymond Baxter helped to Introduce the
9200 at a presentation to print room managers on
February 10. (Incidentally, it was Mr Baxter who came
to Mitcheldean in 1964 to introduce the 813 via a
TV link-up w i t h the main presentation In London.)
On February 1 1 , it was the turn of the VI P’s, when a
cabaret featuring Dickie Henderson helped to make the
serious selling side ‘go down’ easily.
The branch launch itself came the day after; several
people from Mitcheldean went along and we’ll be
reporting on it later.
As a build-up to the actual launch, an advertisement
campaign, using HTV, local radio and newspapers and
direct mail, commenced on January 28. Press ads
emphasised the productivity and flexibility of the 9200,
as you can see from the one reproduced on the right.
Bristol branch tell us that they already have several firm
orders for machines, including one from Gloucestershire
County Council for an installation at Shire Hall,
Gloucester, this summer.
p:jaucesvervhighqualitvprintscompard[ .-. ti
Nevertheless, it’s nota system thatwill suit everyo
the right kind of work will want it.
But for those people it could make
a big difference.
The difference between talking
about productivity and achieving it.
You can start doing something
nght now. Ring Uxbridge 51133.
Productivity is a subiect
that’s been talked into the ground.
And yet you only have to mention
industry or the state of the nation
and someone still chirps up with
So Its with some pride we
can say we’ve done more than
By developing a radically
different type of duplicator we’ve
Significantly increased the
productivity of a print-room.
It’s called the Xerox 9200
Duplicating System.
In test runs, it’s pushed up
productivity by 30%. And in the
right environment, thatfigure
could be even higher
The key to the Xerox 9200
a r !d the reason it’s so productive,
IS Its flexibility
It will notonly work atthe
• Jteof7,200pnntsanhourona
>t’aight run, but with the
jtomatic Feed and Collator, will
: • iduce twenty copies of a ten
; ige report m under two mtoules
And despite its high speed, it
. J ny offset printer
le Onlyacompanywithenoughof
Helps vou da wIM vui da bettH
The new Xerox 9200 Dupdcatinfi System
The dAerence between talking about piDcKictMtv and achieving It
Stuart Edinborough points out the reasons for his choice of names to Ray Hensley, chairman of the Working Party.
Stuart Edinborough has worl Mitcheldean for only t w o years, yet
he has already made his mark in a
unique way.
As the winner of the recent
competition in VISION, he goes
down in Plant history as The Man
who Named our Roads.
A design engineer who recently
joined the 9200 team, he told us that
he still felt a bit of a ‘new boy’ and
didn’t know all the building numbers
or the location of every department.
So, in thinking up his entries, he
picked on names that seemed logical,
and that would be helpful to him
and others like him in identifying
Just in case you missed the note in
our last issue, his choice was:
A—East Link; B—South Walk;
C—High Road; D—Hillside Road;
E—Central Avenue; F—Northern
Way; G—Bradley Rise; H—Western
The news that he’d won came as a
nice surprise just before Stuart was
due to go off on a fortnight’s winter
sporting holiday in Austria. (He
didn’t actually fix it to avoid the
queues of would-be diners I)
There was only a week in which to
make arrangements and, as a
dedicated bachelor, he thought very
carefully before issuing invitations
to the free meal for four which was
was his prize.
‘I did ask if It w o u l d be OK for me
to have a festive meal on my own
four times over, but the idea wasn’t
He and his guests dined at the
Greyfriars Restaurant, Hereford, the
Friday before he left for Austria.
‘It got me in training for the
Wienerschnitzel,’ he said.
Stuart is a mobile type; apart from
skiing, he has been a cyclist for
15 years, and he belongs to the
select Triumph TR3A fraternity. He
moves fast and talks fast, which
could explain why he’s still
cheerfully single.
The competition was one of the
proposals put forward by the Vehicle
Parking/Traffic Control Working
Party; in order to put into operation
the new traffic control system which
has been developed it was necessary
to have a means of identifying our
Ray Hensley, Assistant Manager,
Plant Facilities, w h o chairs the
Working Party, t o ld us: ‘As a
committee w e felt we would like to
have people’s participation in
choosing names and this seemed a
good way of going about it.
‘The response — 59 entries — was
pretty good in the circumstances.
Initially we had no fixed ideas about
what we wanted; our criteria
developed as we studied the entries
that came in.
‘The names had to be simple, clear,
unique for RXMP and consistent
w i t h the landscape, not likely to
date and involving no personalities —
or politics.’
The ‘no personalities’ decision put
paid to suggestions such as Elliott’s
Edge, Burke’s Boulevard or Charnley’s
Chase, but nevertheless we
personally appreciated the
compliment of the occasional Vision
Names such as Boilerhouse Alley,
Teardown Terrace or Medico Road
were out, too, because, though
buildings generally stay put, the
departments they house quite often
do not.
Themes were popular and varied.
There was the rural approach (The
Dingle, Farm Walk, The Grove); the
academic one (Alpha, Beta, Kappa);
the American style (41st Street, 29th.
40th, etc., after the numbers of the
principal buildings located there).
Quite a f ew competitors thought our
road names should suggest other
plant locations— Lille Hill, Rochester
Row, and so on.
Depression Drive, we’re glad to
report, was countered by the more
optimistic Success Street!
Incidentally, our heart bleeds for the
determined person who sent in five
different entries. We think he
deserved a free cheese roll off the
trolley as a consolation prize.
Dutch Treat
A traditional British dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding at
the Wye Hotel, Ross, followed by a traditional Forest game of
skittles, was the treat lined up for a group of Dutch journalists
who visited the Plant in January in company with representatives
of Rank Xerox {Nederland) BV. The occasion was the press launch
of the 9200 in the Netherlands — selling of the machines is now
in progress. To balance things, members of our own local press
were invited along for the evening, and the British and Dutch sides
fought for supremacy in a noisy game at The Silent Whistle.
Oakle Street. We’re proud to report that we Britons won by
nine pins over three legs, and magnanimously presented the losers
with a couple of bottles of bubbly. We hope that our guests’
earlier tour of the Plant — plus the fact that they weren’t asked
to ‘go dutch’ — helped to offset the poor neighbour image that
Britain lately seems to have acquired on the Continent I
LEHEK Len Finishes his Time at the Plant
It’s goodbye to yet more longservers;
each has made a
contribution to life at Mitcheldean,
and none more so than Len Hart.
For 15 years Len has been
responsible for shaping regiments of
white-coated recruits into good
engineers. But it was 33 years ago
that he started his career here.
Having been invalided out of the
army after Dunkirk, he arrived from
London and didn’t speak to anybody
for a month, he tells us.
He’d signed on for 21 years, had
reached the rank of sergeant; then
suddenly found himself employed
as an instrument maker in an
unfamiliar part of civvy street.
Having left off his army boots he
couldn’t find his feet at first.
Chatting over old times with Terry Hemms
(FED). One of the 1961 intake, he was the
first RXapprentice to have his name engraved
on the South Wales Institute of Engineers’
shield. Says Terry: ‘I’ve only just summoned
up courage to grow this beard I’
We were carrying out Government
contracts then and Len went to
work in the Experimental Department
which later became the Model Shop.
Working there at the same time was
a young apprentice by the name of
Roy Powell. He recalls that, ‘No
matter what you were working on,
Len taught you never to accept
second best.’
It was here that they produced the
famous triple head background
projector for Pinewood Studios, still
in use today, as well as f i lm print
machines and microfilm equipment.
‘So, when the 914 machine turned
up, it was no surprise to us — we’d
always been working on printing
machines,’ said Len. ‘We reckoned
we’d no need to tool up specially —
we were going to make only 40 of
Len still has a framed copy of
Xeronews dated November 18, 1960,
showing himself as foreman of the
Model Shop and Ray Camp,
engineer in charge, giving instruction
on the 914 to service engineers,
prior to its showing at the Business
Efficiency Exhibition.
Len shows apprentice Jeff Hawkins how
the Xerox 1385 operates. The first
non-automatic machine introduced by
Xerox into the UK to demonstrate the
principle of xerography, it is being featured
in a new BBC2 series ‘It’s Patently Obvious’.
Len went along to the Bristol studios to
see it behaved itself during filming.
After the BEE, things literally
exploded. Service engineers from
all over the world were sent to
Mitcheldean for training courses.
The countries listed in Len’s visitors
book form a veritable league of
In 1961 it was decided to start a
training school and Len was put in
charge. ‘We needed to give our
apprentices off-the-job training and
we took over the old cinema in
Building 6, moving to the present
Training School in 1962 when the
Bell & Howell Service Department
moved back to London.’
Len has always had a computer-like
memory for facts. ‘I reckon I can
still remember the name of every
apprentice we’ve ever had and the
qualifications he acquired.’
That’s some achievement when you
consider that some five or six
hundred have passed through the
Training School over the years; t wo
of them were Len’s own sons —
John and David — now working in
PED and the Tool Room respectively.
Today the school is recognised as
one of the finest in the West of
England. Every year the apprentices
have won an award of some kind.
The Rank Xerox cup alone has come
back to us nine times, as we reported
recently, and to Len must go part
of the credit for this achievement.
‘Get your hair cut 1’ is a phrase we’ve
come to expect at every annual
Students Dinner — one can almost
see the three ‘laundry marks’ on
Len’s arm still.
But his blunt manner hides a
genuine interest in his charges;
nothing gives him greater satisfaction,
he says, than seeing them settled in
a j ob which suits them after they’ve
finished their time.
He’s a firm believer in the Importance
of personal appearance. Despite his
own short back and sides, he told
us: ‘I don’t mind long hair but I do
like to see It tidy. A thing like this
can play a big part in getting a chap
the kind of j ob he wants.’
For the last couple of years Len has
served on the LSA committee where
he claims to have ‘stirred them up a
bit — well, maybe I was a bit too
much that way sometimes 1’ Even a
Len Hart can mellow.
What will he do in retirement? He’ll
f i t up a dark room equipped with
the enlarger given him on his
retirement and develop his interest
in photography.
He’ll go on producing splendid
tomatoes and roses, fail to grow
lettuces, get bossed by his
grandchildren and, when he’s a bit
fitter, maybe get some part-time work
connected w i t h young people.
Bill Luker, formerly Senior Apprentice
Instructor, is now in charge of the
first year ‘ o f f – t h e – j o b ‘ Training School
and the everyday running of the
Apprenticeship Scheme.
Ron discusses a job with Tool Room colleague Ralph Taylor.
Ron Steps Out
Last January saw veteran runner
Ron Wrigglesworth (Tool Room)
reach the finishing post in his long
career w i t h our Companty.
Winner of the Victor Ludorum prize
(awarded to the overall winner) on
three occasions, Ron was a familiar
figure on the track when, in the
‘forties and ‘fifties, Mitcheldean had
its annual sports event.
In later years, he has helped as
time-keeper or steward for the
annual Rank Xerox 14-mile road
race, sponsored by the Sports &
Social Club, which used to be held
in conjunction with Longhope fete.
Ron was one of the pioneers who
came to Mitcheldean from Woodger
Road, Shepherds Bush, in 1941.
Life was pretty basic then. ‘I can
remember we had a coke brazier in
the shop to keep us warm, and we
used to put a bucket on top to heat
up the water for washing,’ recalls Ron.
He and his w i fe settled first of all
in Monmouth, and it was there that
their son was born. Now, having
completed some 37 years w i t h us,
he’s ‘going home’ to Monmouth.
‘There are some beautiful walks
round there; I’ve still got my spiked
shoes but I shan’t be running up
them thar hills — I get too short of
A founder member of the LSA, Ron
was their first treasurer. Having left
Mitcheldean ‘to make room for an
apprentice’, Ron hands over the
title of Our Longest Serving
Employee to Henry Phillips, a f e l l ow
competitor on the track at those
early sports events.
New Agreement
w i t h USSR
It was recently confirmed by Gordon
Planner, general manager of Rank
Xerox Eastern Export Operations, that
the Soviet Union has signed a service
and training agreement w i t h the
company, who will set up over the
next six months formal training
programmes for Russian operators
using its office copiers and duplicators,
and for service engineers.
The agreement also calls for the
establishment of depots for stocks,
spares and consumables, and the
provision of Russian manuals.
The service organisation, to be based
on Moscow, will eventually be
capable of offering these back-up
services to all user organisations
wherever they may be w i t h in an area
of some 38,000 square miles from
Moscow to Mongolia and Archangel
to Astra kan.
As we reported in an earlier issue,
the company has been awarded a
contract worth £5 million to supply
a range of machines over a 12-month
period, many of which will be
delivered outside the Moscow area.
Since 1969 Russian engineers from
some of the larger organisations have
been trained at the Rank Xerox
school in Brno, Czechoslovakia, or in
a small centre and repair shop in
Moscow, but w i t h the increase in
the number of machines installed in
the Soviet Union, these arrangements
were proving to be inadequate.
Talk about a Parrot
We really went along to interview
Pat Stephens of Cleaning who, after
17 ‘very happy’ years w i t h us, retired
under the recent scheme in January;
but most of the time we talked
about Nelson.
Nelson is an African grey parrot with
a life expectation of some 130 years
and an excellent vocabulary which
doesn’t include nautical swear
words, apart from ‘Oh h e l l ! ‘.
Pat t o ld us: ‘ M y father used to work
for the Earl of Eldon, and when I was
little I used to go to the butler’s
pantry where I enjoyed chocolate
cake and a talk w i t h a parrot called
Napoleon. I’d wanted a parrot ever
‘Nelson is a wonderful pet — we let
him out in the house and he likes to
f o l l ow me around while I’m using
the vacuum cleaner.
‘He loves his cuppa, and he’s a
tremendous football f a n ; if he hears
a match on television, he mimics all
the sounds he hears — even the
referee’s w h i s t l e !’
It was from one of her sons that Pat
acquired Nelson. She has a family of
six children, four of whom still live
at home, and every one of them has
worked at the Plant at some time.
Nelson finds a comfortable perch on
Pat’s shoulder.
Pat herself worked in harness w i th
Greta Hobbs as chargehand of the
female cleaners. ‘When I started
there were 1 2 ; now there are 56
scattered all over the Plant.
‘It’s lovely to take a rest from work,’
she said, but as a State Enrolled
Nurse w i t h 29 years’ experience,
she’s already considering a return to
her earlier career.
One j ob she has asked to be allowed
to continue at the Plant — the
cutting up, and fixing pins on, the
hundreds of coloured ribbons which,
attached to the children at the
annual parties, ensure that the bus
stewards get the right offspring back
to the right parents.
Machine Shop People
Ken Wintle of Machine Shop Tool
Stores also left in January —
unfortunately before the news of his
leaving got round to us. Ken had
been in Stores for all of his 22 years
and, said supervisor Eddie Lewis,
‘he was a mine of information for the
rest of the factory regarding tools.
What he didn’t know about jigs and
fixtures wasn’t worth knowing.’
A couple whose joint service adds
up to some 60 years— Des and
Edna Hanman of the Machine Shop
at RX Cinderford — also left at the
end of January, and we shall be
writing about them in our next issue.
Others we would like to have talked
to before they left were Bruce Essex
of the Paint Shop who had spent 29
years w i t h us, Arthur Barnett
(Machine Shop) w i t h 26 years’
service and Harry Smith (15 years)
from RX Cinderford.
We wish them all many happy years
Date for 1976
The annual dinner is to be held on
May 7 this year; the venue is the
Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye, as in
previous years.
Roger Ball, Linda Howells and Stephen Gwynn, representing ‘the under-21’s’,
wait for compere Alan Taylor to ‘Pop the Question’.
As you’ll have seen if you watched the
programme in this series on February
5, the Mitcheldean team in the
‘Best in the West’ competition being
run by Harlech Television beat their
opponents, Dowty Group, by three
points over four rounds.
Altogether 46 companies in Avon,
Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and
Somerset have taken part. Leading the
field in our county. Smiths Industries
gained 56 points, just seven ahead
of our score of 49.
So we’ve not made the semi-finals,
but our team deserve a big cheer for
doing as well as they did in the
county league.
Harlech had invited us to send
a team along to the studios in
Brislington, Bristol, on January 9,
when the programme was to be
recorded. The Sports & Social Club
were called in and, w i t h a bit of
help on all sides, a team was got
together; there just wasn’t time for
auditions beforehand.
They were whisked off to Bristol
after lunch by HTV and spent several
hours rehearsing, undergoing sound
tests, being made up and generally
having the terrors taken out of
being televised.
A coachload of supporters f r om the
Plant went along in the evening and
we went too to report on the
standard of play and give you the
view from the other side of the
We were ushered into a vast blue
and grey arena, seated in a minigrandstand,
and asked to be good
and not whisper the answers if we
knew them and the teams didn’t.
Between us and the rival supporters
club from Dowty was a wide space —
no doubt in case feelings ran high.
Compere Alan Taylor introduced us
to them, to ‘the only female sound
engineer in Europe’, to the camera
crew driving their silent steeds
around, to various people called
Mike or Keith or ‘Fingers’, and to
the director (‘Say hallo to Geoffrey,
Far over at the Dowty end of the
‘field’ was a dais w i t h seats for the
question sessions; at our end were
a long worktable, t w o ovens and
four cooks in butcher aprons. Our
representatives, Diane Morgan
(Telecommunications) and Norman
Ashcroft (9200 Assembly), were
totally absorbed in slicing onions,
potatoes, etc., watched over by the
resident chef Tony Stoppani who
popped over for a friendly chat w i th
the girls in the front row.
Right in the middle of the arena was
a grand piano, and overhead a
galaxy of suspended lights and TV
screens. There was great excitement
as a pair of mikes suddenly
descended over our heads like
instant stalagmites.
The count-down began — zero hour
approached. Cracked A l a n : ‘If
anyone wants to go now, it’s too
l a t e ! ‘
The under-21 ‘s competing were
seated either side of him for ‘Pop
the Question’ and, having introduced
them and thrown in a commercial
for both firms free of charge, he
popped them — fast. They weren’t
all that easy either.
Linda Howells, secretary in Training
Department, and apprentices
Stephen Gwynn and Roger Ball did
their best w i t h posers mostly about
pop music, but despite their efforts,
Dowty’s scored 12 against our
eight. Gloom on the RX grandstand.
Over to cookery corner. Chef Tony
offered a bonus three points to the
first of the t w o girls to identify a
herb. ‘Thyme’ said Diane, a sniff
ahead of her opponent.
Dowty’s two cooks (left) and our o\
watch as Chef Tony prepa
B e l ow left: Hubert Evans sings ‘Sc
– ‘1^ • ^
«^ I.
D/ane Morgan and Norman Ashcroft
to unveil the mystery herb.
et Ribbons’ accompanied by his wife.
f t «
– Jf
Alan Taylor shows the award that will
go to the ultimate winners as team
leaders Tony Haynes (RX) and
Derek James (Dowty’s) shake hands.
Bernard Smith, Kath Worsfold and John Ireland had to do some rapid
thinking backwards when asked if they could ‘Remember This ?’
Now we were only one point behind
Dowty’s. Everybody heaved a sigh
of relief and in so doing inhaled the
heady smell of liver and onions.
After that it was the veterans’ turn.
Kath Worsfold (Spares Packing),
Bernard Smith (Mfg Group Purchase)
and John Ireland (PCD’s Planning &
Support) produced the answers to
some very varied questions
(congratulations, Kath, on getting all
your answers right), and by the end
we were pulling ahead w i t h 23
against Dowty’s 22.
The first part of the show finished
w i t h t w o Latin-American numbers by
the Cheltenham firm’s pianist; Alan
announced the RX entertainment
which was to commence the second
half and then came the break —
without commercials.
Through the hubbub we heard
someone tell Alan he’d omitted to
give the name of our entertainer
(baritone Hubert Evans, Production
Stores who was to be accompanied
by his wife Winifred).
‘Didn’t I ?’ asked Alan unbelievingly.
‘No, you d i d n ‘ t ‘ roared Sadie
Which is why, as you may have
noticed if you watched the
transmission, Hubert came on as a
mystery man singing the ballad
‘Scarlet Ribbons’.
While Eric Weatherall, the
entertainment adjudicator, thought
about the contestants, we switched
back to the food.
The atmosphere was electric even if
the cooking wasn’t. Life at this
moment really seemed to depend
on the liver (Alan’s joke — not ours.)
Chef Tony tasted the Dowty offering
and pronounced it ‘excellent’. He
gave them 12 points.
Then he concentrated on the RX
dish. He nibbled. He kept on
nibbling. We drooled at the sight —
most of us hadn’t had anything
since dinnertime. ‘Exceptionally
nice,’ he said, between mouthfuls.
‘I give them 13.’
Even the cheerleader was satisfied
at our reaction to the state of the
parties — Dowty 34, RXMP 36.
Everything now depended on the
entertainment section.
We held our breath as adjudicator
Eric gave judgment. It wasn’t a case
of who was best, but who was best
in what they had chosen to
He praised the pianist and gave her
12. He praised Hubert and Winifred.
And when he said he’d given them
13, we nearly raised the roof
complete w i t h suspended lights and
TV sets.
We’d won w i t h 49 to Dowty’s 46.
Before we left our seats for final
photographs, Alan introduced one
of the chief participants — the
£30,000 big colour camera. ‘We call
it a heron,’ he said. We thought it
looked more like an excavator.
One of the Dowty people had a ride
on it. Well, it made a change from
aircraft equipment.
Colour TV, w e were told, uses one
and half times more light than is
needed for plain black and w h i t e ; if
we’d felt a bit on the warm side, it
wasn’t just the excitement — we’d
been gently roasted under 200,000
Then Alan, ever smiling, signed
autographs, kissed the ladies and
saw us off like a host at a party.
Glowing w i t h the effects of victory
and those 200,000 watts, w e ran
for the coaches.
Who cared if it was raining — we
ranked among the ‘Best in the West’.
More news f r om t h o s e on Social Service leave. Here, E r i c T o s e (Work
Study) gives a progress report on The Blaisdon Project
With Christmas and the New Year
festivities over, the senior boys at
Blaisdon Hall are studying for their
CSE examinations and, at the same
time, preparations are going ahead
for this year’s pantomime ‘The Pied
Piper of Hamelin’.
The annual Blaisdon Pantomime is an
event well worth seeing and hearing.
It features a double cast of boys and
girls and rivalry is great for the best
performances. The proceeds generally
go to the Save the Children Fund or
some such noble cause.
The school had a good news/bad
news episode over Christmas. One
of the boys in my unit became the
Pop Quiz Kid Champion of
Gloucestershire, but couldn’t attend
the final at Bristol as he was at home
in Sheerness for the holiday. Hard
luck, Paddy.
Mike Macnamara, the assistant house
father, recently left us, so until the
vacancy is filled I am acting in his
place, even to the extent of becoming
the Unit Chaplain. Mind you, I do
receive lots of support from Father J im
Pilling, the resident psychologist.
The industrial visits are going ahead
as usual, w i t h trips to the GPO
Telephone Exchange and Head Post
Office in Gloucester being followed
by visits to R. A. Lister, Dowty
Group, Smiths Industries and
Factories Directions at Lydney.
Our football has suffered due to the
present weather and in consequence
we have resorted to five-a-side in the
gym. Still, w i t h a bit of luck we’ll
be back on the green sward in the
near future.
While on the subject of sport, the
school boasts t w o very good table
tennis teams who remain unbeaten
in the 6th and 7th divisions of the
Gloucester TT League. I’ve watched a
couple of games and to my untutored
eye they look very promising.
Well, I look forward to seeing some
of you at the panto which takes place
at Blaisdon Hall from May 18-22.
Eric bumped into a couple of friends from
PED at the Blaisdon Christmas staff ‘do’ —
Jim Mackin and Pete Gordon who were
there with their respective wives Colette
and Norma. Here Colette, Jim and (far
right) Eric chat with Fr John Gilheeny, the
Bring Your aoots, tJad!
‘I’ve never missed the advantages of
xerography as much as now,’ writes
Jack Brooks of PED in his second
communication from Kabala, Sierra
Apologising for his scribble, he says
‘it’s 90°F inside and 125°F out. We
have no copying facilities, and the
post takes about seven to 12 days
from England. The local electricity
arrangements are such that we eat,
read and write by candlelight and
the ‘fridge packs up so that food
goes off quickly.’
Jack reports that he has made a
number of treks, either by Land
Rover or on foot, and confirms that
a deal of good work is being done.
‘To my knowledge, some 22 new
patients have been found within
the last seven days by the assistants
working and being supervised by my
son David who is Leprosy Control
Officer based at Kabala.
‘The area of Koinadugu that I am
likely to be associated with
particularly is but a small part of
Sierra Leone and represents a mere
7 per cent of the Koinadugu district.
‘But it has yet to be surveyed in
detail for leprosy and incursions so
far indicate that the number of
people afflicted could be relatively
high. The terrain is hilly, forested
and cut by the Mongo River and its
many tributaries.
‘Its people are chiefly farmers, living
in numerous villages and moving
f r om place to place as grazing or
growing becomes difficult. This
itinerant type of existence means
that villages shown on maps prepared
one year are gone the year after.
‘This provides a headache for the
leprosy teams w h o try to establish
clinics w i t h i n walking distances for
patients so as to ensure that they
get regular treatment.
‘The area is not served by roads;
those that exist are only usable by
vehicles of the Land Rover calibre.
So, as my son wrote me before I
left England, it’s a case of “Bring
your boots. Dad”.’
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Many people have commented on
the super sound produced by the
RX Christmas Band. Got together
in double-quick time, the members
were all seasoned players. This month
we feature three who were caught
by the camera during a practice.
It was behind the biggest of all
brass band instruments — the bass —
that we found Brian W a t k i ns
(PED Component Planning).
Apprenticed on the cornet, Brian
has been playing the bass for about
ten years now.
And what made him take up brassbanding?
‘I didn’t really have any
choice. My father conducts
Pillowell Band.’
He himself belongs to Lydney Band,
as does Graham Gardner of
Development Laboratory who also
played bass alongside Brian in t he
Christmas Band.
Commitments at home have recently
had to come before practices, but
Brian says he’ll be there, blowing
away, when the West of England
contest — the qualifying round for
the National Finals — comes up this
It would cost something in excess
of £5,000 to equip a full band today;
a bass alone costs around £500,
Brian estimated — and that’s not
counting the car you really need to
cart it around.
Fortunately the instruments last
many years. ‘With a bass it’s the
valves which wear out first, but
they can be reconditioned,’ he t o ld us.
That’s not t he case w i t h lungs yet,
but maybe the experts could work
on it.
You couldn’t help noticing Barbara
L e w i s — she was t he only girl in
the whole band. Twenty-one years
old this month, she plays the tenor
horn. ‘It suits the size of my mouth,’
she explained.
She normally plays solo but in the
Christmas Band she was a first
horn; Robert Bloxsome and Barry
Watkins (both of Production Control)
played solo. This might sound like
a contradiction in terms, but in fact
there was a double section of tenor
horns, hence t w o solos, t w o firsts, etc.
How did Barbara come to be a
bandsman (sorry, band person) ?
‘I’d learned to play the piano; then
my father (Ted Lewis of Development
Laboratory) took up t he euphonium
and he talked me into doing some
brass banding too. He played with
Lydbrook Silver Band and I joined
when I was 14.’
Just in case you’re at all confused,
a ‘silver’ is t he same as a ‘brass’
band — t h e instruments are all
made of brass; some are lacquered
but most are plated w i t h silver.
Barbara also belongs to t he
Monmouth and Forest of Dean
Youth Bands. She’s been on tour
in Germany four times w i t h the
latter band.
Band people are a dedicated lot.
With practices and performances
taking up several evenings a week,
Barbara finds she has no time for
any other major interests.
A trainee secretary of 1973 vintage,
she now works for Maurice Pask,
Planning & Support Manager in
Purchase where, incidentally, her
brother Barry is a buyer.
The only player in the band w ho
could chew gum without spoiling
his performance was Dave Bowi<ett
(RX Lydney).
It may have been due to the gumchewing,
but Dave couldn’t have
looked more relaxed as he underlined
the brass sound w i t h the deeper boom
of the big bass drum or a tribal
touch of the tom-toms.
Inspired always by Buddy Rich
(‘He’s the world’s number one
drummer’), Dave started his
drumming career at the White Hart,
Cinderford, working w i t h a pianist
(‘I got ten bob a night at f i r s t ‘ ).
Then he progressed into groups. At
one time he was w i t h Don Webb’s
‘Autumn Showband’; they wanted
somebody ‘out there’ w h o could
sing and entertain, and after much
soul-searching Dave deserted the
drums and became a vocalist.
Later he joined Richard Holland’s
outfit ‘Sundown’, but things didn’t
work out and n ow he’s in Lydbrook
Silver Band, back on the drums
where he really feels happiest.
Brass-banding runs in families, it
seems; Dave is a first cousin of
Roy Jones (Tool Room), a flijgel
horn player in Cinderford Town
Band. Roy not only played in our
Christmas Band but, together w i th
Robert Bloxsome (PCD), assisted
conductor Derek Wade of Training
to get all that brass banded together.
Here’s hoping they get together
again before long.
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Mpvvvji IB ^ 1%^^ TTiT^^ ‘Keep the costs down’was the formula for this year’s dozen or so departmental parties. ” 1*< At ^ ^ 1 % A I a l l ” ” ” ‘ But as these pictures show, there was no difficulty in keeping people’s spirits up.
Spares Packing pack in some fun at Castle View
Hotel, Kerne Bridge, on December 20.
PED’s party at Tfie Paddocks Hotel, Symonds Yat,
on December 22.
Finishing & Platmg people in the Social Centre
on December 13.
Another party at The Paddocks — 9200 Assembly
on January 9.
A happy crowd from Goods Inwards B Despatch at the Woodlands Guest House, Cinderford, on December 19. Photos: j Ingram
Father Christmas, cartoons, party fare and lots of noisy participation still provide a sure-fire formula for success, as you can see from our
pictures below and on the right, taken at the two children’s parties in the Social Centre on January 3 and 17.
Just In case the kids forgot, we’d like to convey a big ‘thank you’ on their behalf to all those kind people who gave up their Saturday
afternoons to act as bus stewards, comforters, escorters to toilets, clearers-up, etc.
The decision of the clay shooting
committee of the Shooting Club to
introduce handicaps for novice
shooters has proved a success — a
keen competitive spirit now exists
in the club.
At the shoot held at Meend Farm,
Ruardean, on January 18, Tony
Burcher, who has only shot twice
before, took first place (it’s well
known that he has been practising
with a wooden gun made for him
by his workmates I).
Robin Wozencroft took second place
after a ‘sudden death’ shot off w i th
Barry Clein; ‘sudden death’, by the
way, means ‘first to miss a target’ —
Barry is in fact alive and well.
Neil W i l l i a ms
A resounding defeat was achieved
by our recently formed Bridge Club
when on January 14 they played
against the CEGB, their opponents
winning by 141 imps (or did they
mean amps?).
‘We expected a defeat, but nothing
on this scale,’ reported secretary
Wilf Jones. ‘Nevertheless we enjoyed
I t ; it was good experience and made
us appreciate the competition.’
A return match at Mitcheldean is
being fixed for March.
Incidentally, the evening sessions,
which have been going well, are now
to be held on the first Tuesday (not
Wednesday as originally arranged) in
the month to avoid clashing with
Photographic Club events.
Lunchtlme sessions continue and
several beginners have come along
to learn a trick or t w o .
Fine feathers mal fine transparency. It won Robin Berks first
place in the slide competition ‘My Hat’.
Altogether some 30 people have
shown interest in the club to date.
Since our last report on the progress
of the slide competitions, t w o more
have been held by the Amateur
Photographic Club.
Competitors’ ideas of ‘ M y Hat’,
ranging from a vast lampshade to a
diver’s helmet, from a Balinese
basketweave affair (did it conceal
the lady’s shopping ?) to a Red
Indian chief’s head-dress, made the
judging of this section a fascinating
j ob for your editor on January 7.
Winner was Robin Berks (PCD) with
Bob Dixon (PED) taking second and
third place; Vance Hopkins (Plant
Facilities) came fourth, Barbara Snell
(translator) fifth and Valerie Jordan
‘Portrait’ was the subject of the
competition on January 2 1 , judged
by John Ingram (QA). Bob Dixon
almost swept the board, getting first,
second and sixth places. Bill Hobbs
(also of PED) was third, Des Haines
fourth and Reg Morris (PED again)
A ‘Stereo Sound and Vision Show’
was staged on February 11 by
Roy Fowler and on February 20 it
was President’s Night, w i t h a
talk and f i lm show by Dennis Dick
of the BBC, Bristol, and local
councillors among Mr Portman’s
Once again a Xerox/Rank Xerox
inter-club slide competition is to
take place, and slides from either
side are flying across the Atlantic
for judging in March.
The Billiards & Snooker Section are
doing well in the current Forest of
Dean Snooker League.
They entered a team in the second
of the three divisions (by choice, not
relegation) and as w e went to press
had won six and drawn in four of
the ten matches played to date.
Looks as if promotion is in their
‘pockets’ already.
Do you paint, sculpt, embroider or
otherwise express yourself via the
arts? If so, you may be interested to
learn that plans are afoot to hold an
Art Competition later this year.
Details have yet to be settled but
the intention is that it should be
‘broadly based’, embracing the full
range of artistic talent w i t h in the Plant.
Looking at the memorial after the ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral are (from the left)
the Dean, the Very Rev Gilbert Thurlow, the Rev Sam Davies and Brig. Tony
Arengo-Jones, Colonel of the Gloucestershire Regiment.
Col. Came’s
In the north aisle of the choir of
Gloucester Cathedral, adjacent to the
memorial chapel of the Gloucestershire
Regiment, hangs a glass case
containing a small Celtic cross.
Beautifully carved in Korean stone,
it was painstakingly made w i t h a
primitive hammer and t w o nails by
Col. J. P. Carne, VC, DSO, for use in
religious services held in a
prisoner-of-war camp in North
The Colonel, who commanded the
1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire
Regiment, at the Battle of the Imjin
River in April 1951, was taken
captive along w i t h many others, and
the cross became a symbol of
endurance, of Christian faith ‘in spite
When sending in i t e m s please give your
extension number and/or department t o ensure
For Sale
Bonnet for Mini. Mrs P. Burley, RX
Cinderford, ext. 19-17.
Belling two-bar electric fire with bookcase
surround. Perfect working order, £10 o.n.o.
Ext. 760.
Morris 1100 spares inc. doors, seats, trim,
carpets, boot lid, bumpers, etc.
L. D. Williams, ext. 626.
Hi-fi bargains: Ortofon M15E super stereo
cartridge, £20; Koss HV1 lightweight
stereo headphones, little used, £20; offers
invited for an eight-track system comprising
Motorola car player and speakers, BSR
playback unit and 80 tapes. Demonstrations
can be arranged If required. Sage, ext. 277.
Lady’s ‘tree bark’ silver cocktail watch
‘Carronade’, unused, as new, cost £36,
will sell for £25 o.n.o. Mrs Z. Carter,
ext. 914.
General stores in detached bungalow,
corner site, central heating, large garden,
Coleford J mile. R. Wrigglesworth,
Coleford 2319.
1971 Pirelli calendar ‘Jamaica’; offers
around £6. I. Haynes, Dev. Lab., ext. 580.
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
of dungeons’ — as their padre, the
Rev Sam Davies, says in his book of
that name describing their experiences.
The cross has rested in the Cathedral
for 22 years; it was recently illuminated
and this prompted the idea of making
facsimiles of a f ew of the most relevant
pages from the book and displaying
them either side of the cross.
Our help was requested and we duly
Detached house, Selwyn Road, Gloucester;
three bedrooms, lotinge, sitting-room, small
kitchen, no cent, htg, garden, greenhouse,
sheds, etc. Room for garage and drive.
Ideally situated for shops and bus stop,
100 yds from Robinswood Hill. £11,000
o.n.o. Chris Lyes, ext. 509.
1965 Austin Cooper, 12 months’ MOT, red
with black roof, new radials, excellent
condition, £185. Donkey, friendly,
2 i years, also 12 months’ MOT, £25 o.n.o.
D. J . Lewis, Cinderford 23306 or ext. 532.
Mitcheldean — modern detached house,
lounge, dining-room, kitchen, three
bedrooms, bathroom, full Warmair cent, htg,
concrete drive to car port, well maintained
garden. Price £9,450 includes fitted
carpets. Mike Benbow, ext. 721.
Brockworth — 3-bedroom detached house,
full gas-fired cent, htg, corner position.
South facing, large garage, £13,950 o.n.o.
D. Wallace, TED, ext. 725, 131 Abbotswood
Road, Brockworth, Glos.
1968 Austin Mini Mk 2, good condition,
12 months’ MOT, new sub-frame and recent
overhaul. Offers. P. Walby, BIdg 50/3,
ext. 759.
Garden hut reasonable price, for Coleford
District Girl Guides. Will dismantle and
collect. A. Basson, ext. 759.
Small solid fuel cooker, Rayburn, Aga or
similar. D. J . Lewis, Cinderford 23306 or
ext. 532.
Terry Smith (ext. 336) would like to share
transport between Ledbury and
Mitcheldean — staff hours.
As w e g o t o p r e ss
Personnel Department report that 212
people have been accepted under the
voluntary redundancy/early
retirement scheme which closed on
January 30. An examination of the
residual difficulties has since been
taking place.
put the work in hand. The pages
were framed in English oak and a
simple ceremony for their dedication
was held on January 27.
In the absence of Col. Carne, who
was unwell, the Colonel of the
Regiment unveiled the pages before
a gathering which included several
of those w h o had been held captive
at Pi-chong-ni during 1951-53.
B i r t hs
Marcus Richard, a son for Richard Chambers
(Resources Planning) and his wife Jacqui,
on November 23.
Steven, a son for Robert Harris (Planning &
Support, PCD) and his wife Diane (formerly
secretary to Ralph Zimmermann), on
December 17.
Brian Jonathan, a son for Roger Roberts
(RX 1000) and his wife Jane, on
December 27.
Laura, a daughter for Laurie Gregory (PED)
and his wife Christine, on January 3.
Stuart James, a son for Marilyn Smith
(formerly Production Control) and her
husband Paul, on January 5.
Trudy Jo, a daughter for Richard Wood
(4000 Assembly) and his wife Linda
(formerly Accounts), on January 7.
Nicola Jane, a daughter for Leon Barnes
(Salaries & Wages) and his wife Diane, on
January 9.
Silver Wedding
Congratulations to Harvey Gwilliam
(4000 Dept) and his wife Zena who
celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding
anniversary on January 20.
T om Higgs
We report with regret the death on
February 1 of Tom Higgs of Security.
Tom, who had been with us for close on
seven years, was 55 years old. We would
like to convey our sympathy to his widow.
Printed in England by Taylor Young (Printers) Ltd.