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The Second Tuesday In December Society

by Reg Walker

Back in the mists of the 1970s the Management of OMTS decided to get close to its customers (quite an original thought in those days) by having quarterly meetings (the second Tuesday in March, June, September and December) on licensed premises in London. The Customers were mainly Reprographic Managers, including MOD, DHSS, Inland Revenue, plus a sprinkling of Office Machinery suppliers, particularly Addressograph-Multigraph, Olivetti, Olympia and Rank Xerox. CRS were also involved (try to keep them out!). Early meetings were held offshore (well, a ship permanently moored on the Thames) as Brian Ekers and RG ‘Basil’ Radford from HMSO and Ron Carman and John Gilbey from MOD can testify. Other stalwarts — Dan Farquhar, Stan Smith, Peter Atkins, Peter Hewitt, Ron Brigginshaw, Tom Daniels, Fred Trowse,  Albert Rose, Bob McRobbie, Willy Wilson and Dave Eaglestone — are sadly no longer with us.

With the move of OMTS to Britannia House, the meetings transferred toThe Skinners’ Arms  and then toThe Ship  in Borough Road. More Customers, and Suppliers, became involved, and with the privatisation of HMSO they became annual rather than quarterly. This year (2005) saw a convivial group propping up the bar, but there were inevitable ‘apologies for absence’ from Les Crawford and Ron George (the last of the true OMTS attendees), Walter Wood (Olivetti), Bob Nuttall (AM), Christopher Bindloss (RX), John Magowan (IBM), Bob Rice (3M/Formara), Jack Costelloe (Schleicher), Alan Quinnell (AM), Bernard Johnson (AM/Toshiba), Peter Macdonald (Supplies), Les Birch (Edin/Bristol), Ian Tough (DOE/OGC), Jan Hewitt (Canon) and Basil Radford (CRS).

Fred Bagley (I Rev), Peter Empleton (DES), Graeme Beswick (HMT), Eddie Jukes (PSA), Peter and Jill Colman (DTI) were also unable to fly the Rep Managers’ flag, but Dave Stoten (Land Registry) Mick Pierce-Jones (MOD), Fred Kennedy (DWP) Mike Holmes (DTI) and Dave de Bruin (F&CO) all made it. As did — from Norwich — Rod Durkin, Brian Ekers (with his son Bill), Alan Cole, John and Ann Eason, Sue Whitaker and Reg Walker from Norwich; Ron Carman, John Gilbey (both now in their 80s) and Ray Smith and Don Bankier from MOD; Brian Allman, Tony Wilson, Colin Notman-Watt and others from Canon; Alex McLeod (PP), John Eveson (Works), Arthur Brunwin (ITW), Tony Gummett (Supplies), Roger Pudner (Land Registry), Mike Rust (PaperCo) and others whose names I will remember once this has gone to print. Oh yes — Denis Moloney (Supplies, now Neopost — a rare example of an ex-HMSO still employed) kept up the HMSO Delivery Promise by arriving when everyone else had gone home.
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