Back to the big binder to see what was on everyone’s lips just 29 years ago. To put things in perspective, January 1977 was the month in which Britain extended fishing limits to 200 miles offshore and figures released showed bumper wheat crops in the Soviet Union. As if that were not enough, Britain had its heaviest snowfall for ten years; Lord Avon died; Jimmy Carter was elected President of the USA; Rhodesian President Ian Smith rejected black majority rule. In February Anthony Crosland died, and David Owen became Foreign Secretary in the Callaghan Government at the age of 38.
The January 1977 SO Review carried a letter from BD Cockram ‘As one of the draftsmen responsible for the textual construction of the current Promotion Agreement I regard the remark ‘the appalling sloppiness of the drafting of the wretched agreement’ as ignorantly inaccurate and offensive to all the persons responsible for the wording . . . .’ On the same page, under ‘Wanted’ was a plea for a ‘Second-hand girls cycle, preferably with stabilisers. Contact RG Mynott tel: Norwich 413867.’ Either Roy was looking for eccentric transport for a life in Chipperfield’s Circus, or young Miss Mynott must be in her 30s by now . . . .
But the real news appeared in the HMSO Information Circular. 1977 got off to a cracking start with the news that the bomb warning sirens had been re-installed in Sovereign House. Special note was made of the fact that Mrs J S Muir was successful in the 1976 Direct Entry Principal Competition, remaining in Industrial Relations Division as deputy Director vice Mr Hinnigan, who has retired. An interview board was announced to select an HEO Welfare Officer for Harrow Press. EJ Sargeant, Mrs BJ Potter and NW Hall were invited (and NW Hall was successful). DW Treasurer was promoted SWS, Wembley; Miss LL Bowen-Powis retired from PD, London, as did AEJ Brunwin (Principal, LS). Mrs KE Hirst transferred as EO, Belfast, to the Welsh Office; PF Messenger was promoted OMTS Foreman, Edinburgh.
Mention was made of the Silver Jubilee Bank Holiday on 7 June and reams of corrections to Official Diaries were printed. Other news was that ‘The HMSO Atlantic House telephone number is now 583-9876.’ And ‘the Armistice Day collection amounted to £329.68, which was £21.11 more than last year.’
Promotions to SEO were listed as RJ Sumpter (Bristol) and DG White (Basildon). AA Bracken was appointed EO (Rep) but, amazingly, thought better of it and left HMSO for life (as a poet, or accountant, I forget which — same thing) back home in Ireland. Also listed under Appointments were WE Sandalls PO (PPL); DM Wardle PO (PPN); JP Raithatha CO (LS); IJ Armstrong EO (initially LS Garage until he was plucked to obscurity to become EAC); VG Bell U/Accountant FMA. HJF Neumann (CA, Pubns) retired. ‘Board to select EOs under nominated promotion procedure’ selected four Publications candidates: AA Blakeman, Miss EL Brewer, J Diamond, E Goldstein. The Board to select Principals announced success for RC Barnard, GFC Clarke, CE Harrold, MD Lynn, FR Payne, RA Youl and RT Cooke, Senior Accountant. Also, L Johnson EO RB Leeds promoted HEO to PS, Norwich and Miss EJ Stokes promoted from CA in PP to CO in S.
Enough for now.