16 December 2023 – From John Barker 

All the best to you and your family for Christmas Reg.

It doesn’t seem possible that HMSO as we knew it went in 1996. Sadly the news from it these days isn’t that cheerful. But it is nice to remember colleagues that aren’t with us any more when they appear on the Oldies for the last time. We all remember them when they were young women and young men. Many of us remember when we were at Atlantic House, and the various office and presses around the country.

You were hardly out of school when I first met you working in S6 with Kath Daviss and Chester Wilmott. I was a young lad of 24 working  with Arthur Barham and Freddie Pymm. They were very good to me.

Also please extend my good wishes to the others in your team for keeping HMSOldies alive.

I am sorry that I didn’t make it to Norwich this year, but I live in hope that I can in 2024. Perhaps we can meet up at the Wig and Pen if it is still going.

All the very best to you and your family Reg and enjoy Christmas and a happy New Year to you all

Kind regards, John & Angela


Hello John and Angela. How good to hear from you. I had been wondering – as you say, the months/years slip past at an alarming rate. All relatively well here, thank you – especially as compared with others. Old friends such as John Eveson, Brian Ekers, Steve Ward, Peter Macdonald, Dave Martin have passed on in recent times, plus many more. Good to remember the days of Norman ‘Chester’ Willmott and Kath Daviss, from S6, and John Eason from S4. In fact, today I met Mary Weatherhead – ex S4b – at the 95th birthday celebration of Cecil Hughes. Both on good form. 50 years since we started the Pipe Club of Norfolk, and I am going to the meeting arranged for Monday. Len Ellis – also 95 – could well be there. Anyway, thank you for your good wishes – heartily reciprocated. A 2024 meeting in the Wig and Pen would suit just fine.

Best wishes, Reg.