8 June 2020 – From Ken Arnoldi

Hello Reg, See this extract from a letter, which may be of interest to HMSOldies, from Pauline and Ron Smyth, former HMSO employees. My wife met Pauline by chance in 2001 and lent her a copy of the HMSO Graphic Design book. [From Layout to Graphic Design]

‘We both worked in Publications Division from 1937 (!), but mainly in the Accounts section (which I loathed, though happily I met a lot of friends including Ron). He then went on to the RAF, I stayed in the section which received work from all Gov. Depts, recorded it, set the print size as regards quantity and passed in on to the Layout Section. We were really liaison between Depts. and printers so we got to know the Layout boys quite well. This went on all through the war at Keysign House, Oxford Street. When Ron returned he was in Publications for a while and then in various Departments finishing up in Computer Requirements which became part of the Treasury, so he said farewell to HMSO (thankfully as far as he was concerned!). We both remember a lot of the names in the book, but I particularly recall Albert Hyde and Tim Powis whom I came to know very well during the war. Albert joined a choir (originally called the S.O. Glee Club), which some of us girls in Pubns. started. Several other printers joined and we had some fun – even carol singing round the back streets in 1943/4.

Thanks for the memory.

All the best, Pauline & Ron Smyth’

Regards, Ken Arnoldi

Hello Ken, Thank you for forwarding the extract from the letter you have from Pauline Smyth. I will also send to a couple of ex-CCTA people who worked with Ron, whose obit we published on HMSOldies in 2017. There was national coverage, as he had been awarded the DFC, and he would have made it to 100 on 24 December this year, having joined HMSO 25 October 1937.

Good to be reminded of such times: thank you.

Best wishes, Reg