Return to 1980-1984

Vision 144

Said Bill Glavin of his successor
Paul Allaire (on the right): ‘He is
an outstanding executive and will
lead Flank Xerox to more successes
in the years ahead.’
Interviewed on the eve of his return
to Xerox Corporation, Bill Glavin
spoke of the highlights — and some
of the disappointments — of his
six years as Rank Xerox Managing
When pressed to say what he would
like to be regarded as his single
major contribution to the business in
this period, he singled out the
building of a very strong management
team, characterized by mutual
confidence and loyalty.
‘I would match the total management
of Rank Xerox against the leadership
of any other company I know of,’
he declared proudly.
Salient future tasks for Rank Xerox,
Mr Glavin added, included the need
f o r :
• further decentralization of the
decision-making process in the
interest of cost-effectiveness;
• better communications, ‘upwards’
as well as ‘downwards’; and
• continued improvements in
In the six years since he took over,
the Company’s turnover has grown
from £370 million (at the end of
1973) to £1,180 million (last year) —
a remarkable story in itself.
Looking back over those years,
Mr Glavin said ‘Our greatest
accomplishment as a group is the
fact that we met all of our major
objectives for the group for four
straight years — 1976, 1977, 1978
and 1979.
‘Everyone in Rank Xerox should be
proud of their contributions to this
outstanding achievement, because it
truly was a total effort.
‘These six years have been a bumper
period for new products, and we
have extended our range
tremendously. In particular, we have
had the whole opening up of the
top end of the market w i t h the 9200
‘Another highlight was how we did a
complete turn-around in our market
performance with 1978 net additions
almost three times 1977, and 1979
two-and-a-half times 1978. 1980
should be our biggest year in history,
w i t h another improvement over 1979.’
An ‘unfinished task’, which Mr Glavin
underlined, was that ‘we have not
succeeded in alerting everyone in
all functions to the importance of
their activity in giving outstanding
support to our customers. We have
the finest organization in our market
and we have to be sure we maintain
this as our competitive edge in the
years ahead. It will not happen
without continual education and
attention by all in Rank Xerox.’
‘A major change will
be our move into
the systems area’
Asked about the way in which the
Company was most likely to change
over the next five years or so, he
said that a major change would be
our move into the systems area, w i th
the evolution of an integrated
product line.
‘We have some products that will
be announced in the next couple of
years that are going to involve many
more of our copier-duplicator
people in the systems area, so we
have to plan and prepare for that
change in the next 12 months.’
Talking of our continuing need to be
more productive, he commented :
‘We have competitors now who do
things very differently from us as
regards methods, procedures, etc..
and in order to compete in a costeffective
manner in the future, we
have to become more productive.
‘If I can leave any message in this
area to Rank Xerox people, it is
t h i s : do not consider your work-load
will remain static — it has to increase
through improved techniques.’
The most significant part of Mr
Glavin’s new job would be, he said,
his membership on the corporate
policy committee where his
experience in Rank Xerox should be
a major contribution.
‘The interesting thing is that, for
a company of our size, w i t h the
reliance we have on international
business, we have had no one in
corporate who has lived and breathed
the international market for an
extended period of time. Now we
shall have t w o — Marion Antonini
and myself.’
One of the key changes announced
recently in the Xerox corporate
management structure included the
appointment of Mr Antonini as
President, International Operations.
As such Mr Antonini, who has been
elected to the Rank Xerox Limited
board of directors, will have
responsibility for Rank Xerox as well
as his existing responsibilities for
the Xerox Latin American group,
Xerox of Canada Inc., and Middle
East and North Africa operations.
Said Mr Glavin : ‘Marion is an
international executive to his
finger-tips — and the great thing
is that his thought process on how
we should run the business is
absolutely in line with Paul Allaire’s
view and my own.
‘So Rank Xerox will be reporting to
someone w i t h vast international
experience and for whose international
viewpoint I have a great regard. This
will strengthen the total company.’
Paul Allaire-our new Managing Direttor
Paul A l l a i re w a s born in 1 9 3 8 . He
graduated f r om Worcester,
Massachusetts, P o l y t e c h n i c Institute
in 1 9 6 0 w i t h a b a c h e l o r of science
degree in e l e c t r i c a l e n g i n e e r i n g.
After w o r k i n g f o r General Electric and
Univac ( p a r t l y in E u r o p e ) , he entered
C a r n e g i e – M e l l o n U n i v e r s i t y in
Worcester w h e r e he t o o k his master
of science degree in i n d u s t r i al
a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in 1 9 6 6 .
In t h e same year he j o i n e d Xerox
C o r p o r a t i o n as a f i n a n c i a l analyst,
later b e c o m i n g Manager, Budgets
and P l a n n i n g in t h e Business
P r o d u c t s G r o u p and, in 1 9 6 9 ,
Assistant C o n t r o l l e r o f M a r k e t i n g .
F r om 1 9 7 0 t o 1 9 7 3 he w a s assigned
t o Rank Xerox L i m i t e d as Director,
Financial Planning and C o n t r o l , w i th
r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r p r o d u c t and
s t r a t e g y analysis, f i n a n c i a l p l a n n i ng
and analysis, o p e r a t i o n s analysis,
and a c c o u n t i n g services.
On r e t u r n i n g t o X e r o x C o r p o r a t i on
in 1 9 7 3 he w a s a p p o i n t e d Director,
I n t e r n a t i o n a l Operations, Financial
P l a n n i n g and A n a l y s i s and, in t he
f o l l o w i n g year. Director, International
Staff A c t i v i t i e s . Here his task was
t o c o – o r d i n a t e t h e a c t i v i t i e s of all
i n t e r n a t i o n a l d e p u t i e s o n t h e c o r p o r a te
In A u g u s t , 1 9 7 5 Paul r e t u r n e d to
L o n d o n . He w a s elected t o t he
board of Rank Xerox Limited and
t o o k u p t h e p o s i t i o n of Chief Staff
Officer, responsible for d i r e c t i ng
headquarters staff f u n c t i o ns
( m a r k e t i n g , p l a n n i n g , f i n a n c e and
c o n t r o l , t e c h n i c a l service, and
p e r s o n n e l ) .
In November 1 9 7 9 Paul j o i n e d t h e
M a n a g i n g D i r e c t o r ‘ s o f f i c e as D e p u ty
M a n a g i n g Director of Rank Xerox
L i m i t e d .
He and his w i f e and their t wo
c h i l d r e n reside in L o n d o n .
The Company’s 21st year in plain
paper copying is being marked by
various events.
Last June Rank Xerox (UK) Ltd held
a preview of six new products — our
biggest launch e v e r — i n London,
and our centre pages are devoted to
two of these (others will be featured
in later issues).
At Mitcheldean we have celebrated the
anniversary w i t h a special brochure
and an exhibition this August featuring
some of our earliest as well as our
latest machines.
To sharpen up your memories of past
happenings and test your knowledge
of the Company today, here is a
21st Anniversary Quiz.
There’s a prize for the top three
entries; if there are more than three
equally correct entries, the winning
names will be drawn from a hat.
And the prize? Two days in London
late this autumn with a visit to Rank
Xerox House and to t he Houses of
Parliament where Xerox machines are
The competition is open only to
people of grade 3 0 and below.
Send in your answers together
with your name, department,
location and internal telephone
number (if available) to Public
Relations Department, Bid 0 6 / 1 ,
to arrive not later than the end of
1. In what year did Mitcheldean
become part of Rank Xerox Ltd ?
2. In what year did Rank Xerox
first w i n the Queen’s Award for
3. What was the Rank Xerox
turnover in the year ending October
4. In what year did the Monopolies
Commission publish its report on
plain paper copying ?
5. What was happening when the
picture shown here was taken at
Mitcheldean ?
6. In Information Systems, for what
do the initials SOLAR stand ?
7. The 914 was the first Xerox
machine to be built at Mitcheldean.
Can you name all its derivatives?
8. How many square feet of space
does Mitcheldean have for production,
engineering and supply — including
Cinderford and Lydney?
9. What is t he number of the
Building where production of the
first 914 commenced ?
10. In t he last ten years,
Mitcheldean has had visits by t wo
major figures associated w i t h the
Labour Party. Who were they?
1 1 . The Xerox 9200 was codenamed
Ardri. What does Ardri
mean ?
12. In 1978 what percentage of
Mitcheldean expenditure was
attributed to production materials?
13. Who is t he Chairman of Rank
Xerox Limited ?
14. About how many demands a
day are received for parts by the
International Supply Centre?
15. How many years’service at
Mitcheldean qualifies anyone to
become a member of the Long
Service Association ?
16. Which Xerox Company makes
floppy disc drives for the 850
Display Typewriter?
17. We feature in this issue t wo
of six new products launched
recently — what are the other four ?
18. If a businessman in
Gloucestershire wanted to rent or
buy a Rank Xerox copier, to w h om
would you refer him ?
19. The run-up to a General
Election is a bad time for the Rank
Xerox copying business. True or
20. Xerography gets its name from
which Greek words ?
2 1 . In what year will Rank Xerox
Ltd celebrate its 50th anniversary?
A n e w h i g h – s p e e d sales c a m p a i g n,
devised last year in Rank Xerox
Spain and n o w being e x t e n d e d to
Region 3 ( s t a r t i n g in t h e Far East and
A u s t r a l i a ) , has been p r o d u c i ng
spectacular results, reports a recent
issue of HQ News.
K n o w n as o p e r a t i o n Pacesetter, t he
o p e r a t i o n is a i m e d mainly at t he
m e d i u m – v o l u m e market and is geared
t o g e t t i n g key p e o p l e t o a t t e n d a
special p r e s e n t a t i o n and t h e n sign
a c o n t r a c t o n t h e spot.
The a u d i o – v i s u a l p r e s e n t a t i o n is
spectacular, using six s l i de projectors
l i n k e d t o a f i lm ; i t ‘s c a l l e d ‘Leadership
In t h e 80’s’ and t h e t h e m e is s p o r t —
t h e c o m p e t i t i o n and t h e w i n n i n g.
The f e a t u r e d machines are
d e m o n s t r a t e d a f t e r w a r d s and
t e c h n i c a l people advise and discuss
business needs.
Pensionets’ GeUtogethet
Once again the pensioners’ annual
re-union, held on June 7, was a
great success.
Over 250 people sat down to an
excellent luncheon. Had all the
people retired from Mitcheldean
come, there would have been 800
present. And throughout the whole
of the Company, Director Ron
Morfee told our guests, there are
now 1,500 pensioners.
The oldest pensioner attending was
an 85-year-old but there were quite
a number of ‘young’ pensioners
present who had taken early
Some had travelled a long distance
to attend — like Bob Walton and his
wife from Bournemouth, and our old
friend Albert Wing, w h o had come all
the way from Crewe.
Buyer Laurie Walker and his wife
Sue of Information Systems will
be watching the BBC TV programme
‘Dallas’ with particular interest this
coming autumn.
Not because of an addiction to the
series but because Laurie himself
may saunter on screen.
How did it happen that, for the
very first time, an Englishman came
to take part in the shooting of that
ever-so-American picture of life in
Texas — rather like a Xerox man
from Webster doing a walk-on part
in ‘Crossroads’ ?
Laurie didn’t actually hop over to
the States to double-up as a TV film
extra. He went to Dallas in July as
part of a joint Xerox/Rank Xerox
team to carry out price negotiations
concerning the supply of sensors.
At the weekend he wandered into
downtown Dallas and, noticing a
crowd outside a bank building,
strolled up to see what was going on.
Then he recognized Cliff Barnes,
brother-in-law of the notorious
Two anniversaries fell on the same
day — it was Bill Maynard’s 68th
birthday, and Fred Bell’s golden
wedding anniversary!
Speaking on behalf of the guests,
Don Elliott reminded people that, as
a consultant for the RX Pensioners’
Association, he, among others, would
be w i l l i ng to help anyone with
problems concerning tax, investment,
or pensioners’ rights.
After lunch everyone returned to the
ballroom for dancing. Then it was tea
and biscuits, and the time came all
too quickly for us to say our farewells
until next year.
Our thanks go to the Management
and all who helped to make this,
once again, such an enjoyable and
successful occasion.
Jackie Smith
tycoon ‘ J . R.’ — even if you aren’t a
Dallas addict you’ll have heard of him.
The director, surveying the group of
extras, picked on Laurie, attached
him to a shopping bag and a blonde
who looked something like the
“poisoned dwarf” character (you’ll
just have to watch it now to know
what we’re talking about 1), and
filmed them walking past as J . R.
and his wife Sue Ellen came out of
the bank.
Laurie was also ‘shot’ by a team
from CBS Los Angeles who scented
a newsy feature about an Englishman
taking part in the Dallas series.
By special arrangement with his
agent, we have been able to
reproduce this picture of Laurie.
Copies, duly autographed, can be
obtained at an exorbitant fee (well, he
never got paid for his walk-on part!).
By the way, the trip paid off businesswise.
Says Laurie: ‘We managed
to save money on the negotiations —
more than enough to offset the cost
of the trip.’
Open I n v i t a t i on
Don Elliott writes to say that he
recently visited one of our pensioners,
Percy Lewis, and his wife who now
live at 2 Harptree, Dunster Crescent,
Percy, w h o worked in Quality Control
before taking retirement on the
grounds of ill-health three years ago,
said he would dearly love to see any
old Mitcheldean colleagues if they
are visiting Weston any time. His
telephone number is Weston-super-
Mare 812929.
Finally, congratulations to pensioner
Len Harper on being elected Mayor
of Ross-on-Wye recently; Len, who
used to be in the Engineering
Drawing Office before he took early
retirement, has long played an active
part in community life.
Laurie out waildng on tfie Mitctieldean
Apprentice Graham Read receives his
Craftex ’80 award from John Garnett,
Director of the industrial Society.
C r a f t e x P r i ze
Nineteen-year-old RX apprentice
Graham Read recently w o n a prize in
Craftex ’80, a competition run
annually by the Engineering
Industry Training Board for t h i r d –
year craft apprentices in all the
South Western counties.
There were nine different skill
categories (fitting, welding, etc.) and
Graham came third in the electronic
wiring and assembly section.
He had first to build a set test-piece
to drawing and this was submitted
for assessment.
Shortlisted among the t op seven,
Graham had then to undergo a
further one-day test when he built an
additional circuit to his test-piece,
under examination conditions.
On July 1, Graham went to Bristol to
receive his award — a cash prize, a
framed certificate and a special
medallion, struck at the Royal Mint,
which were presented by John
Garnett, Director of the Industrial
Assembly Manager Roy Powell went
along too w i t h Technical Education
& Training Manager David Lowde to
receive an associated award on
behalf of the Company.
P r o m i s i n g Talent
The efforts of production engineers
Dennis Boughton and Maurice Brain
in coaching teams of Mitcheldean
youngsters in the skills of football
every Wednesday night have been
well rewarded.
This year both the under-14’s and
the under-16’s have come top in the
Gloucester & District Youth League
and both have w o n t he Gloucester Et
District Youth Cup for their age
group. To cap it all, they had t he t op
individual goal scorer in both
More recently, the under-12’s w on
the Gale Cup at Newent.
R i g h t : Maurice Brain with the team of
under-14’s whom he trains, and an
impressive array of trophies.
Maurice and Dennis, w h o used to
play for Mitcheldean PC themselves,
are delighted with the performance of
the young players. ‘There’s some
promising talent there’, they told us.
And the youngsters’ next goal is . . . ?
To acquire a minibus to get them to
‘away’ matches.
Incidentally, Maurice, whose son is
one of the under-16’s, tells us that
the Mitcheldean PC first team
finished runners-up in the North
Gloucestershire League 1st Division
this year. They’re not letting the
juniors get away with all the g l o r y !
The 37,000 cigarette coupons which
arrived in response to an appeal by Stan
Seaborn of the Machine Shop (pictured
above) will add another £50 to the £500
already raised by the same means for the
physically handicapped. Some of this
cash is paying for entertainment for a
group of handicapped children holidaying
in the Forest of Dean this summer.
And £250 has been donated to the appeal
fund for a minibus needed to convey
seriously handicapped people to the
Valley Road Day Centre in Cinderford,
where they can do some useful work.
We were happy to be able to help a group of Forest of Dean District Scouts
gain their fireman’s badge recently. They were given facilities for a course of
evening lectures, to which our Chief Works Fire Officer Tony Cale and Guy
Bedford, Security Operations Manager, also contributed. The latter presented
them with their badges at the end of the course, when the picture a b o v e was
taken. If some of the young faces look familiar, it’s probably because the lads
have parents working at Mitcheldean!
The Xerox 5600
It’s Simply Amazing
‘It’s simply amazing’ is the advertising
theme for the Xerox 5600 in the USA.
And with good reason.
This new medium volume machine is
simple to operate. And the number
of productivity features packed into
it are amazing.
The 5600 is to a large extent a
‘revolution’ in copying/duplicating.
In the medium volume range it is —
• the only full system producing
complete finished sets;
• the only product w i t h on-line
finishing (stapling and ‘offset
• the only copier/duplicator able to
produce double-sided copies from
double-sided originals automatically;
• the only machine which can sort
without a sorter.
Designed for the 1 5 — 5 0 , 0 0 0 prints
per month user, and w i t h a process
speed of 45 copies per minute,
it incorporates several innovations
which are the secret of its super
Recirculating Document Handler
The RDH is a totally new approach
to document handling. It is an
automatic document handier, but it
works differently.
In an ADH such as that in the 9400,
whatever the number of sets required,
the originals are handled only once;
in the 5600 RDH, they are recirculated
as many times as you want sets.
If, for instance, you have ten
originals and want four sets, you
just put the documents into the
RDH (it takes up to 50 originals) and
press the relevant buttons on the
control panel.
The RDH takes each original in
turn, working from the bottom of the
pile, and makes one copy of it.
After the first set is produced, it gets
to work on the second. So the ten
originals are recirculated four times
to produce the four sets.
This means that no sorter is required
and you get a complete first-off
set straight away to work on, or
Duplex t o Duplex
To produce double-sided copies
from double-sided originals, the 5600
copies the reverse sides first and the
copies are held in a ‘dedicated’
duplex tray inside the machine.
The originals are automatically turned
over and restacked in the RDH ; they
are then passed over the platen a
second time and the front sides are
copied on to the reverse side of the
copies from the duplex tray.
If two-sided copies from one-sided
originals are required, the evennumbered
originals are copied first,
the copies are held in the duplex tray,
then the odd-numbered originals are
copied on to the reverse side of the
copies from the tray.
To ensure that no pages suffer any
damage from handling, the originals
in the RDH are separated for feeding
into the machine by a jet of air,
and a new vacuum feeder system
holds them gently in place during
The Finisher
The finisher has t w o capabilities:
it can produce collated, stapled
sets, each set having one staple in
the top left hand corner of the page,
and these are delivered into the
bottom output tray.
It can also produce collated
unstapled sets (so the operator can
add any necessary information or
covers afterwards); in this case, the
sets are automatically offset so that
they can easily be separated, and
these are delivered to the t op output
If required, the RDH will pivot
upwards to enable books or large
documents to be copied on the
Two paper trays, each holding up to
500 sheets, enable continuous
printing to be carried out by
replenishing the first tray while the
second is used.
The 5600 will handle a wide range
of materials, overhead transparencies,
pre-punched paper or self-adhesive
labels, and produce a quality print
from almost any original.
With so many sophisticated features,
the 5600 might appear to need a
dedicated operator; but its automatic
processing, simple control panel, and
improved electronics package make
it ideal for decentralised use as well
as for the print room.
However complicated the job in hand,
the 5600 ‘remembers’ exactly where
it stopped, automatically compensates
for any lost copies, and completes the
j ob w i t h no missing or repeated
‘It is an impressive machine from the
diagnostic point of view too’,
comments Norman Harris, Technical
Programme Manager.
If a fault occurs, the copy counter
w i n d ow displays a code which
identifies the location of the trouble.
If more than one area is affected, a
series of instruction codes will lead
the operator through one by one.
A b o v e : Pictured witti a 5600 are
members of the team who worl programme — (from left) design engineer
Alec Davis. Trevor Smith (RTSDD).
hAanufacturing Programme IVIanager
Richard Trim, Brian Freeth (Supply),
Mel Alder (Mechanical Engineering),
Group Programme Manager Alan Noden,
Technical Programme Manager Norman
Harris, design engineers Ray Dance and
Andrew Phillips, and Keith Foster
(Systems Engineering).
R i g h t : In the MED workshop
manufacturing engineers Albert Webb
(mechanical) and Gordon Smith
(electrical) discuss the two-sided copying
function with Bob Blackball (Quality
Should the customer still be unable
to correct the fault, and a call to
Rank Xerox is necessary, the
diagnostic system can make it
possible for the trouble to be sorted
out over the ‘phone; and if eventually
an engineer has to be brought in,
it helps him to put things right with
minimum delay.
Co-operative Effort
The 5600 has notched up a ‘first’
in yet another respect; basically
designed at Webster, it is the first !
Xerox machine to have a major |
subsystem (the finisher) designed
The RDH is lifted out of its carton by means of a s
attached to a hoist; watching operative Sam Willie
fitting it into a 5600 processor is tool engineer Lloy
The Xerox 960
It Makes Forms Fast
and developed in Milton Keynes by
the Rank Xerox Engineering Group.
This is being made at Webster and is
added in the field to the 5600
processor, which itself is being
built here on the 5400 floor.
The recirculating document handler
is made by Xerox of Canada Inc.
and is sent to us for building into
the processor on the main line.
Mitcheldean’s main contribution to
bringing the 5600 to market was to
get the machine through all safety
checks appropriate to the European
market, and to provide foreign
language labelling, and marketing
and operating information.
Richard Trim, w h o was Manufacturing
Programme Manager, t o ld us:
‘Manufacturing worked closely with
Engineering on the technical side
and w i t h their US counterparts and,
despite a programme that was
subject to a variety of changes, we
at Mitcheldean always met our
programme and have met it ever
A final word from Group Programme
Manager Alan Noden : ‘The amount
of effort put into the programme has
been remarkable.
‘As we approached introduction into
the field. Manufacturing were getting
in all the very latest changes from
the States. We went through the
IMO with the same machine that
was going to be launched.
‘In fact, we are approaching Utopia I’
It is a fact that paperwork systems
are often unable to keep pace with
the development of modern transport
and production, and lack of the
necessary documentation causes
costly hold-ups in goods and
The Xerox 960 microprocessor-based
Systems Forms Printer is designed to
overcome such problems by
producing a wide range of forms
quickly and to order from one master
document at the touch of a button.
So it will be of interest to exporters,
freight forwarders, sales
administrators, production controllers,
purchasing managers and in a wide
range of government and professional
The 960 is unique in the Business
Forms Market (which is a major
generator of copies).
Rank Xerox has been active in this
market since 1963, using manual
overlays on copiers to create sets of
documents by adding, subtracting, or
substituting data from a single typed
master. It is estimated that there are
tens of thousands of these overlays in
operation throughout the Rank
Xerox world today.
The growing complexity of business
stimulated an increase in demand for
systems overlays and the large copy
volume potential triggered the need
for automatic handling.
So in 1968 we introduced the
720AOD and this was succeeded in
1976 by the 3600AOD using a
programmable peg-board system and
continuous transparent overlay web.
Over in Sweden, the RX Operating
Company developed this idea further,
in response to marketing demands,
by replacing the peg-board w i t h a
microprocessor-control led
It was decided to develop an
international version of the Swedish
Discussing tlie microprocessor
control unit of
a 960 are {from left)
Dave Wood, who was
responsible for the
electronics, Ron Boakes,
Technical Programme
Manager, and Dave
Read, another member of
the Mitcheldean 960
design team.
modification for production, and the
task was given to Engineering at
Mitcheldean who, having developed
the 3600AOD, had all the necessary
Says Ron Boakes, Technical
Programme Manager for the project:
‘No foreign translations were
necessary, thanks to the multinational
symbols which were developed by
Phil Cristal and his team in IDHF
(Industrial Design & Human Factors);
all the necessary instructions were
incorporated in the operating
IDHF also assisted w i t h the re-styling
of the 3600 front and the new 960 is
identifiable by its t w o dark yellow
The new machine was launched in
Europe in March 1980. It is currently
being built at Venray, while the new
programmer, as modified by our
Electrical/Electronic Engineering
section, is being produced at Welwyn
Garden City.
How i t Operates
At the rate of one per second, the
960 produces up to 250 copies each
of up to 40 different forms, in up to
100 different combinations, using a
continuous web of overlays.
This web is designed by Rank Xerox
analysts and produced to the
customer’s exact documentation
systems requirements.
The overlays are automatically placed
between the copying platen and the
original document as it is copied ;
there are opaque areas designed to
delete selected information and add
clauses where required. So a single
original document can be transformed
to serve many purposes.
Each overlay is numbered and the
machine will switch to any overlay as
(Continued overleaf)
From birth to death we are bedevilled
by forms. They are a necessity in the
world in which we live and work.
But the baffling ‘gobbledegook’ in
which many, particularly official
ones, are worded is not necessary.
You know the sort of thing : ‘The
minimum amount required is that
which would give you an earnings
factor of 25 times the lower earnings
limit for Class 1 contributions in
force for that year.’ (Extract from a
standard Department of Health &
Social Security letter sent to a
claimant last year.)
Those of us who have ever felt
flummoxed, frustrated and angry
because we couldn’t understand an
official form, leaflet or letter can take
comfort — the National Consumer
Council have taken up the cudgels on
our behalf.
They have recently published a
critical review of official forms and
leaflets entitled ‘Gobbledegook’.
This is being followed up by the
holding of training seminars for
Government Department officials and
others who have the j ob of writing
forms and leaflets, w i t h experts to
teach the art of getting the message
across simply and clearly.
Sticky Answer
The NCC are also encouraging people
to fight back individually by issuing
stickers to consumer and other groups
in the hope that they will return
incomprehensible forms and leaflets,
duly labelled ‘This is Gobbledegook —
please use plain English’, to the
As a company we do a great deal of
official form-filling — shipping
documents, tax returns, surveys by
statistical departments and so on —
and the general view is that many of
them are more complicated than they
need be.
Alan Cryer of Payment Operations,
for example, points out that changes
concerning sickness benefits and
earnings-related supplements involve
his department in a great deal of
work, and just understanding it all
takes a lot of time.
‘People from right across the Plant
come to us and ask: “What on earth
does this mean ?” when they get a
letter from the Ministry, and we have
to act as interpreters,’ he told us.
Apart from official forms, we use
some 2,000 forms of our own,
ranging from pallet labels and stock
records to expense claims and
requisitions of all kinds.
They are created, and amended as
required, by a section within
Information Systems known as
Policies, Procedures and Data
Administration. So we asked them
how they go about ensuring that
Mitcheldean’s forms are free from
‘We aim at simplicity,’ they told us,
‘and we have moved towards
greater participation w i t h the users, so
our role today is more one of
‘When asked to produce a form to
meet a particular need, we first get a
broad outline of what the users
want. We have to take into
consideration a number of factors —
for example, who will be required to
fill in the form, will it go across
departmental boundaries, will it be
used for computer i n p u t — before we
start applying standards.
‘When the form is issued, supervision
supply user desk instructions to
make sure that form-fillers understand
their task and how it fits into the
relevant procedure.’
Forms Catalogue
In fact, PP&DA are currently in the
process of producing a ‘forms
catalogue’ for Plant-wide reference
which will cover every function and
show the total picture.
Some of our forms are printed and
purchased outside (they may be
multi-page, require multi-colour
treatment or involve a variety of
type sizes); others are copied on
site on our own machines.
Obviously it makes economic sense
today to print as many as we can
ourselves and steps are being taken
to increase in-house production.
‘Gobbledegook’ is obtainable, price £1
(inc. postage and packing), from the
National Consumer Council, 18 Queen
Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AA.
Individuals may obtain a sheet of
Gobbledegook stickers by sending two
first-class stamps to the NCC.
Graham Spencer, who
was responsible for the
mechanical engineering
design of the 960, shows
Daphne Darby shire, forms
controller in Information
Systems’ PP&DA, one of
the ‘frames’ of an overlay
web. The opaque areas
block out selected data
from the master, and add
or substitute new data.
(Continued from page 7)
required; for example, the operator
can have six copies of overlay 1, then
two copies of overlay 7, then copy
one blank sheet as a separator before
proceeding to copy the next set of
The speed of this process means that
documentation can be produced as
and when it is required; this can
dramatically cut costs — the cost of
providing and storing stocks of forms
or special stationery, and the cost
of expensive administration delays in
production processing, shipping and
freight forwarding deliveries and
Because the 960 can produce whole
documentation sets from one typed
master, there are savings on the
typing and checking time associated
with repetitive form-filling. There is
also less opportunity for time-wasting
and costly typing errors to occur.
Alternatively, the master document
may be produced by word processor
or computer terminal.
The 960 uses the plain paper copying
process — in fact, it can be used as a
conventional copier. There are clear
sections at each end and in the centre
of the web for use when non-overlaid
copies are required, and the web
will move to the nearest clear
section on command.
Available for lease or sale, the 960
comes w i t h full Rank Xerox s u p p o r t—
the installation price includes the
services of a systems forms specialist
to advise on form design, and the ^
resulting web overlays are quickly
supplied after this initial consultation.
S u m m e r Outing
‘We did enjoy the trip so much. The
scenery was lovely. We realize a
great deal of work is done to make it
possible. It is good there are people
who care enough t o do it.’
This letter came w i t h ‘a very sincere
thank you to everyone’ from Evelyn
and Ron Williams after the annual
summer outing for LSA retired
members on June 18. And it warmed
the hearts of t he LSA committee w ho
had certainly put a lot of work into
making it an enjoyable event.
Two coachloads left Mitcheldean
mid-morning and headed for Wales
via Monmouth and Abergavenny.
The weather was kind for once, and
everyone was able to enjoy the
splendid scenery around the Brecon
Beacons, and do justice to an
excellent lunch packed by Bill
Broome and his staff when a stop
was made at Builth Wells.
After a couple of hours the coaches
set off again on a scenic tour of the
valleys, halting at Rhayader for a cup
of tea, and later at Staunton-on-Wye
where all were invited to ‘have one
on the LSA’ before returning home.
There were no incidents to report
and first aid facilities were not needed
en route — unless you count a cut
finger, and a bit of sticky tape
needed to repair George Turner’s
camera I
In fact, the general feeling was that
it had been one of the best ever
7wo men who have each worked at Mitcheldean for 34 years and who, in their quiet,
conscientious way, have made an appreciable contribution to the smooth running of the
Plant, said goodbye to us Just before the annual summer shutdown. A b o v e : Maintenance
electrician Tom Morgan, who has been engaged in our tool testing safety programme, shakes
hands with Works Engineering Manager Graham Bunt Sharing in the goodbyes is Walt Aston
who retired the same day after 15 years’ service; he’s seen (centre left) shaking hands with
Electrical Maintenance Manager Keith Jones. B e l o w : Chris Malsom of the Tool Room, keen
golfer and photographer, receives a ‘good luck’ card from Tool Engineering Manager Tony
Nightingale at a farewell presentation.
y ii
did their apprenticeships at
Mitcheldean under the guidance of
their father, the late Len Hart, w h o
used to be in charge of the
Apprentice Training School.
More Retirements
Storeman Bill Pearce, w h o was
based at Hereford, left in July. Apart
from a f ew months’ break in
service, he had been w i t h us for 25
years, during which time he had
always worked in the Production
Control/Stores environment.
Horace Ward, a bench drill setter in
the Machine Shop, completed 32
(14 plus 18) years’ service before
retiring just before the shutdown.
They have our best wishes for t he
Off t o O n t a r io
LSA member John Hart of Parts
Manufacturing left recently after 19
years w i t h us to emigrate to Ontario,
Canada, w i t h his w i f e and three
children, and we w i sh them well in
their new life.
John and his brother David, w h o
now works in our Tool Room, both
Ron Lewry (pictured in foreground) with a group of colleagues from
the Supply Centre wishing him well on his retirement last June. Ron
spent his 21 years with us working in warehouse operations, both on
the operative and administrative side. Earlier, Warehouse Operations
Manager Geoff Gray presented him with a farewell gift from the
Brian Sole, who worked in Machine Shop Inspection and had latterly
been helping out in Goods Receiving Inspection, retired in July after
completing 20 years’ service. One of our first-aiders, he was made a
Serving Brother of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in recognition of
his 43 years’ work for the Ambulance Brigade. Conveying the good
wishes of his colleagues is Dave Barrett, Manager Manufacturing OA.
Whether it’s a question of cars moving
before the final hooter, parking
restrictions being ignored, speed
limits being exceeded or whatever,
the question of the safety of road
users, whether on foot or on wheels,
is often raised by someone or other at
The fact is that, w i t h over 4,000
pedestrians, 1,500 cars, 120 lorries
and 35 coaches (apart from suppliers’
and contractors’ vehicles) on the
move from time to time, it is every bit
as necessary to take care when
getting around the site as when
using the public roads outside.
Our recent Road Safety Week from
June 9 to 14 directed a beam on the
dangers. Good advice handed out
from the Police Road Safety Caravan
which came on site, plus the
supporting efforts of the Motor Club
at the final Saturday safety event,
will hopefully have helped to make
safer road users of us all.
You knew it all already? Well, how
about trying this quiz which
Spotlight of the Motor Club has
prepared for VISION. You might
learn something of advantage — to
you or to your c a r — in the process.
1 If you’re driving your car on site
and come face to face w i t h a forklift
which of you must give way to the
2 When should you use your
headlights on dip in the daytime?
3 Is it an offence to have rear fog
lamps operating in conjunction with
brake lamps ?
4 Does an employee have a legal
right to a parking space on site for
his/her car ?
would you have to show side and
tail lamps?
6 What is the overall stopping
distance at 30 mph, given a good
road surface and good brakes?
7 If a road accident should happen
on site, when is it most likely to take
place ?
8 Are the roads on site more
dangerous after heavy rain or a light
9 What is the minimum legal limit
regarding tyre tread depth : 3mm,
2mm or 1 mm ?
10 If the maximum speed limit on
site is 10 mph, at what speed should
you drive ?
11 What do the zigzag markings at
zebra crossings mean ?
12 What is the maximum speed
allowed on a single-carriageway
public road ?
(Answers on page 12)
5 If you parked your vehicle 10
yards from a junction within a 30 mph
restriction, after lighting-up time.
Attendance at the Road Safety Event on June 14 was affected by the wet, cold weather (and by the clashing with other
events), but Pete Blake and his Dance Machine endeavoured to warm things up, interspersing the music with plugs for
road safety. The skills of driving slowly on two wheels were demonstrated by experts (see front cover) and RX Motor Club
officials pressed spectators into taking a four-wheel slow driving contest (winner was Security Officer Roy Hart). A big
attraction was the display of vintage vehicles brought along by Ray Smith of Churchdown. These included a 1928 Austin 7
‘Chummy’ which has played a part in the film of Agatha Christie’s life story, and a 1927 Chevrolet which has appeared in no
less than three films. Our pictures below show Ray lovingly polishing up his 1925 Morris ‘Bullnose’ Cowley; Roger Ellis’s go-kart,
which he races all over the country, attracting admiring glances; and the smashed-up vehicle (with a skeleton at the wheel for
added gruesomeness) which rammed home a road safety message.
The fishermen of f\/litcheldean — (from left) Steve Griffiths, Roy Thomas,
Ray Carter, OIlie Evans, Dave Adams, John Bush, Roger Aston, Terrry James,
Owen Hockaday, Robin Wozencroft, Phil Taylor, Roger Kempster.
Twelve Men Went to Fish
Twelve members of the Rank Xerox
Sea Angling Club had their longest
day at sea on Sunday, July 6.
Arriving in Brixham on the Saturday
evening (before shut tap) a few
beverages were taken to quench the
terrible thirst developed on the long
drive down.
Refreshed, the twelve then made
their way back to the cars and
collected rods, reels, tackle boxes,
waterproof clothing, sandwiches of
varying sizes and the odd can of beer.
Then they staggered like pack mules
towards the A/ton, the boat on which
they were to spend 18 hours at sea.
All the gear stowed aboard, the lads
then picked a soft and comfortable
plank on the deck and settled down
for a f ew hours’ sleep before their
morning start.
Whilst some dropped straight into a
deep sleep (their snoring resembling
various f o g horns or ships’ hooters),
others were heard to mutter that they
could be cuddled up in a warm bed
had they not preferred ( ?) to be on
the deck of a damp, cold, rolling boat.
Three a.m. Sunday morning saw the
skipper (Brian) and his deck hand
(Derek) climbing aboard. With a
heavy smell of diesel fumes the
massive engine burst into life.
A final check was made of the Decca
navigational equipment that was to
guide them to their destination — a
wreck 35 miles out i n to the C h a n n e l—
and they were away.
Four and a half hours later they
arrived at the wreck and started what
was to be the best day’s fishing the
club had yet enjoyed.
The fish came aboard fast and furious
—mackerel, cod, pollack, ling, spurdog
and conger eel; then eventually, with
backs and arms aching from pumping
their rods to bring the fish up f r om a
depth of approx. 35 fathoms, it was
time to head back for t he harbour.
Whilst sailing back all the fish were
taken from the hold, weighed and
then gutted.
Owen Hockaday gets a head start I
The total weight of fish was just in
excess of 7001b, the biggest fish of
the day being a conger eel of 301b
taken by OIlie Evans.
The heaviest individual total catch
was approx. 1601b of ling and pollack
taken by the club secretary, Roger
Cod were taken by Terry James,
Dave Adams and Phil Taylor, t he
heaviest of 181b being taken by
Terry and the only spurdog of the
day was taken by chairman
Ray Carter.
Roger Aston
‘ M r G o l f e r ‘ Again
The outing to Henbury Golf Club on
Friday, June 13, was the Golf
Society’s third outing of the year and
perhaps one of the more important
ones, because t w o cups were played
for — namely, the Scratch Cup and
the Powell Cup.
As it suggests, the first named is to
find the leading golfer in the society
or, in layman’s terms, the one w h o
gets around 36 holes in the least
number of shots (gross).
Looking back through past records,
the RXGS ‘Mr Golfer’ must be Geoff
Paton who, having w o n again this
year, now makes it five years in a row.
For those interested in statistics,
Geoff put in t w o very good rounds of
golf and scored a 76 during the
morning 18 holes and a 72 gross in
the afternoon, giving a total of 1 4 8 —
par for the course being 138.
The runner-up was John Cash,
whose gross total for t he 36 holes
was 154 (welcome back t o t he club,
John I ).
The Powell Cup, which was played
off handicap, was also won by Geoff
Paton who, playing off his handicap
of 5, produced a nett score over the
36 holes of 138. Well played, Geoff I
I understand we have one or t wo
promising golfers in our midst who
next year may be challenging Geoff
for the crown.
The runner-up for t he Powell Cup
was Bill Meek w h o scored a gross
159 (giving him a nett 141). Trevor
Jones tied w i t h Bill w i t h a gross 191
(nett 141) but on count-back he was
relegated to third place.
Rank Xerox entered a team in the
Tewkesbury Carnival Golf
Competition over 18 holes last June.
Consisting of Geoff Paton, Ken
Ellway, Danny Haines, Don Meek,
Rich Matthews and Harold Gardiner,
the team were runners-up and only
missed the cup by one Stableford
Last year w e were third, this year
second — so w e have promised next
year we w i l l be first.
We did have individual winners on
the day, however, in Don and
Richard, and Ken and Danny also
won prizes for t he best points
aggregate over the par 5 holes.
Harold Gardiner
S h o o t i n g t o S u c c e ss
If anyone wants to learn the skills of
pistol shooting, they needn’t look
further than our o w n Shooting Club.
Members Frank Tonge and Lionel
Fisher are now qualified county pistol
coaches, having taken an examination
earlier this year.
Commented Lionel: ‘It was a
gruelling exam.; apart from
practical sessions we got through
some 30 foolscap pages of written
Frank and Mike Lazarevic achieved
considerable success when, as
(Continued overleaf)
Two retirements reported recently in Finishing were those of Edgar Harris who during his nine years’ service worked mostly
in the Paint Shop and more recently in Auto-plating, and that of Gilbert Roberts who had been in Heat Treatment since he
started here 14 years ago. Gilbert is seen (centre) with colleagues in the picture on the left, and Edgar (second from left)
in the picture on the right
E n g a g e m e n t
Kay W o z e n c r o f t ( C M S A ) t o Graham
A r n o l d ( P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ) o n A u g u s t 3.
W e d d i n g
Roy B u l l o c k ( P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ) to
Maureen Wall at W e s l e y Church, C i n d e r f o r d,
on J u n e 7.
B i r t h s
Jessica, a d a u g h t e r for B o b Pearce
( E n g i n e e r i n g ) and h is w i f e Penny ( f o r m e r ly
S u p p l y Centre), o n J u n e 9.
C e r i d w e n May, a d a u g h t e r f o r Les Y e mm
( C o m m o d i t y Operations) and h is w i fe
M e r i l y n ( f o r m e r l y Eng. I n f o r m a t i on
Systems), o n J u n e 1 3 .
Tracy Diane, a d a u g h t e r f o r G r a h am J o n es
( P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r o l ) and h is w i f e Carole
( f o r m e r l y Design Eng.), o n J u n e 2 2 .
R e t i r e m e n t s
Best w i s h e s t o t h e f o l l o w i n g w h o have
retired r e c e n t l y ; Stan B u r f o r d (Works
Engineering) 7 y e a r s ; Mavis Grey ( E n g .
Print Room) nearly 1 4 y e a r s ; Fred G w a t k in
( S t o c k C o n t r o l ) 1 4 i y e a r s ; W a l t A s t on
( W o r k s Eng.) 1 5 years.
O b i t u a r y
We were sorry t o learn of t h e d e a t h s of t h e
f o l l o w i n g ; Herbie Hart (Piece Part Recovery)
on J u n e 18, a g e d 54, after 14 years’
s e r v i c e ; Chris C r o w d e n ( Q A ) o n J u n e 22
at t h e age o f 6 3 — he h a d b e e n w i t h us
18 years.
A l s o of pensioners H o w a r d D r e w on A p r il
18, aged 6 8 ; W a l t e r Stubbs, o n J u n e 3,
aged 63.
Our s y m p a t h y goes t o t h e i r respective
Service Awards
The f o l l o w i n g have become e l i g i b l e f or
C o m p a n y service awards as f o l l o w s :
2 0 Y e a rs
June — Arthur Sollars ( E n g i n e e r i n g ),
Brian W e y m a n ( n o w at W e l w y n Garden
C i t y ) ; July— Des J o n e s (Tool R o o m ),
M a u r i c e Knight ( S e c u r i t y ) , B o b W a t k i ns
( R e l i a b i l i t y Eng.).
2 5 Y e a rs
June — George Turner (Payment
O p e r a t i o n s ) .
T o t a l number o f
a c c i d e n t s f o r p e r i o d :
M a y / J u n e ’79 May/June ‘ 80
The cumulative figure to end of June 1979
was 131, to end of June 1980 a drop to
A n s w e r s t o R o a d S a f e t y Q u iz
1 . You m u s t ; W o r k s Transport vehicles
must a l w a y s t a k e precedence over private
v e h i c l e s .
2 . In heavy rain, f o g , mist, s n o w or a n y
c o n d i t i o n w h e r e light is bad.
3. Yes; m a x i m u m f i n e £ 1 0 0 s i n ce
O c t o b e r 1 , 1 9 7 9 .
4 . No — parking space is a p r i v i l e g e w h i ch
can be r e m o v e d s h o u l d t h e e m p l o y e e not
c o n f o r m t o t h e rules.
5. Yes — because y o u w o u l d have t o park
f u r t h e r t h a n 1 5 yards f r om a j u n c t i o n f or
no l i g h t s t o be s h o w n .
6. 75 feet or 4 i average car l e n g t h s.
7. Between 4 . 4 8 p m a n d 4 . 5 5 pm — in
other w o r d s , peak g o i n g – h o m e time.
8. After a l i g h t s h o w e r — because heavy
r a in w a s h e s a w a y most of t h e o i l , grease,
and rubber d e p o s i t f r om tyres, whereas a
l i g h t s h o w e r mixes w i t h these, c r e a t i n g a
h i g h l y d a n g e r o u s road surface f i l m.
9. 1mm.
1 0 . At l O m p h , or as s l o w as y o u p o s s i b ly
can in t h e p r e v a i l i n g c o n d i t i o n s.
1 1 . No p a r k i n g , no s t o p p i n g unless to
a l l o w s o m e o n e t o cross t h e r o a d and no
o v e r t a k i n g at or approaching the c r o s s i n g .
1 2 . aOmph.
If y o u have, t h e n please —
mail 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 Gate House f or
c o l l e c t i o n by m e ,
or post it t o me at Tree T o p s , 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.
f\Ayrtle Fowler, Editor
(Continued from page 11)
members of Ross-on-Wye Rifle and
Pistol Club, they competed in this
year’s Eley sponsored ‘Super Shoot’.
Shooting in the air pistol section,
Frank gained a score of 369 out of
400 which put him 2nd in class D,
and he takes part in the finals at
Cardiff in October.
Mike qualified for the finals of the
•22 pistol shoot, scoring a total of
305 out of 400 which put h im 5th in
class D (the finals will be held at the
Bisley range on August 24).
Lionel, Mike Bird and non-RX
member Bob Jones made up the
Ross club’s ‘A’ team in the pistol
section which shot in the Midland
Pistol League last winter. They came
2nd in the 3rd division — which puts
them in the t op half of this league.
C o m p u t e r C o m p e t i t i o ns
It was competition evening for the
Amateur Computer Club on
Wednesday, July 9, and a very good
evening it proved to be, particularly
for three members.
Roger Garlick w o n t he first prize for
the best home-built piece of hardware,
a Nascom 1 microcomputer, and
he demonstrated how he built it
from a kit and set it in a case. Jose
Vega-Lozano came second with
a SDK85, again built from a basic kit.
The competition for home-designed
software was w o n by Steve
Hardcastle, his entry enabling a user
to produce and debug minicomputer
programmes more easily.
Each of the first prize-winners
received four computer-graded
cassettes, while Jose was given a
bottle of w i n e as consolation.
If you missed the club’s first, and
very successful, open meeting, make
a note to come to the next one on
October 8 at the Manor Hotel,
Longhope. And if you haven’t any”‘
hardware or software of your o wn
to put on display, just bring yourself
— and a friend or t w o .
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd., Cheltenham