Return to 1980-1984

Vision 141

Hamish Orr-Ewing, our new Chairman.
Hamish Orr-Ewing took over as
Chairman of Rank Xerox Ltd on
January 1, succeeding J . iVlaldwyn
Thomas w h o retired at the end of
He is descended from one of the
oldest Scottish families — the
Stewarts of Appin — and his family
home was at Killiecrankie, Perthshire,
which has been the family residence
for 300 years.
Mr Orr-Ewing was educated at
Eton. After war service as a captain
in the Black Watch his business
career began w i t h EMI, where he
was a business machines salesman,
and progressed to management
posts in the Ford Motor Company
w i t h whom he spent ten years.
With Ford he had responsibilities for
the introduction of the first Cortina —
at that time he worked for Sir (then
Mr) Terence Beckett, who was in
charge of programme planning.
It was as new product planning
manager that Mr Orr-Ewing joined
Rank Xerox in 1965. In October
1967 he was appointed assistant
director, marketing services, then
the f o l l o w i n g year was appointed
to the Board as director of product
Two years later — in September 1970
— he was appointed director
responsible for personnel and
communications. In April 1971, he
became managing director of Rank
Xerox (UK) Limited, and under his
management the company became
the most successful in the world for
Rank Xerox.
In May 1977, Mr Orr-Ewing was
made regional director for Belgium,
France, the Netherlands and Sweden
in addition to the UK.
Our new Chairman, who is married
w i t h one son, has hobbies in the
field of mechanical engineering.
He owns a 1903 steam launch, a
1929 Rolls-Royce and a traction
engine, and has converted the
basement of his London home to
accommodate an engineering
We look forward to welcoming him
to Mitcheldean in the near future.
G o o d b y e R e c e p t i on
Our sincere good wishes for the
future were conveyed personally to
Mai Thomas when a group of
Mitcheldean long-servers attended
a goodbye reception in London just
prior to Mr Thomas’ retirement.
He had been w i t h Rank Xerox since
1964 when he joined as company
secretary; he became managing
director in 1970, and chairman and
chief executive t w o years later.
He also served as a director of Xerox
Corporation USA from 1974 until
his retirement.
In a letter to colleagues, Mr Thomas
said : ‘It has been exciting to be
associated w i t h the magnificent
progress and technological
achievements of the Xerox world . .
I believe that the portents for the
future of the Corporation are even
more favourable than the past and
I hope, w i t h every assurance and
confidence of the outcome, that
great success will attend this fine
Corporation and all who are
associated with it.’
An equestrian model
of the first Duke of
Wellington (1769-
1852) was the
farewell gift to J.
t\/laldwyn Thomas
from the board of
Rank Xerox. It was
presented to him by
Xerox Chairman, C.
Peter McColough
(left), and Sir John
Davis, President of
The Rank
Organization, at a
dinner given by Mr
McColough in honour
of our retiring
7 5 5 0 sees the twentieth anniversary of the
production of the 914 machine— the very first of
the Ranl< Xerox range to come out of IVIitcheldean.
It is also the beginning of a new decade and,
therefore, an appropriate time to look forward.
Here is a message from the men who
head up our Personnel function,
Ron Barnett and Derek Knibbs — Mitcheldean’s Personnel Manager Derek Knibbs with
Ron Barnett, Personnel Director, European
Manufacturing & Supply Division: both are
Fellows of the Institute of Personnel Management.
‘Mitcheldean has experienced
changing conditions over the years
and has responded by adapting.
‘Having brought the 914 machine to
market and revolutionised the office,
our major problem in the ‘sixties was
the need to keep pace w i t h explosive
‘The ‘seventies thrust us into the
microprocessor age. More features
were demanded of our machines,
and were provided w i t h the aid of
these new technological devices.
‘To compete, and to w i n , we have
to produce new machines more
quickly and more cheaply than ever
before. We got the 2300 programme
up and running in half the time it
would have taken in the “business as
usual” style. This is a fine
achievement, and there are four new
products in the pipeline.
‘As in the past, we can expect to
encounter challenges and changes.
That is part of life and certainly a
part of business. What can we
do as individual employees to help
meet the challenges of a new
decade ?
‘We must be committed to performing
our jobs to the best of our ability.
‘We must be prepared to expand our
skills; we must use our resources to
the optimum, whether that resource
is our own time, a budget we control,
or other employees we manage.
‘We must not divulge information
that is proprietary to the company.
‘We must comply w i t h the highest
ethical standards in our activities
for the company.
‘We must be prepared to co-operate
in change.
‘All this may seem a lot, but the
company must aim high in order to
be the most cost-effective
manufacturer of high quality
reprographic products in the
business. In short, our abilities and
energy and attitudes determine what
this company achieves.
‘This is not all one-sided. The
company has a commitment to us
stemming from concern for and
valuing each of us as individuals.
‘The company selects and promotes
people on the basis of training,
experience, ability and performance.
‘It tries to ensure that opportunities
exist for professional skilled
development and career advancement.
‘The company continually aims at
fair payment and for financial
security against illness, accident,
disability or death.
‘It seeks to achieve employment
security as far as is possible.
‘Safe and healthy working conditions
are seen as an entitlement.
The company strives to keep
employees well informed about the
work and the goals and the progress
of the business.
‘The company believes that every
employee has a right, if he or she
has a problem, to a fair and courteous
‘Looking back through this message,
we can pick out some important
words and targets such as:
Challenges, Changes,
Competitiveness, Cost-effectiveness,
Commitment (mutual). Co-operation,
Concern — the seven ‘C’s’.
‘Aiming for these targets — and
hitting the bull — will be the key
to our success in the 1980’s.’
A Present for Gloucester’s CAT
To ensure the Courtyard Arts Trust had a
pictorial record of their first home, we recently
presented them with a painting of the
splendidly refurbished Barge Semington
moored at Gloucester Docks. CA T, as
it is known, promotes artistic activities with
a particular leaning towards young people,
and it was appropriate that an 18-year-old
art student, Jane Anderson, should have been
given the commission. This year is the 400th
anniversary of the Docks, and CAT will be
contributing to the festivities which take
place in June. Our picture shows David
Wilkin, CAT’S director, Annette Windham,
artistic director, artist Jane, and our Public
Relations Manager Jimmy Bake who handed
over a donation of £500 from Rank Xerox
along with the painting.
Despite all J o h n Spratley’s efforts
at persuasion, no more than four
entrants (compared with 13 last
year) could be found for the
Mitcheldean ‘Miss Beautiful Eyes
1980’ contest on January 8.
So the warm welcome the
contestants received from a function
room full of spectators was well
deserved. It was a close thing, and
the three judges had to think again
before choosing 19-year-old
Margaret Sayell — which made it
the second year running that the
Supply Centre have supplied t he
winner of this competition !
A senior clerk (invoicing) in the
Export section, Margaret has been at
Mitcheldean for three and a half
years, and this is the first beauty
contest she has ever entered.
Her leisure-time interests, she told
us, are needlework, driving and
reading — and she’s engaged to be
Margaret Sayell draws attention to the eyes.
As we went to press Margaret was
due to attend a personal interview; if
successful, she will go through to
the regional finals as our candidate
in the national contest held by the
British Safety Council.
The search for a ‘Miss Beautiful
Eyes’ has a serious underlying
reason — t o t ry to encourage people
to wear safety glasses at work and
at home to reduce eye injuries.
Sharing the pleasant task of judging
at the Mitcheldean event with
Mike Carter and Jack Woods was
Robert Stephenson, a retired
opthalmic surgeon, who knows
only too well the results of injuries
to the eyes.
‘In my job 1 have seen a lot of eye
injury caused in the home and at
work,’ he told us. ‘Even now that
the wearing of glasses in certain
areas is compulsory, injuries still
occur, and when you ask people if
they were wearing glasses, so often
the answer is: “Oh no, I can’t be
bothered I ” ‘
Mr Stephenson is chairman of the
Gloucestershire Association for the
Care of the Blind, and the proceeds
of the evening, plus a donation,
enabled a cheque for £100 to be
handed over to him to further the
association’s work — a gift from
those who can see to those who
The association supplies blind
people w i t h aids ranging from white
sticks to complicated electronic
appliances, gives grants to help
w i t h housing or holidays for
individuals, and assists in the
running of clubs and social events.
If y o u have, t h e n please —
mall It t o me c / o P u b l i c Relations, B i d 0 6 / 1 ,
or leave it at a n y G a t e House f or
c o l l e c t i o n by me,
or post it t o me at Tree Tops, P l u m p Hill,
M i t c h e l d e a n ,
or r i n g me — ext. 5 6 6 o r D r y b r o o k 5 4 2 4 1 5.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
Safety Secretary John Spratley checks on the marks being awarded
by fudges Robert Stephenson, Mike Carter, now chairman of
our Main Safety Committee, and Jack Woods who is a member of
the Great Britain Safety Standards Committee.
The runners-up: from left, Julie Judge {another entrant from
Supply Centre), Pam Jones {Stock Control) and Sharon Marfell
{Central Records, Mfg Eng.) All the girls were presented with
an orchid.
T o t a l n u m b e r o f
a c c i d e n t s f o r p e r i o d :
IMov/Dec ‘ 78 N o v / D e c ‘ 79
Some 18 months ago, J im Blake,
along with five other men, climbed
800 feet up a gully as part of an
annual expedition on t he Welsh
mountain Cader Idris.
We didn’t hear of this achievement
at the time because, typically, J im
didn’t think it newsworthy.
But St Dunstan’s (where he trained
after an accident while he was in the
RAF, which left him totally blind)
decided to recognize this achievement
later by honouring him in their Peaks
of Achievement publication, and J im
found himself in the news after all.
In the 16 years that J im has been
w i t h us, w e have featured him from
time to time — in Goods Inwards
Inspection where he checked
incoming parts w i t h a Braille
micrometer, and later in the office
where he used special files marked
in Braille.
Today he does sub-assembly work
on the 5400 floor using standard
equipment. Says chargehand
Yvonne Randall: ‘He’s a most
meticulous operator, and his bench
Handicapped children can now see their
As part of their training, our
apprentices undertake various
projects which give them the
opportunity to practise their newly
acquired skills. And if those
projects can, at the same time, serve
another useful purpose, whether in
helping our o w n operations or those
of someone in need, that’s great.
So when a request came along for a
display unit which would assist in
the teachings of physically
handicapped children at a Hereford
School, t w o Rank Xerox apprentices
were pleased to be given the job.
The resultant piece of electronic
equipment is putting lessons in a
new light for handicapped children.
It all began when Keith Parrett of
Product Training learned of the need
that existed to provide contact
between eight-year-old David
Hughes, a pupil at the special unit
at Trinity School, Whitecross, and
his teacher.
The problem was that David — a
spastic — could learn to read and
do sums but, as he has little
recognizable speech and cannot use
his hands to write, his teacher had
difficulty in assessing his progress.
Keith discussed the problem with
our apprentice training people. If he
provided the blue-print for an
electronic ‘light-box’ could our lads
build it? They could — and did.
Mark Harris and Richard Beard, both
18 years old, w h o had not long
finished their first year’s training, got
to grips with the complex circuit
diagram. They constructed the whole
unit — the wiring, the metal box and
plastic panels, and got the bugs out
of the system, under the guidance of
electrical instructor Arthur Bibey.
The unit, which was recently handed
over to the school complete with
handbook, can be used to present
Young David Hugties
tries out ttie teaching
unit with the help
of his teacher Sheila
Pearson, watched by
fellow pupil Mandy
Morgan. Watching
are RX apprentices
Mark Harris and
Richard Beard.
all kinds of information. Letters,
figures, pictures and so on can be
written on the plastic surface which
is divided into square ‘windows’.
These light up in sequence and
can be wiped clean afterwards.
For example, the teacher could ask:
‘What is 5 + 6 ? ‘ She then sets the
light sequence in motion and the
child, by pressing a specially
produced switch, can stop the
sequence when it reaches the square
showing ‘ 1 1 ‘ .
The sequence can then be reset to
start all over again w i t h another
The school is delighted w i t h the
equipment and, since using it, has
suggested some improvements
which will be carried out.
O t h e r P r o j e c ts
Other apprentices have carried out
useful projects at Mitcheldean in
recent months which deserve
In response to a request from Ted
Sage, then in charge of Electrical
Sub-assembly, Debbie Lowen and
Martin Lee studied t w o 5400 chassis
assemblies last year to see if the
method of wiring them up could be
‘They recommended various changes
in their comprehensive report and,
as a result of implementing some of
them, we were able to make
significant improvements to the
wiring layout’, says Ted.
It’s not only engineering apprentices
who have made a useful contribution
while learning our business. Ted has
been acting as mentor to commercial
trainee Graham Beach and, after
gaining experience on the
Manufacturing Engineering and
Materials side while within the
Electrical Sub-assembly business
area, Graham designed and then
set up the workplace layouts for
about 12 harnesses used in the
5600 machine.
Says Ted, w h o has just taken up his
new appointment as Manager,
Manufacturing Engineering Assembly:
‘I have been delighted with these
young people — they have worked
well w i t h us.’
is always incredibly tidy. He amazes
us sometimes.’
J im doesn’t let his disability deprive
him of other interesting activities.
A photographer in his sighted days,
he now works in partnership w i th
his wife Joan — ‘I load and unload
the camera and give technical
advice; she chooses the subject (we
like candid shots )and takes the
photograph.’ Both members of Ross
Camera Club, they enter
competitions and recently won the
club’s novices cup.
They also belong to Hereford
Organ Club. Jim plays an electronic
organ, first committing pieces to
memory from the music written in
Braille, and Joan, w h o reads music.
instructs him. ‘ I ‘m doing battle with
“Back to Sorrento” at the moment,’
J im told us.
Nothing is easy, but perhaps it is
because he has to make such an
effort that he finds results so
J im is interested in helping others
like himself and he is a committee
member of the Herefordshire County
Association for the Blind.
Disabled people have particular
problems at work, and it was J im
who suggested that such workers at
Mitcheldean should be represented
in our Health and Safety
organization. The Main Safety
Committee agreed — and promptly
elected him to do the j ob !
Jim Blake assembling and testing
components on the 5400 floor.
Director Ron Morfee had a pleasant
if onerous task before him on
December 14 — to shake 100 pairs
of hands and present certificates
and cheques for some £2,000 in
awards for success in studies.
These record figures were due to the
fact that, instead of having a
separate presentation of awards to
apprentices, the t w o events had
been rolled into one.
This was ‘to demonstrate that the
apprentices are part of the Plant
and that their development will be
into a wider range of jobs than has
been encouraged in the past,’
explained Peter Grainger, Manager,
Organization, Training and
The theme of the occasion was very
much that of ‘flexibility’, coupled
with ‘quality’; movement within
Rank Xerox, not just Mitcheldean,
is something that is being
encouraged, particularly among
people who have taken the trouble
to educate themselves formally, he
An E x c e l l e n t Year
If site awards were the custom,
Mitcheldean itself might have
qualified on the grounds of success
in 1979 I
Mr Morfee was happy to be able to
say that, relatively speaking, we
had had an excellent year and had
succeeded in doing the most
important thing of ail — having a
factory which meets its schedules
and maintains its reputation for
‘This is especially important to us
when, world-wide, Xerox have plenty
of manufacturing capacity, plenty of
bricks and mortar, and plenty of
Lydney i n L i m e l i g ht
People from all over were beating a
path to Lydney to see our operations
there, he said, and, although it was
still on the way up its learning curve,
it was bringing us some good
But we couldn’t afford to be
^ ^ ^ ^^
John Williams receives Mr Morfee’s
congratulations on being ‘outstanding
student of the year’ in the Institution of
Industrial (formerly Works) Managers
diploma course. John has left Facilities
Planning to join the UK Co. at Middlesex
House as Manager, Supply Support
(TS&S). Another example of
cross-site movement — Harry Delaney
(right) v\/ho is working
at Mitcheldean as
resident engineer in
Field Engineering
(Product Eng. Ft
Support). Harry
won an award for
achievement’ in his
Diploma in
Management exam.
complacent. Prices were continually
being driven down by competition
and ‘we must make the t w in
messages get through : w e must
meet schedules; we must be smarter.
This means change in products, in
methods of doing business, and in
the very nature of the work people do.
‘It is uncomfortable but it is
inevitable — if you do not change
for the better as fast as other people
do, you fall behind.
‘Change requires new knowledge
and that brings us to the question of
training. People who are going to do
best are those w h o are w i l l i ng to make
the effort and to learn new things.
‘Those of you here today are facing
up to the requirements of the world
we are living in.’
A b o v
aw a,
The Andrew Dowding Memorial
Shield award for the best first-year
apprentice went to Mark Barnard (son
of Dennis in Manufacturing
Two ex-
Full T,
who c
A b o v e : Engineering apprentices who, having f
A b o v e : Commercial trainees were among those pic\
new BEC courses in business studies.
i: This group collected between them quite a few
p and marks of distinction in their management
C3 ipprentices who won special awards in achieving their
ch. Cert, course — Stephen Jones (left) of Mfg Eng.
me top of the MT6 class, and John Bright (right) of
ing who won the Ken Winfield Cup for the best record
in all aspects of a senior engineering course.
lied above who have completed HNC, ONC and the
l e l o w : A group of secretarial students.
Some of the successful NEBSS students.
The Successful Students
S e c r e t a r i a l a n d C o m m e r c i a l
Shorthand and Typing: Nicky Bullock,
Heather CInderey, G i l l i an Cole, J o a n ne
Cooper, A m a n d a Elson Dawn Freeman,
Trudle Harper, Cheryl H y n a m , Patricia
Jones, J o y Luther, Rosemary Meek,
Sandra Meek, Margaret Sayell, Hilary
Secretarial Certificates: Linda H o w e l l s.
Teacher’s Certificate: Beryl Berry.
‘0’ Levels: English Language: Geoffrey
H a y w o o d ; Accounts: Douglas Bevan.
British Education Council: General:
Beatrice Scott, Michael H u r c o m b;
Certificate: Barbara Beard.
Ordinary National Certificate II: Business
Studies: Douglas Bevan, W e n d y Carpenter,
Susan Ellis, Roger Hanson, Geoffrey
H a y w o o d , Steve Hoskins, Denise Kyte,
Mark Phillips, B e t t y Prosser, A n d r e w Rattue.
Higher National Certificate II: Business
Studies: Derek Knight.
Institute of Work Study: Finals: Nigel
J o h n s o n .
Institute of Purchasing and Supply: Finals:
Eric Beer, A l a n Jones.
Institute of Cost and Management
Accountants: Foundation Part B: A n t h o ny
M e e k ; Prof Part I: J o h n H e n d y ; Finals:
Ken Davies.
T e c h n i c a l
First Year Training Certificate: Mark
Barnard, Richard Beard, Keith Bell,
Graham Ellis, Mark Harris, N i c h o l a s Hill,
J e f f r e y Jones, Paul Kibble, Gary Prosser,
A n d r e w S c h o f i e l d , A d r i a n S h u t t l e w o r t h,
Robert Smith.
Mechanical Craft Studies: Part I: Colin
H a r r i s ; Part II: Kevin G r e y ; Part III: Roger
Davies, J e f f r e y Russell, Gary Ryder.
Electrical Craft Installations: Part II:
A n t h o n y G i t t i n g s ; David Ireland,
Graham Read ; Part III: A n t h o n y W a l d i n g.
Technical Education Council: Electrical:
Shane Cherry, M a r t i n Edwards, A l an
H o l d a w a y , Debbie L o w e n , David Pollock,
A n d r e w W a l f o r d , S t e p h e n W a l k e r;
Mechanical: Richard Pudge, Mark Savager,
J e r e m y Swordy.
Technician’s Certificate: Mechanical-
Stewart Stephen ; Electrical: Peter Baker,
S i m o n Powell.
Higher National Certificate: Part II:
M a l c o l m Bevan ; Endorsements: Graham
Full Tech. Certificate: Mechanical: John
B r i g h t , Stephen J o n e s, Charles Kyte,
Bryan Peates, S t e p h e n W i n t l e ; Electrical-
Simon Baggett.
Institute of Quality Assurance: Graham
E d g e w o r t h , C o l i n Reeves.
i n d e n t u r e s
C h r i s t o p h e r Clayson, C o l i n Coles, Wayne
Davies, Gerald Drain, Kevin Grey, Stephen
H i l l , Gary H o p k i n s , T i m o t h y M o r g a n , Richard
Moses, Steven P o w e l l , J e f f r e y Russell, Gary
Ryder, AJan Thomas, Shaun T o o m b s , Stephen
EITB Module Certificates: Gerald Drain,
Kevin Grey, T i m o t h y Hunt, J e f f r e y Russell,
Gary Ryder.
S u p e r v i s o r y a n d M a n a g e m e n t
National Examination Board for
Supervisory Studies: Gordon Baker, A r n o ld
Basson, P h i l i p Davies, OIlie Evans,
A n t h o n y Everleigh, C l i f f o r d Green, Peter
J e n n i n g s , Neil J o n e s , J o h n Lewis, Terence
West, David W i l l i a m s , Graham W o o d w a r d.
Diploma of Engineering Management:
A n t h o n y Catch, M i k e C h u r c h w a r d , Harry
Delaney, Chris Pitt, Ted Lawrence, Colin
M c H u g h , Robert Mills, Roger Ridler, Ray
Spencer, J e f f Tate, Robert Taylor, Graham
Institution of Industrial Managers:
Certificate: Vance Hopkins, Robert Hughes,
Ted M e a d o w s , Dave P o w e l l , Noel W i l l i a m s;
Diploma: David Lloyd, J o h n Williams.
S t a n — a W o r k a h o l i c
Few long-servers, even those who
have retired with as many years’
service behind them, can have had
such a broad experience of all
aspects of production at
Mitcheldean as has Stan Scott.
At the end of the war (he had been
the youngest warrant officer in the
Army when it began) Stan joined
us as an inspector, moving two
years later from Goods Inwards
Inspection to parts manufacturing.
In the mid-1950’s he took over the
running of the Machine Shop from
the late Bob Baker; then, in 1958,
Fred Wickstead asked Stan to take
charge of the assembly shop in the
newly-opened Bid 23,
The cameras and projectors were
built on a paced line and (shades of
Lydney !) there was even canned
music which issued forth from the
magnetic tracks of films being run
through the projectors!
Recalls Stan ; ‘The heyday was
Christmas Eve — that was when we
cleared the floor and had a b a l l !’
‘We’ve run into a configuration
problem’, joked Rob (Robley)
Dixon at a goodbye party for
Stan Scott, ‘we have no
hardware !’ But he handed
Stan a product specification
instead, and the present — a
Fly mo grass cutter — came
along later.
When the Bell & Howell era was
over, Stan was made responsible for
shipping the tooling to Fuji Xerox in
Japan, helped by Eddie Shermer,
After being in charge of the 2400
assembly in Bid 36, he took over
responsibility for all assembly areas
and set up product control files.
In the early 1 970’s he moved into
manufacturing programme
management and from then on was
involved with all upstream products
from the 4000 right up to the 5400
improvement programme which
‘I’ve left as a going concern,’ he said.
Over the years his j ob and his home
(he and his wife have raised four
children) left him little time for
leisure. A self-confessed workaholic,
Stan’s main problem on retirement
was how to keep himself occupied !
Fortunately he is a keen gardener
and, having looked into the question
of productivity in that direction, he
opted for a Flymo grass cutter as a
goodbye gift.
At a party held last November, his
many friends and colleagues at
Mitcheldean came along to wish
him well, and Director Ron Morfee
took the opportunity to present him
w i t h his 35-year service award, and
acknowledge his ‘outstanding
Above all else, it could be said of
Stan that he led by the example of his
own high standards of performance.
When Phil Davis retired just before Christmas,
^ the Plating Shop lost another of its 25-year
people. Like Lilian Roberts, who retired
recently, ‘master plater’ Phil spent all of his
time with us in the same area. Said a
colleague: ‘Phil has taught us a lot and he’s
J been like a father to us here.’ Goodbye gifts
were presented by Manager George Douglas.
‘He carried out diverse operations and always
managed to perform them well,’ said
Manager Ralph Zimmermann who did the
honours when Ron Pearce retired at the end
of 1979. During his 18 years with us Ron
worked in assembly, stores and production
control areas before becoming Special
Projects Co-ordinator. His latest project was
concerned with the transfer of teardown
operations from Lille to Mitcheldean, which
he completed prior to his retirement.
Bill Jenkins, who worked in Configuration
Control {DBA) took early retirement after
18i years. Our picture shows David Stokes,
as former Configuration Control Manager,
presenting him with a Black & Decker jig
saw; his colleagues also gave him a
Teasmade at a party held in his honour.
‘Rank 8, Rank 8, Rank Base !’ Some parts are needed urgently
for the line and Stan Smith puts out a call from the Transport
Supervisor Janet Stock discusses details with her husband
Vernon, one of our chauffeurs, before he sets out. The telephone
gives her a direct line to the control centre.
New ‘hot lines’ fitted in many of our
vehicles are speeding service and
saving time, fuel and other running
costs — not to mention wear and
tear on people’s nerves.
‘It’s the best thing we’ve ever had
here’, said Stan Smith, Transport
Office Co-ordinator. He was
referring to the new Pye Radio
Communication system recently
installed in 15 Materials Transport
vehicles, both internal and external.
The department had used a radio
paging system for some time but
sound was poor and the range only
a couple of miles.
Says Dennis Williams, External
Transport Supervisor: ‘Umpteen
times when a vehicle has left the
site, another job has come up —
perhaps an additional load for
delivery en route — and we’ve had
the frustration of knowing we
couldn’t contact the driver and
bring him back, even though there
might be only a f ew miles between
The new system has increased the
range of contact to some 30 miles
Don Partridge, at the wheel of a ‘crash
items’ delivery vehicle, answers a call
radius and the quality of sound is
better, which means less chance of
Another ‘plus’ — and it’s a big one —
is that drivers can now initiate calls
themselves — something that was not
possible w i t h the previous system.
For example, a driver might want to
ring through to enquire if there is
another j ob he can tackle before
returning to base, or to report that
his vehicle has broken down while
delivering parts to Hereford.
In the past he would have had to
get out and look for a ‘phone; now
he’s got a hot line to ‘Rank base’
right there in the cab.
C a l l i n g Our Cars
The other ‘hot line’ — a Securicor
radio-telephone system — is
answering the need for
communications with our t wo
chauffeur-driven cars when mobile.
Within only a f ew days of its
installation it saved an abortive car
trip to London Airport, Transport
Manager Julian Alington told us.
This t w o – w a y service enables Janet
Stock, Car Operations Supervisor,
to get messages relayed via the
Securicor radio room to our chauffeurs
John Bowkett and Vernon Stock
while they are on the move anywhere
in the UK. They in turn can get a
message to her by using their
As we’ve opted for ‘selective calling’,
they don’t have to listen to constant
cross-talk from the loudspeaker
while remaining in contact but can
chat w i t h passengers or listen to
in-car entertainment. And if the
car is left temporarily empty, they
can see on their return if an attempt
to get a message through has been
P e r s o n – t o – P e r s o n
Vernon told us: ‘There’s also an
Chauffeur John Bowkett {call sign
‘Orange 185’) gets a message that could
save fuel as well as the valuable time
of a ‘top person’.
“interconnect” service operating in
six main city areas (London,
Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow,
Bristol and Bradford) and when
you’re in those areas, you can talk
direct to any telephone subscriber
anywhere in the world’. So if a
director is being driven to London
Airport, say, and wishes to contact
someone at home or abroad, he can
do so without leaving the car.
As our cars go mobile in any
particular area, they get radio contact
w i t h whatever Securicor control room
has them within range. These control
centres do more than pass on
messages. Hotel bookings, weather
reports, access to Telex machines,
help in an emergency — these are
among the services available on the
end of the line.
Recalls J o h n : ‘Last year I was stuck
on the motorway near Heathrow at
9 pm on a foggy Sunday night
(no one wants to know you then)
and it was three hours before my
call for assistance was answered.
If that happened now, I could
ring through and they’d get the car
recovery service to me.’
All looking forward to having a super time.
Time for
If noise is any judge (and it sounded
well over the permitted levels I) the
three children’s parties held in
January were a huge success with
an attendance of around 900.
The ever-popular cartoon films were
followed by tea and entertainment.
There was a conjuror for the little
Paper, paper everywhere I And things
got tough for the entertainers when the
audience switched to Toffo missiles I
ones, and a visit from Father
Christmas (one little boy insisted on
handing over his sweets to Director
Al Hagen before receiving a present!).
For the older ones, it was slapstick
and a sing-song with games and the
infamous Hokey Cokey from which
few adults emerged unscathed,
then the handing out of presents
to take home.
The helpers were ‘marvellous’
(Anne Fox’s word) and, though it
was hard work, the children’s
happiness was their reward.
Director Al Hagen thoroughly enjoying
his new ‘supply’ role (do Californian
undergraduates really come this small?)
Dates w i t h t h e M o t o r C l ub
After t w o special general meetings
ratifying the club rules, the RX
Motor Club enters the ’80’s w i t h an
annual subscription in force, which
should strengthen the club’s position
for the next decade.
All members who joined during 1979
do not have to renew their
membership until January 1981,
but please contact Marion Thomas on
ext 621 to make arrangements to
collect your 1980 membership cards.
Coming events include:
February 29— Disco in the Function
Room to Pete’s Dance Machine —
we all know that will be a good
March 15— National Custom Car
Show 1980 at Alexandra Palace,
London (remember last year?).
March 26—Annual general meeting
in the Function Room at 7.30 pm.
Come and air your views on the club.
All these events are being advertised,
so watch your notice boards !
S p o t l i g h t
M u l t i n a t i o n a l P h o t o S h ow
The Rank Xerox Photographic Club
are to hold a multinational
photographic exhibition (an addition
to their published programme) at
Mitcheldean. It will open on
Monday, April 2 1 , and close with
President’s Night on the 25th.
Entries for the exhibition are hoped
for from Fuji Xerox, Rank Xerox
Venray and Lille, and of course
Members are reminded that 30
prints are required for our entry, and
these should be submitted to Ian
Thomas, Commodity Operations,
Bid. 4 4 / 2 , without delay. There is a
section for colour transparencies
which should also be submitted to Ian.
(continued opposite)
To thank the Motor Club for enabling the sum of £1,150 to be handed over to the
Gloucester Kidney Unit Appeal Fund, the Sheriff of Gloucester, Coun. Miss Freda Wilton,
entertained the club committee at the Guildhall on January 23 (that’s RXMC chairman John
Hally signing the visitors’ book). They saw the council chamber and admired the city
treasury — a dazzling display of silver. (Supporters will be glad to know the kidney unit has
now been installed and the fund is doing splendidly).
Incidentally, it is hoped that the
exhibition will afterwards be shipped
to Japan, Venray and Lille in turn.
The guest speakers at President’s
Night are John and Julie Batchelor,
who are presenting their slide show
‘Two Million Paddle Strokes through
This extraordinary journey took place
in 1973. It started w i t h their
crossing the Sahara Desert in an
old ex-RAF ambulance, then
stopping off in Lagos to get married.
From there the couple f l ew to South
Africa, where they worked for several
months and planned their second
stage of the journey — a descent by
Kayak canoe of the Zaire River
(formerly Congo), a 2,000-mile
journey which was to take them
four months.
Club members recently joined with
members of Hereford and Ross
Camera Clubs in a three-cornered
slide battle, each club submitting 17
transparencies to the judge. Jack
Farley, ARPS, EFIAP, of Gloucester
Camera Club.
The competition was held on January
17 at the Hereford club headquarters
where all enjoyed a closely fought
contest, and were able to add to their
photographic knowledge by hearing
Jack Farley’s expert and constructive
criticisms of each transparency.
The evening ended w i t h Ross C.C.
taking first place w i t h 251 points;
Hereford came second with 231
points and Rank Xerox C.C. third
w i t h 223 points. Rank Xerox
honour was, however, redeemed by
Bill Austin’s superb shot of red
roses being judged the second best
transparency of the show.
Sky-diver Dave Parchment surrounded by parachute and parachutists. msrmms mi OUT
If all goes according to plan, there
will have been a fall-out of some 39
Rank Xerox Mitcheldean people over
Shobdon Airfield, near Leominster,
before Easter.
All first-timers, they have each
volunteered to do a sponsored
parachute jump to help raise cash
for the Cobalt Unit Appeal,
following in the wake of Frank
Beard and Courtney Morgan who
‘fell for charity’ last May.
Record-breaking sky-diver Dave
Parchment, who takes an active
part in assisting the cause, came
along to Mitcheldean on January 8
to talk to our volunteers and explain
what was involved.
The eight or so hours’ training is
taken very seriously and great
attention is paid to safety — in fact,
Dave believes that parachuting is
‘the safest sport going’.
Anyone under 18 or over 40 has to
obtain a doctor’s certificate before
being allowed to jump, but otherwise
age is no limitation. ‘One chap
was over 80 when he made his
first jump,’ Dave told us. As an
instructor at Hereford Parachute
Club he has ‘despatched 2,000
students’ (we thought that sounded
ominous but he added that he got
them all down safely !)
So that people could appreciate
the heights to which a dedicated
parachutist may aspire, Dave showed
his audience a f i lm of some
breathtaking feats by expert
sky-divers. And when everyone
came back to earth, we got this
picture of them holding a parachute.
Aileen Bramah came along with
Dave to help encourage the more
mature to ‘have a g o ‘ ; a mother of
five, she herself, when consort to the
then Mayor of Cheltenham in 1978,
raised £1,400 when she became the
first volunteer to Jump for the cause.
‘They tried to get me to land in a
cess-pit to make a more sensational
picture for the press,’ she told us.
We promised not to fix anything like
that for VISION when the first group
took the plunge on January 26 !
Two further groups jump in
February and March, and Bob Moore
(Tool Room) who is in charge of
arrangements, will be giving us a
first-hand account in the next issue.
Hair today, gone tomorrow ?
Remember, closed doors save power.
Ten men in Manufacturing Engineering recently competed for the title of ‘Mr Beard 1979’
in a contest for the ‘best beard grown in a month’. One chap even tried to dye his grey
beard black, but it turned blue instead I Said the winner, Alan Crowden: 7 owe my
success to regular draughts of Guinness I’ The beards, some of which you can see above,
were judged by three ladies at the department’s Christmas party and the proceeds of £5
(50p a beard entry fee) have been added to the Medical Department’s collection for the
Kidney Unit Appeal Fund.
E n g a g e m e n t s
Brian Bell ( 9 4 0 0 P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ) to
Lynne C a w t h o r n e on A u g u s t 28 last.
Graham Timms ( B i d 24 S u b – a s s e m b l y ) to
Belinda J e n k i n s on November 30.
A n n e Baggus t o J o h n Kear ( b o t h of
Goods I n w a r d s ) on December 6.
W e d d i n g
Royston M c L e o d ( R e l i a b i l i t y ) to Diane
Parkin at Ross Register O f f i c e on
November 24.
B i r t h
J o h n Francis, a son for Frank Kelly
(Electrical Subs.) and his w i f e Sue, on
January 4.
R e t i r e m e n t s
Hartley Brain ( S u p p l y Centre) 11 y e a r s;
Bert Charnley (Chief S e c u r i t y O f f i c e r ) l O i
y e a r s ; Norman Collins ( M f g Eng) 14 y e a r s;
Alf Gobey ( M f g Eng.) nearly 17 y e a r s;
Bernice Harris ( B i d 24 A s s e m b l y ) 14 y e a r s;
Leaman H o p k i n s ( W o r k s Engineering) 16
years; Ethel M i d d l e c o t e ( B i d 24 Assembly)
over 14 years; J i m Pitt ( 9 4 0 0 QA) 1 1 i
y e a r s ; Marge Powell (Elec. S u b – a s s e m b l y)
10 years ; Sandy (Sanderson) Miller
(assigned t o Xerox as M i t c h e l d e a n ‘s
resident Materials Manager) 11 years;
Norman Sargeant (Payment Operations)
11 years; Ted S i m m o n d s ( C o m p o n e n t QA)
16 y e a r s ; Fred Stephens ( M a c h i n e Shop)
nearly 16 years; Ken Tucker (Materials)
7 years.
Norman Collins of Mfg Eng. took early retirement in December after 14 years with us.
He was presented with a carriage clock by Components Planning Manager
John Smith; joining the handshake is Bob Hughes (left centre) who left at the same
time to transfer to Welwyn Garden City.
O b i t u a r y
We report w i t h regret t h e deaths of t he
f o l l o w i n g : D o u g W h i t e (Finance) on
December 21 at t h e age of 56 — Doug
was a senior a c c o u n t a n t and had been
w i t h us s i n c e 1971 ; Henry M o r g an
( G o o d s R e c e i v i n g , Stock C o n t r o l ) also on
December 21 — he w a s 35 years old,
h a v i n g j o i n e d us in 1 9 6 0 ; Briscoe D o w n i ng
( D e s i g n Engineering) on Christmas Day,
aged 58 — he came t o us in 1 9 6 9;
S e c u r i t y Officer Percy Evans o n J a n u a r y 2
at t h e age of 59 — he had been w i t h us
since 1 9 6 4 ; Reg Partridge ( S Q A ) , aged 59,
w h o came t o us in 1 9 7 0 and w h o s e death
o c c u r r e d on J a n u a r y 9 ; David Barnaby
( M f g Eng.) on J a n u a r y 22, aged 39, he
Royston and Diane McLeod h a d b e e n o n l y t h r e e year s w i t h us.
Service Awards
3 5 Y e a rs
M a r i o n Cornwall spends t h e greater part of
her w o r k i n g day locked up, v i s i b le o n ly
t h r o u g h a small w i n d o w . For she is keeper
of our cash — and has in fact been i n v o l v ed
w i t h salaries, w a g e s and cashiering
operations for all of her 35 years w i t h us.
Our longest serving female employee after
L i l i an Criddle, she started w o r k in 1 9 4 5 in t he
general office. ‘We used t o f e t c h t h e wages
money f r om R o s s – o n – W y e ‘ , she recalls,
‘ a n d as a p r e c a u t i o n t h e late Frank Sekinger
( o n e of our t o o l – m a k e r s ) w h o was a crack
shot used t o come a l o n g w i t h his g u n . ‘
In subsequent years our t h e n chief security
officer, the late ‘ B u n n y ‘ Moger, was e s c o r t;
he had a less lethal method — a g u n that
c o u l d spray an assailant w i t h a permanent
y e l l ow stain. Fortunately no one ever got
shot or stained I
A l w a y s a f i rm believer in healthy figures,
M a r i o n was a f o u n d e r member and treasurer
of t h e Ladies’ Keep Fit g r o u p started
at M i t c h e l d e a n in 1 9 6 4 w h i c h raised a g o od
deal for c h a r i t y w i t h displays and f a s h i on
M a r i o n recently made history by b e c o m i ng
t h e Long Service A s s o c i a t i o n ‘ s first lady
v i c e – p r e s i d e n t ; she also serves o n t he
Pensions C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee.
T w o close relatives of hers w o r k at
M i t c h e l d e a n t o o , in t h e S u p p l y Centre — her
sister Kathleen Hughes, and her husband
Horace w h o i n c i d e n t a l l y is treasurer of
H a r r ow Hill FC.
Another 35-year a w a r d w i n n e r in recent
weeks is Roy Nicholls, F i n i s h i n g Department
Supervisor, w h o m w e ‘ l l be f e a t u r i n g w h en
he retires in M a r c h.
Marion Cornwall,
Roy Nicholls (centre)
and Tony Kibble.
3 0 Y e a rs
T o n y Kibble, w h o n o t c h e d up 3 0 years
w i t h us in J a n u a r y , believes he w a s our
very first a p p r e n t i c e , or trainee, as t h ey
w e r e called in t h o s e days.
W h e n he came for a j o b in 1 9 5 0 it w as
d e c i d e d that he w o u l d pursue an e n g i n e e r i ng
career, but after s p e n d i n g his first day in t he
M a c h i n e S h o p f i l i n g burrs off castings, he
s a y s : ‘It made me d e t e r m i n e d I w a s g o i n g to
have t o d o better, as 5 0 more years w a s a
l o n g w a y t o go.’
One of t h e first m i l e s t o n e s of his career was
w h e n he w a s s i g n e d up as a t r a i n e e and
helped d e v e l o p the s o – c a l l e d ‘Ten
C o m m a n d m e n t s ‘ on t h e e x p e r i e n c e one
s h o u l d o b t a i n d u r i n g t h e first f i v e years.
There w a s n o t h i n g very f o r m a l in t h o s e days,
T o n y recalls.
A f t e r t w o years’ N a t i o n a l Service, he
s t a r t e d back in t h e D r a w i n g O f f i c e w h i ch
w a s part of M a n u f a c t u r i n g Engineering
( t h e n under Ernie B l a i c h ) . He is c u r r e n t ly
w o r k i n g in t h e same area as Manager,
C o m p o n e n t s P l a n n i n g (Sheet Metal &
T u r n e d Parts), and n o w gets a k i c k out of
f u r t h e r i n g t h e k n o w l e d g e and e x p e r i e n c e of
t h e y o u n g s t e r s w h o come t h r o u g h the
d e p a r t m e n t for t r a i n i n g (his s o n Paul
i n c i d e n t a l l y is a s e c o n d – y e a r RX a p p r e n t i c e ).
T o n y p a r t i c u l a r l y remembers t h e late Lord
Rank ( t h e n plain J . A r t h u r ) p a y i n g us a visit
in 1 9 5 0 t o open a n e w d e v e l o p m e n t , n ow
our Bid 1 1 . ‘Everyone was g i v e n the
a f t e r n o o n off and had a pre-release s h o w i ng
of t h e classic f i lm ‘The Blue Lamp’ in t he
n e w b u i l d i n g.
T o n y comes f r om a f a m i l y of sportsmen
p l a y i n g b o t h soccer and cricket ( t h e local
c l u b b e i n g Flaxley). Today f i s h i n g and
r o u g h s h o o t i n g are his hobbies and b o th
he and his w i f e ( w h o also w o r k s in
M a n u f a c t u r i n g Engineering) e n j o y being
t u t o r s for t h e A d u l t Literacy Scheme.
The f o l l o w i n g also r e c e n t l y became e l i g i b le
f o r Company a w a r d s:
2 5 Y e a rs
December—Maurice Pask ( C o m m o d i ty
O p e r a t i o n s ) , J o h n Shields ( A s s e m b l y );
January: Jeremy H e n w o o d (Special
Projects, E M & S D ) , Neville L i t t le (Works
E n g i n e e r i n g ) , Eric Parsons ( A p p r e n t i ce
S c h o o l ) , J o h n Powell ( I n f o r m a t i on
Systems), J o h n Weaver (Works
E n g i n e e r i n g ) .
2 0 Y e a rs
January: lor\-y Butcher ( M a c h i n e S h o p ),
Gerald Cooke ( S u p p l y Centre).
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd., Cheltenham