Return to 1975-1979

Vision 127

‘I Declare this Building Begun!’
As members can see for themselves, the foundations for the long-awaited new premises of the Sports & Social Club are being laid on the site near the main entrance at Barton Hill.
With a brand new spade, 17-year-old Philip Turner, youngest apprentice of the 1976 annual intake, dug the first turf at a small ceremony on August 31.
And to add a bit of spice to the proceedings, a bonanza draw with
£500 worth of money prizes was held at the same time.
The building, a single-storey construction of approximately 10,000 sq. ft, will have a function room, snooker hall, skittle alley, lounge and general bars, and at a later date will be extended to include a sports centre.
Little did the 12-strong committee realise, when they embarked on this
undertaking, how much hard work it would entail. In developing the project over the last 18 months they have travelled over 2,500 miles and spent 400 hours of their own time.
Thanks to their determined efforts, the support of members, and the contribution being made by Facilities Planning Department, Mitcheldean should have a club house to be proud of by this time next year.
A highlight of the recent 250th Three Choirs Festival at Gloucester, Mahler’s ‘The Song of the Earth’ with soloists Dame Janet Baker and John Mitchinson and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Louis Fremaux was a performance that Rank Xerox could feel justly proud to have sponsored. At a supper party in the Church House Club after the concert on August 27, some 40 guests, who included major customers and suppliers, had an opportunity to congratulate the performers personally. Each guest took away a gift package containing a recording of Janet Baker singing in the Mahler work, and a brief account of the way in which Rank Xerox has played a role in supporting facets of local community life through its Charities Fund. Our pictures show (far left) Frank Pipp, Group Director, Manufacturing B Supply Operations Group, and his wife talking to Dame Janet, and (left) Ron Morfee, Director, Mitcheldean Manufacturing Operations, with Roy Massey, organist, Hereford Cathedral, who was an associate conductor at the Festival.
ACCENT ON YOUTH Whether it’s doing a ceremonial bit of digging, or showing young visitors around the site, we can count on our apprentices making a good job of it. One recent challenge for four senior apprentices— Philip Davis, Steve Gwynne, Nick Harrison and John Skinner — was to act as guides for 36 Mitcheldean schoolchildren who spent a day with us on August 23 as part of the Holiday Playscheme organised by Mitcheldean Parish Council. Said one parent about the scheme: ‘it’s the first time this year the children haven’t complained of being bored. They’ve been to the swimming baths, to the cinema, even back to school for various activities, and the visit to Rank Xerox was a highlight of the two-week programme.’ For many of the kids it was ‘Hallo Dad !’ or ‘Hallo Mum I’ as they went round the Plant. In the case of 12-year-old Barbara, the youngest of a family of nine children, it was ‘Hallo, family!’ Her mother Sadie Scott is a chargehand in Electrical Sub-assembly; sister Veronica is a secretary in Engineering, another sister Biddy works in File Control, brother Ian is in Purchase, while her father, Jim, is a setter at RX Cinderford. August 23 was very much a children’s day. We entertained members of Forest Hill Church Youth Group at the same time, provided the whole lot with a sandwich lunch, and mercifully managed to avoid sending any Mitcheldean children back to London S.E.23 by mistake. Above: This fire tender was an instant success with one group of children escorted by apprentice Philip Davis. Ready for any emergency are works fire brigade members Vic Baker (far left) and Richard Cooke. I ‘In recognition of outstanding qualities of service, dependability, leadership’ is the citation on the Youth Merit Award presented to 18-year-old RX apprentice David Beach by the Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean last July. David, whose community service has taken the form of helping children, both under-privileged and physically handicapped, is seen showing the award to fellow apprentice Kevin James (far left), and service engineers Mike Morris and (far right) Reg Fishburne.
A dragon-like lamprey of enormous size, a vast gold sun and silver moon, gigantic flags flying above battling soldiers and figures larger than life — these were some of the striking effects of ‘King and Conscience’, one of the entertainments which helped to broaden the musical scope of the recent 250th Three Choirs Festival. Performed by the Phoenix Players, it took the form of a masque giving glimpses of old Gloucester in light, sound and vision from the dissolution of the monasteries to the Civil War, with pre-recorded dialogue, and music by Gloucester-born composer Michael Hurd.
In a spectacular way it rounded off six of the evening programmes, including the Rank Xerox-sponsored celebrity concert with Dame Janet Baker as principal soloist (see opposite page). The ‘larger than life’ description certainly fitted the character of Henry VIM. Despite his mask and splendid costume, his 6ft SJin height
Give us a choir boy
and we’ll give you a choir
Dress rehearsal in the Cathedral Choir, and Tony lliffe, Robin Agascar and Doreen Whitfield get a last-minute briefing from assistant producer Judy Wright.
easily marked out Tony lliffe of Xerographic Materials Engineering — the tallest man at Mitcheldean and, possibly, in the whole of Rank Xerox. This royal role constituted the peak of Tony’s acting career with the Players, which started with his playing a seven-year old girl! ‘I was an off-stage child ghost in “Blithe Spirit” and all I had to do was knock on a door,’ says Tony, who looks anything but ethereal. In ‘King and Conscience’, Henry VIII arrived accompanied by Queen Anne Boleyn and heralded by Robin Agascar who, in real life, is an architect currently carrying out some work for us on site. From heading the royal retinue, Tony changed to heading the lamprey; like a Chinese dragon, the writhing figure of this huge eel-like fish was supported by several actors, with Tony playing the lead. (Lamprey pie incidentally is a traditional Gloucester speciality.) Playing Judy to Punch in a fairground scene was Doreen Whitfield, who is secretary to Ron Mason, Chief Engineer, Manufacturing. Doreen, whose two sons David and Bill also work on site, is a former member of Cinderford’s Mintec drama group; she had previously done backstage work with the Phoenix Players so this was her first appearance with them. Hidden not behind a mask but behind the scenes, Judy Wright as assistant producer had a vital part
This eye-catching Bdveiiisement appeared in the local press at the time of the 250th Three Choirs Festival, in association with features on the event. It also appeared in the souvenir book programme which carried a message from Her Majesty the Queen, Patron of the Festival.
to play in getting the show on the road, or, more accurately, in the dramatic setting of the Cathedral Choir. All the props and masks, and the 70 or so costumes in rich autumn colours, were made by the Players themselves. Said Judy, who is secretary to Personnel Director Lionel Lyes: ‘Our dressing-room was down in the crypt, but there was little time for changing, so we devised a system of adding an extra layer or two when any performer had to change character.’ If the text sounded particularly convincing, it was probably because the words were selected from contemporary documents, poetry and memoirs. For example, the narrative accompanying the visit of Henry VIII and his queen to Gloucester was adapted from the actual Corporation minutes dated July 31, 1535. Since the words and some of the music were pre-recorded, timing was critical. Thanks to ‘pacing rehearsals’ action fitted the sound at performances, and they didn’t get the noise of battling soldiers during the maypole dancing. But Tony recalls a tricky moment when he got his head (his lamprey one) stuck in a door. Another historical event realistically featured was the burning at the stake of Bishop Hooper. ‘But it was all very symbolic,’ said Judy. ‘He wasn’t even singed.’ The Civil War battles, however, were almost too lifelike for comfort. Towering Tony was ‘finished off in this scene but although he is, we’re glad to say, alive and well and able to cope with his engineering duties, he sustained quite a few battle injuries which, he tells us, felt anything but symbolic at the time.
They Aim to Get a Good Deal Since some 80 per cent of the material we use on site is bought out, the deal we strike with suppliers makes a big impact on our product costs. Hardly surprising, therefore, in view of the highly competitive nature of our business, that our buyers are under increasing pressure to improve the cost-effectiveness of their buying. While Purchase Department are responsible for the main drive towards effective control of bought-out material costs, they have the support of a team whose combined knowledge and expertise are available to help them in that task. Finance, which has recently been restructured with a view to improving our ability to plan and control costs, establishes standard buying prices and provides overall guidelines to Purchasing ; if required, the department lends a financial helping hand in negotiations. Product Cost Engineering, set up under Ed McLyman earlier this year, provides unit manufacturing costs to Design Engineering to help in the development of costeffective designs, and also provides target costs to Purchasing. Manufacturing Cost Engineering provide tool target costs. If necessary, the buyers call them in as well to help in negotiating those costs with the vendor. But, at the end of the day, it is the buyers’ responsibility to get the best deal, taking into consideration quality, delivery dates, the supplier’s record, etc. To sharpen up their negotiating abilities still further, our buyers, and representatives from PCE and Manufacturing Cost Engineering, Two buyers in IVIechanical section — Tony Cudol< (left) and Robert Liddington — discuss with Manager Bob Monteith the merits of the negotiating skills and techniques course featured at a recent Training exhibition. have been attending a special course on negotiating techniques and skills. The training package comes in two parts. There is a videotape presentation by Dr Chester L. Karrass, a recognised American authority in the field of buying and selling, which has been approved by the Rank Xerox/Xerox Material Management Council. We at Mitcheldean can claim first use of it within our Company, having secured a separate lease on the programme. This is supplemented by a course on negotiating skills commissioned by Training Department from John Carlisle, a consultant on behavioural aspects. The course is also being used by buying staff from Welwyn, Milton Keynes and Denham, and has already proved its worth, judging by a letter from Denham which says
Shortly before the diggers moved in, the new club house site provided a landing ground for this helicopter. It brought Maurice StA. Eley (centre). Divisional Managing Director of Plessey Components Ltd., one of our major suppliers, on a flying visit for discussions and meetings with Ron Morfee and our Materials organisation headed by Peter Walton. Here Works Manager Don Elliott shakes hands with him on his departure; seen left is Robert Hall who has been acting in a consultative capacity since his retirement from the managing directorship of Plessey Swindon Group.
that, by putting the ideas into practice, they have managed to save thousands of pounds on a furnishing deal for the Company. When we asked one of our own buyers whether he felt the course had had a direct effect on his negotiating abilities, he replied : ‘It certainly encouraged you to “up your aspiration levels”, and I’ve set myself higher goals than before as a result.’ A final word from Bob Monteith, Manager Mechanical I, who has been involved with supplies since 1951 : ‘The course has given the young buyers in this office a better background and it was time well spent. ‘One unexpected effect has been that my staff now negotiate with me as well as with suppliers I’
SERVICE AWARDS Rank Xerox emblems for 20 or more years’ service have been awarded to the following: 30 Years August— Don Elliott, Works Manager; Ivor Ward, Quality Engineering. 25 Years August — Tommy Knight, Receiving Inspection. 20 Years August— Mel Goulding, Internal Transport; Brian James, RX Lydney; Derek Jones, RX Lydney; Bruce Powell, Works Engineering; Sam Phillips, Production Engineering. September—Cyril Beard, Small Batch; Nigel Brookes, Production Engineering; Ron Harris, Mitcheldean Machine Shop; John Morris, Electrical Sub-assembly; Bill Jones, Tool Engineering.
BURNING BURNHAM HOW’S YOUR The venue for the sumnner outing for retired LSA members on July 6 was Burnham-on-Sea (yes, there were plenty of remarks about taking them to burn ’em, and certainly the weather was hot enough for it I). it was a wonderful opportunity to see old friends again —Tom and Winnie Knight just returned from a three-month visit to Australia where, they said, it rained nearly all the time, and Taffy Morgan and his party, still with their Continental suntan. The two coaches arrived in glorious sunshine at the Somerset resort and were met by Harry Pearce who is now living at Burnham. Packed lunches were issued and the party split up to do as they wished (pity Roy and party picked on a pub that was just closing I). Everyone agreed the eats were excellent and I’d like to congratulate the organisers, on behalf of the married men, for picking early closing day when many of the shops were shut. Tea had been arranged for 4.30 pm at a local cafe. Very good too, although, as usual, a couple of the ex-Machine Shop men finished up in the ladies’ loo (who said there was life in the old dogs yet?). After tea and a quiet stroll back to the coaches, the party started on the return journey, stopping at the Newport Towers Motel for liquid refreshment, dispensed by George and Mary, ably assisted by Tony, Eric, Ernie and Co. The only problem arose when loading the coaches for the return home; stewards and drivers seemed to have some difficulty in counting the number of passengers aboard — in fact, one driver was heard to remark: ‘I had 28 on when I left Mitcheldean, 30 at Burnham and now I seem to have 32. They must be breeding like b rabbits.’ All being sorted out, without George having to call for the computer, the party returned safely home after a very enjoyable day, for which, all agreed, the LSA committee, organisers and stewards were to be warmly congratulated on the way arrangements were made and carried out. Bill Carpenter
Diary Date — The annual LSA social takes place on October 29.
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, Mitcheldean, or ring me —ext. 566 or Drybrook 542415. Myrtle Fowler, Editor
It is now generally recognised that stress is the biggest single threat to our health and general wellbeing. Stress is caused by the conflicts of our working lives and recent research has shown that the effects can be aggravated by such things as noise, sitting in traffic jams, hangovers and weather forecasts for the weekend. We worry about things; indeed, our work seems actively to encourage worry. A machinist manufactures a component which comes under the close scrutiny of an inspector. The whole process is also examined by a Plant process auditor who is in turn audited by a Group auditor. Finally the Group auditor is audited by a Corporate auditor. The quality of the components is high, but so is the stress level of all the people in the chain ! To assess your personal stress rating, try the following quiz specially prepared for VISION.
1. You are a forklift truck operator and are elected to take part in a two-day seminar in London on Ergonomics and Cybernetics in Materials Handling. Do you : a. reach for the nearest dictionary; b. change your name by deed poll and scan the vacancy board; c. ignore it, and hope it goes away ?
2. As a technical programme manager you are required by higher management to give a presentation showing the impact on your longrange plans of the combined effects of the Siberian grain harvest failure and the collapse of the Australian fast bowling. As usual, you have three-quarters of an hour to prepare the presentation. Do you : a. set about last week’s presentation concerning the impact of the phases of the moon and try to change the figures; b. give the whole thing to your secretary; c. pretend it’s just a bad dream ?
3. You are a Rank Xerox salesman of the 16th century and are asked by an up-and-coming playwright from Stratford-on-Avon to run off 28 copies of his latest play through the 9200. Unfortunately you find that parchment jams badly in the processor. Do you: a. quickly whip out the works and cram 56 midgets with pens and paper inside; b. tell him not to bother as the critics would probably kill it anyway; c. hope it will be all right on the night?
4. You are a canteen supervisor and have been warned that Egon Ronay is being invited to sample some typical Rank Xerox cuisine. The great day comes; but in the middle of the morning there is an electricity breakdown, the water gets turned off and the Gas Board dig up the factory main. Do you : a. rush across the road and buy up the chip shop; b. ring up Rent-a-Scoff; c. make a decision to make a decision ?
5. You are a gatekeeper at Barton Corner. At 4.40 pm on a Friday evening you find to your horror that the barrier has jammed shut. A ‘phone call tells you that the same thing has happened to all the other gates. Do you: a. barricade the gatehouse and prepare for a bitter siege; b. check to see that your life insurance covers death by lynch mob; c. refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem ?
Scoring: a’s score 10; b’s score 5; c’s score 1. How Did you Score? The bigger the figure, the higher your stress rating. 25 and over — you’re plain neurotic. Under 5 — as someone who is totally immune to stress you probably fell asleep before completing this quiz. Peter Mayes
The ‘war room’— hub of the count activity. At the table: PI Project Manager David Stokes, secretary Jill Acland and Julian Alington. At the ‘phones. Bill Dalberth and Peter Whiles. Dennis Brown is recording results on the area plans. Right: Ticket control HQ where all the tickets were brought to be logged in, checked and forwarded to MIS for key punching. A total of 28,850 tickets was written on the shop floors and 6,855 in stores.
^The results of these two enormous exercises (the Physical Inventory and the reconstitution of the Stores Issue List) reflect great credit on David Stokes, his team, Mitcheldean management and the thousands of individuals who have contributed, w The improvement in our records should give us very significant benefits in the coming months.^
Ron Morfee
In his office is a photograph of David Stokes in full climbing gear among the peaks of the Savoy mountains. It was hard work getting up there and the climb down wasn’t child’s play either; but he and his fellow climbers experienced a sense of satisfaction that comes from a challenge successfully met. Though they didn’t actually have any physical danger to contend with (as far as we know I), David and his Physical Inventory Project Team must have felt something of the same exhilaration on seeing the successful completion of the three-day marathon counting operation just prior to the summer shutdown.
‘The enthusiasm and co-operation from everyone in carrying out this inventory was most encouraging,’ he told us. ‘Every manager had excellent support from his staff, to
the extent that we finished bang on schedule or even ahead of schedule.’ Team member Dick Coveny, Xerox assignee at Mitcheldean who has assisted with this kind of operation before at a number of locations, reckoned it was ‘the smoothest I’ve ever known,’ — a fact which reflects on the preparation and planning that went beforehand. Our external auditors. Peat Marwick & Mitchell, worked with us all the way through and they, too, were entirely satisfied with the operation. We ‘took stock’ of our annual stocktake some while back; there was a need to improve on the general organisation of the exercise and on the adequacy of our records — in particular the Stores Issue List (work in progress file). Inaccuracies were felt to be one major cause of shortages, excessive chasing and other production problems.
Top: Bench scales in action in the inlet rac parts in Finishing, Bid 29. Above right: / Martin Fenn-Smith {right) with other tick against the
In February last a Physical Inventory Project Team was formed, headed by David Stokes, and plans were laid to revolutionise the Pi’s organisation and administration. For the first time a 100 per cent physical count of floor stock was to be carried out, and this involved a major drive to improve shop floor ‘parts housekeeping’ disciplines; in stores there was to be random sampling, using a computerised system. The SOLAR ‘slate’ was to be wiped clean (as far as assembly stock was concerned), and reconstructed, and actual inventory balances reconciled with book balances. The whole thing was planned with the precision of a military exercise. A Management Information Services team led by Jim Hodgkinson spent many weeks developing computer programmes, and a sample interim physical inventory was carried out in April to test these and other PI procedures that had been worked out. Consultations were held with everyone involved. Training packages were prepared on counting procedures, ticket writing, etc.
Andrew Bentley-Taylor, stores manpower co-ordinator, with David Stokes in Production Stores.
Ticket books and labels and other documentation had to be designed and printed, and a master manpower plan executed. ‘The Count’ added a bit of razzmatazz to publicity posters and badges (and gave an opportunity for people to add some personal and highly original comments!) Bill Dalberth prepared floor plans, divided them into major and minor areas and prepared clearance schedules for each. Housekeeping guidelines were an essential part of the exercise; parts had to be labelled and set out to ensure ready visibility of the items to be counted, and repeated housekeeping tours were carried out to check that all was in order before PI Day. Internal Transport provided sterling service in removing excess stock from the shop floors. Deliveries of goods had to be frozen from a certain date and six 40ft container lorries were stationed outside Production Stores to hold goods in abeyance so that new stock was kept separate from existing stock. continued on page 8
ng area at Lydney. Above left: Counting }a ticket control supervisor for 9200 floor control staff checking the part numbers ‘/. entries.
Using a ratio platform scale to weigh parts at RX Cinderford. This location was one which took part in the interim Physical Inventory.
Drawing and cartoon overleaf by Eric Weeks
‘Quartermaster’ Julian Alington saw to the hiring of additional scales and other equipment needed, from calculators to clipboards, from ballpoint pens to one- and two-way paging receivers for the scales service engineers and Project Team members. The only aids that couldn’t be provided were extra fingers per person.
A special directory was issued listing areas, area leaders and ticket control personnel and a ‘do not inventory’ list of items which ranged from staples to fearful-sounding slitters and slave components. There was even a time-table of the countdown to the count from weeks beforehand, when a certain amount of pre-counting was done, to post-count reconciliation and file reconstruction activities.
At 7 am on July 20 tickets for recording part numbers were issued to count teams, and at 8 am the great count started, to continue round the clock for the next three days.
People measured, weighed and counted vast quantities of items from washers to machines on day and night shifts — and probably in their sleep as well. Checking the counting on a random basis was a cohort of about 90 auditors, reporting to ten leaders across the Plant. Drawn from PED, TED and Quality personnel and co-ordinated by Peter Whiles, they supported the work of the external auditors. David and Bill were on 24-hour call throughout the inventory; they were billeted at ‘The Ferns’ in Mitcheldean village and slept with their paging receivers under the pillow. Progress was monitored from the ‘war room’ in Building 44 — the hub of the whole count activity. It was manned from 6.30 am until late into the evening, and working lunches were the order of the day, so as to ensure a quick turn-round on any problems that arose. Round the walls were hung plans of the areas affected and as counting
was completed at various times and places, clearance was recorded so that the overall situation could be seen at a glance. Said Julian : ‘It was a bit like election time with results from the different wards coming in.’ All went like clockwork and only the bleepers had occasionally to be recharged. The physical count finished on the afternoon of Friday, July 22, and during the following shutdown period, count validation and error correction were carried out. The percentage of errors detected was very low and everybody was happy, except those whose wagers on the final total of individual components counted — 67 million — had proved wide of the mark. The tickets were sent to an outside bureau for punching and the data processed by our own computer, the results being loaded into the new work-in-progress file.
Production Control and Finance people are currently working on the tabs and, in fact, activities connected with the physical inventory will go on well into the autumn. Said David Stokes: ‘We are carrying out a post mortem of the count activity, ticket control, etc., to ascertain what improvements can be made, and our experiences will enable us to prepare a manual for running future physical inventories at Mitcheldean Plant.’ The removal of inaccuracies in our work-in-progress records and physical status must give us very significant benefit in the coming months, fully vindicating the many planning hours, thought and effort contributed by all individuals.
David Stokes is continuing data base activity in the newly created position of Manager, Programmes & Configuration Control, reporting to Peter Walton, Manager, Materials. In this section of the Materials organisation are grouped all pre-production activities.
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Eighteen-year-old Betty Prosser is the only girl, and the only employee at Mitcheldean, among the eight youngsters who have just embarked on the new Commercial Training Scheme announced in our last issue. She joined us last November as a clerk in Engineering but already has her sights on a Higher National Diploma and a financial career. ‘I enjoyed mathematics when I was at the Forest of Dean Grammar School and eventually I’d like to do a job where I could put maths to practical use.’ Betty is the eldest of the four daughters of Security Officer Frank Prosser and his wife Ivy, who used to work in our Cleaning Services.
She has a lively interest in sports as well as sums — likes swimming and has to date won two table tennis tournaments, one at a Pontin’s holiday camp and one at Bristol Christian Youth Camp. A member of the RX Christian Fellowship, Betty is a Sunday School teacher with the Mitcheldean Christian Fellowship and takes the nine to eleven age group. Music features largely at their Sunday meetings and Betty plays a part — literally — on her six-string guitar; she reached this stage in her musical progress via a succession of instruments — various recorders, the tenor horn, trumpet and cornet. ‘But I didn’t stick with any of them.’ Her immediate aim is to pass her driving test and then it will be: ‘HND — here I come !’
The welfare of others is Allen Warren’s ‘speciality’, whether they’re young or old, in good health or in bad. Having been a miner for 31 years, he has an insight into the problems of ex-miners and their families, and on most Saturday mornings you will find Allen at the Miners’ Welfare Hall office in Cinderford where assistance regarding entitlements and so on are freely available.
Secretary of the hall management committee, he told us ‘We recently had a new extension completed so we could cater for weddings and other functions, and it has been in great demand.’ Allen worked at Painters in Cinderford before he joined us as a milling operator. For the past 15 years he has been a member of Cinderford Town Council; he serves on the Forest of Dean District Council and also on Gloucestershire County Council. He’s a governor of both the Forest of Dean Grammar School and of Double View Secondary Modern School, and in the latter capacity was ‘more than happy to see the opening, on August 1, of the longawaited swimming pool.’ Quite apart from community work, which includes co-operating with the Social Services in caring for old folk in the Cinderford area, Allen has a long record of service in the Trade Union movement. He is currently deputy convenor for the General &• Municipal Workers Union at Mitcheldean. Despite time off allowed him for his official duties ‘which I much appreciate’, he finds he has few evenings to himself. He would like to spend more time with his two grandchildren (daughter Sally is married to John Wellington of MIS administration). ‘So I’ll bethinking of offloading some of the work before long,’ said Allen. And who could blame him ?
Interviewing Carol Baker, we rather wished we could have sound with VISION. We talked about her work as secretary to Ed McLyman, who is currently managing the recently set up Product Cost Engineering function ; about her two children, her husband who is a pharmaceutical representative, and her father-in-law, R. G. Sanzen-Baker, former Forestry Commission chief who is well known in the Forest of Dean for his work in the scout movement. But mostly we talked about singing. For aptly-named Carol it is an all-absorbing subject. She sang her first solo when she was four years old, started singing regularly from the age of 12 and trained as a teacher of drama and music. But Carol didn’t tune into teaching, and she became what she had always really wanted to be — a secretary bird (soprano). Addicted to competitive music festivals, Carol has won a remarkable number of prizes at such contests, from Bristol, where she won the open championship this year, to Taunton, where last year she won every single class she entered. Her successes at Cheltenham Music Festival include the folk song trophy (eight years in succession), and the lyric and German lieder championships. She has also come second in the operatic and the open championships three times. Today she belongs to a group known as the Woodbury Singers. She keeps on with her singing lessons and adding to her repertoire; but she says she’s given up hoping to realise her greatest ambition — to sing at the last night of the Proms. ‘I haven’t got the busty control you need for that I’
Top: The jubilant Tool Room team raise their Jubilee tankards after the skittles final. Above: Freddie and the Dreamers (RX Cinderford) whose dream of winning nearly came true.
After the prizes — a presentation to Roy Steward and his wife Margaret
Top in tlie Tournament Last year’s runners-up, the Tool Room, beat Freddie and the Dreamers in the final of the men’s skittles tournament, with a score of 294:260. Tool Room player Maurice Jones and Roger Preece of PED Disciples tied as highest individual scorers with a total of 50 each. The prizes were presented by Roy Steward, now vice-chairman of the Sports & Social Club, and the opportunity was taken to present him in turn with a handsome lighter as a token of thanks for all the hard work he had put into his secretaryship of the club over the past years. To his wife Margaret, the club ‘said it with flowers’.
Geared Up for Action Our Director of Manufacturing Operations Ron Morfee has accepted the invitation of the RX Amateur Photographic Club to become their president in a season which promises to be a particularly interesting one. The Sports Ef Social Club committee recently granted the section £250 and chairman Chris Saywood tells us this has been spent on new equipment — a total of 11 items, none of which duplicates equipment already in members’ possession. ‘The darkroom has been completely refurbished with new enlarging and print finishing equipment,’ he told us. ‘We have also bought an Adaptall lens, 28mm wide angle f2.8; this is an adaptable mount lens combining several lenses in one, and it can be borrowed by members for use on special occasions on payment of a deposit.’ The new equipment was introduced to the club at their meeting on September 7. Members were shown how to use it, special techniques were demonstrated and particular emphasis was laid on how to take care of the equipment. The Sports h Social Club committee have a particular interest in the use made of the new equipment — the Photographic Club have been appointed to record on slide, cine and prints the progress made in the building of the new club house.
Sliooting News Re-elected into office at the Shooting Club AGM last July were Frank Tonge (chairman), Graham Riddiford (treasurer) and Bill Acland (secretary); section responsibilities are : clay pigeon — Neil Williams and Dennis Jaynes; rifle and pistol — Bill Acland. Clay pigeon shoots are to take place on Company land at Barton Hill and £100 has been set aside for a skeet layout. The provision of a range site for the rifle and pistol section is being investigated; owing to lack of suitable shooting areas, however, the game shooting section is not going to get off the ground.
Cliess Finaiists As we went to press, the state of play in the chess tournaments was: Wickstead Shield finalists— Mars (MIS) V. Group Materials; Portman Cup semi-finalists: Charles Cunningham v. Terry Simpson, and Jim Hodgkinson v. Graham West.
Talking of Cricket… It all started with a chance conversation at the squash courts between Paul Barons of Management Information Services and John Gurney of Engineering.
The immediate outcome of this was a confrontation between the Wye Squash Club and Lydbrook Rugby Club on a cricket field (the former aiming for the nearest front wall and the latter using the drop-kick?).
Heady with success, the victorious squash players who worked in MIS threw out a challenge to the rest of the site. In fact, there were so many computer types bitten by the cricketing bug that four teams could be formed — SDD (Systems Design Et Development), 0 & M, Computer Operations and The Logicians.
A whole series of matches was sparked off, in the course of which the MIS players travelled to pitches
On August 15 the scene was set at Bathurst Park, Lydney, for an encounter between the Barons of the cricket field.
As opposing captains, Paul (MIS) and Clive (Finance) Barons were to lead their sides on to the battlefield with MIS already one match up from a previous engagement.
The atmosphere was tense as Paul tossed the coin high into the air; Clive leapt into action and driving to his left, made a brilliant catch before the 50p piece could hit the turf. A resounding cry of ‘Owzat!’ woke up one or two people asleep on a nearby bench.
All this was in vain — the coin landed tails upwards in his palm and so Paul elected to bat, hoping to take advantage of the best of the evening light.
Meanwhile the teams found that only one changing-room was available, so 22 gladiators of the pitch hustled for positions on the wooden benches; uneasy murmurings of ‘Who’s got my “box” and ‘Where’s my jock?’ did nothing to improve a tense atmosphere which was relieved only when Finance left to take up their positions in the field.
Placing his fielders proved somewhat difficult in certain cases for the captain, where the fielder was unaccustomed to such terms as ‘square leg’ and ‘third man’ but much gesticulating and raised voices finally sorted it all out. A ripple of applause greeted the opposition’s batsmen, and it was as No. 1 took guard and showed two fingers to the umpire that a nasty incident nearly occurred, averted only by an explanation to the umpire that ‘middle and leg’ was required.
The MIS innings passed without incident until, batting at No. 6, Paul Barons took the field to receive his first ball from none other than his brother. A classic forward defensive shot to this was met with cries of approval from his team-mates and dark utterings from Clive.
from Dymock to Lydney, and as far as we can make out broke even on buying the beer. Paul Barons told us he had so many people ringing up wanting to arrange a match they were running out of evenings — all of which seems to point to a revival of the former cricket section within the Sports & Social Club.
Typical of the matches was the one reported below between MIS and Finance — the Battle of the Barons. The latest game in the MIS series — between SDD and Group Materials on August 30 at Lydney—resulted in a win for the latter by two wickets. Scores were as follows : SDD-74 for 9; Group Materials-75 for 8, the winning run being taken in the last over. This makes Group Materials the only unbeaten side in the series.
The second ball, though, was to prove his downfall as he made to hit it for six over the bowler’s head, unfortunately missed it and was clean bowled. The score was 22 : 5 . . . could this be the end ? How can they save themselves ? Will . . . (sorry, wrong sort of batman ! !) Finally the MIS team were all out for 43 runs, with Watkins being the only man to reach double figures — a far cry from the previous dogfight in distant Dymock where MIS made 123 for 4, having lashed the leather to all corners of that ground and even beyond. Moreover, on that occasion the Red Barons of Finance was unopposed by his thoroughly modern brother. Perhaps the fast playing pitch and the new ball — yes, new ball — made batting a different proposition altogether in Lydney, a warning for the Finance innings. Half of the MIS wickets were taken by Barons C. and Hendy for only one run, although in contrasting circumstances: Barons C. taking 3 for 1 in a frenetic and striking attempt to overcome his previous opening batting failure in Cinderford; Hendy taking 2 for 0 in spite of hoisting the ball up invitingly to the tailenders in order to encourage a much higher total to chase, and thereby a greater personal chance of batting.
Campbell, the well-known Geordie from Liverpool, and guest-star Cruickshank, bowled economically, indeed expertly, while ‘Kate’ Saunders’ bizarre action belied truly incisive venom. These three took a wicket apiece all for single figures, as did Hamilton who bowled really — well, er, at least, he bowled.
Disappointed no doubt by their lack of luck in batting, MIS were in no mood to give up without a fight. Bowling, if not fielding, superbly, they sent back four Finance batsmen for only 16 runs, the sole piece of resistance in this period being a superb leg snick — (sorry) glance — by veteran Campbell.
C/ive (left) of Finance and Paul of l\/IIS
The tenacious Tucker was bowled by Barons P. for one. Saunders suffered a similar fate at the hands of Lambert, and Davies, who will surely soon realise his unlimited potential, was bowled for a quack — this a real blow. Finance were in danger. Hendy, who had been relegated in the batting order — a price for his success in previous matches and not, as people may say, for hogging the bowling and maintaining a resolute Boycott pace — had been appealing loudest against his own batsmen from the sidelines. But his gloating by this time was turning to just a little nervousness. Not to worry though, dear readers. Glanville, the old man of the Cotswold Hills, and Wright the Parkend prodigal, knocked off the remaining 28 runs with the help of a few byes. Both batted with aplomb, Glanville especially thrashing the ball with his customary wristy stroke play and scoring 15. This man could be playing next time if he’s not careful. Wright made 8, including a lovely glance to leg for 4 that he only learned from Campbell the same night. So Finance came through in spite of tremendous bowling by MIS, in particular from Lambert who took 2 wickets for 3 runs in 4 overs. Two well-matched teams these. The scene is set for a play-off of Armageddon proportions, season and weather permitting, of course. Be sure you don’t miss it, if it ever materialises. O. N. Looker, C. Ricketer
Fishing for Forty On August 7, 40 physically handicapped children, spending a holiday in the area arranged for them by the Red Cross, had an extra treat.
They enjoyed an afternoon’s fishing organised for them by the Olde Ferrie Handicapped Children’s Angling Club, many of whose members work at Mitcheldean.
With the help of the experienced anglers, the youngsters were able to catch pike, chub and eel from the Wye, were given a hearty tea and returned by coach to the TA centre in Cinderford where they were staying.
Ernie Skelton of the Machine Shop asks us to thank all those whose donations made the outing possible.
Battle of the Batons
Weddings Stephen Jones (PED) to Anne Coombes at St John’s Church, Cinderford, on July 30. Denise Rawlings (secretary to John MacDonald, Manager, Planning Recovery Operations) to Richard Miles at Wesley Methodist Church, Cinderford, on August 20. Gillian Roberts (PCD) to Gareth Clowes (Machine Shop) at the Forest Church on August 27.
Engagement Reid Hopkins (9200 Dept) to Lesley Ann Batten.
Births Daniel Martin, a son for Martin Jones (Calibration Laboratory, MEE) and his wife Cathy, on March 4. Helen Joanne, a daughter for Maxine Leake (formerly Finance) and husband John, on July 14. Joanne, a daughter for Keith Murrell (PED) and his wife Jane (formerly Accounts), on July 18. Patrick Griffiths, a son for Clive Griffiths (Shop Control) and his wife Monica, on July 23. Joanne Elizabeth, a daughter for Terry Peates (T^ol Inspection) and his wife Anne, on July 26. Andrew John, a son for Roger Dickinson (Manager, Financial Accounting) and his wife Margaret, on August 15.
Obituary We regret to report the deaths of the following:
Ben Hawkes of Internal Transport on July 26 at the age of 57; he joined us in March 1968.
Albert Jones, Maintenance fitter, on July 28; he was 61 and had been with us since April 1971.
Margaret Winch on August 4 at the age of 45; she had worked at Mitcheldean since 1969, latterly as secretary to Derek Portman, then Group Director, Manufacturing.
We would like to convey our sympathy to their respective families.
Stephen and Anne Jones
Richard and Denise Miles
Gareth and Gillian Clowes Photos: J. Ingram
Retirement All the best to Reg Perkins, storekeeper in Goods Inwards, who retires this September, having been with us for 13 years.
Leave to Help Others Applications under the Rank Xerox Social Service Leave scheme are once again being invited. Since it started some four years ago, 20 people (six of them from Mitcheldean) have applied successfully for leave — some for a few weeks, some for a year. Their projects have ranged from assisting with the work of the Leprosy Relief Association in Sierra Leone to helping youngsters with educational problems at nearby Blaisdon Hall. Members of the selection committee have from time to time visited these Leave-takers to see how their project is working out (though no one tramped through the West African bush to search-out Jack Brooks of PED!). Says Frank Edwards of Training Department, who has been on the committee since the beginning of the scheme: ‘The projects we have approved have been exceptionally worthwhile. I’ve been impressed by the number of people I have met carrying on some socially helpful task in their spare time, unsung and unrewarded.’ We know what people have done for their projects; but what have the projects done for the people ? For many, the scheme has given them the opportunity to look at things from a different angle. It has made them more positive in their approach. For a few it has even brought about a change of direction. Sarah Hall from Engineering recently finished her six months’ work at the Barbican Centre in Gloucester (set up to help the socially disadvantaged), and she told us that it had been ‘immensely fulfilling in human terms.’ One of the full-time staff left while she was there so, as well as taking part in the literacy, arts and crafts, and playgroup activities, she found herself taking on a full-time social worker’s job. Sarah became interested in the use of drama for therapeutic and educational purposes, and she has now left Mitcheldean to take a degree course in English speech and drama with a view to qualifying herself for this kind of activity. Frank Edwards, together with Anne Fox of PED who filled the vacancy on the selection committee left by the late Bob Baker, visited Sarah at the Barbican Centre. They also went
to Camberwell, London — and witnessed a transformation scene. Now half-way through his year’s leave. Tod Sadler of Observatory House, Slough, has been setting up a workers’ co-operative venture — a toy-making factory—in a high unemployment, problem area. Before production could start. Tod and his workforce of unemployed youths had to do a massive do-it-yourself job on a derelict building, making their own benches and other equipment. They even put in the loos themselves. The young men, having been trained in wood-working, were then able to start the production of wooden toys, for export as well as the home market. Tod’s project came about through the Action Resource Centre, which receives requests from charitable institutions for help from professional people, and is supported by money from the Rank Xerox HQ charity fund. A list of possible projects from this source is being included in the Social Service Leave literature which should be reaching you shortly. So, if you feel you could make a contribution through the scheme but need a pointer to a project, this could set you off in the right direction.
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