April 1975 HMSO Middle Management Course, Mundesley
Philip Marriage writes: This photo was passed to me by Mike Taylor who probably had it from his PP colleague Ron Moore who was on this Middle Management Course at Mundesley in 1975. Those identified are Neil Hacker, Derek Puncher, David Hardstaff, Dan Paul, Ron Moore, Rita Ryan, Jim McCallum, RG ‘Basil’Radford, Les Crawford, myself, and Robin Nash. There was a strong contingent from Basildon and during the initial days of the course their problems with ‘Gluepots’ kept cropping up in discussions. It took a couple of days for the rest of us to discover they were actually talking about ‘Dup. Ops’ (Duplicating Operators).
Jim McCallum was the tallest man in the Mundesley line-up and we took the opportunity to ask him if his memory, from his lofty perch, was better than Philip's. He replied as follows:
Hi Reg. Thanks for the photo of the Mundesley Course. It brought back many happy memories of the two weeks I spent there. Danny Paul, Bas Radford and I had a super time (especially in the hotel bar!) Rita Ryan was the only female there but she thoroughly enjoyed the male banter. Sorry that Danny is no longer with us but I hope that Bas and Rita are. As to the unnamed warrior — I am afraid that I cannot help you with that. As a matter of fact my memory is letting me down quite a lot now — do you know if it is possible to have a 'memory' transplant?' Had the rest of the course not been named, I would have been hard pushed to recall them — I might not even have recognised myself!
We, up in Edinburgh, are still meeting once a month but how long we can go on is a matter for conjecture. Willie Ross has not been too great and has had to give up driving — he hasn't appeared at the last two or three meetings. Andy Baptie is also not so good — he and his wife need a lot of help just to keep going — but he is as cheerful as ever. Ben Pearson we think is still alive but he has not appeared at our meetings for many many months. Dave Currie , Alec Morris and I appear every month but are getting slower and slower! The two youngsters — Norrie Veitch and John Hamilton have their own health problems but are not incapacitated to any great degree — fortunately. I hope you are feeling your old self — keep up the good work as I visit the site very very frequently (just to make sure that my passing is not mentioned there!). Orra best. Jim
Tony Gummett adds : Dear Reg, I believe the unknown 'middle manager' (last but one at the end of the row) is Ken Gray — a Welshman who I believe commenced his SO career in the Cardiff Office. I hope I've got his name right as my memory is getting a little dodgy these days! With all best wishes,Tony Gummett
Dear Tony, I think you have the prize - what an excellent memory! Kenneth Robert Stanley Gray was born 7 September 1924, joined HMSO 29 September 1947 as CO in Cardiff, EO 27 April 1966, HEO (Pubns) 1972, it must be himself, as you say, in the line-up. There are so few of us these days who can even remember Cornwall House, and you have much more than me on this front - Marge Todd, Frank Whatley, Laurie Andrew, Wilhelminha Robbie, Alec Gravatt, JJ O'Connor, HR Higgs, Fred Bagley. Hope to see you in what might be the last knockings of 'The Ship' events - Tuesday 8 December - and present you with a pint as your prize! All the best, Reg
(Photo from PM)