Return to 1975-1979

Vision 133

September/October 78 No. 133
What aVIfeek lhatWas! It started on Friday, September 1, with a visit from our MP, John Watkinson; on Monday, September 4, Mrs Margaret Joachim, prospective Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party, toured the Plant; then, the following Thursday, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, spent a morning with us, accompanied by her husband Dennis, Paul Marland, the party’s PPC for this area, and other officials. This latter visit, planned earlier this year, was part of a two-day tour of the West Midlands, and in our top picture Mrs Thatcher waves goodbye to Mitcheldean as she and her husband prepare to board their helicopter. In the background is our PR Manager, Jimmy Bake. (See story on page 3). Rank Xerox Chairman J. Maldwyn Thomas joined Director Ron Morfee in escorting Mrs Thatcher during her visit, then, two days later, on Saturday, September 9, our Chairman returned to Mitcheldean, accompanied by his wife Maureen, for another event — the official opening of our new club house. At a preview of the building on the Saturday afternoon, Mr Thomas was enrolled as an honorary member of the Sports & Social Club, and our lower picture shows him with Mrs Thomas (signing the visitors’ book) and members of the club committee.
Two famous Foresters attended ttie official opening of Cinderford’s Trade Fair and Carnival on August 5 — tfie Rigfit Rev. Robert Deakin, Bishop of Tewkesbury, and disc Jockey Jimmy Young. ‘JY’ (as he’s known to his many fans) presented the new mayoral regalia to Frank Beard, the town’s first ever mayor; Frank, in his turn, gave JY a scroll and a symbolic ‘key of Cinderford’ made by RX apprentice Jeffrey Russell and gold-plated by Engelhards. Both Frank and the deputy mayor, John Harris {not in our picture), work at Rank Xerox — Frank in the Supply Centre and John at our Cinderford plant. On the right in the picture is Jill Winter, Miss Forest of Dean 1978.
Photo Courtesy Monmouthshire Beacon Pears Princes
Ross-on-‘Wye got news by word of mouth during its recent Carnival Week. As town crier, Reg Caldicutt walked the town announcing programme details and proclaiming local news items. Reg is, of course, used to delivering communications — he works in our Mail Room. It’s useful to know that, should our normal systems of communication on site ever fail, we have an experienced town crier to call upon I UpandDow/n the Forest Getting up at 4 a.m. to join a group of bird ringers (voluntary workers who help to track the movements of our wild birds); following with a camera the deft fingers of Stuart Perkins as he works on the wheel at his pottery in the village of Scowles; attending the official opening — by Points West personality Gwyn Richards — of the Norchard Steam Centre, created by railway preservationists. Those are some of the interesting activities that are providing Ian Thomas of Commodity Operations, currently on Social Service Leave, with material for his projected book on the Forest of Dean. Bad weather in earlier weeks held up his progress, but as the days warmed up, Ian was able to get about more on his bike, putting the face of the Forest on film. When we spoke to him at the end of August he was planning a visit to Clearwell Castle, a trip down a freemine, a trip in a ‘plane to take aerial photographs (“Maybe I’ll get one of Mitcheldean”), and, most difficult of all perhaps, some shots of red deer. “You have to be careful — it’s the rutting season and they’re likely to be a bit stroppy!” says Ian. Three-year-old Sarah Blow obviously finds being a little ‘beauty princess’ a serious affair. Leaving her parents to do the smiling, she solemnly receives her prize of £200 — as Wales and the South West area finalist in the 1978 ‘Miss Pears’ competition—from a representative of A. and F. Pears Ltd. It was a small colour snapshot, taken by her father Ivan who works in 9200 Assembly, which led to this happy event. At the suggestion of friends, he sent it in for the national competition. The organisers came to see Sarah, more photographs were taken, and on July 10 at the King’s Head, Monmouth, she was
publicly acclaimed area winner. Ivan and his family cancelled their holiday so as to attend the finals in London on July 22. Sarah, like the other contestants, was given a new dress to wear at the judging and was presented with a beautiful doll. The title of ‘Miss Pears’ went to another child, but nonetheless they had a wonderful time, staying as guests in a hotel with the other families, visiting the zoo and being wined and dined. Sarah has a baby sister, Melissa, born last April — so perhaps in time there will be another ‘Pears princess’ in the family I
Mrs Thatcher talks to a group of women in the Supply Centre. Note the TV man with the headphones and gun microphonel Timed to aT
Rumours that a general election date was to be announced on September 7 — the day of Mrs Margaret Thatcher’s visit to our site — brought a posse of press persons about our ears, not to mention TV crews brandishing lights and gun microphones. It was all very exciting and brought us considerable coverage in the various media, even though the election scare proved a damp squib. A landing area had been marked out in car park ‘A’ with our fire brigade and Security police at the ready (some of us sent up a brief prayer that the helicopter blades wouldn’t ‘open’ the new club house prematurely !). As it happened, weather conditions obliged Mrs Thatcher to come by car, and she arrived bang on time. She began her tour in the Machine Shop and immediately set up a cracking pace, making detours and at times outmanoeuvring the press. “It’s a bit like rugger”, gasped one correspondent as he took a short cut to the ‘scrum’. A visit by any leading political figure makes people particularly security conscious, and when, as the tour continued in the 5400 assembly area. Supervisor Clive Brookes saw a chap with no visible identification walking ahead of the party, he challenged him. The visitor opened his jacket, revealing the correct pink card, and told Clive “No problems with me — I’m a Special Branch officer!” Ever since, people have been asking Clive whether he’s arrested any good policemen lately!
Down on the 9200 family floor there was another ‘incident’ — when Norman Powell gallantly kissed Mrs Thatcher, to the delight of the photographers. As a science graduate, she was quite at home talking about electronic logic with our people in the audit area. They showed her the microprocessor ‘chip’ which is capable of looking for 65,565 memory locations and demonstrated how, by using one of the programmes which the microprocessor provides, the 9400 can give itself an automatic physical test, checking all its copying/ duplicating functions and making 155 prints in 115 seconds. “It might be adapted for making political speeches”, said Mr Morfee helpfully! During a coffee break in the assembly floor catering area, Mrs Thatcher met a cross-section of employees, the press being invited to take their refreshments in the Supply Centre where the tour was to be concluded. But some were afraid she might make one of her lightning changes of direction and they’d lose track of her altogether, so they sent an envoy for coffee and kept their sights trained on Bid 40 opposite. After talking to people in the Machine and Spares Operations areas, the Tory leader left for Cinderford by car, returning later to catch her helicopter, after which those involved in seeing that arrangements went smoothly were able to relax. “It all went like clockwork”, was Mr Morfee’s comment.
Paddling down the river on a Sunday afternoon (July 16) — sounds a delightful experience, you may think. And it was, if you were watching. It was, in fact, a sponsored raft race from Ross to Lydbrook, organised by several patrons of the George Hotel, Mitcheldean, the proceeds (a splendid £300 + ) being donated to the building fund for a joint headquarters for the Mitcheldean cubs/brownies/guides/scouts. Weeks before the event you couldn’t borrow a plastic drum or barrel from anywhere around, and the whole forest resounded to the echoes of hammers, drills and the mutterings of rather rude words as fingers, thumbs and other tender spots suffered unspeakable outrages in the flurry of building. Who said we’re a nation of shopkeepers? We’re boat-builders, mate, like what Raleigh and Drake was I In front of a large crowd gathered on Wilton Bridge in bright aunshine, a total of 13 craft assembled for the ‘off, among them four rafts made and manned by RX apprentices and trainees. It was a time lapse start with three minutes between each entry. Loud cheers greeted the first on the river and their progress downstream over the huge weedbeds (puff, puff) was followed with great interest. Bill Luker looked slightly perplexed at the sight of four senior ‘apprentices’, each complete with black nylons, suspenders and a couple of other rather well-defined characteristics, taking to the water in something resembling a carnival float. When all 13 were afloat and making progress downstream, we spectators left Wilton Bridge and headed for Kerne Bridge to either cheer, weep or throw offensive things at the gallant mariners. From Kerne Bridge we moved to Lydbrook and awaited their arrival. The favourites completed the course in fine style, paddling the eight miles in 2% hours. They were followed closely by Bill’s Boys, complete with droopy drawers and blisters, while the rest of the field drifted with the tide. One team were even ordered off the river as darkness closed in on Kerne Bridge. Final comment from one crestfallen competitor: ‘We were paddling as hard as we could when I noticed a “dog-end” floating past us. That was when I decided it was time to give up.’ Eric Tose
Let the electrician do it I That is the message banged home by this cartoon from one of the posters of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Look around your home, or your workplace. You’re sure to see quite a few electrical ‘tools’, portable or transportable : a fan, a typewriter, a heater, a paper-shredder, a power tool — in short, anything that has a cable and a plug attached to it. It may come as a shock to you to know that any one of them using upwards of 80 volts is a potential killer if not regularly tested and treated in a safe manner. We haven’t as yet got a Health & Safety at Home Act; but now, with all the authority of the ‘at Work’ Act behind it, a major electrical safety programme has got under way at Mitcheldean. By November 1, Works Engineering expect to have logged every one of our tools — all four to five thousand of them — and will have tested each one at least once. A record of the tests, which cover such things as insulation, earthing, function of safety devices, etc., is being kept in Works Engineering Electrical department, and each cleared tool will have had a label stuck on it giving the date it was tested and the date it is due for re-testing.
If you should ever find a tool with an out-of-date label on it, don’t use it, it may be unsafe. Contact Ray Powell on ext. 1173 and he will see that it is tested properly.
With so many to track down, it is possible that the odd tool may have escaped the net, so again, if you find one tucked away in a cupboard or somewhere that hasn’t a label on it, let Ray know so that he can amend the records.
As for the general treatment of tools, well, we all treat them in a safe manner, don’t we? Unfortunately the answer is not an unqualified ‘yes’, as you can see from the illustration below.
‘Do it yourself is a fine motto in many cases, but when it comes to repairing electrical tools on site, the message from Works Engineering is: let the electrician do it. With the new grid system of reporting, as featured in a recent VISION EXTRA, response to tool hold-up requests is being speeded up, and the programme of regular testing should result in a considerable reduction in the number of faults that occur.
Electrician Wilf Jenkins connects a vacuum cleaner to the Clare test equipment to give it an all-in-one safety test. Having checked that it is OK, he sticks a label on the cleaner, giving the date of the test and stating when it is due for re-testing.
Tools are to be re-tested every six months to start with, but this will eventually be adjusted to suit the various types of tools. The THRs and test reports will act as a useful guide here in fixing the required frequency. There are, of course, other electrical tools used on site which we are unable to test regularly and which could be unsafe to use : contractors’ tools. Since our Company is legally responsible for the safety of everyone working on site, a detailed procedure is being prepared to ensure that contractors’ tools are safe to use before any work is carried out. It could hold up the job for a while; but, as Ray Powell points out, so could an accident! “Generally speaking”, he says, “we’ve been pleased with the co-operation we’ve had from people. We’re hopeful that our electrical safety programme will have the effect of encouraging people to be more careful, not only about electrical matters, but about safety in general, both at work and at home.”
Tom Morgan shows Ray Powell. Electrical Maintenance Supervisor, some of the ‘horrors’ he has unearthed in the course of operating the new safety test system — a perished cable with wires exposed, a cable not clamped correctly, and a substitute fuse made of silver paper! All three could have had serious consequences for one of us.
Jim Evans prepares tfie way for tfie arrival of a portable TV, presented by Dick Holmes, Director, European h/lfg B Supply Division, at a dinner party on September 7. Adding his applause is Personnel Director Lionel Lyes.
Ron Mason receives a carriage clock from Don Shryane, Director Materials, M&SO, at a farewell party on August 30. Pictured with them are (from left) Geoff Howell, over here on a visit from the USA, John Smith, Bill Davidson and Fred Wickstead.
With the close of the summer, the time came to wish many happy years of retirement to two members of our senior management. Jim Evans joined us as Production Control Manager in 1962, when production of our first copier, the 914, was expanding rapidly at Mitcheldean, and he held this post until 1967 when he became Supply Planning Manager under Gwilym Peregrine. Two years later he was placed in charge of Planning & Control for the whole of Manufacturing Group — a move which marked the beginning of his involvement with Venray. It was decided to transfer production of the 3100 from Mitcheldean to Venray and Jim was given responsibility for co-ordinating activities. “I was always tremendously impressed with the co-operation which developed between the two plants”, was his comment. From becoming ‘thfe first of the programme managers’, he progressed in 1974 to Manager, Programme Management, MG. Then, after carrying out a number of
Grroup OoodliYesi special projects, his varied experience was put to use in 1977 in yet another sphere — as Manager, Organisation and Management Resourcing in M&SO Personnel. For the future, Jim has given himself some ‘special projects’ — trout fishing, photography, and “giving priority to what my wife wants to do.”
Ron Mason When Ron Mason joined us in June 1964 as Chief Production Engineer in charge of Production Engineering, Tool Room and Industrial Engineering, Mitcheldean was still the Company’s only machine manufacturing plant. The major project then in PED was tooling and installation of plant and equipment for full production of the 813, which was to follow the 914, recalls Ron. “The size and complexity of our
subsequent model, the 2400, required the introduction of new technology, including the design and installation of a machining centre with multi-head machines for handling the main castings.” These were augmented with the updating of the 2400 to the 3600 (Mitcheldean was the first plant in production with the latter) and, by coincidence, were ‘retired’ this very year I Ron played a major role in the start of machine manufacture at Venray, working closely with Mitcheldean management in the manufacturing and tryout of all tools and fixtures for the 3600 prior to their shipment to Venray. In 1970 technical management was split when he transferred to the newly created Group Staff function of Chief Engineer Manufacturing, and for the last eight years he has been concerned with multinational and advanced manufacturing engineering developments. But engineering has no part to play in Ron’s life from now on, he told us; he’s going to concentrate on growing rather than making things I Happy Retirement Job
Now retired after 45 years’ service to companies associated with The Rank Organisation, Norman Rose is nonetheless a busy man. As the recently appointed Rank Xerox retirement consultant, he is building up a comprehensive programme designed to prepare Rank Xerox employees in the UK for the major change in their lives that retirement brings. In an article in HQ News, Norman says that, of our 12,000 employees in this country, about 350 will become eligible for retirement over the next five years. There is concern, too, about keeping in touch with pensioners. ‘The UK Company and Mitcheldean have a
pretty good record in this respect,’ says Norman, and the possibility of forming a Rank Xerox Pensioners’ Association is being examined with regular visits between pensioners, for instance, or an annual gettogether such as we already have here at Mitcheldean. Part of Norman’s brief is to visit bereaved families, in the case of death in service, to give advice on the lump sum and pension benefits from the Company scheme. State benefits, taxation, investment and estate matters. At Mitcheldean this service is carried out by Roy Steward of Personnel Department as part of his welfare duties.
A Personal Statement During recent years the Company has developed a first-class pension scheme, which was further improved on April 1 this year. Because this scheme, together with related benefits from other Rank Xerox schemes and the National Insurance Scheme, cover so much — financial protection in the event of sickness, disability and death, as well as security in retirement — it is sometimes difficult to appreciate their full value. So, this October, the RX Pension Scheme Management Committee are circulating to all members and prospective members a personal statement giving details of present protection, future security, cost of benefits, additional voluntary contributions, etc, plus some general information about the scheme itself.
Most of ttie big windows of tfie new club fiouse have a fine view over Barton Hill.
Mike Wilkinson can now blow his own cornet! Here he tries out a note or two on the instrument — the first he’s ever owned — watched by his wife Marlene. Mike, who plays in Cinderford Town Band, received the cornet as a ‘thank you’ gift. .
Below: To Cynthia Haynes, wife of chairman Tony, the committee said it with flowers, presented by Director Ron Morfee.
Below: “Just like being at home!” laughed Tony as he polished up the fruit machines in the general bar.
What a week ! says our cover title. And what a wonderful way to end it — with the official opening on September 9 of our new club house. Rank Xerox chairman J. Maldwyn Thomas had promised to carry out the traditional ceremonies, but in order to fit in with his business commitments, it was necessary to complete two weeks ahead of schedule. Slipping dates bring their own problems; bringing dates forward have hair-raising effects, and a terrific spurt of activity on the part of everyone involved was called for. Committee members who had operated in groups on specific projects rolled up their sleeves, put on their working jeans and boilersuits and worked as a team, doing whatever needed doing first. Supplies that hadn’t arrived had to be fetched — the new membership cards from Havant, curtains from Nottingham, a sink from Coleford.
They worked into the small hours to take deliveries, put up shelves, clean surfaces. Secretary Anne Fox, the only woman on the committee, was brought to her knees, removing adhesive from the floor tiles I The Tuesday before the opening, it was like an ants’ nest with builders, fitters and everyone swarming all over the place. Cyril Beard, having relinquished his job in Small Batch last August to take over as full-time club steward, worked with Nancy to ensure there would be no shortage of liquor to ‘wet the new baby’s head’. One tricky problem was sending out invitations to the opening night. The only solution was to spread the celebrations over two evenings, so that not only those who had helped the project on its way but also as many of the membership as possible could come along. Tickets were allocated in the fairest possible way and those who were
Anne Fox, behind the bar, and helper Lesley Beard assess the empties in the lounge bar after a hectic session. The bar itself is attractively faced with Forest stone.
Steward Cyril takes the, cellar where 45 lines a bars, “It’s like a palace i
Chairman Mai Thomas cuts the ribbon across the entrance to the new club house, watched by his wife, the committee — chairman Tony Haynes, vice-chairman Roy Steward, secretary Anne Fox, treasurer Gordon Cruickshank, trustees Barry Barton and Wilf Jones, John Earl, John Johnson, Bill Jones, Pat Jordan, Roger Kempster, Don Parkinson — and club steward Cyril Beard and his wife Nancy (not in order of appearance).
This plaque which now hangs in the entrance hall of the club house was the work of two Rank Xerox people. The mount was carved in cherry wood by production engineer Stan Cherry, well known in the area for his craftsmanship, who was featured last spring on BBC and ITV. The brass plate was made and engraved by Graham Lockwood (Model Shop).
unlucky had a chance to sannple the facilities of the new club house during the first week of its opening when the same programme of entertainment was put on every night. The Saturday night itself was ‘a fantastic occasion’ as club president Ron Morfee put it; some 300 people were there, including our MP John Watkinson and his wife. Mr Thomas, who unveiled the commemorative plaque pictured above, paid tribute to the efforts and tenacity of the club committee, and Tony Haynes, club chairman since 1973, gave a brief account of the history of the project. He told of the club’s disappointment in 1975, when the million multipurpose building to be provided by the Company was cancelled at a time of corporate financial constraint; of how the committee, backed by a mandate from the membership, decided to go it alone. They visited clubs all over the
ssure off the lager in the supplies into the three rthe old place”, he says.
country to see what others had done and profit from their experience. They had to plan according to their purse, and they drew up their own designs, paying particular attention to lighting and acoustics. With the professional assistance of two people in Facilities Engineering — Geoff Harrison and Mike Wilkinson — drawings were prepared, planning approval obtained and a contract signed with Giles the builders.
The club house, complete with furnishings and fittings, has cost some £150,000, of which over £60,000 has been provided by the accumulated funds of the club, and that includes your subscriptions and profits from that successful moneyraiser, the Bonanza Draw. Said Tony; “Your continued support will enable the committee to pay off, well within the agreed five years, the £80,000 interest-free loan from
continued overleaf
Above: Barry Barton, watched by Don Parkinson, becomes the first to pot a red in the new snooker room. Below left: The Jones Duo practising their routine for the opening night cabaret ? No, just Bill and Wilf trying out the maple dance floor in the function room which seats 180 people. Below right: Roger Kempster and (in foreground) John Earl help to stock the bar shelves.
The three teams in our Skittles Section tested the new alley on opening night when they played against each other. The trophy, presented by Chairman Mai Thomas, went to the Y-ciders, with Roger Preece gaining the highest individual score. But before they started, Mary Butler, Ladies’ Skittles captain, showed the ‘professionals’ how the ladies bowl — with grace.
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the Company, and enable us to embark on phase 2 — a hall providing additional sports facilities.”
The gala occasion provided an opportunity to say thank you to those who had enabled the club to attain what had once seemed unattainable. To Anne Fox, Cynthia Haynes and Nancy Beard, the club ‘said it with flowers’. For Cyril, who has served the club for 21 years, there was a special gift.
The contribution made by Facilities Engineering was acknowledged by the presentation of a cornet to Mike Wilkinson, and a carriage clock to Geoff Harrison (to make sure we see Geoff again — he left the Company in August— he was also made an honorary member).
Special Draw
As on the occasion a year ago when the first turf was dug, there was a special draw of five £100 prizes, the lucky tickets being drawn by Mr Thomas.
Then it was on with the skittles, the snooker, the darts and the merrymaking in the lounge and general bars, with first-rate entertainment and dancing in the function room.
If there were any doubts as to how well patronised the club house would be, once the initial celebrations were over, these were soon banished.
Cyril and his helpers have been run off their feet, even though at first the kitchen was not sufficiently equipped to provide food. League skittles and darts matches have been started and the organised entertainment at weekends has gone down well.
There’s a lot more to the story of the house that you, the members of the Sports & Social Club have built — but it will have to wait for another issue.
Our efforts to improve Mitcheldean’s safety record are paying off. The current trend is in the right direction, and we have qualified once again for a ‘Gold Hand Award’. This is awarded by the Engineering Employers’ Federation to engineering firms who have shown an improvement in their accident record over the previous three years.
Manual handling of materials remains the major cause of accidents. In the 12 months ending July 1977, out of a total 102 accidents, this category accounted for 37; during the year to July 1978, the figure was down to 30 out of a total of 92. To keep safety uppermost in our minds, a range of posters with themes related to the particular problems in their areas has been selected by the safety subcommittees; and to avoid any lessening of impact through familiarity, each poster is to be replaced by a new one every month.
Disabled people have special problems and, to ensure that these are not overlooked, a disabled person is being invited to sit on the main committee to represent their interests.
These three safety representatives seen carrying out an audit at RX Cinderford form sub-committee no. 2, under the chairmanship of Manager Ted Adams. They are (from left) Ray Gibbons, who is secretary. Jack Smart and Phil Nicholls. Says Ray: “People here are very keen about safety and we have good co-operation from everyone.
Forty years ago our Company, then British Acoustic Films, tool< on a trainee — Henry Phillips — in their Tool Room at Woodger Road, Shepherds Bush, London.
Henry set about learning tool-making by day, working with Ernie Blaich (now in Vendor Technical Support), and studying instrument-making at night school.
Having been among those ‘pioneers’ who came to Mitcheldean in 1 941, Henry duly moved over to Quality operations, taking responsibility for tool inspection, cutter grinding and tool stores. In due course he was promoted to Tool Inspection Superintendent and today, as Manager Fabrication QC, is responsible for quality control in both Mitcheldean and Cinderford Machine Shops and Small Batch.
Henry was an enthusiastic participant in the Company’s former annual sports days, and he won the Victor Ludorum prize in 1943. Throughout the years he has maintained his interest, having been secretary and then chairman of the Sports & Social Club.
A founder member of the LSA, he was its secretary and has been its chairman for the last ten years. Throughout his working life Henry has been a dedicated first-aider — he has, in fact, just passed his annual re-examination.
On August 20 Henry had another cause for celebration — the 35th anniversary of his wedding to Jo. One of the first girls to be directed to work at Mitcheldean during the war years, she was a capstan operator in the Machine Shop. After raising a family of three, she returned to work in the Engineering Print Room for eight years before taking early retirement this year.
The Phillips’ younger son, Andrew a former RX apprentice, is one of our design engineers on assignment in the USA.
Another person to join the Machine Shop during wartime was Joe Bennett. He was taken on as shop boy and in the years
Henry Phillips (centre), Mitcheldean’s longest serving employee, recently received his fourdiamond service award at a small celebration attended by Bernard Smith, Don Elliott, Frank Edwards, Stan Scott, Royston Charles, Ron league, Jim Mitchell, Ernie Blaich and Phil Cleal.
Three other longservers (from left) Joe Bennett (35 years), Tony Cafe and David Day (both 30 years).
that followed he was trained to carry out a variety of machining operations, including work on the bench and on the centre lathe, and as a setter operator on capstans. Unfortunately, Joe was dogged by ill health and he was eventually given a lighter job in Tool Stores under Eddie Lewis where he has worked for the past 18 years. Today, as leading hand in charge of the NC section stores, he looks after the tooling for these machining centres.
30 Years Tony Cale, who received his 30-year award in August, is another ex-Machine Shop man, having spent 26 years in that area. He progressed to chargehand and finally foreman, then four years ago his career changed direction. Tony had been involved with the emergency services for a long time. For 25 years he was a part-time member of our works Fire Brigade; then in 1974, when it became obvious that the site needed a full-time official, he was appointed Works Fire Officer. One of our first aiders, he was made
a Serving Brother of the Order of St John in 1972 in recognition of his work in the Ambulance Brigade, and he is now area staff officer for the Forest of Dean.
Tony’s wife Margaret has been with us quite some time too. She was employed in our canteen for ten years and for the last eight has been on sub-assembly work.
David Day, another to join the ‘three genuine diamond set’ in August, has been an optics man throughout his whole career. He started as an optical lens designer with the firm of Wray Optical in Kent, and, in the 24 years he was with them, rose to the position of technical director. The company eventually became part of Rank Precision Industries and on its closure he moved to Mitcheldean.
As Manager, Optics Technology, David has been closely involved with the development of the zoom lens for the 9200. He is currently concerned with analysing lens tolerances and controlling quality, and generally acting as physics consultant within Stan Wheeler’s department. on the ball
Guest batsman At Hagen receives a brief induction into the English game of cricket with the help of wicket-keeper Eric Tose.
Keeping up their record of never having lost it, the Management were fortunate enough to win the toss again, thus getting the best of the light and being fresh for their ‘fairly annual’ cricket match against the Apprentices on July 13. A brilliant undefeated 50 was scored by opening batsman Roy Powell despite the efforts of Steve Powell to give father some heading practice ! Graham Smith, the side’s magician, tickled his way to an undefeated 31 before being called to the pavilion for a rest, while Messrs Cooper (24), Laken (24) and Saywood (17 n.o.) pushed the score to a massive 192 for 7 in the allotted 25 overs. Steve Thorpe (4-36) and Steve Powell (2-53) were the two successful bowlers for the Apprentices.
The latter were no match for Management’s bowlers and the senior team were soon on top. Steve Thorpe (20) and Martin Hughes (18) did their best to dent American pride (and Italian motor cars !) and Wayne Ruddy carried his bat for 13. Graham Smith produced a few more rabbits including 2 wickets in successive balls and a dropped catch (who says Personnel Dept don’t provide a service?) off his ‘hat-trick’ ball, helping to get the Apprentices all out for 90. Victors and vanquished trooped off afterwards to a local hostelry to celebrate in time-honoured fashion. Our thanks go to the trustees of the playing-fields and Mitcheldean Cricket Club for use of their facilities.
Shoot’Out with “Mid. the Police On July 5 there was a ‘shoot-out’ between the Ross Police ‘E’ division and Rank Xerox’s combat pistol team — in a competitive sort of way. The event, which took place at Ross Police range, consisted of the standard police ‘Mander’ course which involves the expenditure of 26 rounds of ammunition against silhouette targets. This was broken down into three stages: ten rounds at 25 metres shooting at stationary targets; ten rounds at 1 5 metres with the targets being exposed for twosecond intervals; then six rounds at 7 metres with the targets being exposed for three two-second intervals (this time, though, two shots instead of one were required in each exposure). The maximum score that could be attained was 260 and, as a result of the following excellent scores, our ‘A’ team came third and the ‘B’ team first. Team ‘A’ — Pete Watson 247, Lionel Fisher 246, Graham Riddiford 233, Pat Cleary 223, John Bartholomew 200. Team ‘B’— Mike Bird 250, Dennis Jaynes 246, Chuck Allen 236, Bob Jones 227, Frank Tonge 225. This left the Ross Police thirsting for a revenge fixture and muttering ‘It’s absolutely criminal’ or words to that effect.
Cold Summer Cup The Summer Cup was the trophy being competed for at Cirencester Golf Course on Wednesday, July 19, but the conditions were much chillier than have been experienced to date and the 33 hopefuls teed off under cloudy skies. Fortunately, this did not hinder the golf, with some excellent scores being returned by several players, posing many problems for the Handicap Committee. The Summer Cup is awarded for the best nett score after 36 holes and therefore keen interest is taken, over the lunchtime sandwiches, in who is scoring best, setting the target for the afternoon. ‘Spot’ Meek, with a nett 62 (8 under par) must have fancied his chance of carrying off the trophy, gaining a 5-stroke lead over Ken Ellway (nett 66) and Harold Gardiner (nett 67 off 9 handicap has got to be good). The golf was again of a high standard during the afternoon with Bob Randall (nett 65), Terry Osborne
(nett 66) and Ken Ellway (nett 67) taking the honours. Dave Robinson and Mike Newlove produced personal ‘firsts’ by both scoring ‘eagles’ at the ninth hole. The Summer Cup went eventually to Ken Ellway (133 nett) with ‘Spot’ Meek second with 134 nett. Stop Press Our ‘A’ team brought home the Haggett Cup after winning the Inter-Plant Competition on September 5, while the ‘B’ team came fourth. They were competing with golfers from Welwyn (last year’s winners). Bridge House, Middlesex House, Observatory House and Milton Keynes.
Pulling in Trophies Our Tug-of-War section are making their presence felt among people with pull. Over the Bank Holiday weekend they took part in two AAA events, with encouraging results. At Pontypool on August 26 they competed in five weights and got to the semi-finals in three of them, only to be beaten by the ultimate winners who included the world champions!
On August 28, at a North Wiltshire event, they reached one final and won a cup, beating in two straight pulls Gwent Farmers — the team which represented Wales in the world championships this September.
In Appreciation
The following note arrived on our desk recently: As members of staff who, together with friends, have regularly attended the monthly dances held by the Sports & Social Club, we would like to congratulate the committee on their excellent work this year. ‘The dances have been most enjoyable and they reached a climax with the “Caribbean Evening” last May. ‘We feel sure we are speaking for many in expressing our appreciation of the committee’s hard work.’
In the darts tournament final on August 12, Eddie’s Boys (above) of the Machine Shop, led by Eddie Phelps, beat Lydney Sparks, captained by John Baldwin, by nine games to three. The cup and trophies were presented by Lydney chargehand Gordon Bourne.
A Machine Shop team — Sprocl Tennis Finals The tennis finals were still not finalised as we went to press, but we can report that Ken Blackwell has retained his title as men’s singles champ, beating Mike Keen in both
the straight KO and the league tournament. Helen Richards won the ladies’ singles KO, playing against Pat Hawkins, but Pat and Mike proved a winning pair in the mixed doubles, beating Robin and Valerie Berks. es—and csoals
The International Supply Centre had a glorious afternoon on July 16 for their Round Robin charity football tournament at Harrow Hill. Supply Centre staff and guest players made up the three teams: Unknown Quantity (managers); Gigglers Galore (ladies — ?); and Other Rubbish.
The women were out to prove their total liberation and they came through with flying colours, assisted by some 15 to 20 supporters both on and off the field. Referee Paul Cooper, when asked
what he thought of the ladies’ standard of play, replied ‘Very good, exceptional’, looking nervously over his shoulder. While the final scores did not reflect the true abilities of individual players (a draw was agreed on in order to avoid any allegations of sex discrimination), the general team effort put in by all made for a very enjoyable afternoon. Match fees, refreshments, raffle and stall proceeds all added up to a total of £60, which was a definite ‘win’for the Oakdene School for mentally handicapped children.
The Gigglers certainly scored when it came to smiling for the camera. As for the game, well, they did it for kicks — and a good cause.
Shirtless though he was, Vance Hopkins got good coverage when his ‘friends’ in Facilities Engineering gave him the old ball-and-chain treatment prior to his wedding to Heather Bennett. He was eventually released from his signpost at the Lea, but not before the local press had got this picture and a good story for their readers.
Goalie Charlie Walker saves one for the management team.
Stephen and Anne Lewis Robert and Deborah Butler John and Penny Wood
Geoffrey and Carolyn Tuff ley
Weddings Stephen Lewis (Internal Transport) to Anne Watkins at Ruardean Hill Baptist Chapel on July 8. Robert Butler (Production Control) to Deborah Spencer at St Stephen’s Church, Cinderford, on July 29. Wendy Fox (IS Punch Room) to Michael Leach (RX Lydney) at St Stephen’s Church, Cinderford, on July 29. John Wood (RX Cinderford) to Penny Buffin at Lydney Register Office on August 12. Geoffrey Tuffley (4500/5400 Assembly) to Carolyn Davies (Commodity Operations) at St Michael’s & All Angels’, Mitcheldean, on August 13.
Birth Elizabeth Anne, a daughter for John Gibbons (4500/5400 Assembly) and his wife Catherine, on May 31.
Manager Ernie Woods presents progress chaser Maurice Bradley with a slide projector — a gift from his colleagues in Production Control on his retirement in August after 12 years’ service.
Michael and Wendy Leach
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
Engagement Richard Passey (PCD) to Helen Preece (Inventory Planning, Supply Centre) on August 19.
Retirements Our best wishes to the following who retire in September/October:
Arthur Beard (4500/5400 Assembly) — over 13 years’ service; Iris Powell (cleaner) — ten years’ service; Eva Jones (cleaner) — nearly six years’ service; Bill Weyman (Machine Shop) —joined March 1971 ; and Bert Crum (QA) —eight years’ service.
Deaths We regret to have to report the deaths of the following : Kenneth Williams on July 9 aged 30; he joined us in 1967, working in the Machine Shop, and left for reasons of ill health in 1975. Charles Weyman (Supply Centre) on July 27 at the age of 54 ; he joined us in 1971. Our sympathy goes to the families of all of them.
Above: Vince Baxter, retiring after nearly 20 years with us, looks delighted with his new decanter and glasses, handed over by Manager Reg Malsom on behalf of colleagues and friends at a get-together on July 26. Below:/4 jolly party of ex-Lydneyites, among them his son Bruce, toast Fred Powell on his retirement on August 25. They gave him a tankard (which he put to use straight avyay!) while earlier in the day Lydney colleagues presented him with a clock.
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