Return to 1975-1979

Vision 139

Sept/Oct 79 No. 139
In Electrical Et Electronic Engineering, Steve Hardcastle and (right) Terry Gardner show our Gloucester visitors how we communicate by computer link with Rochester. Watching are the Mayor, Cllr Gordon Williams, the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Peter Robins (far left) and their Mayoresses, Cllr Charles Collins and (centre) the Sheriff of Gloucester, Cllr Miss Freda Wilton, the first lady to hold this office in 600 years. Far right is Vic Parry who escorted them on their tour. Below In the Standards Room, John Ingram shows Annette Brown how to move a ton by the touch of a finger. Community Links
We welcome the opportunity to show people, whether VIPs or not, how we are keeping in the forefront of technology.
As pictured above, a group of civic dignitaries from Gloucester toured the Plant on September 11, though unfortunately they were unable to see production in full swing. At lunch they met a cross-section of employees, among them some who, through public service, spontaneous fund-raising or other efforts, have made a contribution to the community — often with the Company’s help.
Director Ron Morfee reported that, in the seven years since we established a formal charities programme, some £80,000 has been distributed to worthwhile causes and events in this area alone; if we add to this the money raised by spontaneous efforts, the figure rises to some £100,000!
On the left we picture 11-year-old Annette Brown whose ambition — to visit a factory — was happily fulfilled when, through the Cinderford Carnival “Im’ll Fix It” scheme, she came to see us last August.
‘If you knew Suzie like I knew Suzie . . .’ went the opening theme of the training programme on the SUE system. Our first on-line system at MItcheldean, SUE has been with us for a whole year now, and both users and operators have come to know the system pretty well, so what do they really think of it ? We asked various people around the Plant and the general consensus of opinion was: SUE is great. For those who have yet to come into contact with the system, we should explain that SUE (the letters stand for Stock Update and Enquiry) controls the tracking of the receipt, storage and movement of production parts. From the time that parts come into Goods Inwards, whether manufactured in-house or purchased
Graham Riddiford, Mariager Stock Control Systems, says: ‘Now our major need is to consolidate our on-line experience.’
In Goods Inwards Office data about newly arrived material is fed into the system via visual display units. In the foreground, Jackie Hamblett is obtaining picking tickets for urgently needed parts from a printer which also automatically prints a shortage clearance note.
Senior Supervisor Sheila Sykes (standing) is responsible for the operation of all terminals throughout the site. Here in the Production Stores area where feedback of receipts and issues is centralised, the girls are in constant communication with SUE.
from suppliers, to the time they are issued to assembly lines, details about their movement and location are fed by means of visual display units (VDU’s) into a minicomputer in Information Systems, updating the records on file. This information is immediately available, via teletype (enquiry) terminals, to people such as expeditors and analysts. Progress and Shop Control staff, who require to know the stock or shortage position of specific parts. The minicomputer produces a magnetic tape recording all transactions and this is fed daily into the SOLAR file on the main Honeywell computer. After seven days, this data becomes ‘history’ and is stored on microfiche for retrieval when required. Summing up SUE’s major advantages, Graham Riddiford, Manager Stock Control Systems, told us: ‘One of the important aspects is that SUE not only gives immediate and more accurate information, it also remembers shortages. ‘Every time receipt information is fed in, it is compared with the stores
shortage file; if there is a shortage of any parts, this is displayed on the VDU for allocation and the “hot” parts are speeded to the production line. This means we can not only reduce the volume of line stops — we can also prevent a potential line stop occurring.
‘Obviously there were problems to start with in switching from a semi-manual to an on-line system.
‘Setting up the information (some 30,000 stock balances spread among 90,000 locations were involved) meant a tremendous amount of work by a small number of people in Stock Control and Information Systems. They put in many extra hours, even giving up their weekends, to get “hands-on” experience, and thanks to everyone’s co-operation we got it functioning.’
One of those who played a big part in the training and running-in period is Sheila Sykes, Senior Supervisor, Stores Administration. Responsibility for the operation of all the 14 VDU’s and seven enquiry terminals located on site rests with her, and she is one of SUE’s strongest advocates.
There is manual as well as on-line activity in the Portakabins where the VDU operators feed in data from Production Control schedules and tickets are issued for night picking by storemen.
‘People just don’t realise how good it is,’ she says. ‘Under the old system we sometimes had misfiling, discrepancies between stock record cards and location tickets and so on. But with SUE, mathematical errors are shown up immediately.’
Every twenty minutes SUE stops to check itself (the checkpoint); but accuracy— in filling in documents, in storing or picking parts — is as vital as ever. As Alan Davis, the supervisor responsible for stock record maintenance, points out, ‘SUE has not managed to eliminate the human factor.’
All but one of the VDU’s are located in Goods Inwards Office, the Portakabins and Production Stores. The remaining one, and its accompanying printer, are installed in Bid 29 (serving Finishing, Small Batch and Electrical Subs) where the volume of work justifies immediate feeding of output information into the system.
Over to Shirley Grail, Planning Supervisor in Bid 40/1 Shop Control, located in the mezzanine offices affectionately known as ‘HMS Pinafore’ on account of their nautical appearance I
Here, where they can look down on a sea of assembly lines, the Shop Control team have access to an enquiry terminal.
Says Shirley: ‘Nowadays we wonder how we ever managed without SUE. It’s saved endless ‘phone calls. For example, on one section we might have 300 assemblies involving 300 transactions, so you can imagine how time-saving it is to get information at the press of a few buttons.’
‘In addition, as from September 17 we have been able to input information via this terminal in connection with a new replenishment procedure — an improvement which is being given a pilot run in 9400 Assembly.’
Briefly, this involves feeding parts to certain lines daily on an as-and
The Project Team in the ‘War Room’ during the PI— Mike Mee {centre), Des Gibbs and Terry Davies and, in the background, Dennis Cook. Making contact via his walkie-talkie is Martin Fenn-Smith while Helen Hopkins tracks the progress made on wall plans. PI goes Perfectly
The Physical Inventory held last July was completed successfully on schedule and, as we went to press, validation of the figures was nearing completion. Mike Mee, who was Project Team Leader, told us : ‘This year we tightened the tolerances generally, but nevertheless there was a high acceptance rate and a recount was not necessary in any area.’ He and his team would like to thank everyone involved for making this achievement possible.
Checking tickets and preparing them for computer input in central ticket control.
when basis, instead of the usual period basis. In Commodity Operations, materials analysts, expeditors and others often need to know the stock or shortage position and the enquiry terminal in Bid 44 is in pretty regular use. We watched analyst Gordon Hayward having a conversation with SUE on the teletype. After the password and code had been entered via the keyboard, up on the screen came a ‘menu’ listing the possible subjects about which an enquiry could be made, and by a process of selection and input of part numbers, he was able to get the exact information he needed.
‘It provides us with a single source.
In Bid 40/1 Shop Control, assembly status administrator Malcolm Clarke uses the teletype to enquire about a stock position. Planning Supervisor Shirley Grail says ‘We wonder how we ever managed without SUE!’
which is time-saving, and as the data is up-to-the-minute, it means more accuracy in planning,’ he said. ‘We also get a useful print-out.’ John Court, who heads up Manufacturing Production Control, told us; ‘We appreciate having an in-office facility for tracking through problems and finding out what is wrong, and my feeling is that SUE is well worthwhile — as far as it goes. But I would like to see on-line control of work in progress, particularly as regards fabrication.’
So what is being done to enhance SUE? In Information Systems we located another Sue (Walker) who was originally project leader for SUE and who now maintains the system. She says: ‘We have made certain functional changes to make SUE more efficient but the main development area is in the replenishment of assembly lines on a need basis instead of the period production schedules.
‘SUE is the prime storer of information into SOLAR and it is in effect a get-ready activity for SOLAR’s successor, XMPIII, a Company-wide on-line system, so SUE is good training for us.’ In the words of Julian Hazell who heads up Stores Administration, ‘With the advent of SUE, the traditional image which people often have of Stores has gone — we have been positively thrust into the 1980s.’
The Overia
George and Kay trace their route to Khatmandu. In the background is the caravan which was their home for some five months.
For most people, retirement is a time to take things easy. But for George Starkie, who worked in our Machine Shop, and his wife Kay (a former Assembly operator), it brought the chance to set off on their dream journey to Khatmandu. Since their return they have been interviewed on television and given talks about their adventure, and now George, with Kay’s co-operation, has written this lively account for VISION.
It all started way back in the ‘forties when someone said the magic word ‘Khatmandu’. A whole load of questions leapt to mind. Whereabouts is it ? When shall we go ? How do we afford it ? The answers, briefly: In Nepal. When I retire. Save, insure, work. So it went on for over 30 years, not always on the surface, but always there in our minds. At last retirement began to draw near and preparations started. How do we go? By air? No. By car and caravan ? Yes (we had both, so no extra money was needed to buy those). Then the vaccinations, inoculations, visas, permits, carnets, insurance, food, extra petrol cans, spares for the car, tools, tyres — all but the kitchen sink. On April 2, 1978, we were on our way to Dover and across the Channel to Ostend. Through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia where the forsythia and almonds were blossoming. Into Greece and Turkey and so to Istanbul where East meets West.
We crossed the Bosphorus Bridge and entered Asia, where this account of our journey really starts.
A New World This is a new world for us — different religion (Moslem), and a different way of life. Turkey — a poor country, bad roads and bad drivers, where the donkey is the beast of burden and the main means of transport, where most of the women are covered from head to foot in chadors and all one can see of them is their eyes. Here we begin to see the mud-walled villages, each with its beautiful mosque and minarets, and hear the priest calling the people to prayer through loud-speakers. The herds of goats and sheep are tended by young boys and old men who make signs asking for cigarettes — if you don’t throw some out of the car they throw stones as you
George shows how Nepalese women carry water — by the sweat of their brow I
drive by. (We were lucky, no stones hit either the car or the caravan !) Over mountain passes where the snow still lingers and the snow ploughs wait in readiness at the top. On into Iran — a very different country with good roads, cheap petrol (30p a gallon), lots of cars, mostly Hillman Hunters, and possibly the worst drivers in the world. Tehran, a big modern city, very westernised, especially the women. No buses, only taxis. The next main city is Herat in Afghanistan where we are told there has been a military coup in the capital Kabul. The Governor and his family have been killed and the French Embassy bombed. What do we do ? The answer is, keep going, on over 300 miles of desert, sandstorms and whirling dervishes, scrub, and no water or petrol stations the whole way. On to Kandahar. It has to be done in one day as there is nowhere safe to pull in for the night. It’s a good road built by the Russians. Here we
see herds of camels grazing the rough herbage — not just a few but hundreds with the baby camels riding on the backs of the mothers and the boys in attendance riding donkeys. Nearby, or within a mile or two, the big low black tents of the nomads’ camp where the women make carpets by hand to sell in the towns. On the way to Kabul, we pull in under some trees to cool off and make a cup of tea. Under one of the trees a native is sitting and watching. He doesn’t move so 1 take him a cigarette and a light. After a few minutes he leaves and comes back with a large bunch of grapes and offers them to Kay.
He goes again and returns with a cup of goat’s milk to put in our tea. He goes away once more and comes back with a mattress for me to lie on to rest before moving on. We give him more cigarettes and a box of matches. We sign goodbye and not a word is spoken between us, but we part the best of friends.
Kabul is under martial law so we do not stay long. Then it’s through the Kabul Gorge, into Pakistan and over the Khyber Pass. This is a great thrill, up and up, over rough roads although not so bad as those in Turkey, with mountains on our left and a drop of hundreds of feet on our right.
At the top is a complete town which is not subject to any rule; anything can be bought and sold and the men walk about with rifles on their shoulders and bandoliers of ammunition. It’s all a bit frightening. On the way down one can see what is left of the British influence — the forts and battlements with the crests and badges of the armies
still on the walls. From here one can look across the vast plain of the Punjab watered by the Indus river and its tributaries. So to Peshawar where we stay with the AA man. The women here are so covered up you cannot even see their eyes — they look through a small net panel. On through Rawalpindi where the polo patches and officers’ quarters still exist. Over the Indus river to Lahore, the capital of the North West Province and into India. Here everything changes again. We leave behind the mosques, the calling priests and purdah and can admire the beautiful saris of the women and the smart, turbanned men. The Customs here are very strict, they examine everything you take in or out. In the car we carry a hamper given to us at Christmas and not to be opened before Khatmandu. When the Customs man asks me what is in it, I can’t say, so he asks me to open it. I say: ‘No, but you open it.’ He does so and closes it up again. Amritsar comes next, a beautiful city where we take a room in a youth hostel. It is very hot — 45°C. (115°F) and we have taken to sleeping in the nude on top of the bedclothes.
Nude Awakening At 3.30 a.m. we are wakened by four turbanned men carrying torches who burst into the room. Kay screams and I jump out of bed and go to push them out. They retreat and go. (They are probably more frightened than I am — seeing a completely naked, bald-headed animal coming at them I) We discover they are policemen looking for a murderer whom they subsequently find — but not in our room ! We are now in the land of the sacred cow, and to injure or kill one is a terrible crime. Some are used for ploughing, some for drawing carts, and others just roam about making a mess and a nuisance of themselves. The water buffalo is used for drawing carts too, and also for meat. Next comes Delhi, a big modern city on the inside, but with terrible shanties and slums on the outskirts; then Agra with its famous Taj Mahal, the Baby Taj and Red Fort, marble temples, etc. Northern India is very fertile; we pass through rice paddies, plantations of sugar cane, tea, mangoes, water melon. In parts there is jungle where we see elephants lifting and carrying timber into lorries. Monkeys climb about in the trees. Vultures feed on dead animals — nobody seems to move the carcases, the
Kay makes tea in a handsome brass samovar bought in Istanbul.
animals just lie where they fall, even if it’s on the road. On through Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, passing through villages where the children and women are picking up cow pats and patting them into cakes to dry in the sun for use as fuel for cooking. We haven’t seen bread as we know it for weeks, we can only get thin flat stuff called chupatti.
We are now getting excited as we near the border of Nepal — then we are in. We can see the Himalayan foothills in the distance. 200 kilometres to Khatmandu. Easy, we think. Up and up we go, round one bend and then another, so tight that as the caravan is taking one bend, the car is taking the next. There is less and less oxygen; the poor petrol is making the engine overheat and ‘pink’, but we dare not stop or we won’t start again. Near the top a lorry forces us to stop. That’s it — we’re stuck. Fortunately some men come along in a van, give us a push and we are on the move again. Those 200 kilometres have taken us nine hours.
Celebration Khatmandu I We arrive but are too tired to celebrate that night. We find the best hotel, have a bath and a good meal and go to bed. Next day we find a place to camp and open our celebration hamper — champagne, wine, chicken, vegetables, brandy and Tia Maria. Oh boy, do we get drunk ! Khatmandu is all that we expected and dreamed about — the magical city of temples, sacred cows, monkeys, hippies, drug addicts, open shops, open drains and filth.
After six weeks in Nepal, mostly on the lakeside at Pokhara in the foothills of the Himalayas, George and Kay wended their way home through monsoon, rock falls and flash floods — all of which makes another fascinating story for our next issue.
VENTURE INTO NORMANDY A more recent overland adventure was a pilgrimage this summer made by a group of Venture Scouts from nearby Aston Ingham to the Abbey of Cormeilles in Normandy. Its founder came over with William the Conqueror and was granted estates which included Aston Ingham. From the income he built the Norman abbey, and the Venture Scouts wanted to find out more about his native background. Leader Pete Watson (Tool Control) and his assistant Colin Lees (TED) organized the trip and, with their families aboard their respective Land Rover and car, they provided an escort for the cyclists. The group first experienced communication problems on arrival at 3 a.m. in a dark, cold dockyard. Their number had been split on the ferry and Pete, who had tickets for the whole party of 29, found his French inadequate for explaining why 21 youngsters with bicyclettes were not in evidence, whereupon the frustrated gendarme began looking under the Land Rover and in the back for the missing lot I
Norman Conquest However, with the arrival of the young people (and the sight of the girls in shorts?), the dock police and Customs men succumbed and they were all waved through into the streets of Cherbourg with the warning ‘Les Francais conduisent a droite’ ringing in their ears. During the ten days they covered some 250 miles, taking in visits to the Normandy beaches and war cemeteries, and to see the Bayeux Tapestry. The Abbey of Cormeilles (twin town of Chepstow) proved to be no longer in existence, but the party were shown the site and had the history told to them by General de Gaulle’s nephew and his wife. The site is now part of their grounds, and they live in the old house in which the not-so-devout founder used to accommodate his girlfriends. Altogether the trip was a great success, and Pete would like to thank all who helped to make it possible, including parents of Venture Scouts, many of whom work at Mitcheldean. In particular, he would like to say to Roy Jones of Vendor Technical Support who kindly conveyed 21 bikes in his van to the ferry at Weymouth and returned them from Newhaven to Aston Ingham — ‘Milles mercies !’
Ross-on-Wye Round Table were organizing an ‘It’s a Knockout’ contest in aid of the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Appeal. With other local firms entering, it was important that Rank Xerox should show the flag, especially since we had donated £300 to the cause. Nigel Ward (Finance) was approached and asked to form a team to represent us; he takes up the story . . . I looked around and saw John Hally, Gordon Cruickshank, Andrew Davis, and I thought to myself ‘They look like a team to me.’ ‘No, we don’t,’ came the reply. But when they heard that the two female members of the team would be the delectable Lynne Nash and the lovely Nicola Lythaby (both from 9200/9400 Assembly), they were unable to resist the invitation.
So with four Finance men and two Assembly women we set off on Saturday, August 25, to wage battle with teams from Reed’s Corrugated Cases, Engelhard Industries, Wolf Tools, Haigh Engineering, and Woodville Polymer Engineering who had donated a winners’ trophy and entered an all-men team in a bid to bring it home. At 2 p.m. the Tredegar Youth Band assembled at the Swan Inn for the march through Ross-on-Wye. ‘Well, we may as well come first in something,’ said Gordon, ‘so let’s march behind the band and snatch an early lead.’
Towards the end of the march, the Army Air Corps Parachute Display Team jumped from their helicopter. ‘Oh look !’ said John. ‘Our first game — catch the parachutist 1′
There were 11 events altogether — six marathons alternating with
The Rank Xerox team before the great downpour — (seated) Nicola Lythaby, team captain Nigel Ward, Lynne Nash: (standing) Andrew Davis, Gordon Cruickshank, John Hally. The winners’ trophy and individual trophies were afterwards presented to them by Mr Percy Roberts, chairman of the Mirror Group of Newspapers.
five games involving obstacles, balloons and gallons of water. Despite an early setback, Nicki, with a fine run, brought the RX side to take second place in the first game, a relay in which teams had to carry a football on a tennis racquet over, under, around and through various obstacles.
Andrew, Gordon and John carry a plastic sheet ful much as Nigel did (right) a
We came second in the next game too — a feat of strength performed by Andrew, Gordon and John who, after surmounting obstacles, had to build a tower of tyres (including rampant lorry ones) and then balance on top. This was when the title of the competition came into its own — Gordon fell and landed heavily on his neck. ‘It was lucky he landed head first,’ said Lynne, ‘he might have hurt himself otherwise!’
Then came a marathon when Gordon, Andrew and I had to do a lap carrying packing cases and assemble them in a mammoth jigsaw puzzle. Encouraged by RX supporters, we proved good at puzzles and returned a time of 2 minutes 59 seconds, which gave us second place behind Haigh Engineering.
Game three (the Milk Crate Race); and with Lynne at the front, John in the middle and myself bringing up the rear, we knew this was ours for the taking and stormed home for a fine win.
r- 5 I’.
Director Al Hagen presents the trophy to Roy Powell, captain of the Management side. i
Innings mi (Ml This year’s annual battle (on August 15) between Management and Apprentices turned out to be a real nail-biting affair with the Management team struggling in to victory by the close margin of 124 runs! They were fortunate enough to win the toss (for the 43rd year in succession ?) and strangely chose
of water over obstacles; they got wet, but not as ‘ching water-filled balloons.
All John, Andrew and Gordon had to do in game four was carry a plastic sheet full of water over obstacles and fill the bucket at the end, which they did without getting wet — much.
With only ourselves and Woodville Polymer left with our Jokers to play, the last game was one which we had to win, thereby doubling our points and ensuring an unassailable lead in the competition.
The object was to throw water-filled balloons past a member of an opposing team into a hoop held by one’s own team. While our Joker was being paraded by our mascot Karen Nash, we talked tactics.
‘I’ll throw ’em, and you catch ’em.’ I A member of the Haigh team tried in vain to swat our balloons as they sailed high above his head but, thanks to cricketer Gordon’s throwing technique, our water-filled balloons arrived intact as I tried to catch them with the hoop.
After we had caught 18 out of 20 H of our balloons I was well and truly r drenched, but Andrew had succeeded
Faced with a team of St Trinian-type girls brandishing hoclbravely did the job of two umpires and claimed to be the only person to sustain an injury ! The great thing was that it all enabled £100 to be donated to the mentally handicapped children’s school at Cinderford. Our picture above shows the ladies defending their goal against the rugger players. Below: Supply men’s captain Mike Morgan with his trophy and some of the players.
in stopping half the opposition’s balloons. We had won the game and, with it, the whole competition, for with Haigh as the only team to go in the last marathon, the RX team could not be overtaken. We had scored 135 points (Engelhard’s came second with IIVJ) and a victorious day was rounded off with a lap of honour.
We would like to thank the Ross Round Table for a most enjoyable and superbly organized afternoon, and hope that their aims are realised. Thanks also to members of Mitcheldean Management for their co-operation and all those who gave their support to such a worthwhile cause.
to bat first.
Mike Carter tested the quality of the bowling first, found it too good and retired post-haste. Tim Steward and Keith Laken put on a lucky 67 runs before Steve Powell claimed the first of his three wickets by bowling Laken.
Al Hagen made a home run before making way for Peter Grainger who hit the biggest six of the evening in a bright 11. Eric Tose, waving his ejib bat as if it were a 6in (15cm) ruler, carved out a rustic 28, and brief skirmishes by Graham Smith and Roy Powell, who managed to avoid being one of
Powell junior’s victims, left Tim Steward top scorer after a classy 45.
Very little can be said of the Apprentices’ innings as there was very little of it. The bowling of Dick Glanville, four wickets and no runs, Gordon Campbell two for 1 2 despite Glanville protecting his analysis by dropping two catches, and Roy Powell 1 for none, was all too consistent and their innings closed for 29 runs.
It’s a good job Management only put their second team out and Frank Edwards was unable to play ! K.R.V.L.
Dave Williams, representing Mitcheldean Cricket Club, receives a new cricket ball from Al Hagen — a token of our thanks for the use of their facilities. 7
Newly-elected president Vic Buhlmann presents Jack Turley with a Teasmade from the LSA on his retirement. There was also a later presentation of a watch — a gift from his colleagues. Below: A big send-off for Frank Brain (centre) of Tool Inspection at which Tool Engineering Manager Tony Nightingale presented him with a clock and a watch.
New Leadership Vice-president Vic Buhlmann, who is Manager Component Production, has kindly agreed to fill the office of president of the LSA left vacant with the retirement of Frank Edwards. Another early retirement, that of Henry Phillips, at the end of September has meant that the association has also had to seek a new chairman and Jack Woods (Personnel Administration Manager) takes up this office as from October 1.
September Outing Some 70 retired members and their partners enjoyed an afternoon tour around the Malverns and Worcester area on September 12 then returned to the club house for a sherry reception, and a basket meal with drinks. This was followed by an evening of entertainment provided by the Coleford Amateur Dramatic Society who presented their Olde Tyme Music Hall, and the programme concluded with a showing by Pat Jordan of some old sports day films. Committee members acted as host/stewards with the kind assistance of first-aiders Jill Mingham and Ken Hook. The next highlight in the LSA calendar is the annual social evening which takes place in the Ballroom on Saturday, October 27.
Quality Men Quality Assurance said goodbye to two of its veterans in August — Jack Turley and Bernard Cheadle. Had he remained with us until next year. Jack would have joined the band of 25-year award winners.
But his connection with us actually began 31 years ago when he worked mainly as inspector in the Machine Shop auto section. He left us in 1953 but returned two years later to join supervision and was over the years involved with the fuser roll area, the setting up of the N/C section and the introduction of group technology. He was most recently Section Manager Mfg 1 & 2, covering both Mitcheldean and Cinderford Machine Shops; Jack has also represented QA as housekeeping co-ordinator on the Physical Inventory team for the last two years when, said Henry Phillips, ‘he did a first-rate job.’
Asked about his plans for retirement. Jack told us: ‘I’ve always wanted to make a sentimental journey along the North African coast where I was
during war service.’ An even longer journey he hopes to make with his wife is to Australia where they have relatives. Senior Supplier Quality Assurance engineer Bernard Cheadle has been with us for some 18 years, but for most of that time he was not seen to be with us ! Based at Swindon, for many years he covered the South West England area, sorting out problems and generally assisting suppliers in making good parts for Rank Xerox. For the last 12 months or so he has been involved solely with Plessey/ Kembrey Engineering, major suppliers to us of electrical/mechanical commodities, and to mark his retirement Kembrey’s general manager. Jack Holley, presented Bernard with an inscribed silver salver.
More Long-servers All Frank Brain’s 23 years at Mitcheldean have been spent in Inspection; he worked originally in the Assembly area, but 18 years ago he joined Tool Inspection, progressing through the various Gauge Rooms, Standards Room, and all aspects of the work. Now retired, he will nevertheless continue his regular Wednesday evening job— helping to run the bingo sessions at the Miners’ Welfare Hall in Cinderford — and will be able to devote much more time to his favourite hobby of gardening. Another long-server who took early retirement recently was Ira Griffin. Engaged in 1960, he was involved in setting up the initial Xerox production line in Bid 11. Then in 1963 he transferred to PED Electrical Wiring Section.
Bernard Cheadle receives a goodbye gift of a watch from Graham Adams, Manager SQA. Below: Ira Griffin raises aloft the tankard (empty!) which was presented by Manager Tony Knight.
Lyndon cuts lengths for a rustic hedge: chatting with him is Gordon Gough of the Oak House Trust. Home Helpers
His main leisure interest has been ballroom dancing, a hobby which he shares with his wife, and he reckons they have won between them at least 30 medals and four plaques. Chairman of the RX Dancing Club, he was instrumental in its formation in the 1960’s and over the years he has brought some star names in the dancing world to club events at Mitcheldean.
We were unable to say goodbye publicly to Ted Pearce (Mfg Eng.) as he had been on the sick list for some weeks prior to taking early retirement in August. Ted’s total service with the Company amounts to some 34 years, the first 15 years or so having been spent in the Machine Shop as an auto setter, and he was among the pioneers who came to Mitcheldean from London. He left us but returned in 1960 and completed a further 19 years, latterly assisting Bill Austin in preparing budgets relating to machine tools and associated equipment.
More Goodbyes Bill tells us that he himself will be retiring in January 1980. As we went to press, other long-servers listed as due to take early retirement shortly were: LSA chairman Henry Phillips (QA), Gijnter Matthes and Charlie Murrell (Assembly), Lilian Roberts and Phil Davis (Finishing), Les Wright (RX Cinderford), Harold French (QA), Bill Jenkins (Materials), and Stan Scott (New Products).
‘We are delighted to have his help,’ said Gordon Gough, founder and general manager of the Oak House Trust at Newland in the Forest of Dean. He was talking about Lyndon Morgan of Mfg Eng. (Component Section) who is currently spending six months’ Social Service Leave doing a DIY job for the Trust.
Set up to provide a life-long home for mentally handicapped men from the age of 18, the Trust accommodates some 16 residents at Oak House itself, and has recently acquired a second home, ‘Wetherall’, near Coleford, which will take a similar number. ‘The latter was formerly a private house and it’s got to be converted into a residential home which means we have to put more bathrooms in and generally bring it into line with the regulations,’ says Lyndon. The aim is to involve the residents in the work of the homes, within their capacity, to give them a feeling of usefulness. Lyndon has been assisting the regular staff in his leisure-time for a number of years and seems able to turn his hand to almost anything.
‘One of the first jobs I did on starting my Leave was a plumbing job,’ he told us. During the fine weather he has been working in the extensive gardens; there are two acres of ground at Wetherall and four and a half at Oak House (the oak which gave it its name still stands in the drive and is believed to be around 900 years old).
‘The other day a farmer turned up with some chickens, so I’ve been busy building them a home,’ said Lyndon. Oak House, parts of which are 450 years old, has a cheerful and
homely atmosphere, but it is in need of extensive renovation from top to bottom, Lyndon told us, and when we spoke to him recently he was about to embark on this challenging programme. Alan Whiles (9400 Assembly chargehand) is spending his six months’ Leave with the National Children’s Home, both at Gyde House, Painswick, where normal children are accommodated, and Ebley House, Stroud, where they have children with serious behaviour problems. The children live as family groups, their ages ranging from four and a half to 16 years. Alan has been assisting with holiday schemes and has taken a number of them camping and to the seaside. He’s Invaluable When we last contacted him, Alan was at Ebley House where his duties include the general care of the children (dressing and feeding them, etc.), playing football with them and taking them on outings in the minibus. He starts work at 7 a.m. and doesn’t finish until 9 p.m., and he’s sometimes there at weekends too. ‘These children need a great deal of physical care, in addition to having emotional problems, and Alan has showed a lot of insight and understanding,’ said superintendent Miss Florence Winfield. ‘In short, he’s invaluable.’ Alan and his wife Shirley (who works in our Supply Centre) have three sons of their own; both are dedicated workers in the Scout movement, and they already act as social ‘aunt and uncle’ for the National Children’s Home. But even with this experience, Alan has surprised himself. Says Shirley, ‘He’s been amazed at what he has been able to achieve.’
We were sorry to learn of the deaths of two LSA retired members— Harold Hartley on June 11 at the age of 78, and Arthur Harper, aged 73, on August 4. Our sympathy goes to their respective families. Harold, Supervisor of the Plating & Polishing Shop when he retired in 1966, was a dedicated bandsman. He had played and conducted for well over 50 years, and was well known as conductor of the prizewinning Berry Hill Silver Band.
His musicianship went hand in hand with a mathematical mind, and we recall running a series of brain teasers in VISION in the 1960’s entitled ‘Mad Maths’ in which Harold set readers some fascinating problems to puzzle out during tea break. An ex-miner, Arthur came to us in 1942; he worked on the drills in the Machine Shop and progressed to being in charge of the drilling section. He later transferred to Small Batch where he tackled some very high precision engineering.
‘A grand chap’ was how Phil Cleal referred to him after 29 years’ service. In his younger days Arthur played rugby for Lydbrook and he later became a staunch supporter of Gloucester RFC.
Golf goes International
This year saw the Haggett Trophy competed for on an international formula with the inclusion of a team from the Irish Operating Company, Dublin. The venue for this big event in our golfing calendar was Frilford Heath Golf Course near Abingdon, Oxfordshire; the date — August 23. Ten teams entered, giving a total of 60 players. The competition was 36 holes of golf Stableford scoring, each team having six players; the best four cards for the morning and for the afternoon from each team were counted, with the best eight cards at the end of the day indicating the winners. The day was won by Welwyn GC ‘A’ team with 236 points while the Irish team were close runners-up with 235 pts. The rest of the placings was as follows: 3rd UK Op. Co., Bushey (228 pts.); 4th RX House (221); 5th Milton Keynes No. 1 (213); 6th Mitcheldean No. 2 (213); 7th Welwyn GC No. 2 (206); 8th Mitcheldean No. 1 (202); 9th Observatory House (198); 10th Milton Keynes No. 2 (190).
Champion Again Back to July 12 when the RXGS visited for the first time the Worcestershire GC whose course is located at Malvern. The competition was a double one, the first being the Scratch Cup; the defending champion who has held this cup for the past three years is Geoff Paton of Engineering and it came as no surprise that he again produced two rounds of 79 gross each round, giving a final total of 158. The runner-up this year was Mike Newlove with a gross total of 164 (Geoff plays off a handicap of 4 and Mike off 7).
The second part of the competition was for the new Powell Cup kindly donated by our captain, Roy Powell. This is for the best nett score of the day which after a nail-biting finish resulted in Danny Haines winning with a score of 143. The nail-biting came in because one of our Fuji Xerox resident engineers Goro Kushida, also returned a 143 but on a count back Danny proved the winner.
Captain’s Day On August 17 the Society enjoyed their fifth outing of the year to Henbury GC at Bristol. It was scheduled to be a Tankard Prize competition but Roy Powell elected to use it also for his Captain’s Day, which made it a bonanza outing.
Gordon Hayward, one of the Mitcheldean players, holing out on the ninth green at Frilford Heath.
The entry list totalled 40 which, considering it was in the middle of the holiday season, was excellent. So too were the captain’s prizes which provided lots of incentive to play well. Results were: Best gross of thte day — Dave Robinson (159) who won a golfing sweater. Lowest score on par 3’s {total 10) — Mike Mee (33 — 3 over par) whose prize was six golf balls. Lowest score on par 5’s (total 6) — Graham Smith (29 — 1 under par), also six golf balls. Booby prize (highest gross score) — Keith Grant (! I).
The top captain’s prize — a putter for the best 18 holes putting competition — could not be competed for since rain had made the green unplayable, and was postponed until the St Mellons outing on September 20. The Tankard Prize for the best nett over the 36 holes was won by Tony Haynes; there was no runner-up because the day’s golf was split into two competitions as shown : Best nett (a.m.) —Tony Haynes, Goro Kushida, Frank Baker (68 each); runners-up — Bo Foisey Charlie Millard (69). Best Stableford (p.m.) — 1 St John Wigg (39). 2nd Tony Haynes (37), 3rd Graham Gardner (36). It was pleasing to note that on this occasion not only our FX member but also two of our Xerox friends, John Wigg and Bo Foisey, were among the winners of golf ball prizes. Incidentally, in the May/June issue I reported that the outright winners of the Spring Bowl were Dave Robinson and George Hayward; of course all knew it should have read ‘Gordon’ — sorry about the slip ! Harold Gardiner
Andy Wins Again Stores maintenance clerk Andy Hardy had a big surprise awaiting him on his return from holiday. On the wall were ‘telegrams’ from famous impresarios and ‘cuttings’ from national newspapers, their headlines screaming about his success at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis. It was his mates’ novel way of congratulating him on winning his seventh holiday camp trophy. Yorkshireman Andy — yodeller, singer and entertainer for many years — had felt it was time to leave the footlights but his mates didn’t agree. They persuaded him to have another go, and were delighted when Andy not only won the Over Forties Talent Contest but was also rated top of the tops in the final all- winners ‘command performance.’
Winner Jean Roberts (Eng. Inf. Systems) with runner-up Mary Ellis of Commodity Operations (left), and Peggy Ryland (right) of Small Batch who came third. Prize Poets Les Yemm, organizer of the Poetry Competition, tells us he received 30 poems from some 20 competitors. These were judged by Hereford poet and author John Shane, who chose as overall winner the poem by Jean Roberts published below which, he said, expresses a universal
SUMME Herbie and Joe, two of summer’s urchins. Delighting in walking barefoot in coarse grass. Seeing buttercups and dragonflies, Bullrushes and cool streams. Wrapped in warm sunlight from dawn until dusk; Youth relieved them of responsibility And poverty made them masters of make-believe.
feeling so naturally. Second prizewinner was Mary Ellis with Time’, while Peggy Ryland came third with ‘A Day in the Office’. There were three runners-up — Bernice Tinton, Martin Barnard and John Johnson and Ken Saville’s poem was highly commended. :R LONG Having nothing they inherited a world of freedom. And knowing nothing else were completely satisfied. The summers of youth are long in days But short when years are counted. They know the feel of shoes upon their feet And money clinking in their pockets. No longer content to chase a butterfly. They raced away from childhood. Grasping an ever distant horizon.
Children’s Parties The annual children’s Christmas parties will take place on Saturday, January 5 (for the five and sixyear-olds), Saturday, January 12 (sevens and eights) and Sunday, January 13 (nines and tens). Parents please note that the application forms are enclosed in this issue and should be returned to the Club House Office not later than November 30. For further forms, ring ext. 287.
All Aboard The Rank Xerox Photographic Club began its new season with a coach trip to Alton Towers in Staffordshire. Home of the former Earls of Shrewsbury, Alton Towers is reputed to have ‘the most magnificent gardens in the British Isles’; this certainly appeared to be true and they provided many photographers with excellent landscape opportunities. The children were well catered for in the grounds by such things as the Amusement Park, Model Railway Exhibition (said to be the largest in Britain), Dinosaur Land and much more while 4 p.m. provided everyone with a feeding-time show by the resident sea-lions. Their comical antics had people roaring with laughter and cameras clicking.
Thanks must go to Mike Wilkinson for organizing this very successful event. Prospective members are invited to contact any of the following committee members: Richard Chambers, Bid 44/4, (ext. 1234); Mike Dewey, Bid 03/2 (1165), Colin Wyman, Bid 18/1 (369), Martin Stock, Bid 41/C (608); Vance Hopkins, Bid 23/3 (704); Mike Wilkinson, Bid 23/3 (1407). Martin Stock
Organizer Mike Wilkinson stands by as new member John Ireland climbs aboard for the Photographic Club outing to Alton Towers.
OH to a Good Start In the last issue, I mentioned that the proceeds (some £200) of our Charity Disco on May 24 were being used to launch an appeal fund for a £5,000 haemo-dialysis machine to enable the intensive care unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital to run an emergency kidney unit. At present any victim of an acute kidney attack in Gloucestershire, which might occur as a result of a car accident, a major operation or a pregnancy complication, has to be moved to Bristol or Oxford for treatment. So the projected unit will surely be a life-saver. All moneys raised are being given to Dr Stephen Wilkinson on Thursday, November 22, in the club house during our second charity event when, with Country & Western Duo (Don Leather & Cindy) from Lydbrook and comedian Terry Denton (all of whom have appeared on TV) plus Pete’s Dance Machine, you’re promised a fantastic night’s entertainment. Tickets priced at £2-50 are available from Motor Club social secretary Graham Jones, ext. 942. Our hope is that, together with donations from Rank Xerox, our efforts will enable us to give at least £1,000 to this charity which was launched by the Mayor of Gloucester.
You can help by selling or buying tickets for our Charity Raffle — there’s a fantastic major prize plus many other prizes, so watch out for it I Another date to note, and book early for — our Christmas Dance on Saturday, December 1 5, in the Ballroom with Don Juan comedy showband, Biffo 7-piece band, compere/comedian Adrian Walsh (from TV’s ‘The Comedians’) plus chicken salad supper for £4 inclusive (tickets from Graham Jones). Please support us. Spotlight
EYESBNSWeTY Total number of accidents for period: July/Aug ’78 July/Aug ’79
Retirements Best wishes to the following who have recently retired : Margaret Anderson (Mfg Eng.) 9 years; Phyllis Barrington (Information Systems) nearly 6 years; Bernie Browning (Production Stores) 9 years; Howard Davies (Assembly Progress) 3 years; Audrey Dutton (5400 Assembly) 8i years ; George Edwards (9200/9400 Assembly) 7 years; Bert Hawkins (Assembly Progress) 9 years; Verdun Knight (Component Mfg) 9 years; Tom Marfell (9200/9400 Assembly) lOJ years; Doris Meek (Personnel) 11 years; Cliff Miles (Goods Receiving Inspection) 13 years; Freda Meek (9200/9400 Assembly) 11 years; Bert Simmonds (RX Cinderford) 2 years; Renee Waite (Engineering) 12J years; Albert West (Component Planning) 1 OJ years.
Birth Jemima Kate, a daughter for Rafe Cherry (Manager, Component Mfg & Electrical Subs QA) and his wife Linda (formerly secretary to Geoff Darke, Manager, Assembly QA), on July 24.
Engagements Janice Merry (9400 Production Control) to Michael Holder (9400 QA) on September 15. Richard Andrews (Mfg Eng.) to Sarah Williams on September 15.
Weddings Paul Goodwin (Mfg Eng.) to Vivien Warren at Hereford Register Office on August 18. Lynne Nash (9200/9400 Dept) to Nigel Ward (Finance) at Lydney Register Office on September 1. Pat Priest (secretary to John Hercock, Engineering) to Owen Jones at Lydbrook Church on September 1.
Obituary We record with regret the deaths of the following: Cliff Baldwin (RX Cinderford), on August 16 at the age of 56 — he joined us in December, 1972; Roy Gibbs (Finishing) on September 10, aged 59 — he had been with us for 14i years; pensioner Francis Jordan, who worked in Works Engineering before his retirement, on September 6 at the age of 66.
Pat and Owen Jones
More Brothers We said in our last issue that Brian Sole was the fourth Mitcheldean person to be made a Serving Brother of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. We have since learned that there are in fact six people altogether who have been honoured in this way — the two missing names being those of Jack Bloodworth and Vic Evans of the Medical Centre.
Apologies also to Brian — he works in Machine Shop Inspection (not Goods Receiving Inspection) and lives in Lydbrook.
Taking early retirement recently were two personalities who have made a notable contribution to Mitcheldean’s development and have earned our sincere regard. Ernie Blaich left who joined us originally in 1938 was one of the ‘pioneers’ who arrived at Mitcheldean in 1941: he was Tool Room Supervisor and Chief Tool Engineer before becoming Plant Engineer. In 1967 he and his wife emigrated to New Zealand but we were pleased to welcome him back in 1972. Ernie’s colleagues in Vendor Technical Support gave him a set of stereo headphones, here presented
by Mike Bird (formerly Ernie’s chief and now Manager Configuration Control CBA). At a later get-together he received a work-bench, a gift from his friends plant-wide. Right: Jim Cannon’s retirement marked the end of 40 years’ experience in change and new product management. Most recently Manager. Configuration Control DBA. he covered the start-up activities on models ranging from the 660 to the 9400 during his 16 years with us. Among the goodbye gifts, presented by Configuration Control Manager David Stokes, was this witty cartoon by Eric Weeks reminding Jim of facets of his career.
Service Awards ‘Hey there, this is a store, not a supermarket!’ says the notice hanging over the counter in Tool and Consumable Stores in Bid 32. No super bargains are available — instead, reminders of the high cost of tools today.
And waiting at the counter to supply customers’ needs — whether it be a spanner, a socket or an SCL setting master — we found Roy Smith, one of two people who have just received their 35-year service awards.
Roy actually started work in the main, and only, stores way back in 1944 under the late Bert Cooper. Then, by way of the Tool Room, he joined the Bell & Howell projector assembly lines in the old Maltings. It was while working there that he met and was photographed with film star Mai Zetterling on her visit to Mitcheldean in 1960. She was at that time busy making 16mm documentary films herself, using Bell & Howell cameras, of course.
He also worked in 914 assembly before completing the circle by returning to Tool & Consumable Stores seven years ago.
Roy Smith (right) serves an old friend — John Brain.
Two members of his family are ‘customers’ of Roy’s— his son Roger, a former apprentice now in our Model Shop, and his brother Graham of 9400 Assembly.
John Brain was only 14 when he came as shop boy in the assembly area, where he first got to know Roy. ‘The Maltings building was still used at that time for drying grain for a brewery,’ he recalls. Eventually the grain was moved out, and the assembly shop moved in. ‘We had to climb a ladder up to the first floor until they got the stairs in,’ says John.
He later moved with assembly into Bid 23 and, when Xerox production came on apace in the early 1960’s, he joined Reliability and found himself back in the Maltings again.
Today he is one of the System Evaluation & Test team (part of Technical Assurance) who test the performance of our machines under various conditions, both market and climatic.
John has a married daughter, Ann Sadowski, who also works at Mitcheldean as a secretary in the Supply Centre.
More Awards Several other people became eligible for Company awards for 20 and 25 years’ service recently, as follows:
25 Years August—Charlie Brown (Work Study), Brian Lewis (Mfg Eng.), John Smith (Component Mfg).
20 Years August — Sylvia Buckman (Configuration Control), Geoff Gray (Supply Centre), Dennis Lowen (Engineering), Keith Morgan (Mfg Eng.), Mike Salmon (Mfg Eng.) September— Peter Ellis (Information Systems).
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.