May/June 80 No. 143
THE HOUSE MAGAZINE OF RANK XEROX MITCHELDEAN
RX Rafters Raise the Wind
1980 is a particularly significant year
for Rank Xerox. Apart from being the
beginning of a new decade, it marks
the completion of 21 years in plain
paper copying for the Company.
It was during 1959 that the production
of the first 914 models to be made
this side of the Atlantic began.
First of a generation of machines that
were to bring about an office
revolution, the 914 had been
launched that same year in the USA
by Xerox Corporation.
But here at Mitcheldean, where we
were concentrating on making Bell
& Howell cine cameras and projectors,
not everyone fully appreciated the
potential of the new project.
To begin with, it was housed in the
area formerly devoted to the making
of wooden cases for projectors and
Having nudged the earlier occupants,
cuckoo-like, out of the nest, it
rapidly outgrew its surroundings and
in 1961 a special ‘Xerox Building’
(now Bid 24) was erected — t h e first
of a chain of buildings that went up
to accommodate an ever-expanding
The full story is being told in an
employee brochure which is
scheduled to appear later this
summer to commemorate our
Rank Xerox (UK) have already
marked this 21st birthday with a
special event and preview of six new
products held on June 10 at the
Sheraton Skyline Hotel at Heathrow.
The picture put over was of a quickreacting,
equipped to cope with the challenge
of the 80’s. And on stage with our
newest machines, which were used
to present a case study in business
communications, was — a 914.
Two of the new models — the Xerox
8200 copier/duplicator and the Xerox
9500 duplicator — combine
outstanding copy quality with high
productivity, and they were a great
success when shown earlier this year
on the Rank Xerox stand at the
Hanover Fair— Europe’s biggest
annual show for the office equipment
By the incorporation of new imaging
systems, the machines are able to
produce rich, solid-black areas,
better half-tone reproduction and
clean, crisp line-work — putting Rank
Xerox in a strong position to capture
more of the offset business.
• The 8200 delivers at 72 copies
per minute, offers push-button
reduction, automatic document
handling, ‘binless’ collating,
simplified two-sided copying and
Four of the six new products are being manufactured at IVIitcheldean — a b o v e the
8200 and the 5600, b e l o w the 3300 and the 9500.
F r o m l e f t : 8200 Technical Programme
fi/lanager John Dennis, Pete Blake and
Alec Waldie of Engineering talk with Roy
Powell, an RX apprentice 21 years ago
who is now responsible for the build of
our latest high volume machines.
on-line stapling — all this as well as
super copy quality.
• The 9500 is an advance on the
9400 and, while offering all the
features of that model, has additional
appeal for the customer who demands
something special in the way of
• The recirculating document
handler which is featured in the 8200
is also a feature of the Xerox 5600.
This medium volume copier/
duplicator produces 45 copies a
minute, can sort without a sorter,
copy on two sides from one or
two-sided originals, and even
produce stapled output sets.
• Developed out of the 3100 range
of copiers, the Xerox 3300 has been
designed as a floor-standing, mobile
machine. It is aimed at the low
volume market and features a semiautomatic
Operated via a pressure-sensitive
panel instead of push-buttons, it
produces 23 copies per minute. Its
manufacture is scheduled to start
at Mitcheldean later this year.
• The Xerox 960 systems forms
printer was designed at Mitcheldean
as an international version of a
Swedish modification of the 3600F
automatic overlay device (which
was also designed here).
At the rate of one per second, the
960 will produce up to 250 copies
each of up to 40 different forms,
in up to 100 different combinations,
using a microprocessor-controlled
web of overlays and working from
a single master document.
Being manufactured initially at
Venray, the 960 can also be used as
a ‘straight’ copier in addition to its
• The sixth new product is the
Xerox 485 Telecopier, which can
send or receive a one-page letter in
one minute over ordinary telephone
It is twice as fast as other Xerox
facsimile units because it skips over
the white space between the lines
while scanning the document. And
it is automated — it will answer the
‘phone and print the message
Fuji Xerox in Japan developed and
are manufacturing the 485.
Chairman Hamish Orr-Ewing (pictured centre with Fred Wiclistead) presented 25-year service awards to 17 people at the dinner — from
the left: George Turner, John Weaver, Neville Little, Jeremy Henwood, Esmee Halford, Ivor Packer, Dennis Boughton, Dennis Fisher,
Larry Sterrett, Brian James, Basil Brown, Eric Parsons, John Powell, Terry Buffry. Fred Coombes, Dennis Cook and Winston Jenkins.
A further award winner, missing from our picture, was Ken Holloway.
The Chairman Comes to Dinner
Mitcheldean is noted for its great
sense of family feeling, and Rank
Xerox Chairman Hamish Orr-Hewing
remarked on this when he was
principal guest at the Long Service
Association’s annual dinner— its
twenty-seventh — at the Chase
Hotel, Ross-on-Wye, on May 16.
‘During the evening, as on other
occasions I have had the pleasure of
visiting Mitcheldean, I have noticed
a tremendous spirit of comradeship
and loyalty. As your guest that has
been immensely heartening to me
and I’d like to feel over the years I
have earned my membership of this
‘I feel privileged to be among people
who have done so much to make
the business what it is today, and
who have provided jobs for people
He was a comparatively new boy of
‘only 1 5 years of service’, he said.
Nevertheless he and Fred Wickstead,
whom he regarded as the master
builder of Mitcheldean and one of
the founder members of Rank Xerox,
had worked closely together some
Mr Orr-Ewing spoke of the various
benefits provided for employees of
the Company — the excellent
pension scheme and the recent
introduction of free private medical
service for everyone — and he said
he was proud to be associated with
these important developments.
LSA chairman Jack Woods proposed
the toast to the guests, who included
as always representatives from sister
associations at Rank Audio Visual,
Brentford; Rank Radio International,
Chiswick; Rank Toshiba at Plymouth,
and Rank Xerox, Welwyn Garden
City (no Leicester this time and Leeds
has now disbanded its association).
An innovation this year was the
inviting of the wives of those
receiving 25-year awards and
Jack extended a welcome to them,
and to guests from among senior
management at Mitcheldean —
2 5 – Y E A R A W A R DS
Dennis B o u g h t o n (Parts
M a n u f a c t u r i n g ) , Basil B r o wn
( Q u a l i t y E n g i n e e r i n g ) , Terry Buffry
( F i n i s h i n g ) , Dennis Cook ( C o m m o d i ty
O p e r a t i o n s ) , Fred C o o m b e s ( H e r e f o rd
S t o r e s ) , Dennis Fisher (CIVISA),
Esmee H a l f o r d ( C o n f i g u r a t i o n C o n t r o l ),
Jeremy H e n w o o d (Special P r o j e c t s ),
Ken H o l l o w a y ( W o r k s E n g i n e e r i n g ),
Brian James ( E n g i n e e r i n g ) , W i n s t on
J e n k i n s ( C o m m o d i t y O p e r a t i o n s ),
N e v i l l e L i t t le ( W o r k s E n g i n e e r i n g ),
Ivor Packer ( A s s e m b l y O p e r a t i o n s ),
Eric Parsons ( T r a i n i n g ) , J o h n Powell
( I n f o r m a t i o n S y s t e m s ) , Larry Sterrett
(Parts M a n u f a c t u r i n g ) , George
Turner (Payment O p e r a t i o n s ) , J o hn
Weaver ( W o r k s E n g i n e e r i n g ).
Controller Gerry Lane and Personnel
Manager Derek Knibbs.
Vi Holder of Rank Audio Visual,
25-Year Club secretary, who has
been 46 years with the Company,
was warmly congratulated on getting
another kind of award — the MBE
for service in the field of personnel
(Vi, better known as Topsy, later
showed us her medal and told how
she had been taken to the investiture
last February in a Rolls specially
hired by The Rank Organization ! ) .
Finally, Jack paid tribute to the
excellent work done by LSA secretary
Retired member Colin Weaver was one
of those invited by secretary Dennis Barnard
to ‘take your pick’ from a fine array of prizes.
Dennis Barnard. The improved
visibility and communications of the
association were due to his initiative
and motivation, said Jack.
As Personnel Manager, Derek
Knibbs was naturally interested in
the ‘head count’ and, in replying to
the toast, he revealed that the
Mitcheldean association’s present
membership of nearly 350 was
expected to rise to 1,600 by 1990 I
Past presidents and chairmen of the
association — Fred Wickstead, Ray
Camp, Henry Phillips and Frank
Edwards — were each presented
with one of the new LSA badges.
These formed a gift from immediate
past president Bernard Smith.
A few of the 200 or so people who attended the dinner. Continued overleaf
Life Starts on Retirement
Pensioners are far from being a
retiring lot these days. We heard
during the evening that Jeff Sleeman
(formerly Import Purchasing) had
recently got married to Marjorie
Marfell (congratulations to both !).
Sister Townroe has been showing her
fox terriers at Crufts and is looking
forward to a holiday in Hong Kong.
Another bit of news — this time
about former LSA member Cyril
Powell. Cyril, who worked in
Inventory Control and had been with
us 23 years, recently left the
Company to emigrate to Tasmania
with his wife Angela, and we wish
them well in their new life. Best
wishes too, to Margaret Kellam
(Elec. Subs) who has retired after 18
New iVIembership Rule
A new rule was introduced at the
LSA annual general meeting on May
19, giving the committee the right to
grant on application honorary
membership to retired people who
were previously members of the LSA
employed at Mitcheldean and its
satellite plants. The practice is
subject to review after one year.
Officers and committee are : chairman
— Jack Woods; vice-chairman — Roy
Steward ; treasurer— George Turner;
secretary— Dennis Barnard;
assistant secretary— Mary Meek;
minutes secretary— Kathy Knight;
members— Dennis Cook, Dennis
Clarke, John Harris, Ernie Hughes,
Eric Parsons, Joan Turley, Dennis
One of tfie original purchasing team at
Mitcheldean, Bill Beech came to us in
1948 and joined the department in 1950.
‘At that time the staff numbered only six,
compared with the 120 in Commodity
Operations today’, said Manager John
Wilks when presenting Bill with a B&D
‘ Workmate’ and drill from colleagues on
his retirement last April LSA chairman
Jack Woods commented that Bill had
put in yeoman service in the association
and ‘has always helped to get the best
buy.’ At an earlier get-together with old
friends Bill was given a lawn mower (as a
prominent member of Ross Bowling
Club he must be a connoisseur of lawns!).
F i n i s h i n g T r i o — Last spring saw the
retirement of three long-servers from the
Finishing area. Roy Nicholls was involved
in the setting up of the first Heat Treatment
facility on site; in 1971 he was appointed
Supervisor of Plating as well as Heat
Treatment and in recent years he has
supervised all Finishing Operations. After
receiving a B&D ‘Workmate’, and his
35-year service award, from Parts
Manufacturing Manager John Wood, Roy
attended the presentation to a fellow
long-server. Our picture shows him
watching as foreman Herbie Compton tests
the strength of his own leaving present!
Herbie, who joined in 1951, worked in
Heat Treatment with Roy for most of his
time with us, taking over as foreman in
Polishing B Manual Plating in recent
months. B e l o w : John Wood was called
on to make another presentation — of a
carriage clock — a few weeks later when
George Douglas retired. George started in
the Paint Shop 27 years ago, became its
foreman, and for the last four years has
been Manager, Finishing Operations. Wellknown
as a semi-professional musician
and band-leader, he was once introduced
to visitors at the Plant as ‘the pianist’!
Taking it easy in their respective retirement gifts
of a lounger and rocking chair are Frank Abbott
and Ivor Packer, both chargehands on the 5400
Assembly floor. Ivor was among those who
recently received a 25-year service award; he
was for many years a chargehand in the Press
Shop and [not so well known) he holds a degree
in engineering. Frank joined in 1962, starting in
the Sheet Metal Shop and becoming assembly
chargehand in 1963. A keen sportsman,
he took an active part in the organization of
cricket (he used to be treasurer of the Glos.
Federation) as well as on the field where he
played with Tom Goddard, Bomber Wells and
other famous names. He also played football
for Gloucester City along with Jack Venn (formerly
Elec. Subs.). Once, while playing an Army
eleven. Jack was in goal and Frank, playing
centre-forward, had scored four goals. Jack was
fed up with having nothing to do, so they changed
jerseys . . . Then the other side was awarded a
penalty — which Frank saved!
The Central Planning & Control
Office set up in Bid 18 by Works
Engineering to improve the control of
and response to maintenance
requests is working well.
The office, which became operational
in January this year, receives all
breakdown service requests,
distributes worksheets to maintenance
workshops around the site and
monitors progress until a task is
The first phase of the project
concentrated on the communication
aspects with the installation of an
Ansafone, plus a telewriter service
which has solved the problem of
communicating with the more remote
areas (‘Office Services Manager Roy
Brooks gave us technical advice and
assistance here’, says Co-ordinator
The service is operating initially
between the central office and Bids
41 and 36 and will be extended to
certain other areas in due course.
When a call from these areas comes
in on ext. 1471, a job request is filled
in on the telewriter by means of a
special pen and is transmitted to the
relevant workshop at the press of a
button on a selector panel.
Within ten seconds, the telewriter at
the receiving end prints out a replica
of the request and this is pulled off
and used as a worksheet, thus
cutting out extra clerical work.
Radio Paging System
During May, communications were
further improved with the installation
of a two-way radio paging system,
enabling the office to make rapid
contact with Works Engineering
maintenance supervisors anywhere
‘We seem to be getting favourable
reports from the various user
departments’. Planning & Control
Manager Graham Adams told us,
‘and we have been able to streamline
our safety procedures as a result.’
A call comes in and Ken Mead immediately ‘telewrites’ a job request to the electrical
vehicle maintenance shop in Bid 41. In the background Don Roberts is seen contacting
a supervisor via the radio paging system in connection with another call
Copies of job requests displayed in this
rack enable Central Control to monitor
the work in progress; here Mary Morgan
helps with the filing.
Safety maintenance requests used to
be channelled through the safety
organization ; now they come
through the central office and safety
management can use the records
there for reference.
Site job requests from Facilities
Planning too are being handled
centrally for co-ordination through
the various workshops.
The job request arrives in Bid 41 £.V.
shop within seconds, and Supervisor Bob
Ashmead hands the telewritten instructions
to electrician Chris Phelps.
Apart from speeding up service, the
new facility provides Works
Engineering with a means of
establishing a central history file on
ail critical plant.
‘This helps us to analyse what sort of
breakdowns have been experienced
and where, and helps Works
Engineering develop action plans for
preventive maintenance,’ Graham said.
Pictured (centre) among his many friends at RX Cinderford is auto-setter Don Trigg who also retired in April. Don worked on autos for
all of his 30 years with the Company and from Vic Buhlmann, president of the LSA and Manager, Component Production, he received
the appropriate service award along with gifts of a hedgecutter and cheques. Joining in the farewell was Sam Cocker who retired the
same day after seven years with us.
Since the beginning of this year, a
‘major assembly’ of minor subassembly
operations has been taking
place in Bid 40/2.
Some 70 per cent of minor subassemblies
(by part number), with
the exception of those at Lydney,
have now been centralized in a
custom-built area known as CMSA
(Centralized Minor Sub-assembly
The other 30 per cent which have
stayed put consist of those which, for
some technical reason, have to be
built in the main line area.
Says Chris Saywood, who led the
project team and is now Manager,
Assembly Production Control, for
this area : ‘We wanted to clear the
way for the new Iliad/Isaac
replenishment procedure — that is,
replenishing only major subs in
main lines daily on a need basis,
instead of the previous period basis.’
Centralizing these minor subs, which
have been brought from other parts
of Bid 40, from Bid 11 and from
Bid 24, has simplified the situation
from the production control aspect
on the major assembly lines.
These are now moving over to
Replenishment only while CMSA is
all SOLAR controlled.
‘We’re driving a “push” system of
production control instead of a “pull”
system’, says Chris. ‘In other words,
instead of keeping main assembly
lines going, we are feeding a finished
parts store ahead of production
All the jobs are run as bench subs.
About two-thirds of the benches are
used at a time, leaving a third to be
set up for the next job. Each bench
is universal — it can be used for any
of the jobs — and the work comes in
There is a SUE input terminal in the
area, and as soon as a batch of subs
is made and QC have inspected them
(on the same bench) the information
is fed into SUE. Then, instead of
moving into the next stage along an
Assembly Manager Mike Cooper in conference with his four
CMSA foremen — (from left) Brian Watson, Yvonne Jones.
Sylvia Powell and Dennis Fisher (in charge of Press Et Adhesives).
R i g h t : Shop marshaller Ian
Holmes checks on the parts
needed for a Job while forklift
driver Ron Glover retrieves
them from the storage racks.
F a r r i g h t : A battery of presses.
assembly line, the parts are
despatched across the road to the
main Production Stores, unless, of
course, a SUE shortage exists, in
which case the sub-assemblies are
moved direct to the user department.
Says Chris: The main objectives of
the project were to improve labour
efficiency, and both materials and
quality control. Xerox have a parallel
shop in Webster which was set up by
Bill Dalberth and we have been able
to benefit from his help and
experience in setting up CMSA.
‘As it happens, we have been able to
achieve the same rate of throughput
as Xerox but in a third of the space —
approximately 1,500 jobs in 30,000
‘There isn’t the hassle about whether
subs have been built or not, and
where they are located, and
everything can be kept tidy and
I 1 wrap-around style with suspended drills on air
orderly, which makes for efficiency
Pete Fox of QA points out that ‘with
only one operator working on one
job from start to finish, quality is
more consistent, and sampling by
QC has become more effective in
general, and more cost-effective In
In order to maintain continuity of
work and ensure that the Plant gets
the maximum benefit from CMSA,
engineers identify the relevant subs
by means of a special code at the
It is vital, too, that minor subassembly
parts are available when a
bench sub job is due to start, and
that there is adequate build capacity.
For this reason, a computer-produced
load projection system which scans
the CMSA demands on SOLAR is
being used and this means that steps
can be taken to ensure there is the
right labour at the right time to
produce the work required.
Commented Assembly Manager
Mike Cooper whose responsibilities
include CMSA: ‘Transference of
A b o v e : Bill Evans carries out a rail
assembly; in the tote tin on his left is the
incoming work, on his right the completed
A b o v e : Pete Fox. QC foreman for
CMSA, discusses a point of quality with
inspector Les Freeman.
L e f t a b o v e : Terminal operator Jackie
Hamblett receives a stores delivery note
from Sid Reid of PCD for feeding into
the SUE system.
L e f t : Part of the adhesives section.
bench assemblies into CMSA has
taken place without creating major
losses of production. In fact, up to
period 7, department output targets
have not only been hit — they have
‘Inevitably there have been problems
at the initial stage, but supervision
in the area are co-operating well
with the support departments to
create a sound base from which
CMSA can fulfil its potential.’
Tony Howard of Mfg Eng. and Malcolm
Walker (Facilities Planning) collaborate
over the production layout.
B a c k t o t h e S t a t es
In the week that Rank Xerox was
celebrating the Queen’s Award to
Industry for Export Achievement last
April, a large gathering of people in the
club house marked the ‘export’ back to
the USA of two very popular assignees —
Chuck Allen, who had been at Mitcheldean
for two years, and Bill Dalberth who had
been with us for four. ‘It is very rarely
that two individuals have been able to
make such a contribution to such a site
as this’, said Richard Cowser, Manager,
Assembly Production Control (pictured
below with Chuck (left) and Bill). ‘They
have done a splendid job assisting in
the field of materials management’. To
remind them of their time with us.
Chuck and Bill were given framed
cartoons and some casual gear bearing
appropriate slogans, as our picture shows;
and as a token of appreciation they were
each presented with some elegant
glassware — for replenishment use I
Mitcheldean inventors pictured with Don Stephenson. Group Director RXEG, are (from
left) Richard Walford, Cliff Knight, Mike Selwyn, Eric Real and John Badham.
Awards go to
JOINT NETWORK PROJECT
Digital Equipment C o r p o r a t i o n , Intel
C o r p o r a t i o n and Xerox have e m b a r k e d on
a j o i n t project t o d e v e l o p s p e c i f i c a t i o n s f o r
a local area c o m m u n i c a t i o n s n e t w o r k w h i ch
t h e companies propose t o use f o r m a n y of
The local area n e t w o r k consists of a coaxial
cable and c o m m u n i c a t i o n s transceivers
d e s i g n e d t o l i n k different kinds of c o m p u t e r s ,
c o m p u t e r peripherals, data t e r m i n a l s and
o f f i c e e q u i p m e n t located in a b u i l d i n g or i n
a c o m p l e x of c l o s e l y grouped b u i l d i n g s.
Each device c o n n e c t e d t o t h e cable w i ll
c o n t a i n a c o n t r o l element a l l o w i n g it t o
c o m m u n i c a t e o n t h e cable t h r o u g h i ts
Xerox is p r o v i d i n g t h e b a s i c local area
n e t w o r k (Ethernet) a n n o u n c e d in December
1 9 7 9 ; experimental Ethernet n e t w o r k s of
several h u n d r e d s t a t i o n s have been used
over a p e r i o d of f i v e years in several Xerox
sites. Use of t h e s p e c i f i c a t i o n s by other
c o r p o r a t i o n s and o r g a n i z a t i o n s w i l l be
e n c o u r a g e d — the a im being t o p r o v i de
c o m m u n i c a t i o n s c o m p a t i b i l i t y among users
of a b r o a d range of c o m p u t e r s , i n f o r m a t i on
systems and o f f i c e products.
Five people at Mitcheidean, whose
innovative work has helped to
lengthen the list of Rank Xerox
patents, received recognition at an
Invention Award dinner held at the
Tara Hotel, Upton St Leonards, on
May 1 when they were presented
with framed copies of the patents by
Don Stephenson, Group Director
Of the five, four were from Engineering
(John Badham, Cliff Knight, Mike
Selwyn and Richard Walford) and
one was from the Supply Centre
Three of their inventions concerned
the 7000 document feeder. John
devised what is known as ‘the
sewing machine foot’ — a ski which
controls the document as it enters
the pad area and prevents creasing;
Cliff invented a device for separating
and sequentially feeding documents
from the bottom of a stack, while
Richard designed a stack normal
force handle for use on the 7000
document feeder accessory.
Contamination of corotrons causes
poor copy quality and Mike evolved
a means of automatically cleaning
corotrons so as to reduce service
calls to machines of the 4000
family. It was necessary to develop
a method of cleaning for each
corotron and this resulted in five
separate designs using mechanical,
electrical and piezoelectric
Eric’s contribution enabled one basic
pallet to be used for a wide variety of
machines, spares and consumables.
All this inventive work took place
several years ago, but it generally
takes a long time for patent
applications to be examined and
finally accepted. In the meantime,
these people’s individual
achievements have been helping us
to keep ahead of the competition.
The vertical milling machine in use at the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School
For some years t h e Royal Forest o f
Dean Grammar School has i n c l u d ed
a t e c h n o l o g y course in t h e c u r r i c u l um
and pupils w h o have c o m p l e t e d t he
cours e have, for t h e most part, left
school t o t a k e u p a p p r e n t i c e s h i p s in
i n d u s t r i a l f i r m s in t h e locality.
Over t h e years t h i s has led t o t he
d e v e l o p m e n t of s t r o n g liaisons
b e t w e e n the school and t h e firms
c o n c e r n e d and t h e school has been
g r a t e f u l f o r t h e interest s h o w n by
i n d u s t r y in i ts w o r k .
We at Rank Xerox have always
s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t e d such a l i a i s on
and f r om t i m e t o t i m e have g i v e n t h e
school practical assistance in many
f o r m s v a r y i n g f r om advice o n t e c h n i c a l
matters t o t h e actual m a c h i n i n g o f
items required for t h e h a r d w a r e of t he
W r i t e s M r A . Rutt, headmaster:
‘ A l t h o u g h t h e w o r k s h o p s o f t he
school are c o m p a r a t i v e l y well
e q u i p p e d t h e w o r k that can be
undertaken is u n d e r s t a n d a b l y limited
and minor c o m p a r e d w i t h that o f
i n d u s t r y and t h e practical help given
in t h i s respect has been of p a r t i c u l ar
M o r e r e c e n t l y , w e h a v e been able to
d o n a t e an i n d u s t r i a l vertical m i l l i ng
m a c h i n e t o g e t h e r w i t h its a n c i l l a ry
e q u i p m e n t w h i c h was no longer
needed o n site.
‘ S u c h a m a c h i n e , w h i c h w o u ld
n o r m a l l y be f a r b e y o n d the reach o f
any s c h o o l , gives the p u p i l s an i n s i g h t
i n t o t h e industrial scene and enables
t h em t o undertake w o r k of a m u ch
more comple x nature’, says M r R u t t.
‘The school is e x t r e m e l y g r a t e f u l f o r
t h e g i f t of a v a l u a b l e piece o f
e q u i p m e n t that has w i d e n e d horizons
for p u p i l s u s i n g t h e w o r k s h o p s .’
They dropped 2,600ft-and
First jump certificates were recently presented to Mitcheidean’s
parachutists whose courage and sporting spirit enabled the
splendid sum of £3,600 (including £500 donated by the
Company) to be given to the Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund. Said
Personnel Manager Derek Knibbs, (pictured right handing
the cheque to Dr Hanna): ‘We’re very proud of you all’.
Also in the picture are Bob Moore of the Tool Room who
organized things at the Mitcheldean end, and (far right)
Alan Rosebery, campaign organizer. The whole sponsored
parachuting project has raised £25,000 in 18 months, Mr
Rosebery told us.
Total number of
accidents for period:
Mar/Apr ’79 iVlar/Apr ’80
Two recent publications — one a
collection of poetry and the other
a book of childrens’ stories — have
connections with us at Mitcheldean.
‘The Search’ is the name given by
Plant poet John Johnson (Electrical/
Electronic Engineering) to the
selection of 20 poems he has just
John has been writing poetry for
The figures on the left seem to indicate a
disappointing trend but, for the year to
date, the total figures are 81 compared with
92 for 1979 (11 down). For those who
haven’t heard the good news, RX
Mitcheldean was one of the 2,000
companies to win a British Safety Council
Award for 1979 (for achieving a lower
accident incidence rate than the national
average for the applicable industry).
over 30 years and has had individual
items published before, but this is the
first book devoted to his work alone.
As well as being a spare-time poet,
John is also a painter and readers
will recall that he was the man
behind the first arts and crafts show
we held on site a few years ago.
‘Five Delightful Stories’ for young
children is the work of Janette
Marie Box who wrote them at the
age of 16 while convalescing after a
year in hospital. Janette, now
married to Wilf Box (Assembly
Production Control) and the mother
of two sons, decided to make them
available to other people’s children
and has illustrated the stories herself.
Wilf tells us that she is currently
trying her hand at science fiction with
a story called ‘The Rock Monster’.
Bill Austin receives his prize from president Ron Morfee. R i g h t : Fuji Xerox resident
engineer Takeshi Itoh and his wife, who came along with Mike Selwyn, take a look at the
FX photographic exhibits.
Amateur Photographic Club chairman
Mike Dewey welcomed about 120
people to President’s Night on April
25 — the club’s ‘prestige event of
the year’. They included Mildred
Sothern, general secretary of the
Midland Counties Photographic
Federation to which our club
belongs, representatives of
neighbouring camera clubs and
local parish councillors.
Last year the main feature concerned
a chilly expedition up Everest; this
year it was the steamy jungle of
John and Julie Batchelor, a widely
travelled pair, presented a slide
show entitled ‘Journey to the Stone
Age’ depicting their travels to the
We learned of the strange ways of
the friendly Yali tribe who
nevertheless believe in eating an
enemy or two after battle and whose
punishment for adultery is a fine of
one pig and a night spent in a hole
in the ground — alone !
President Ron Morfee afterwards
presented prizes to ‘Clubman of the
Year’ Bill Austin who also won the
black & white print section, and to
Mike Wilkinson, winner of the
colour slides competition.
There were also gifts of photograph
albums for the three models — Jill
Mingham, Nicola Prosser and John
Harris — who had kindly posed for
club members on their earlier
There was a fantastic response to
the photographic exhibition held in
the ballroom as a run-up to the
big event — about 1,700 came along,
Ian Thomas reports. There was great
support from Fuji Xerox, and Venray
too would have featured but for a
hitch in delivery of their photographs.
Using this as an opportunity for
recruitment, the club dished out
membership application forms to
visitors and those who intend to
join but have not yet returned their
forms are asked to send them to
Vance Hopkins, Facilities Planning,
Bid 23/3, who was elected club
secretary at the recent AGM.
Other officers are: chairman — Ian
Thomas; vice-chairman — Mike
Wilkinson; treasurer— Martin Stock;
competition secretary— Colin Wyman.
B r i d g e T r o p h v Almost
O u rs
Eighty players of local bridge clubs
competed for the Rank Xerox Trophy
in the function room of the club
house on May 6.
Playing prepared hands, half-time
(excellent buffet!) saw joint leaders
in Cheltenham, CEGB and Rank
Xerox (our team consisted of Brian
Bowen, Jim Griffiths, Mick
Churchward, John Johnson, Brian
Charmley, John Robinson, Keith
Holbrook and Wilf Jones).
However, an unfortunate play of the
cards against a select Odds and
Ends team enabled the latter to
push us into second place.
Personnel Manager Derek Knibbs
kindly presented the trophy on
behalf of the Company to the
winning team captain. Miss E. Castle.
With RX finishing third last year,
second this year — could it be third
The RX Pairs event was won by
Brian Bowen and Jim Griffiths with
the individual trophy going to
S p r i n g Golf
The RX Golfing Society had their
first outing of the 1980 season at
Boughton Park, Worcester, on April
16 where they competed for the
Spring Bowl. This is a 36-hole
Stableford scoring with high and low
Some good combinations were in the
field to play the four-ball better ball
competition and the end of the day
saw new names appearing at the top
of the result sheet— namely. Bob
Howells and Vere Christopher with a
aggregate score of 85 points.
Runners-up were John Miles and
Don Parkinson with 79 pts after a
count-back on the last nine holes
with Richard Matthews and Danny
Haines who also carded 79 pts.
The next competition held at St
Mellons, near Cardiff, on May 8 was
a 36-hole Stableford scoring one to
decide who would be the first
winner of the newly inaugurated
‘America Cup’ presented by John
Wigg, Assembly Manager.
The day was a very successful one
both as regards attendance and
weather, with some very good allround
scores coming in. The
eventual winner was Mike Newlove
who is no stranger to the winners’
enclosure in the society; he returned
an excellent 69 points off a 7
On Cabaret Night, the Motor Club handed over an outsize cheque for the Kidney Unit
Appeal Fund (including £100 from our Company and £135 from Cinderford Tennis
Club) to Tony Neary (far left), Gloucestershire’s longest surviving kidney transplant
patient. With him are (from left) his wife. Motor Club officials Pete Fisher, John Hally,
Adrian Richards and Mrs Joy King, appeal fund treasurer. R i g h t : Mike Newlove (Supply
Centre) won both the America Cup as a golfer, and first prize in the Motor Club’s raffle,
giving him one week’s free use of a Porsche !
The runner-up was Geoff Paton with
67 points which, off a 5 handicap,
was more than commendable.
The best morning round was logged
by Mike with 35 points, and in the
afternoon John Spratley tied with
Roy Turley in carding 36 points.
The cup was presented by John Wigg
who, I may add, was also in the
running after the morning round to
win his own trophy.
Of A p p l e s a n d Pets
Who’s afraid of a computer? There’s
no need to be, as novices who
attended the RX Forest of Dean
Amateur Computer Club’s first open
meeting soon discovered.
Anxious to put paid to the myth
that computers represent the new
controlling class, the club invited
people to come along and ‘play’ with
Apples, Pets, Nascoms I and II and
other models at the Manor Hotel,
Longhope, on May 1.
Secretary Wendy Jenkins of Engineering has
fun with a ‘Pet’ microcomputer; looking
on is Marion Taylor (Technical Library).
Representatives from local technical
colleges and other computer clubs
were among the 50 who enjoyed a
friendly and interesting evening.
Welcoming them, vice-president Mev
Shelley explained that hitherto the
club had tended to attract only
technical enthusiasts and they were
keen to encourage a wider range of
For the benefit of novices, treasurer
Keith Jones then gave a brief
introduction to computing, explaining
the mysteries of processors, and
showing ways in which information
can be stored on devices such as
cassettes and floppy discs.
Then everyone was invited to go and
play with the range of about ten
small computers on display. Owners
were on hand to show how to
communicate with the models and
conversations were carried on in
‘Basic’ — a simple-to-understand
programming language. Some
models produced patterns or played
games (computers don’t always win)
and one musical Triton got so carried
away it played ‘When the Saints
Come Marching I n ‘ !
‘ Service Awards
T w o men r a i n e d their 3 0 – y e a r service
awards last A p r i l — Dennis B u r f o r d a nd
Ray Reed, b o t h of w h o m w o r k in Parts
M a n u f a c t u r i n g .
An ex-coal miner at N o r t h e r n U n i t e d f or
t e n years, Dennis j o i n e d us in 1 9 5 0 t o w o rk
in t h e Paint Shop w h e r e his w i f e Mary
was already e m p l o y e d . ( N o w w o r k i ng
in Electrical Sub-assembly, she g e t s her o w n
30-year award in A u g u s t ) .
Dennis well remembers one special s p r a y i ng
j o b they had in t h o s e Bell & H o w e l l days.
This w a s t o g i v e a special c o a t i n g t o parts
of a 6 0 3 c i n e camera t o p r o j e c t it f r om
intense cold. It w a s t o g o u p Everest w i th
t h e successful e x p e d i t i o n led b y C o l . J o h n
Hunt in 1 9 5 3 .
‘We all had a c h a n c e t o d o s o m e f i l m i ng
one year w h e n Fred W i c k s t e a d let e v e r y o ne
have a 6 2 4 camera off t h e l i ne t o t a k e on
their A u g u s t h o l i d a y s ‘ , Dennis recalls.
In 1 9 6 6 D e n n i s left t h e Paint S h o p t o take
over t h e special unit set u p in t h e M a c h i ne
Shop t o handle n e w c o a t i n g t e c h n i q u es
w h i c h M i t c h e l d e a n had d e v e l o p e d f or
fuser rollers used in t h e 2 4 0 0 (later t he
The c o p p e r – c o v e r e d ‘ r o l l i n g pins’ had t o
undergo various stages of s h o t b l a s t i n g,
nickel p l a t i n g , p r i m i n g , s p r a y i n g w i th
T e f l o n ‘ , s i n t e r i n g in ovens, m a c h i n i n g a nd
p o l i s h i n g .
Says leading hand Dennis, ‘ W e t h o u g h t it
was a c o m p l i c a t e d process t h e n , but i t ‘s
much more c o m p l i c a t e d n o w a n d t h e rollers
last t w i c e as l o n g as t h e y used t o d o w i th
t h e n e w PFA c o a t i n g s . ‘
We d i d n ‘ t have t o i n t e r v i ew Ray Reed
about his f o r m a t i v e years w i t h t h e C o m p a ny
— he h a d t h e h a r d f a c t s all ready f o r us.
‘I started straight f r om grammar school as a
very burly person of 5 f t I J i n w e i g h i n g in
at 6st 31b I My present p r o p o r t i o n s say
w o n d e r s for t h e e n v i r o n m e n t at M i t c h e l d e a n,
t h e w o r k , t h e e x e r c i s e and p o s s i b l y t he
canteen f o o d.
‘ M y first j o b w a s as s h o p b o y in Small
B a t c h — t h a t meant I w a s t e a b o y , f l o or
sweeper, d i d general errands and o p e r a t ed
a machine just t o make sure I w a s k e p t busy.
Take home pay — 16s 6 J d o l d money.
‘ P r o m o t i o n in t h o s e days w a s v e r y m u c h a
h e l p – y o u r s e l f affair, so, b e i n g y o u n g a nd
reasonably a m b i t i o u s , w h e n a v a c a n cy
o c c u r r e d in t h e T o o l Room f o r a s h o p b o y ,
I p r o m p t l y a p p l i e d and w a s g i v e n an
i n t e r v i ew — the t o u g h e s t I have ever
e x p e r i e n c e d .
‘I w a s c o n f r o n t e d by n o lesser personages
t h a n t h e T o o l Room manager George
Fricker, T o m Davies ( t h e s h o p ‘ s ‘hard m a n ‘ )
and Les T u f f l e y — need I say m o r e ?
‘ W e l l , t h e j o b w a s m i n e and so s t a r t ed my
g r o w i n g – u p years.
Every year t h e C o m p a n y held a s p o r t s d a y
and everyone w a s e n c o u r a g e d t o enter f or
s o m e t h i n g , so I w a s pressurised by Les and
T o m i n t o r u n n i n g in t h e m i le race, c o m p e t i ng
against Tool Room c h a r g e h a n d Fred B r o wn
w h o always w o n t h i s event.
‘ T o make it more even I w a s g i v e n 2 0 0
yards’ start, t w o p i n t s of beer and a ” r o ll
u p ” of F r a n k l y n ‘ s S u p e r f i n e Shag. After
t w o laps I w i t h d r e w .
‘ T h i s race and i ts c o n s e q u e n c e s w i l l always
be w i t h me. For r i g h t there I learned t w o
most v a l u a b l e l e s s o n s : ‘there is a t i m e a nd
p l a c e f o r e v e r y t h i n g ‘ and ‘never, never q u i t I’
S i n c e t h o s e days, Ray has w o r k e d in
v a r i o u s spheres i n c l u d i n g Engineering and
Spares C o – o r d i n a t i o n ; he is c u r r e n t ly
N i g h t Shift Manager, M a n u f a c t u r i n g 1, 2
His w i f e Pearl w o r k s in m i n o r s u b – a s s e m b l i es
at L y d n e y ; w e recall r e p o r t i n g their w e d d i ng
in t h e v e r y first issue of V I S I O N — exactly
20 years a g o .
The f o l l o w i n g have also become e l i g i b l e f or
C o m p a n y service a w a r d s:
2 0 Y e a rs
April—Gloria Bennett (Assembly
O p e r a t i o n s ) , Reg Fisher ( R X C M a c h i ne
S h o p ) , M a u r i c e Leake (Small B a t c h );
May — Terry Duberley ( M o d e l S h o p ),
Sid J o n e s ( M a c h i n e S h o p ) , Kathy Knight
( A s s e m b l y O p e r a t i o n s ) , Pete Stevens
( M a c h i n e S h o p ).
2 5 Y e a rs
April— Dennis Cook ( C o m m o d i ty
O p e r a t i o n s ) , Esmee H a l f o r d ( C o n f i g u r a t i on
C o n t r o l ) ; May — Dennis B o u g h t o n (Parts
M a n u f a c t u r i n g ) , Ivor Packer (Assembly
O p e r a t i o n s ) .
ANY NEWS FOR VISION
If y o u have, t h e n please —
mail it t o me c / o P u b l i c Relations, Bid 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, Plump 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
B i r t h s
Claire Marie, a d a u g h t e r for Ian Gregory
(RX C i n d e r f o r d ) and his vs/ife Christine,
on March 1 1 .
M a t t h e w Robert, a son for Terry Peates
(Tool I n s p e c t i o n ) and his w i f e A n n e , on
E n g a g e m e n t
Kim Roberts t o Mark J o r d a n ( b o t h of
M a n u f a c t u r i n g Progress) on May 8.
W e d d i n g s
J a c k i e Smith (secretary t o M i k e Cooper,
Manager, Bid 4 0 / 2 Assembly) to Alan
Kennaugh (Product T r a i n i n g ) at A b e n h a ll
Church on April 5.
Betty Prosser ( S u p p l y Centre) t o T im
Bennett at Holy T r i n i t y C h u r c h , Drybrook,
on April 7.
Sandra Meek ( S u p p l y Centre) to J o hn
Bradley at H o l y T r i n i t y C h u r c h , Drybrook,
on April 1 2.
Helen Fluck ( S u p p l y Centre) t o Eddie
Lewis at Gloucester Register O f f i c e on
A p r i l 19.
Dawn Hamblett (Electrical Subs) to Tony
Yemm (RX C i n d e r f o r d ) at H o l y T r i n i ty
Church, Drybrook, o n M a y 10.
N i c o l a B u l l o c k ( C o m m o d i t y Operations)
to M i k e Pritchard ( S u p p l y Centre) at
Ruardean Church on May 24. Mike and Nicola Pritchard
two people whose
listed in our last
issue — l e f t : Joe
Smith of 9400
Assembly (15 years’
service) receives a
and good wishes
from Manager Roy
John and Sandra Bradley
R e t i r e m e n t s
All t h e best t o t h e f o l l o w i n g w h o retired
r e c e n t l y : Sam Cocker (RX Cinderford) 7
y e a r s ; H o w a r d Creed ( 5 4 0 0 Assembly) 1 4i
y e a r s ; Phil Deller ( M f g Eng.) 11 years;
Ron Farrington (Eng.) 1 2 years ; Clarice
French ( P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ) 8 years; Cyril
H i n t o n ( A s s e m b l y ) 8 y e a r s ; Chris Phelps
(gardener) 11 y e a r s ; A r t h u r Prosser
( M a i n t e n a n c e ) 6 J y e a r s ; J a c k Thomas
(TED) 11 y e a r s ; B o b Taylor ( C o m m o d i ty
Operations) 1 0 J years.
R e v . R u s s e l l G r i f f i t hs
A n o t h e r recent retirement was that of
Russell G r i f f i t h s , w h o c o m b i n e d a f u l l – t i me
j o b in Engineering as s e c t i o n leader in
Standard Materials & C o m p o n e n t s w i th
a f t e r – w o r k duties as a n o n – s t i p e n d i a r y priest
in t h e A u x i l i a r y Pastoral Ministry.
In a reversal of t h e usual t r e n d , Russell was
asked t o take up ministry f u l l – t i m e and he
has n o w left us, after 11 years’ service, to
serve at t h e c h u r c h e s of B r i d s t ow w i th
P e t e r s t ow in Herefordshire.
b e l o w l e f t : Ralph James of SOA, with 14
years’ service under his belt, is presented
with a gift by Manager Ron Teague. B e l o w:
Phil Deller, a senior engineer in CBA Mfg
Eng., took early retirement in April — here he
receives his colleagues’ goodbye present
from the hands of Manager Roy Taylor.
Phil had been 11 years with the Company.
O b i t u a r y
We report w i t h regret the deaths of the
f o l l o w i n g : Jack Cooper (Works Engineering)
on April 12, aged 62, after 6 i years’
s e r v i c e ; Dick J o n e s (service o p e r a t o r ) on
April 1 5 aged 56 — he j o i n e d in J u l y 1 9 7 7 ;
Maynard Meek ( 5 4 0 0 Assembly) on May 4
aged 61 — he had been w i t h us since
We were also sorry t o hear of t h e deaths
of the f o l l o w i n g p e n s i o n e r s : George
Edwards on A p r i l 16, aged 6 4 ; Fred
Gammond on April 30, also aged 64.
Our s y m p a t h y goes t o their respective
When the sun
forget to switch
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd., Cheltenham
May/June 80 No. 143