Return to 1975-1979

Vision 134

November/December 78 No. 134
Stan Works Wonders in Wood While other boys played football, Stan Cherry lay on the grass and whittled away with his penknife at a piece of wood. At 15 he did his first serious carving — a crucifixion.
His boyhood idol was Grinling Gibbons, the 16th century wood-carver but, apart from studying the great man’s techniques, he has remained entirely self-taught.
Even when on active service in the Far East, he managed to practise his craft with improvised tools: today, in his home workshop, he has around 160 tools, some of which he made himself.
By contrast, his job as a production engineer in Finishing areas involves
him in advanced technological processes such as high-frequency heating of parts and the associated plant.
His skill as a wood sculptor is appreciated far beyond the confines of the Forest of Dean where he has made his home (earlier this year he appeared on television), and the recent twoweek exhibition of his work at the Old Yew Tree Craft Studio in Upper Lydbrook attracted widespread attention.
Some of the pieces on show — the “Leaping Salmon” in mahogany, the “Charging Bull” in cherry wood — we have featured in past issues. A familiar item was the Wickstead Chess Shield, in English oak, which
Stan made for our annual interdepartmental tournament (Design are the current holders).
Dominating the exhibition was the outstanding “Falcon in Hand”, seen above, which many regard as his finest work to date.
Hands have long been a favourite subject of Stan’s (he has even carved his own left hand) and in our picture he is showing his sensitive study of a child’s hands in prayer, fashioned in lime, to a group of RX friends — (from left), John Sparkes (Quality Engineering), Roger Byett and Keith Morgan (Manufacturing Engineering), Ian Thomas (currently on Social Service Leave), and Sue Byett (Materials Department).
The four award winners — {from left) Colin Smith, Brian Jones, Mike Read and Ray Powell. Thcq Topped the List The winning of national awards by Rank Xerox Mitcheldean men in gaining their Diploma of Engineering Management has been given considerable publicity in the press recently. And rightly so; out of approximately 500 students who sat the examination at 32 centres up and down the country, our ten candidates not only achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, but also scooped four of the six national awards granted by the examining Association of Supervisory & Executive Engineers, including the top award of all, which was won by Mike Read of Manufacturing Engineering Electronics. The four award winners are pictured here — Brian Jones (Engineering Draughting), Ray Powell (Works Eng.), Colin Smith (Mfg Eng.), and Mike Read who as top award winner receives the Mathieson Trophy and a £50 prize.
Carol models her suit for us {smart girls will note the tricky pin tucking on the Jacket).
The other successful candidates were: Maurice Jordan (Assembly Operations), George Meek (Mfg QA), Terry Peates (Tool Inspection), Monty Russell (Mfg Eng.), Clive Ward (Small Batch) and Terry Ward (Assembly QA). The DEM course was an innovation not only for Mitcheldean but also for the West Gloucestershire College of Further Education at Cinderford where our people attended evening classes, and to their tutors there must go some measure of the credit for such outstanding results. Says Roger Acland, our own Training Department’s Management Skills Adviser: ‘This achievement could lead us to assume that it must have been easy — far from it, as I’m sure the more mature of these mature students will agree I ‘My concern now is for this year’s DEM students— how do they follow that?’ Carol Suits Herself ‘Carol is wearing a spring linen suit in mint green, fully lined, and teamed with a white satin-finish blouse. A floral chiffon scarf and hat with matching headband complete her ensemble.’ To that modelling commentary we would add : Carol, who works in Customer Service (Supply Centre), made the whole outfit herself as her entry in the recent ‘Dressmaker of the Realm’ national contest, organised by Women’s Realm magazine in conjunction with Singer Sewing Machines.
Sponsored Slim The DEM course had an unsuspected side effect for one man — it helped Monty Russell lose weight and raise money for charity at the same time. His student days being a bit more remote than for some of the candidates, Monty reckons that concern at keeping up with the whizz-kids got rid of a few excess pounds during his personal ‘sponsored slim’ I At 17 stone, Monty had realised he needed to trim his figure, so he and his wife (who also wanted to slim) gave each other moral support in dieting and exercising. Monty lost 2 stone initially — but when the curve on his slimming graph started to level (and the unwanted curve on his figure didn’t), he decided to try a more novel approach. The support of sponsors (at anything from 1 p to 20p per lb lost) gave him the necessary drive, and we’re happy to report that he has managed to achieve his target weight of 13J stone and raise £52-40 in cash for the Cheltenham Cobalt Unit.
Nurse Norah Miles in Medical Centre confirms that Monty is on target.
She succeeded in becoming one of the 1 5 semi-finalists from the South West and was invited, along with her husband, to attend the judging at a luncheon in Birmingham last June. Like all the other contestants, Carol modelled her own outfit, having previously been given some tips by fellow worker and model Trudie Moore. Although she didn’t make it to the finals, Carol was given some nice prizes, including material and sewing accessories. Incidentally, when we asked her what had been her most ambitious effort to date, she told us: ‘A wedding gown, dresses for five bridesmaids, a pageboy costume and a going-away outfit’. And the bride was — Carol herself.
Bikes Bring in the Cash
At 5 am on Saturday, October 7, when most of us were still tucked up in our little beds, a group of cyclists, a minibus and a pick-up van left Mitcheldean site and disappeared into the chill mist in the general direction of dawn. They were off to cover the distance — some 120 miles — between Mitcheldean and our sister plant at Welwyn by bike, in order to raise money for a local charity. The intention was to operate a relay system, with two cyclists in the saddle at a time, doing so many miles each, and the remaining cyclists and back-up team plus spare cycles and spare parts (for the cycles), accommodated in the vehicles. Like most systems it didn’t work out exactly as planned, but the main party got to Welwyn in the estimated eight hours — a remarkable achievement considering that all were novices at cycling. With commendable timing, they arrived at 1 pm to receive a warm welcome, Welwyn having laid on
Safely arrived at Welwyn are: I. to r. (back row) Don Johnson, Peter Dickinson, Pearce Hancock, Robert Powell, Dennis Beard: (front row) Mike Barnard, Robert Hatton, Jack Phillips and Terry Bradley. Missing from the scene are cyclists Derek Gyde and Bill Fisher.
showers, a buffet lunch and free beer. Although completely ‘refurbished’ after this, our men (all from Piece Part Recovery) didn’t re-cycle the distance but came back by Company transport, picking up the two missing cyclists on the way (one had had a puncture, the other took the scenic route to Welwyn and rode some 80 miles). Recognition of their valiant efforts came in the form of donations to the Oakdene School for mentally handicapped children in Cinderford, and a splendid total of around £409 (including £25 from Welwyn Sports & Social Club and £100 from our Company charity fund) was handed over to the School in November.
Very Busq Lizzie
With a height of nearly 3ft and a span of about 5ft, this fine specimen of Impatiens is a likely contestant for the title of the “Biggest Busy Lizzie in the World of Rank Xerox”. We noticed it in Jeff Kew’s office in Engineering where it is cared for by his secretary Marilyn Mercer, pictured here with the Lizzie and one of its offspring. Marilyn tells us the plant likes a pint of water a day but she also gives it some liquid food and a drop of tea, without sugar — the plant makes its own tiny sugary crystals which hang on the underside of the branches. Just like Christmas tree decorations.
This issue Nicl< Swan (Engineering) steps aside from his wine-mal Abtot Dooimcnt Hondlcr ® Illumination. Woxis coUecttd for: ©Paper pre-treatment. © Develop er area. ®5.H.A.W. Fu5er(SteomHratedAn<JWetted) ® Pitch fadeout tamp ® OtjecC mirror Zoom. ©Momdrive clutch. ©Control console. Stripper finger. ® Face AN EARLY ATTEMPT AT XEROGRAPHY — PRINKNASH ABBEY C?> CIRCA 1500 AD One that Chester Carlson must have been unaware of, or anybody else for that matter, until Dave Southey of Manufacturing Engineering produced this woolly process drawing I 8
Handing on file Info Before any new product reaches the production stage, a great deal of preparatory work has to be done in ‘training the trainers’. They are involved with the product at an early stage to get ‘hands-on’ experience both in the UK and, if necessary, in the USA. Then, with the aid of manuals which they have prepared (and run off on our machines, of course I), they pass on the relevant, pre-digested information to a wide range of people — assembly operators, adjusters, inspectors, audit staff, etc. ‘With the simultaneous introduction of two new models (the 5400 and the 9400), it was realised early on that the existing training facilities would be inadequate, and we had to take steps to meet this unprecedented situation’, said Technical Training Co-ordinator David Lowde. Product training, until then the responsibility of Production, was brought under the wing of the Training Department; Keith Parrett and Dave Higman were taken on to assist Product Training Officers Alan Kennaugh and Pete Townley; and a permanent Product Training Centre was established in the eastern annexe of Bid 40, adjacent to 5400 Assembly and with the 9200/9400 Department on the floor just below. The new centre became fully operational in April last year with
(continued from page 8)
mod, then it’s one hell of a mod !’ comments Sam Phillips, 9200/9400 Manager in Manufacturing Engineering. Though the two products are brought mainly down the same assembly route, several million dollars have been invested in tool conversion and a certain amount of new tooling for features such as the paper elevator and the invertor assembly. Another notable change has been the switch from sheet metal to plastic covers to help keep manufacturing costs down. (Plastics, like electronics, is an area where exciting developments are coming along — but that’s a story for another issue.) We have a winner in the 9200; the 9400, which puts us well in front of our competitors at present, has all the makings of another.
some training ‘overflow’ still being accommodated on the 5400 floor. ‘This has given us the flexibility necessary to be able to meet any urgent, unforeseen training requirements from Production management’, said David, ‘and we see ourselves offering the service to other departments as well.’
Microprocessors There has been a big demand for training on microprocessors over the LETTER The problem of what to do in retirement is not one that bothers Jackie Smith, former assistant secretary of the LSA. Seeing an appeal in the newspaper for voluntary tutors to help in an adult literacy scheme, she applied and was accepted; evening classes and a one-day session at Gloucester Tech. gave her enough knowledge to make a start. ‘Tutoring is done on a one-to-one basis and in absolute confidence’, Jackie told us. ‘There’s no charge, the times are arranged to suit each other and candidates can come to your home or you can go to theirs, whichever is convenient.’ She has one student at present who is making good progress and she enjoys finding ways of making the tuition interesting by means of crosswords, etc. It’s estimated that there are probably 25,000 adults in Gloucestershire
past year, and several hundreds have attended the introductory courses that have been laid on in-house. For those requiring in-depth training suppliers’ courses have been the answer, but these are becoming more expensive and difficult to arrange. However, local technical colleges have come to the rescue (our trainers have attended college for microprocessor training) and the plan is to lay on such courses ourselves as a follow-up to the introductory courses.
alone who have literacy problems to such a degree that they can’t participate fully in day-to-day life. It could mean not being able to fill in a form for insurance or to recognise words like “Danger — keep out”. Unfortunately, such people are often unwilling to admit to being hampered in this way and it is difficult to make contact. Anyone who would like help is encouraged to ring Gloucester 25287; he or she will then be put in touch with a volunteer tutor — maybe Jackie or some other person in their area — and given help in reading and writing in a friendly, informal way.
Tom Rawiings Retired member Tom Rawiings died on October 29 at the age of 68. During his 28 years’ service he worked in the Paint Shop and as a packer; then, when his eyesight deteriorated, he was found work as a service operator which continued until he retired in 1975. We would like to convey our sympathy to his family.
Motor Club officers pictured here are (from left) secretary Adrian Richards, Pete Fisher (PR), chairman John Short and John Phipps, treasurer. Motorist Martin Chased by Bull Back in the spring we reported the resurrection of the IVlotor Club at Mitcheldean. Since then the membership has accelerated to 250 and is still rising, and Don Elliott has agreed to be the club’s president. One of the advantages of belonging lies in the fact that the club has managed to obtain considerable discount facilities for members — details are available from Pete Fisher (ext. 371) along with application forms for membership. Chairman John Short and secretary Adrian Richards tell us that several successful treasure hunts have already been held in the vicinity; here is their account of the one on October 1. ‘Although the day started out overcast, things soon improved which prompted a turn-out of 20 cars. ‘Starting from Gloucester’s NCP car park in Westgate Street, the route took competitors out of the city via Westgate Bridge and then through Maisemore, Hartpury, Upleadon, Ashleworth and Wainlodes to finish at the King’s Head, Norton. Here, after much careful marking of route sheets, the successful competitors were presented with their trophies. ‘First were Bill and Rachel Smith with 195 points; Brian Jones and Steve Tolputt were close behind with 194 points, while Ray and Anne Woodings came third with 187. ‘All competitors had an enjoyable afternoon’s motoring, with the exception of Martin Davis who was chased by a bull while trying to find the “Crossroads Mootel” near Kartpury Tithe Barn. Fortunately he was not too badly hurt (although the bull made contact) and he managed to complete the course. ‘Booby prize for the event must surely go to Dave and Brian Rhodes with a score of 44 out of a possible 206; it was at least better than that of their father, Sid, who as far as we know is still circling the course.’ The final treasure hunt of the year was held on October 22, starting in ‘A’ car park; other subsequent events have included a coach trip to the Motor Show on October 28 and a disco on November 3. Programmed for the New Year are visits to Morgans Motor Co. and Rolls Royce, with more treasure hunts, of course. Run-away Winners As we briefly reported in our last issue, the Mitcheldean ‘A’ team were run-away winners of the Inter-Plant Competition for the Haggett Cup held on September 5 at the Huntercombe Golf Course in south Oxfordshire. The players to be congratulated were Mike Newlove, Don Meek, Rich Matthews, Harold Gardiner, Dave Robinson and Graham Gardner. Except for Graham, who returned an admirable 39 points for the morning round, you might say the course was the winner, many of the holes being very difficult due to narrow fairways and the heavy population of trees. Earlier, on August 16, captain Don Meek held his Captain’s Competitions at Worcester Park where several prizes were put forward. Morning round (Medal Competition) results were: 1st—Don Parkinson (nett 68), 2nd—Tony Knight (69), joint third—Mike Newlove and Don Meek (70); in the afternoon round (Stableford Competition) Don Parkinson again came first (36 points) with John Miles, Geoff Paton, Rich Matthews and Don Meek all with 33 points. As well as winning 12 golf balls, Don Parkinson was presented with a tankard and six cut-glass wineglasses for being best golfer of the day, second place being taken by ‘the captain’ himself. The best gross prizes for the 5 par 3 holes were won as follows: am — Geoff Paton and Graham Gardner; pm — John Miles; Mike Newlove was the winner of the final competition which was for putting. The last competition of the year — for the Scratch Cup — was held on September 11 at Hereford Golf Course, when Geoff Paton retained the cup for the third year running with a score of 155, Harold Gardiner taking the runners-up spot with 165. The nett competitions were decided as follows : Morning Medal: 1 st— John Spratley (69), 2nd—Harold Gardiner (72), joint 3rd—Mike Newlove and Tony Hehir (73). Afternoon Medal: 1st—Geoff Paton (67), 2nd—Tony Hehir (70), 3rd—Danny Haines (72). The overall competition winners were: 1st—Tony Hehir, joint 2nd—John Spratley and Geoff Paton, with Mike Newlove once again winning the putting competition. With the completion of the golf season, the Order of Merit for 1978 was decided as follows: 1 st—Mike Newlove (62), 2nd—Don Meek (60), 3rd—Rich Matthews (53). The ‘final fixture’ was the presentation evening and AGM held on November 14. The season has been a very successful one and, as usual, very well organised, for which all golfers thank the hard-working committee. Roy Powell Reaching New Heights On September 13, some 1 5 members of the Amateur Photographic Club went to Mitcheldean church — to take photos indoors and outside. By special arrangement they were allowed access to the tower where they took some unique pictures of the village. And the church fund for a baize door benefited by a donation.
Later, on the 27th, 12 members attended a successful evening in the club house function room “to examine each other’s cameras and try out the beer”, to quote their monthly newsletter. The Supply Centre supplied their semi-professional model Trudie Moore for a glamour/portraiture evening on October 18, with Ray Mabbett providing a course of instruction in technique. November 15 was reserved for a slide/sound show presented by Bernard Baker of the Forest of Dean Camera Club, while on November 22 the meeting was given over to the Cotswold Cine Club. A pre-Christmas social evening on December 13 rounds off the 1978 programme of events.
On Target On Saturday, October 14, the peaceful surroundings of Sellack, near Ross-on-Wye, once again resounded to the noise of gangwarfare( ?) — between our Shooting Club and West Mercia Police (Ross division) plus three other Police teams from various parts of the county. The die was cast; could we. Rank Xerox, shoot our way out of overwhelming odds? Suddenly we realised that we had shooting against us (disguised) no less a person than Sgt A. Howies — a member of the Munich Police Pistol Team and one of the hot shots of the county. Our nerves were on edge, guns were being cleaned, ammunition being counted —then the VISION photographer arrived, furthering our discomfort by getting us all to pose. ‘Mugs Gallery’, an officer of the law mumbled. That was it! Guns were drawn and the serious shooting began. “Mike the Birdman”, drawing fast, shot a high score of 245; “Fish the Finger”, shooting out of the sun, followed with a further 232. The Jaynes boy with a piece of GCC gas pipe surprised us all with 243, while “Frank Cannon” Tonge managed to shoot the highest score of the team with 246, two coppers and a cow. Someone must have shot the
The RX gunmen — shot specially for VISION. “Williams Kid” ‘cos he scored only 199, then it was pointed out that his sights were set low. ‘That’s all right, I’m bouncing them off that stone half way!’ Shooting continued all afternoon, the scores were high and every shot had to count. Through the noise of gunfire and clouds of gunsmoke came comments like ‘Did you see that? He’s shot the centre out of the bull’ — ‘Someone carry off the scorers’ — ‘Medic !’ — ‘I tell you there’s ten holes in that target’ — ‘Where’s my gun ? 11’ As the sun began to set on the horizon the Ross Police took their last stand, all four gunmen, backs like ramrods, black powder in their veins. A high score from them all — it was on a razor’s edge who had won. ‘Only nine shots on this target’ — ‘I never miss’ — ‘Well, you have this time’. A split decision — Tonto I
In the event our ‘A’ team came 3rd out of eleven: Frank Tonge came 5th overall out of 48. f^ike Bird and Graham Riddiford 7th and 8th respectively.
Novel League One evening last summer, Gordon Davis and Robin Berks completed the first match in the RX Tennis Section’s newest tournament. Gordon recorded a win with the surprising score of 5—1, 5—1. Two evenings later, Mike Keen and Pete James produced an even more surprising result — they drew I To the dismay of the tennis purists, the Section had embarked on a novel tennis league. All matches were contested over two sets, the first player to reach 5 games winning the set. Two points were awarded to a player winning both sets and one point each where the sets were halved. The purpose of restricting matches to two 5-game winning sets was a deliberate attempt to keep court time down to an hour. With 11 entries, split into two groups, this gave a total of 28 matches to be completed throughout the season, in addition to other club tournaments. From Group A, Ken Blackwell emerged with a hundred per cent
winning record, Gwyn Richards being the runner-up. Group B was more closely contested with Mike Keen beating Pete James, but only by superior game average. The semi-final draw saw the winner of each group paired with the runner-up of the other, and the group winners each won their matches in two hard-fought but straight sets. Only two days after contesting the men’s singles KO tournament final. Ken Blackwell and Mike Keen were once again confronting each other in the final of the tennis league. Each player produced fine strokes in some enthralling rallies; it was perhaps Ken’s greater desire to get to the net, however, which decided several key rallies and helped him run out the winner 6—2, 6—1 — an identical score to that in the earlier KO tournament! As league organiser I would like to extend my thanks to all who competed and whose co-operation in completing their fixtures made the first tennis league season a success. Thanks are also due to the Cinderford Tennis Club for the use of their facilities. Ray Spencer
Presentation of the Rank Xerox cup and other trophies took place on November 8 — See next issue.
Helen Richards (left), winner of the women’s singles KO tournament, with runner-up Pat Hawkins.
John James (Machine Shop) to Hilary Jones at the Forest Church on September 30.
Karen Toomer (Main Telex) to Andrew Mason on September 23.
Louisa Jane, a daughter for Richard Holland (Engineering) and his wife Deborah, on September 5.
Paul David, a son for Dennis Beddis (Manager, Tool Inspection) and his wife Anne (formerly secretary to Jim Evans in Group), on September 20.
Adam Daniel, a son for Michael Jones (Export, Supply Centre) and his wife Denise (formerly Production Stores Office) on September 25.
Our best wishes to the following who retire in November/December; John Hatton (Mfg Eng.) who came to us in December
Arthur Beard (4500/5400 Assembly) receives a portable TV and other gifts from fellow workers on his retirement last September after some 13 years’ service.
John and Hilary James
1971 : Alfred (Pelky) Baldwin (8 yearsservice) of the Machine Shop; Bill Collins and Eric Morgan (both of QA) who have been with us for 1 5 and 1 8 years respectively: Arthur Creed (12 years) of Security; Vince Davies (9 years) and Les Wallace (10 years), both of the Press Shop at Cinderford; and Jack Gardner (Internal Transport) who has clocked up 15 years’ service.
Obituaries We regret to report the deaths of Horace Thomas (Mail Room) on October 20 at the age of 58 (he had been with us about one and half years), and of Ronald Davies (5400 Assembly) on October 26 aged 51 ; he had done 12 years’service. Our sympathy goes to their families.
Eva Jones, who plans to emigrate to Australia, was given a teaset by friends in Cleaning Services on her retirement, and a silver salver by Security police in appreciation of her services.
Also retiring last October, after eight years’ service, Bert Crum (QA) received a carriage clock from colleagues and friends at Mitcheldean.
Service Awards
The answer to our question came without hesitation. ‘I joined on October 25, 1948 — the same day as Fred Wickstead.’
It was Bill Beech, reminiscing at our request about his 30 years with the Company.
He started as a loader in the Machine Shop working alternate days and nights with Horace Giles (now retired) who also started on the same date. When the night shift was stopped. Bill switched to assembly progress work.
Some 18 months later he joined the Purchasing Department — a sphere in which he has remained ever since. In those early days it was located in the old brewery area and its staff numbered about six people — among them Ruth Morgan and Eileen Bird.
As a former salesman with Bon Marche (now Debenhams of Gloucester), Bill had had experience of this sort of work and he took over the buying of all production parts. Today, Purchasing — having grown considerably over the years — has been merged with expediting and parts analysis into a single department known as Commodity Operations within Materials
Bill Beech
Management, and Bill’s responsibilities as Manager, Non-Production, cover the buying of a wide range of commodities which include packaging and service tooling. In his leisure time Bill is a dedicated bowling man; he was president of Ross Bowling Club in 1977 and is currently its treasurer.
June Lewis, who also received her “three diamond award” last October, has worked all her 30 years with us in Machine Shop Inspection. She started on 100 per cent inspection in the Bell & Howell days — ‘when Jack Hambrey and Ted Wells were with US’, she recalls; she did line patrol inspection for a time, but reverted to 100
per cent work on which she is engaged today. ‘If a job has gone wrong, I give it a thorough check-out using micrometers, verniers and other instruments and the result is reported back.’
It was at Mitcheldean that she met her husband Eddie of Tooling and Consumables Stores and we remember reporting their wedding in a 1964 issue of VISION.
Rank Xerox emblems for 20 and 25 years’ service have been awarded as follows:
25 Years October—Qob Luff man (Model Shop); Dave Miles (Configuration Control, Materials Management); November — Brian Mould (9200/9400 Assembly).
20 Years September—Skip Carpenter (Finance), Joe Rooke (Supply Centre); October — Clive Brain (Engineering), Ruth Carter (Information Systems), John Harris (Tool Inspection), Cyril Powell (Planning, Materials Management); November — Graham Trafford (Assembly Production Control, Materials Management), Ted Tuffley (NC Section, Manufacturing Engineering), Joan Turley (Quality Assurance).
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.