Return to 1975-1979

Vision 130

March/April 78 No, 130
The Offices Now Standing by Bid 41
With constant change a fact of life at Mitcheldean it wouldn’t be surprising if we opted for mobile accommodation. But, in fact, this row of cabins alongside Building 41 was brought in as a short/medium term measure to house the Production Stores offices, making room for extra rows of racking in the adjacent building. A new Goods Receiving facility for
production parts has also been set up next to the Stores — all part of a project to improve flow of materials and gain better utilisation of space. in the next few months, we shall see the introduction of Stores Update & Enquiry (SUE), Mitcheldean’s first on-line system. This involves the setting up of groups of terminals in the Portakabins, Production Stores and Goods Receiving offices by means
of which the movement of stores can be fed directly into the computer. User departments will then be able to retrieve up-to-the-minute data on stock and stores movement via their own enquiry terminals. The cheerful ‘cabin girls’ seen in our picture are Wendy White, leading clerk in Mechanised Stock Records, and (right) Sue Bamford, secretary to the Production Stores Manager.
Cliff Knight and Peter Barton of Design visit a 7000DF placed with a ‘customer’ — Engineering Records — where key operator Denise Jones demonstrates how smoothly the DF feeds in the work.
About to make its debut in Western Europe, the new document feeder for the RX 7000 duplicator is showing the ‘made and designed in Mitcheldean’ flag — and it looks like being a high flier. The 7000 itself is one of our most successful machines and a main earner of revenue for the Company in its range. Its four reduction ratios, large platen for engineering drawings and other sizeable documents, and its on-line sorter, have made it a useful infill in areas where the 9200 family is not taken. It already has a useful accessory in the CFF (computer forms feeder) which automatically feeds continuous stationery across the platen.
Half the build is done at this first station where Tony Wood is operating.
The introduction of the new document feeder extends its versatility in fully automatic duplicating and boosts its productivity still further, giving stability to already placed 7000 machines and countering the competition in the shape of the IBM 3. The 7000 is the successor to the 3600; but while the 7000DF owes
its origins to the 3600ADF, the new document feeder is, in fact, based on a completely different concept. ‘The new product capability is intended for the Rank Xerox market only at this stage, and it is an aggressive programme all the way through,’ says J. Robley Dixon, Programme Manager De-Centralised Products.
All those who have been involved with the development and production of this accessory have been delighted with its performance and the general feeling is: it will sell itself. As it happens, it is doing more than that. Senior design engineer Peter Barton told us how he flew over to Germany
With the help of Assembly Manager Graham Linley, apprentice Wayne Ruddy prepared this ‘see at a glance’ chart showing the sub-assemblies and piece parts that make up the document feeder. Looking at the chart with Wayne is chargehand Geoff Watkins. ‘We got the word “go” in August 1 977; it was planned to get the first production machine out by February 20 but we actually beat our own target by ten working days.’ Manufacturing DF Programme Manager Stan Scott believes that the achievements so far are due largely to the enthusiasm and first-rate co-operation of all concerned with the project. ‘Nobody has minded how much they put themselves out,’ he comments. Right from the start the machine set the pace. ‘It substantially beat all its targets in engineering tests,’ reports Cliff Knight, Design Section Leader, ‘and models completed their six months’ field trial so successfully that the customers didn’t want to part with them.’ Before Christmas a demonstration of the machine’s talents was given to area directors of the various Rank Xerox marketing regions in the UK and they were extremely impressed. Had the document feeders been available then, they would have been booked on the spot. last autumn to install a document feeder for trial at a major steelworks in the Ruhr. An existing customer, the firm was equipping a new office block in Duisburg and its pen was virtually poised over a contract for more QC inspector Paul Ricks checks that a tie bar is within limits.
copier/duplicators. The question was: should the order be placed with Rank Xerox — or IBM ? The performance of the 7000DF did the trick, and a deal was clinched in our favour, generating business for at least 1 5 more machines in the Rank Xerox range.
Malcolm Gerred packs a DF safely before its Journey via the Supply Centre to ‘somewhere in Western Europe’.
A three-sided discussion at the simulator between (/. to r.) Roy Duggan (Assembly), Keith Wilding (Design Engineering) and George Faulkner (Manufacturing Engineering).
WHAT THE 7000DF DOES • takes up to 100 sheets (according to thickness) which it feeds in and positions accurately; the operator need only stack them in the input tray, dial the number of copies needed, press the print button — and leave the machine to produce and collate automatically. • feeds documents of any size between Sin. x lOin. (203mm x 254mm) and 9in. x 14in. (228mm x 355mm), and any weight from 50gsm to 120gsm. • takes three seconds to change an original and one second to make a copy; so 20 copies of a 12-page report are produced and collated in less than five minutes. • gives reduced copies too — one of each original is made in the usual way first, and these are then stacked as ‘originals’ in the document feeder.
A Helping Hand RX 7000 machines lent a helping hand to two world congresses held recently in South Africa. One of these copier-duplicators, which turned out 11,043 copies in five days, was instrumental in making the first World Wilderness Congress a resounding success. Chief aim of this gathering, which was attended by about 500 people each day, was to make people all over the world understand the need for wilderness areas. As one speaker put it, ‘You only know how valuable wilderness is to man when it has been destroyed.’ Besides putting a 7000 at the disposal of the congress, our South African company supplied paper, and helped pressmen and lecturers by editing and updating speeches. The other event, the 32nd Jaycee World Congress which was the annual general meeting of the world’s Junior Chambers of Commerce, was attended by about 1,600 delegates. On this occasion the RX company provided a 7000 machine with collator plus a 660 copier as a standby. Frequent requests were made to produce sets of up to 20 pages of minutes, totalling 140 copies in French, Spanish, and English, for distribution to the chief delegates. Without the collator this work would have taken roughly ten times as long to complete.
Good Start to a Campaign XL.. i
Running away from a pub? Well, it was a five-mile round trip really — to Speech House where OIlie Evans (Commodity Operations) gave each runner a stiff ‘shot’ of orange, then back to the White Hart, Cinderford, in the teeth of a bitter East wind. Despite the extreme cold of Sunday, February 19, all those seen here completed the course, Richard Hale (Production Control) finishing way ahead of the field. This sponsored run was organised by Simon Foy, a buyer in Commodity Operations, to help finance a Guy’s Hospital fellowship to investigate kidney/bladder disorders in children; Simon himself has a five-year-old daughter, Emma, who suffers in this way. The run has already brought in £330, thanks to runners and sponsors, and further fund-raising events are planned to reach a target of £10,000.
A tiny microprocessor ‘cfiip’ is added—and this printed circuit board becomes a single board microcomputer.
LT n El
Cars are getting very sophisticated these days. By pressing a button on an experimental new model, the driver can get a reading of his average speed over his journey, his expected time of arrival and other performance data — all while the car is in motion, thanks to a microprocessor mounted within the dash-board. Things certainly move fast in the
I Control Microcomputers — in a Nutshell In general, control microcomputers are simple devices capable of taking yes/no decisions on information fed to them in the shape of numbers, or digital data. The sequence of operations (program) the computer follows must therefore be presented in a yes/no form. This program is contained in a ‘memory’ and pulled from each memory location in sequence. The main components of a system are: the controller and timing (CPU); the memory; and input/output interface. The input/output looks for signals or commands from the operator and passes these to the CPU. The latter, recognising a particular input, uses in sequence part of the program stored In the memory to carry out a certain preset sequence of actions {eg operating motors or switches). This may involve calling for more inputs, timing certain events or displaying results to the operator. The processor would then ‘wait’ before being triggered off to carry out further program sequences.
electronics industry, where development over the past five years has led to the miniaturisation of electronic components. The latest major advance has been the incorporation of the control functions of a small computer on to a single integrated ‘chip’ of silicon less than half the size of a matchbox. The cost of such ‘chips’ is dropping rapidly; compare the prices of electronic calculators today with those of 18 months ago and you’ll get some idea of the strides being made. And you’ll notice that more and more complicated functions can be performed on these cheap calculators.
Where and How in the Home You will doubtless have seen the simple ‘bat and ball’ games currently available for playing on the TV screen with remote control. Newer games evolved from these — a
step-up in intelligence — allow the user to employ some type of strategy to ‘win’ tank battles, space wars or card games. This is leading to the adaptation of traditional board games such as chess. Monopoly and Ludo for playing on the screen against another opponent, or even against the electronic box of tricks itself. Certainly the ‘home computer’ is a technical possibility, able to display and record complicated calculations (like tax returns?) and to control home heating/lighting. The cost of video recording machines has recently been reduced with a large push at the British market by the Japanese. The interlocking of these systems by microprocessor to the TV screen comes one step nearer as the cost goes down.
Use in Industry The use of microcomputers in industry is already with us and increasing rapidly. For applications in vending machines, petrol pumps and weighing scales, the ease of modification for price changes, the simplified control circuits and cheaper unit costs offer major advantages to the manufacturer. More and more applications of this nature will become available within the next six months. In agriculture, for example, microprocessor systems are being currently developed for use in commercial greenhouse temperature and humidity control, in intensive farming, milking parlours, and for farm machinery control. Here at Mitcheldean we already use
Stephen Phillips of Manufacturing Engineering Electronics edits a programme for a microprocessor-based test set in the electrical workshop.
microprocessor-controlled tooling on the shop floor for production testing, bringing the advantages of lower cost and easier modification for the tool designers. For the operator, one main advantage is that information on the actions to be carried out, fault conditions and failure modes can easily be displayed on a central panel.
Graham Woodward fits a microprocessor board into an automatic document handler ‘run and test’ fixture designed in Electronics department. A major benefit to the Company of this method of tool design is that it can be made up of standard ‘building blocks’ whose operation can be tailored for a particular use by the program. This allows electronic tool designers to use standard available multinational building blocks, minimising costly redesign and modification.
A microprocessor is often referred to as a ‘computer on a chip’; in fact it is normally the control or central processing unit (CPU) of a microcomputer system, and it needs additional components to function as a computer should (see inset, p 4). The Mind of the iVIicroprocessor Microprocessors have been evolved from a combination of minicomputers and calculators, but whereas the operation of calculators is fixed at the design stage, microprocessors can be programmed by the designer to carry out various tasks. Programming is a specialist skill, particularly in machine control operations. The programmer has to consider not only what he wants to happen but also all the permutations of what might go wrong. He must ensure the display of as much information as possible to allow easier repair of any faults. The operator has to get inside the mind of the processor to understand what it is doing, and how it achieves, or tries to achieve, the results programmed and what the display of any fault information means.
Training Many articles now appearing in various publications describe in detail specific microprocessors and their applications. The need to train people in their use and limitations was recognised in Manufacturing at an early stage. A demonstration package was produced to familiarise people with the terms and techniques involved and, in the past six months or so, presentations have been given by our Training Department to over 300 selected people.
What of the Future ? Microprocessors are here to stay. They will become cheaper and be used commonly in an increasing number of applications, both in the home and industry. (The latest application we know of is in a set of door chimes which play 24 tunes for £20!) It has been predicted that the impact of microprocessors will be greater than that of transistors — and look what they did to valve radios and the television receivers ! T.K.
‘Just thought I’d take a bit of work home.’
The microprocessor-controlled tooling fixture is here being used on the 9200 Assembly floor by Norman Jones to test the electronics of an automatic document handler. Fault conditions are flagged up on the display panel. LETTER The association is holding its annual dinner on Friday, May 5 — once again at the Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye. Our very best wishes to former LSA secretary, Doris Barker, who was married on January 28 to George Calson at Weston-under-Penyard Church. We regret that news of the death of Bill Jones on New Year’s Day at the age of 61 did not reach us in time for our last issue and we offer our late, but nonetheless sincere, condolences to his family. An ex-sergeant major. Bill had been with us for more than 20 years. As Tool Room loader, he played a key part in the progressing of tools through the department — a job he carried out with great efficiency.
(0 Blast it! From the way this car is pulling, one of those rear brake cylinders has packed up. If I call Dick at the garage during lunch break he’ll have one and put it on tomorrow …. ‘Dick? This is David. Rear brake cylinder gone — can you fix it for me tomorrow ?’ ‘Sorry David, no go. We haven’t had our spares delivered this month. Apart from that, we have a two-week diary of repairs and servicing. Might have the part by then — do you want to book it in ?• ‘But Dick, you know I have to have my car to get to work. There’s no bus early enough to get me there on time.’ ‘Sorry David, can’t help it. I would do the work in the evening for you — you know that — but I just don’t have the part.’ Goodness, when I get home and tell Angela she’ll be hopping mad; she was going to Goss-on-Rye this weekend. I know what she’ll say, too : “That Dick — he said that car had the best reputation for performance and service, and this is the second time it’s broken down and the spare hasn’t been available. Let’s get rid of it and have one of those little Japanese efforts . . .” ^
This little story will doubtless remind you of the last time your car, TV or washing machine packed up on you. And how even more frustrated you felt when you couldn’t get the part or the time of a service engineer to fix it. Well, at the present time Rank Xerox has a good reputation for quality of end product and service. But what happens when we can’t have a machine up and running for use when a customer wants it? A gap for the competition immediately opens up and that — depending on the product — can mean as much as £1,200 a month income lost to Rank Xerox for each machine displaced. So, if you are in any way responsible for procuring, making, inspecting, packing or despatching Rank Xerox spares to our customers, think of the last time your latest automatic gadget failed you, help your service force to continue to represent you as the very best available, and try just a little harder to get the spare to him — it’s important I Thank you on behalf of Rank Xerox Service — the very best.
What are the three R’s in our business ? The answer isn’t hidden upside down on a back page, it’s right here: Revenue — Reputation — Recommendation We need to keep those three R’s in mind whenever we have any dealings with spare parts at Mitcheldean. And if the word ‘spare’ suggests to you something merely surplus to requirements, try thinking of them as VIP’s (Very Important Parts). A spare can be a minor part for, say, a 4500 automatic document handler, lack of which causes inconvenience; it can also be a critical part — like a fuser roll — without which the machine won’t work at all.
Both instances incur loss of Reputation and Recommendation that the slickest salesmanship and the hardest-hitting advertising can do nothing to recapture (and that hits our future machines as well as the current ones). The lack of a critical part means loss of Revenue as well, and with hundreds of thousands of machines placed throughout the Rank Xerox world, such losses can add up to a staggering amount. When customers buy our machines, they buy after-sales service — in other words we undertake to keep their • machines humming along happily, whether the service engineer has to ski 3,000 metres up the Austrian mm
Above: John Purvis and June Brain in Demand Entry which channels orders through the Plant, and right, IVIaurice Prout of Customer Liaison, which provides the Plant’s direct link with customers.
Above: Discu. (from left) expe Righ
Above: Developer boxes for 4500 machines are checked by inspector Cedric King for height and width of rails.
Above: Purchased or manufactured s held in Production Stores in Bid 41. ( truck driver Cecil Gardner brings parts 1 Spares Packing en route to the Su/i
Alps, climb aboard an oil rig 35 miles off the shores of New Zealand, or reach a desert village in Iran so remote that he sometimes has to hitch a lift from a caravan of camels and donkeys. With so many brands of machines jostling for position in the marketplace, the standard of service becomes as crucial as the selling points of the machines. If the customer doesn’t get maximum availability from his Rank Xerox machine, he’s likely to feel like chucking it out — just the moment the competition is waiting for. So what’s being done to improve the availability of spare parts and minimise customer frustration ?
Technical Service & Supply are very much aware of the challenge and they are making increasing use of technological advances to streamline work control, making for a faster turn-round, a more effective service for customers. Control is the keyword, and to this end information concerning spares — their usage, manufacture, supply, etc. — is flowing ever faster, and in greater quantity, by means of computer link-ups between the various aspects of Company activities.
Mitcheldean’s Tasi< With increasing competition underlining the vital importance of
spares production (and it may surprise some to know that this represents nearly a quarter of Mitcheldean’s total output), a task force was set up some months ago to look into problem areas on site and suggest solutions. They have come up with an action plan which is now being put into effect, but, as Director Ron Morfee stressed in a recent issue of VISION EXTRA, the success of the project depends on the commitment and co-operation of Mitcheldean people at all levels. Our pictures below show just a few of those who contribute in various ways to the Very Important Work of spares production.
re parts are iht: Forklift m Stores into y Centre.
Above: Gladys Panting heat-seals the plastic bags in which piece parts are pre-packed— at the rate of 1,600 bags per hour. Right: The strong arm of this gantry is needed by Fred Shears and Tony Marshall when handling the heavy stuff in Spares Packing.
meeting placet ;t=Jtins
On the morning of January 20 last. Tommy Symonds made his way to the Training Department cinema to watch a schools programme. It wasn’t to take part in a novel education project, but to see himself on the screen in a series devoted to careers and the changing work patterns over the last few decades. Last summer an ATV Network team visited Mitcheldean to film interviews with people who had made the transition from coal mining, a former chief occupation in the Forest, to working for Rank Xerox, now the largest employer in the area. Tommy was one such person. A miner for 22 years, he started as a 15-year-old switch boy, turning on the machinery for the fully-fledged miners — his own father among them. When the pits closed Tommy tried tree-felling, quarrying, etc., until, ten years ago, he came to work in our Supply Centre warehouse, packing machines and spares for despatch around the world —just as his uncle, the late Bill Symonds, had done before his retirement. But mining is still in his blood and, on occasional weekends, free-miner Tommy turns collier again to work in a Forest ‘gale’ he has on lease. Also watching the programme go out on the air was another interviewee and ex-miner — Malcolm Weaver, who is employed on the N/C work centres in the Machine Shop. And among the many schoolchildren who were looking in that morning were two youngsters who had a particular interest in the programme — the grandchildren of Tommy and his wife Freda of File Control.
For most visitors, Hilary Johnson is their first contact when they come to RX Mitcheldean. People from many different companies, and from the many locations within our own Company around the world, are met with a smile as she helps them to fill in the new visitor identification cards and directs them to the right buildings on site. But she isn’t content just to let the world beat a path to her door — she likes to go out and see the world for herself. At 22 she has already travelled to Germany, Holland, the Dalmatian Islands of North Yugoslavia, and Tunisia. This year, she and her fiance— Geoff Watkins who works in Production Control — have a holiday planned in Corfu and on the Greek mainland.
Hilary came to us straight from Over-Ross School five years ago last September. She started work first in Purchase Department, and for the last 18 months has been receptionist at Barton Hill Gate House. ‘It’s a bit like being on an island’, she told us. ‘We have a beautiful view through the wall-length windows, and new arrivals always comment on the superb scenery.’ The youngest of three children of Arthur Johnson (Progress) and his wife, Hilary is currently studying typing in her own spare time at Cinderford College. Her main hobby is making her own clothes, and when we asked if she intended to make her own wedding dress she replied cautiously: ‘I’ve had it in mind.’ But she and Geoff intend to enjoy travelling for a while longer before they name the day.
Two interests which, though very different, both require a lot of puff have dominated Les Harper’s leisure time: football, and a ‘cement mixer’. He used to play football for Lydbrook which, he reckons, had the best amateur side in Gloucestershire in the ‘fifties. ‘They often had to lay on up to 15 coaches to take our supporters to the Kington Cup and other matches. We even got as far as playing Bishop Auckland in the FA Amateur Cup.’
Now, having retired from the field, Les’s spare time is largely claimed by the cement mixer — that’s how his mates jokingly refer to his euphonium which you probably saw him playing in the RX Christmas Band. He took up this instrument in his early ‘teens and has been a member of Drybrook & District Silver Band for some 30 years. Currently he is also their treasurer, and as they frequently take part in contests, it takes up a good deal of Les’s time, not to mention breath. The euphonium is the ‘cello of the band, and apart from doing instrumental solos with the Drybrook Band and Choirs, Les does quite a few performances for charitable organisations. He has one solemn annual engagement — to play the ‘Last Post’ at the Remembrance Day service of the British Legion Ruardean branch. Les comes from a Ruardean family. Fourteen years ago, following in the footsteps of his sister Janet of Electrical Assembly, who has 24 years’ service to her credit, he came to work at Mitcheldean, in the Model Shop. It was located in the Maltings then and ‘we had none of the modern numerically-controlled and digital read-out machines we have today to help us achieve greater accuracy’, says Les.
The annual Students’ Dinner/ Presentation used to be a time when a Top Person would talk with conviction of specific opportunities awaiting young people who were starting their working life with the Company. Today it is harder to give a straight answer to the question : ‘What does the future hold for you ?’ admitted Director Ron Morfee when this function came round again on January 13. ‘Competition and change are the names of the games these days . . . We have to find more cost-effective ways of doing things.’ There used to be a time when young people could start in a trade or some specialisation and remain with it. ‘Those days are gone’, said Mr Morfee. ‘Many people are going to have two or three quite separate careers in their lifetime’, and he advised students to consider their time here as a broadening of their education rather than getting themselves ready for a particular slot at Mitcheldean. ‘In my view the future will belong to those who are willing to learn and to work well in a team.’
Director Ron Morfee presents the Andrew Dowding IVIemorial Shield to Philip Turner who, as a first-year apprentice, showed ‘outstanding endeavour in all aspects of the course’.
Three likely lads who have gained HND’s while still apprentices are (from left) David Evans, Graham Toogood and Colin Overington. Pictured right: Gary Hopkins, chairman of the apprentices committee, proposes a vote of thanks at the dinner.
necessary extra points through part-time study while in full-time work. TEC Certificates and Diplomas will ultimately replace current technician awards such as the Ordinary and Higher National Certificates in Engineering and the City & Guilds Technician Certificate. In time, the TEC’s sister organisation.
the Business Education Council, will follow suit. ‘They’re letting the engineers get the bugs out of the new developm.ent first I’ says Technical Training Co-ordinator Frank Edwards, who was recently elected chairman of the governors of the West Gloucestershire College of Further Education after many years’ service on the board.
A Technical Cert There are changes too — towards a welcome simplification — in technician qualifications. The Technical Education Council has evolved a module system, based on points, rather like that of the Open University. There is a basic award of a TEC Certificate plus a Higher Certificate; students can convert either Certificate into a Diploma by studying further subjects at Certificate level. The range of awards, which will recognise different levels of performance and different educational experience, can be achieved by means of full-time, block release, part-time day release or evening only study, or a combination of any of these. For example, a youngster can finish an apprenticeship with a TEC Certificate plus, say, a further ten out of the 12 additional points needed towards a Higher Certificate, and can then add the
Indentures Stephen Austin, Roger Ball, Phillip Bowdler, John Bright, Christopher Brown, Roger Davies, Andrew Eagles, Stephen Edwards, Richard Ellis, David Ireland, Kevin James, John Jeffs, Royston Jones, Stephen Jones, Nigel Knight, Pat Madley, Armando Nardecchia, Robert Rutsch, Mark Savagar, Peter Swainson, Colin Webb, William Whitfield, Andrew Wilks, Stephen Wintle, Keith Woodward, Stephen Wozencroft.
Council of Engineering Institutions Part II — Andrew Wilks. Higher National Diploma Part III — Stephen Austin, David Evans, Colin Overington, Graham Toogood. Higher National Certificate Part II— Roger Ball, Pat Madley, Peter Swainson, Colin Webb. Ordinary National Certificate David Beach, Nicholas Parr, Kevin James, Colin Price, John Skinner, Kim Toombs, John Weatherley, Brian Wheeler. Technician’s Certificate Mechanical—John Bright, Royston Jones, Stephen Jones, William Whitfield, Stephen Wintle; Electrical—John Jeffs.
Intermediate Tech. Certificate Mechanical — Paul Bedney, Colin Coles, Jeremy Swordy; Electrical— Max Linke, Timothy Morgan, Michael Mould, Stephen Powell. Certificate of Engineering Craftsmanship Anthony Gittings, David Ireland. Electrical Craft Studies Final—Anthony Gittings, David Ireland; Intermediate — Gary Dade, Andrew Hoare; Pa/-f/ —Armando Nardecchia. Mechanical Craft Studies Final—Andrew Eagles, Nigel Knight, Mark Savagar, Keith Woodward; Intermediate — Stephen Beard, Roger Davies, Robert Evans, Neil Harrison, Graham Morris; fart/ —Jeffrey Russell, Gary Ryder. First Year Training Certificate Kevin Beard, Colin Coles, Clive Cooper, Colin Clayson, Gerard Drain, Wayne Davies, Keith Evans, Kevin Grey, Mark Hughes, Stephen Hill, Martyn Jones, Deryk Jenkins, Gary Knight, Martin Lee, Richard Moses, Michael Mould, Leslie Meek, Mark Slater, Jeremy Swordy, Alan Thomas, Martin Wyman, Anthony Walding, Stephen Walker, Philip Turner.
A Look at the Score The Sports & Social Club is about to notch up a score — of sections. In the last few years the scope of activities has increased considerably. Some of the newer interests are a revival of ones that were catered for years ago until the sections fell into abeyance. Others are completely new ventures, ranging from the gentle art of music to feats of physical strength in the tug-of-war. The very latest additions include badminton (played in the ballroom), aeromodelling and hockey — for both sexes. Below we list in alphabetical order the interests of the current affiliated sections with their representatives on the parent club committee and telephone extensions (the only one missing is the new Motor Club which was still awaiting the official affiliation seal at the time we went to press): Aeromodelling — Clive Page (983); angling— Ray Reed (695); badminton—Marilyn Dunkley (1183); billiards/snooker — Gordon Davies (563); bridge — Mike Wilding (430); chess — Terry Simpson (1875); dancing— Ira Griffin (1180); golf—John Spratley (597); hockey {mixed) — Paul Dean (774); karate — Brian John (463); music— Mike Stevenson (690); photography— Chris Saywood (661); shooting — Bill Acland (638); skittles (ladies) — Mary Butler (1189); skittles {men) — Richard Cooke (679); table tennis— Andrew Davis (1179); tennis — Hubert Evans (1402); tug-of-war— Dave Whitfield (1886); i/a/-/er/— Eileen Wakeling (963).
Another activity not catered for by a section but by an annual interdepartmental competition is football, and as we went to press applications were being invited for the 1978 event.
Ernie Holmes, Machine Shop inspector, gets a lovely bunch of fivers from club chairman Tony Haynes, his prize for winning the club badge competition. Holding his design are committee members Don Parkinson (left) and Will Jones.
Flying Higher Membership of the Rank Xerox Aeromodellers, now a fully fledged section of the Sports & Social Club, has ‘soared to 38 members and is still rising.’ We quote from the first issue of the RXA newsletter which sports an artistic letterheading designed by Fred Weyman, featuring the ‘Gladiator’ aircraft. Editor Martyn Holbrook has created a club card which entitles members to a discount on purchases over £1 at listed suppliers, and there are details of for sale/wanted aeromodelling items. Glancing through the newsletter, our eye was caught by a feature contributed by secretary Clive Page on how to make a cheap effective silencer for power models, the whole assembly being encased in a small Colman’s mustard tin ! Individual ingenuity obviously offers another way in which aeromodellers can control costs in this somewhat expensive hobby. The club propose holding at least
two outings with the family in mind during the spring and summer, with competitions for the R/C fraternity and possibly a chuck glider contest in which anybody in the family can fly as well as watch.
Golfing Season Starts The Golf Society committee have been hard at work planning the 1978 season and six outings have been arranged. Here are the dates so interested parties can plan their holidays accordingly: Mon., April 24 Knowie (Spring Bowl) Fri., May 19 Henbury Mon., June 19 Burford (Inter-Dept Championship) Wed., July 19 Cirencester (Summer Cup) Wed., Aug. 16 Boughton Park, Worcester Mon., Sept. 11 Hereford (Scratch Cup) It is intended that the ‘Spring Bowl’ (subject to Knowie Golf Club agreement) will be a pairs competition, better ball Stableford pairs to be drawn out of a hat and to be of mixed low and high handicaps. Roy Powell
down well; so did the comedy
that a newly formed RX Motor Club has got away to a good start with a membership of over 40. Affiliation to the Sports & Social Club was being applied for as we went to press.
A FI^IEINIDILY MIS-NATCH At 11.15am on Sunday, February 5, Management Information Systems (disguised in Ross shirts) met Group Materials (disguised in Cinderford shirts) for a ‘friendly’ rugby match. Someone obviously thought he was a Lion because, at the first maul, John Wellington received a friendly bite (John Court afterwards denied that the marks matched the indentations he normally leaves). The rarified atmosphere of Ruardean started to take its toll but with cries from the educated of ‘Screw your courage to the sticking place !’, players began to get their second wind — after five minutes. The ‘sticking place’ for Ray Reed was the front row of the scrum, which may account for his new nickname of ‘Stiffneck’; he appeared all at sea (!) in any event. A balletic display by Rees Bryant epitomised the superior agility of the MIS team, but this was not immediately evident, and Group Materials, like England, flattered to deceive by taking the lead with a penalty goal. Half-time arrived — some thought it never would — with Group Materials leading 7—4. Now, by cunningly arranging to have the slope, wind and sun in their favour, would they stagger to victory.
Trying Time ‘Foiled again’ was the cry as MIS scored try after try after try (4) — after try! Even now the end was not at hand, but happily a hailstorm and the offer of a pint showed that all referees have their price. In the bar of the club house accounts of the standard of play became exaggerated in direct proportion to the jugs of beer consumed ; so confident did people feel that they even talked of doing it again. However, it was a fair bet that the Monday morning feeling would be more physical in character than usual. (It was). Thanks are due to Ross and Cinderford Rugby Clubs for the shirts they loaned, and again to Cinderford RC for the use of changing facilities, pitch and, most of all, the bar. And congratulations to the unbiased referee (ex-Cinderford) Frank Watkins on his services to what proved a really good morning’s work. Final score: MIS—22; Group Materials—7. Jules
Battle with Ross The annual slide and print battle between our own Amateur Photographic Club and the Ross-on-Wye Camera Club took place last February, with entries being judged by Roy and Myrtle Fowler. The total marks on either side established the Ross club as clear winners in the print section once again ; however, in the slide competition, which featured some superb insect and flower close-ups, the marks were pretty close. By the time this issue appears the club will have held their President/ Prize Night (March 17) and we’ll be reporting on this next time round.
Break for Cards Bridge continues to be a popular lunchtime activity, and at the time of going to press the RX Bridge Club were among the top three in division II of the North Gloucestershire Bridge League, making a noble attempt to gain promotion to division I.
Revving Up Again Years ago, when VISION was knee-high to its present size, a Motor Club was one of the most popular social activities at Mitcheldean. That was, until an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the locality (among cattle, not drivers) slowed down its pace and it gradually came to a halt. With so many motorists on site today, it is not surprising to learn
The membership drive is being led by chairman John Short, with Adrian Richards as co-driver secretary. John, a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, told us that one of the prime objectives of the club would be ‘to promote road safety and road sense in our area’. Membership will cost £1 per annum, and the club will offer the usual advantages such as discount prices on accessories and spares from identified suppliers. Evening treasure hunts for club members and their families during the summer months are planned, as well as other social activities. It is also proposed to have sections within the club to cater for those with more competitive tendencies, or with specialised interests {eg vintage vehicles). Ring John Short on ext. 603 if you are interested in joining.
IViusicai iVIixture Another lunchtime activity that draws regular attendance is the weekly Music Society meeting (it’s every Thursday at 1.15 pm in conference room 1 or 2, Bid. 5112). The Society endeavour to provide plenty of variety and would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in presenting a programme on any kind of music (except punk rock!). One recent programme that was certainly different was that given by Phil Corin (Business Planning), featuring the Gryphon group who write their own brand of lyrical music for a combination of modern and mediaeval instruments. The current programme features: ‘The Snow Goose’ presented by Harold Gardiner on April 13; the requested return of the Black Dyke Mills band with more well known favourites, scheduled for April 20 with Ted Lewis at the turntable; and Grieg’s Piano Concerto No. 1 — Geza Anda with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with Peter Gerrard ‘conducting’ the proceedings. Boys ond Girls come here l*o Play Just imagine — around 1,000 children to feed and entertain. That was the number of applications that came in for the annual children’s parties this time, which was why there had to be three separate ones on January 7, 21 and 22 for the different age groups. Woody Woodpecker on the screen, a tasty tea and super presents went group whose custard pie act got a new twist to it when a little fellow in the audience took over and got the lead guitarist in the eye ! On behalf of our young guests we’d like to say a warm ‘thank you’ to the organisers and all those people who freely gave up a fair slice of their weekends to give the kids a good time and see them safely home.
Her workmates said it witti flowers — china ones — when Nancy Worsell of Inventory Planning & Control in the Supply Centre retired on February 3. Then a day later, at a party held for her, they said it with real ones — red roses — plus a cut-glass bowl to put them in. Nancy worked with Rank Advertising Films in London during the 1960’s, joining us at Mitcheldean in 1972. Husband Eb Worsell, who also works in the Supply Centre (Work Control) joined Nancy for this happy shot. Their daughter Janet is a Mitcheldean employee too.
Retirements To the list of people we gave in our last issue as retiring in January/February, we should add the following : Cyril Davis (Supply Centre) who started with us in 1965; Maurice Duffy (PED) who came in 1973; and Daniel Walsh (Receiving Inspection) who had been nearly five years with us. They all have our best wishes for the future, as do the following who retire in March/April: Leonard Oatey (Jig & Tool Inspection) with over 13 years’ service; Jack Baker (Night Section Manager, Machine Shop), who started in July 1963;
Another person retiring on February 3 was George Austin — ‘Tool-maker Extraordinaire’ as the metal plaque on his bench proclaimed. Also known as Punjab Pioneer and Bangladesh Bertie, on account of his time in India, George has worked in our Tool Room for 12 years. Though now retiring, George pointed out: 7 have at least 15 years’ work ahead of me, making a bedroom unit, putting up aviaries for my pet birds, and other jobs in our new house’ and to help him his colleagues gave him a jig saw {not the puzzle kind!), here being presented by Manager Mike Cooper. Also present at the ceremony was George’s ex-apprentice son Stephen from Manufacturing Engineering Electronics.
and three people in Spares Packing — Dorothy Lewis, Clifford Greenway and Tom Hale, who joined us in July 1966, October 1966 and January 1974 respectively.
Birth Colin Philip, a son for David Hart (Tool Room) and his wife Gwynneth (formerly International Communications), on December 18.
Our apologies to: Dennis Brain of Demand Entry, one of the Forest of Dean District Councillors pictured in our last issue, whom we erroneously referred to as Clive; and to Clive Brain (not related) of Engineering (a Mitcheldean Parish Councillor) who was wrongly suspected of having grown an instant beard.
Wilf Symonds We were sorry to hear of the death on March 5 of Wilf Symonds (Internal Transport) who worked at our Lydney site. Wilf, who was 56, joined us in August 1973.
If you have, then please — mail it to me c/o Public Relations, Bid 23/1, 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
Service Awards
Two people whose many years with the Company have been spent among the drills and mills of machining areas — Phil Cleal and Alan Swordy — became eligible in March for 35 and 30-year service emblems respectively. Phil started in 1943 as turner chargehand, becoming foreman and subsequently supervisor of Small Batch ; Alan began as an auto setter in 1948, later being promoted to supervisor of the Press & Auto section. This section was split in two when the autos were combined with the main body of the Machine Shop in Bid 29 under Phil deal’s management in the mid-1960’s, and Alan acted as his deputy. Phil was later made responsible for the setting up and management of an enlarged and updated Small Batch department, equipped with the then revolutionary numerical control machines. After the successful introduction of Group Technology into the Machine Shop (with which he was closely involved), Alan switched to Production Control where he is now Manager, Collation, concerned with ensuring that requirements for parts are met.
Alan met his wife Edna during the 11 years she worked here at Mitcheldean, and their two sons are now with us— Dominic in Progress under Bill Wilkins, and Jeremy as an apprentice. Phil’s daughter Valerie, a section leader in Design Draughting and secretary of the LSA, herself qualifies for a service award — a 20-year one — later this year. Another long-server— Ron Boakes of Engineering — joined the ‘three genuine diamond’ set last January when he
received his 30-year award. Ron came straight to us from another ‘senior service’, the Navy, to work in the Maltings on assembly and inspection, later moving into the Planning sphere with Paul Gregory. Today he is Design Manager, 4000/4500 family. Two other people who received Rank Xerox emblems in March — Steve Ferriman (Supply Centre) and Ernie Hughes (Manufacturing Engineering) — have both completed 20 years’ service.
New members of the ‘three genuine diamond’ set — Alan Swordy of Production Control and right Ron Boakes holding what Tony Burke, Manager Engineering, referred to as ‘your first and last clanger’ when he presented the awardi
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.