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Janet Grimes 1932-2015

We were sad to read, in the Norwich Evening News, that Janet had died on 1 March 2015. She had been unwell for some time but had retained her sharp wit and verbal dexterity until well into her seventies.

Janet joined HMSO Norwich in 1980, initially with Glyn Hughes in the old Office Machinery records section.

Funeral details can be found here.

Later: Dear Reg, Hello, I'm Janet's granddaughter. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind card of condolence which you sent to the family. I know that Janet had many happy memories of the people she worked with at the HMSO and the times spent together. Thank you for all you did for her and for the thoughtful obituary on the HMSO website. Kind regards, Daisy.

Simon Master 1944-2015

Jim Wretham has alerted us to the obituary for Simon Master in The Times dated 13 February 2015.

Although not strictly 'an HMSO man' he was appointed non-Executive Board Member, and had been Managing Director of Pan Books, and later Random Century.

His death was also reported in The Bookseller.

Cecil Horn 1915-2015

We were sad to read, in the Eastern Daily Press dated 9 February 2015, of Cecil's death in his hundredth year.

He was born on 8 August 1915 and joined HMSO on 19 April 1948, spending some time as a Technical Officer in Edinburgh before moving to an HTO post in what was then Printing and Binding Division in Norwich. He lived in Taverham, and funeral details are given here.

Lydia Waller 1919-2015

It is with much sadness that l am writing to tell you Lydia Waller passed away on the 3rd January, after suffering a massive stroke on Christmas Eve. Mum who was aged 95, lived a full and active life up until her stroke. Lydia worked in the Print Room with Phyllis Stead, Sylvia, Gill and Muriel, from 1968 until her retirement in 1979.

Then Lydia worked with Madeline’s Mum in the Sovereign Club. Both my parents worked at HMSO. Dad (Bert Waller) originally came up from London in 1968, after working in Atlantic House, Holborn. They loved their time in Norwich and had some very happy memories.

Best wishes to you all, Sandra

Oh, Sandra. Sad news indeed - but 95: good for your mother. My father made 93: they were made of strong stuff in those days! As I have no need to remind you, your mother joined HMSO Norwich as a Duplicator Operator in September 1968 - when all we Londoners moved into Sovereign House. On a personal note, can I say that for the brief period in which I supposedly 'looked after' the Typing and Rep Areas (Vera Rankin, Mary Robinson) I remember your mother as a lovely lady. Best wishes, and thank you for letting us know. Reg.

Winifred Beryl Jenkins 1925-2015

The first definitive message regarding Winnie's passing came from Brian and Jean Whitefield - old friends from Cornwall House days.

'Last evening Jean had a phone call from a nephew of Winnie to say that she died on 8 January 2015. She had been feeling unwell for some time, but had not consulted her GP. She was found collapsed by a neighbour some time before Christmas and was admitted to St. George's hospital. There she was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer. The family was very impressed with the care that Winnie and they received from the hospital: Winnie was kept comfortable and pain-free right to the end and the day before she died had a happy two hour visit from her sister who lives in Derbyshire.
Winnie had a large circle of friends and contacts. She was in regular contact with Jean, who phoned her in early December. Kay, Judy Tassel Jo Dobson and the Pawseys also contacted her. When in hospital she had two or three visitors every day except New Year's Day.
The funeral will be at Lambeth crematorium at 1.15 on Monday 1 February. Donations are invited via the undertaker to St Barnabas Church Southfields that she attended for 80 years and where she met husband David. Details of the undertaker will follow when we have them.
Regards, Brian'

LATER: Update on Winnie's funeral. The crematorium is not functioning on a Sunday so the the date is 2 Feb not as previously announced. Donations to St Barnabas Church (where Alan Pawsey was christened) to:
 Mears & Cotterill Funeral Directors
 169 Merton Road
 London SW18 5EF
Regards, Brian

Winnie  joined HMSO in April 1943. She was promoted HEO in May 1977, spending most, if not all, of her career in Publications, London.

Richard Stanley Moore 1941-2015

On 9 January 2015 we received the sad news, via Norma Groom, that Dick had died suddenly, following an evening out from the home he shared with his wife Stella and their son David in Tonbridge, Kent.

A Londonderry man, Dick began his Civil Service career as a Clerical Officer with the GPO in London. He was promoted to the DNS in Durham, then moved to HMSO Norwich in 1978 as Head of Reprographics. In 1981 he was promoted to Director of HMSO Scotland, where he spent four years, then returned to Reprographics in Norwich, finally taking the new post of Head of Business Supplies Marketing.

Dick had been a keen table-tennis player and was a lifelong golfer. A popular colleague, as evidenced by the 34 messages (so far) of sympathy received by HMSOldies and passed on to the family.

Funeral arrangements, for Tuesday 27 January, can be found here.

LATER: Stella, Ian and David Moore and families would like to express their thanks for the many letters, cards, emails and phone messages we received following the sudden death of a dear husband and father. Your support helped us to cope at this sad time and has been appreciated more than we can say.

Leslie George Pettet MBE 1931-2014

John Barker has passed on the following sad news regarding Les, who joined HMSO in November 1958.

Dear Reg, I would like to wish you and all HMSO Oldies a Happy New Year, and thank you for all you do to keep HMSO alive and kicking!

On a sad note I left a message on Les Pettet's answer phone just before Christmas. His daughter rang me just before the New Year to inform me that Les had died on Christmas Eve. He was 83 and born in 1931. He hadn't been very well for a year or two now and had recently had a stroke. After retirement Derek Eke and I used to meet up with Les in London to have a bit of lunch and talk over old times.

I believe Les started his career in HMSO in CEPA in Atlantic House and on promotion moved to St Stephen's Parly Press to take over from Charlie Wanstall as Parliamentary Liaison Office. I was there for a couple of years with Les. He had a special phone which gave a direct link to the Clerk of the House at Parliament. It had a special ring, and if anyone but Les answered it the Clerk of the House was usually annoyed. He had a very deep voice and you had to be very brave to even think of picking up the phone if Les wasn't around. Les was Treasurer of the IPCS (our trade union) in London at the time, and he persuaded Trevor Priddle and myself to be Secretary and Chairman. That didn't go down too well as you couldn't have three members from the same office being absent at meetings together. As a result I got moved out to Atlantic House. Les was highly regarded by the House of Commons for efficiency and integrity and some years later was awarded the MBE for his service to Parliament.

Les then went over to Printing and Binding on promotion and had to deal with COI, one of PP's most difficult and demanding customers. At their peak we did over £21M's worth of business with them so they were well worth looking after. Les was then promoted to SEO and moved from Nine Elms to Lincoln House to take over the Urgent Work Section. He retired from there and I took over from him. We then moved to the London Print Centre.

He had a very good career and was well respected by his staff, customers and printers alike. His funeral will be at 10 am on 13 January 2015 at St Albans Church, Romford RM12 SS. Any former colleagues and friends will be welcomed.

Regards to all and I hope that you get the web site going soon. We all miss it! John

Hello John, Sad news regarding Les, who I didn't know well but remember as a helpful colleague when I worked with London Print in Lambeth. Your mention of being moved to Atlantic House brought back another memory: I think it must have been the time when you worked with Arthur Barham and I worked with Norman 'Chester' Willmott, who used to deal with you on Works supplies. All the best to you and yours for 2015 - hope to see you during the year. Reg

John Eveson adds: Reg, I worked with Les for many years, with him partnering Frank Hallett as Parly adviser to the Parly project. We all respected him and liked him. Its so sad as we see our colleagues passing away.

Dave Burchell adds: Very sorry to hear this. I was involved with Les on the Trade Union Side of IPCS in my early years at SSPP and have fond memories of him. He was indeed one of the first Parliamentary Liaison Managers, a role I am happy to have followed him in. Sad news indeed. Regards, Dave.

Phillip Brooks adds: Really sorry to read about Les Pettet. I worked closely with him when I was in the Parliamentary Section at Atlantic House. As John Eveson adds – really sad to see close colleagues passing away.

Paula Middleton 1958-2014

We were shocked to hear, from friends Madeleine Daynes and Judy Sinclair, of Paula’s death on Saturday 13 December 2014, a day before her 56th birthday.

Paula joined HMSO Norwich (where her father Rex worked in Supply Division) in July 1978 and progressed to become Personal Secretary to Director of Print Procurement.

Judy has since sent this note regarding funeral arrangements:

Hi Reg - a message was put on Facebook this morning (23 December) from, I think, a relative of Paula's. The funeral is on 8th January at 11am at St. Peter's Church, Buxton Road, Spixworth, NR10 3PR. A wake will be held immediately afterwards (approx 1230 hrs) at The White Horse, Crostwick, NR12 7BD. Donations to the Big C rather than flowers have been requested.

I am really sorry to say that I will be unable to attend as my daughter has an interview at Keele University at 9am that morning so we will have to travel up the night before. I am so disappointed that I won't be able to be there but I'm sure there will be a good turnout for Paula. I'd be grateful if you could let as many people as possible know the above arrangements? 


Diane Margaret Buck 1947-2014

We were sad to read the notice of Diane's death in the Eastern Daily Press dated 13 December 2014.

Diane joined HMSO Norwich in February 1970, working for much of her time in Establishments Division.


Susan Grindley Finn 1945-2014

Philip Marriage writes: There will not be many HMSOldies who will call to mind Sue Grindley as she was only with HMSO in Atlantic House from 1970 to 1973 but she will be fondly remembered by those of us who worked alongside her in the graphic design studio. I recall her lively buoyant personality, sense of fun, strong convictions always delivered with a broad smile coupled with plausible tales of why she regularly arrived late. "Well I was at my Bus Stop and the chap in front of me collapsed, he must have been a drug addict, so we rang for an ambulance and well what could I do - I had to go with him to the hospital ... "

Quite unexpectedly Sue emailed me last year - she'd seen some of my photos on the 'Spitalfields Life' web-site - so we arranged to meet on my next trip to London. When she didn't show-up as planned I wasn't unduly surprised, remembering from old her sense of punctuality, and curious what the reason would be – but when she emailed a few days later I was shocked to learn that she'd been taken into hospital for a recurrence of ovarian cancer.

However we finally did meet earlier this year, in March, had lunch together in Spitalfields and spent an enjoyable afternoon catching up with the intervening forty years. She told me that after leaving HMSO she, and her husband John Finn (another graphic designer) had had two daughters, taught typography at the London College of Printing then undertook a MA in Landscape Architecture. About fifteen years ago she developed a passion for writing poetry and that now consumed all her time. As we parted she asked me to give her best wishes to everyone who might remember her, adding she 'had lost touch with a very important part of my life and reconnecting means a great deal to me'. I left that meeting impressed by her bravery, heartened that she hadn't lost any of her spirit and that her lovely broad smile hadn't changed a bit.

Sadly we've just learned that Sue died on 4 December in St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. In her memory 'The London Column' published one of her poems taken from her collection 'New Reader', published by Rack Press.

Sue (in the centre in purple), in happier times, at Christmas 1970 in Atlantic House, wrapping up (the blurred) Adrian Young, our Australian designer.

Surrounding them can be seen at the back Nodge Carnegie and Philip Marriage, Len Lawrance on the left with Dee Smallridge behind, David Challis next to Sue with Caroline White on the other side, John Saville behind with Reg Vine and 'Bobbie' Westaway on the right.


Albert George Calvert 1919-2014

On 8 December 2014 Dave Burchell passed on the following sad news: 'I noticed in the Worshipful Company of Stationers Newsletter over the weekend that Albert 'Bert' Calvert had passed away on 3 Sept. Bert was Production Manager at Foreign Office Press when I first met him in the late 70’s and before that he was at SSPP in ‘S’ Dept. I believe he lived in Norfolk and was 96 when he passed away.'

Bert joined HMSO in February 1946, and in 1971 was promoted to Grade III Overseer (Comp) in the Foreign Office Press. 


Donald Owen Barford 1934-2014

Dear Reg, I have been advised, by his son and his wife, Andrew and Helen Martin, of the death on 23 November 2014 of my long-time musical friend, Donald.

Sadly, Donald's wife (who was a priest) predeceased him many years ago.

He served briefly in the then Printing & Binding Division in HMSO Atlantic House, London, in the 1960s. Donald was also an accompanist to the HMSO Singers, which was directed by the then Assistant Controller, Rowland Owen.

On returning to his home town, Northampton, he worked with Clarke & Sherwell Printers(?). He was also appointed organist and choirmaster of the town's Christ Church – the family church of Barratt's Shoes - a post he held until quite recently. He was an Usher at our wedding in Great Grimsby Parish Church on 10 September 1966. We maintained our friendship mainly through exchange of correspondence, and our meetings were infrequent. We met most recently at the Hilton Northampton in 2009, when on a Forward Promotions tour of Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.

Donald's funeral is on Monday 8 December 2014 in Christ Church, Wellingborough Road, at 12 noon. Whether he is survived by his brother, Derick, is not known.

He leaves a daughter, Helen.

Yours sincerely, Ivor
Ivor R.Hosgood MBE

Tony Barker adds: I have no connection with HMSO but once chanced upon a cartoon of the young Donald in your 'HMSOldies' website which was very recognisable, while idly googling. I have known Donald for some 60 years, first as a deputising young organist when I was a choirboy at S. James Church, Northampton, and some years later when I joined his choir at Christ Church, Northampton. We became good friends, and he told me that he had worked in HMSO, and then moved back to Northampton, the town of his birth, to work for Clarke and Sherwell (gravure printers). Playing the organ and choir training were always important parts of his life. Later he left printing and retrained as a schoolteacher, specialising in Music. I eventually moved with my family to Petersfield, Hampshire, to take a teaching job, and so had less contact with him for the last 30 years. He died, after prolonged illness, aged 80, on Sunday 23 November 2014, and I was able to attend his funeral, and form part of a choir of his friends, on an uplifting (and musical) occasion. Others (with whom I might be able to connect you) would be able to give you a more complete account of his life but I am writing in case you have no other report of his death.


Mary Bernadette Farr 1938-2014

We were sad to receive the following note, on 5 October 2014, from Bernadette's daughter:

'Hello, I'm writing to inform you of the death of Mrs MB Farr. She was SEO at HMSO Chadderton. Her funeral is provisionally planned for Thursday 9th October at St Herbert's Church, Chadderton for all those who knew her.

Louise Lee (daughter)

Later:  Brian has asked that people let him know directly if they intend to go to the funeral for catering numbers. His number is 0161 652 9168. The time has changed slightly to St Herbert's Church at 1.30, Crem at 2.30. Brian is still arranging the venue for the sandwiches afterwards. Louise.

Bernadette joined HMSO in October 1972 and was the mainstay of the Personnel, and later other sections in which she worked. She will be remembered by many as lively, helpful and a pleasure to work with.

George Rokahr adds: Bernadette worked for me from around 1980 onwards (except for the period when I looked after OMTS and Commercial Maintenance) and I got to know her very well. She had an abundance of energy and threw herself into any task that was given to her. She had that rare gift of getting on with everyone. She was fun, easy to work with and always immaculately turned out.

Over the last 3 years or so, I saw Bernadette once or twice a year. It was awful seeing her gradually going downhill. The last time I saw Bernadette was in July this year. Although she couldn’t speak and she was very thin, she recognised me and smiled at me. I shall never forget that smile. 


David Ernest Crump 1923-2014

We received the following sad news from Dave's daughter Kathryn on 5 September 2014:

Dear Reg, Mum has asked me to contact you to let you know that very sadly and suddenly dad died yesterday, he had been unwell for a few weeks but it is still very much a shock. She would like to keep the funeral quite low key and mainly for family but if anyone would really like to attend please can you ask them to contact me at
With very best wishes, Kathryn

Jean and John Nash add: Hello Reg, Thanks for letting us know about Dave Crump - another item of very sad news. Dave was one of the early members of CTB when they set up in Norwich and was a very accomplished and well regarded tutor. Our condolences to Stella and the Family.

Peter John Bradbury 1935-2014

Peter died at home, surrounded by his family, on Sunday 24 August 2014. The end came quickly, following the onset of lung cancer.

Peter's funeral has been arranged for 3.30pm on Friday 12 September 2014 at St Faith's Crematorium, Norwich, followed by a reception at The Red Lion, Drayton - Peter's local pub.

Full details are given in the Norwich Evening News

Peter joined HMSO (P&B London) in 1961 and moved to Norwich, living in Drayton. He was a lovely man and a good friend.

Norman Armstrong adds: Really sad to hear that Peter Bradbury had passed away. In many ways it is thankful that he has not had a lengthy period of suffering. I found him such great source of help and encouragement when I first arrived in Norwich, "a stranger in a strange land".

Pat Tate adds: I was so saddened by the news of Peter’s death, although relieved he did not suffer for months. I met him in 1961. He joined HMSO a week after me and we sat next to each other in Jobwork in CEPA. Although since we retired I did not keep in touch with him on a regular basis we still enjoyed a very warm friendship. We worked together several times in our careers in HMSO and I found him a great colleague, completely trustworthy and reliable. He taught me lots of things - firstly regarding his diabetes. I was not really aware of it until I met him and his attitude, while reckless, was admirable: he virtually ignored it. I am sure other colleagues will remember getting extra sweet cups of tea off the trolley or Mars bars!
We also worked together outside the office in the early sixties when we were impoverished Printing Officers, when we started a window cleaning venture in Peckham. It was fun, and boy, could he work. I will miss him very much, he really was one of the good guys.

Philip Marriage adds: All of us working with PP in St Crispins knew Peter - he was one of those 'characters' who you couldn't help thinking about without an inward smile. In recent years I'd occasionally bump into him on a Friday evening in the bar of the Bob Carter Centre at Drayton where I still play badminton with Maddy Daynes and Steve Johnson. Peter would go out of his way to come over and have a few words, regaling us about his latest escapade which typically ended in a laugh. A special chap, a real natural - it's sad to think he's gone. 

Brian Ekers adds: I joined HMSO on the same day as Peter in 1961 and he has been a special friend ever since. As those that were fortunate enough to know him will readily testify he was a one-off, cheery in the extreme, right until the end and without a devious bone in his body. Pat Tate’s memories above were great, particularly concerning the Peckham window cleaning business that I have forgotten about entirely! Peter was one of the band of HMSO stalwarts that regularly braved the stormy north sea during off-shore sailing adventures from the 1960s onwards. He was also a founder member in 1974 (and never missed a performance) of the vintage choir that has graced a wide variety of licensed premises during the past 40 years. For his many, many friends memories of a great guy will always remain fresh.

Roger Nash adds: During my involvement over a number of years with Drayton, I often came in contact with Peter, usually at the Bob Carter Centre. We mainly spoke about our work time in HMSO, about what’s going on in general in Drayton, and our close ages (I was two months older than Peter). Peter always had time to chat and made that interesting. How sad another member of the Advance Party (May 1967) has now gone.  He will be much missed.
Andy Bradbury (Peter's son) adds: I have just spoke to Roy Plackett and Glyn Jones, two fantastic friends spanning over 50 years, Roy told me about your website and it was wonderful and sad to read peoples thoughts about my dad, thank you. As so many people have already said he was such a special man, he would talk to strangers and within in 5 minutes they would be friends for life. Everything he did was funny, he never had a down day and was a great husband, father and grandfather throughout his life. He would be pleased to have had a good innings and will be smiling knowing that he missed buying the beers on his birthday for the Friday Club.

Andy Bradbury adds (following Peter's funeral): Hi Reg, Nice to see you again last Friday all be it under very sad circumstances. It was a huge turnout to bid him farewell and a great help to us close family. I would have liked to thank everybody personally but there were just too many. Please thank all the "oldies" on our behalf for all their kind words and thoughts, we miss him dearly. I'm putting together a little book for our daughter to read one day and would really appreciate any old stories - they would be a great addition. Many thanks, Andy

Hello Andy, Thank you for your kind note. Your father would have been proud of you all - especially of his grandchildren, as I think they had the most difficult job (possibly along with the very brave and impressive pall-bearers!). He really was a lovely man, and I still get people coming up to me with stories etc. We'll certainly remember him and raise an appropriate glass on suitable occasions. Best wishes to you all. Reg

Peter Bradbury: Donations in his memory

We have been asked if arrangements have been made to disperse donations in Peter's memory. Roy Plackett has made enquiries of Peter's daughter, who has said that it was his wish to sponsor both Macmillan Nurses and Save Syria's Children.

Should you wish to donate to these causes, either at the funeral or beforehand, the funeral director to whom cheques etc. should be made payable is Gordon Barber - details as per this link:

Bernard William Patrick Downing 1928-2014

We were sad to learn, from Tony Ivett via Cecil Hughes, of Bernard's recent death.

Bernard joined HMSO in October 1951, as a Technical Clerk in Inspection and Transport. He moved to Norwich with dispersal and was promoted to SPGO, mainly working in the Contracts area.

Funeral arrangements are given in the Eastern Daily Press as follows:

Brian Keith Perry 1935-2014

We are sad to report that Brian died on 8 July 2014. He lived in Buxton, Norfolk, with his wife Margaret, having joined HMSO in March 1968, where he worked in Production, Finance and Print Procurement. Funeral arrangements have been made for 22 July, as reported in the Eastern Daily Press:

Phyllis (Randlesome) Harber 1933-2014

We are obliged to Robin Kelly for passing on the sad news that Phyllis has died, following illness. The Eastern Daily Press notice appeared on Saturday 7 June 2014:

Phyllis joined HMSO Sovereign House as Messenger in 1974 and was promoted to Senior Messenger in 1978. She was Mrs Randlesome when at HMSO, remarrying following her retirement.

Ron England 1949-2014

John Fox has notified to HMSOldies the following link to the sad news of Ron England's death reported in PrintWeek (click here)

Robert Martin Grant 1946-2014

We were sad to hear, from Carmel Grant via John Eveson, that Martin has died following admission to the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamstead.

Martin joined HMSO in 1975, working in Production HQ (Harrow) and in Industrial Personnel Division.

John has forwarded funeral details. Please advise that anyone intending to attend the buffet emails Carmel asap. She will be welcoming, and hoping that as many attend as possible: after all Martin was a sociable, likeable chap and a good turn-out is to be expected. Thanks, and remembering Martin.

We have now confirmed arrangements for the funeral service which will be held on Tuesday 27 May at 11.45 at Amersham Crematorium which is just outside Amersham on the road to Wycombe. We would be delighted if you could then join us for a buffet lunch at the Hit or Miss pub in Penn Street. I will need to know how many to cater for so would be grateful if you could confirm numbers to me over the next few days. Thanks for all your kind words and we are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the day.

Kind regards, Carmel

And later: We are having family flowers only at the funeral - if you wish you can make a donation to The Hospice of St Francis at Berkhamstead in memory of Martin. The care they gave him in his last week was so special.


Martin is far right in this photo from Harrow taken in the GM’s Office in 1980/81 while Gordon Parfitt was in post with, (from left to right) Trevor Priddle (Personnel Manager), Ken Jagelman (Production Manager), Rosemary (Secretary to GM), and John Eveson (Admin Manager).

Peter James Wright 1934-2014

On 12 April 2014 we received the following sad news from John Nash:

'I have just learnt that Peter has died in a Hospice in the Salisbury area. Although in essence a "printer" Peter enjoyed a very good spell in Training Branch - constantly devising well regarded programmes, matched by a vibrant personality. He worked up excellent partnerships with other trainers, notably Eddie Perry, Tony Powell, Sue Morgan and of course Ken Elphick. I am sure there will be a number of P&B and Works chums who will also be saddened by this news. I have no further details at present but will forward them on if any are received.'

Peter joined HMSO in December 1966 and moved to Norwich with dispersal. He was promoted to HEO (PS Training Branch) in 1985.

Funeral details can be found at:

Peter here with Christine Hanny-Saville, and Ann Eason

Brian Ekers adds:  This is very sad news. I spoke to Peter in January and he, as ever, made light of his advanced cancer – so much so that I did not appreciate how far advanced it was. I made a follow-up call less than a week ago and Betty told me he was in the hospice but was still hopeful: I intended to phone again this weekend.
Peter and I worked in partnership for a couple of years in the early 70s running the Foreign Office Press, forging a close relationship that would have remained closer had he not moved from Norwich to Torquay many years ago. We still maintained contact, and I had the highest regard for Peter as an organiser. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humour. We had some great battles with the trades unions during our time together at the FOP: I think the NGA in particular found our approach refreshing – to say the least!

John Butler adds:  I was very sorry to read of his death. Peter quite often came to my office at lunchtime for a chat and a laugh. We worked together with Sue and John for a while in the 1980s to introduce the revised staff reporting system issued by the Cabinet Office. I expect John Nash still remembers the training sessions with staff around the country as I certainly do and the discussions which often ensued with some staff afterwards! Peter was a very friendly and outgoing personality with a fine sense of humour and good company. A valued colleague and sad to hear of his passing.

Tom McNeill adds:  Dear Reg, I have just seen the sad news of Peter Wright's death. I have warm memories of Peter. In particular when I was on a management course in the Brudenel Hotel in Aldburgh. He approached me one morning and asked me to turn up late for the training session when he would then slate me off. This was to show how not to discipline people by doing it in front of others. I was reluctant but went along with it. In the event when I arrived late Peter got stuck into me and said how I had let down everyone by being late and lots of other negative remarks. Everybody in the room seemed to find it necessary to sharpen pencils or do other things to avoid accepting what was happening. A young CO, Derek Hands who worked on my section and was due for promotion burst out laughing. Peter rounded on him genuinely angry and asked what he was laughing about. He said this is a set up or "he would have thumped you by now." This was actually a real learning exercise for me because it had never occurred to me that the people working for me viewed me so.

Harry Martin 1931-2014

On 28 March 2014 we received the following sad news from Harry's daughter, Sandra Green:

I am writing this email to inform you of the sad passing of my father Harry Martin (1931-2014). Harry worked for the HMSO at Nine Elms for 18 years between 1975 and 1993 when he finished due to his arthritis. If anybody does still remember Harry then my Mother would be happy if they would like to attend his funeral which is to be held on 10 April 2014 at Eltham Crematorium, SE9 at 3.30pm.

Thank you, Sandra Green

Hello Sandra, Thank you for letting us know the sad news about your father. I did not know him personally, so have copied this note to some colleagues who may have worked with him, or may be in a position to inform other ex-employees. It is 17 years now since HMSO was privatised, and the more time passes the more people move away and lose contact. As you probably know, the old Nine Elms site is now part of the new US Embassy project. Please pass on our sincere condolences to your mother. Reg.

Norman Heaton Reeves 1922-2014

We have just been sent this news from John Nash:

'I have received a card from Mrs Reeves with the sad news that Norman died in the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital on 15 February. He was 91.

Together with Norman and Trevor Wainwright they were the senior COs when I joined the old Accounts Division, attached to P&B under Ernie Scarborough. We were based on the 5th Floor of the (then) old John Lewis building in Cavendish Square. The walls were paper thin and one could easily put one's foot through them; portable heaters were constantly issued because the building - already bomb damaged - was always bitterly cold.

In his younger days Norman was a motor cycle enthusiast and rode a fearsome and very high powered Triumph bike and to my cost I never really recovered from a number of journeys as a pillion passenger! On promotion to EO in 1951 Norman served at both the D Division RBs in Nottingham and Newcastle, before moving to Norwich with ITW on dispersal in 1967. He spent some years in Supplies Machinery (dictation machine procurement) and retired from a post in Management Services.'

Sad news, John: thank you for letting me know. I'm surprised there was nothing in the local newspaper obits. I worked with Norman (as of course did 'young Phil') in Supplies Machinery, and he certainly came into the category of 'character.' I especially remember his singing a version of 'The Bleeding Sparrow' to Frank Payne and me in The Merchants on the occasion of his near-retirement: when he got back to the office he found that his pension was less than he had thought so he requested approval to stay on for another couple of years - hence the MS job. Reg.

John Dain 1926-2014

Hi Reg, I have just heard from John Dain's wife, Marianne, that John passed away peacefully on 1 February last. Many will remember John as an accountant with Finance and Publishing Divisions (possibly others) spending some time at the Publications Centre at Nine Elms, as well as in Norwich. John and Marianne had moved away from Bressingham, where they lived for some years in the Old Rectory next to Bressingham Gardens, of which John was a trustee. He had been poorly for about three years with a rare form of Parkinson's Disease and had recently become quite frail. 

I am sure many, like me, will remember John as a very kind and generous man, a good friend always ready to help and advise. There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St Peter's Church, Arkley, near Barnet, Herts EN5 3FJ on Friday, 7 March at 12.30.

Kind regards, Geoff Lockwood

Hello Geoff, Sad news indeed: John was always helpful and cheerful in the various contacts I had with him over the years since he joined HMSO in 1981. A particular occasion involving a very large restaurant bill which had to be split several ways, in Belfast, particularly comes to mind: the man had the patience of a Saint! Thank you for letting me know. Reg

Nice obit in the Diss Express:

Michael Woodhouse adds:  Thanks for the advice. I had lost contact with John several years and one always wonders. Long before his days at HMSO John and myself knew each other through our joint involvement with CIMA. A good guy and a gent, it was at his advice that I applied to join HMSO. I will pass the news on to the regional committee.

John Butler adds:  John was my manager on the Accounts Payable System with Mike Cuming and Alan Low for two years from 1981. John was a quietly spoken and urbane person, very easy to work with and I am sorry to read of his death.

Dave Pelham adds: Hi Reg, I just saw the news about John and wanted to add my condolences. He was a really good man and when I lost my Mum he was especially kind to me and helped arrange special leave to go to Surrey and help my Dad. One of the nicest people I ever worked for. Dave

John Nash adds: I note with sadness the death of John Dain. We both worked closely with Derek Rutherford and Alan Davies on the creation of HMSO's Accountancy Training Plan and much of its success was due to John by virtue of his long experience in the accountancy field.

Thomas Frederick 'Derek' Moore, 1934-2014

We were sad to hear, from Ernie Downs, that Derek died on 23 February 2014.

This link gives definitive funeral arrangements:

A Northern Irishman, Derek joined HMSO in March 1968 and was promoted HTO (PP Norwich) in 1986.

Mary Robinson ‪adds:‬   Hello Reg, I would like to say a few words about my dear friend Derick Moore. I had a call from Ruth Vivian, Welfare Officer asking me if I could take in a young Irishman joining HMSO: in her words 'she was desperate.' I agreed to a trial of two weeks and that is how I met Derick. He came for the two weeks and stayed 4 years until he married Evelyn. He was like an older brother to my two sons Philip and Paul, taking Paul to football matches when he was home from school. He was a great Fixer and could repair or make almost anything. I don't have any funny stories: he was a kind gentle giant and his last few years very patient and tolerant with his many illnesses. I don't know if this is suitable for the HMSOldies just felt I had to put some thoughts to pen. Hope all is well with you and yours, I'm fine just a bit slower. Kind Regards Mary

Hello Mary. Thank you for your thoughtful note, which sums up the man nicely. I once told him that I intended to go to Carrickfergus, subject of the lovely Irish song. 'Go if you like, but be warned: it's a dump.' Proper Irishman: didn't want to be called by either of his forenames, Thomas or Frederick, so settled for the last six letters of his middle name. Good to hear from you, Mary. By the way, I saw Diane Storey in good form last week, and she asked me to pass on her regards. Best wishes. Reg.

Roger Nash adds:   Obviously sad to hear about Derek – he was part of our Quiz Team up until December 2013 when he found it very difficult to get up and down the stairs at Royal Norwich Golf Club – even with a stair lift. He very much enjoyed the Quiz contests over a number of years and was very knowledgeable – particularly about Ireland. In spite of his illness he never complained. Will be remembered and sadly missed.

Adrian McCrum adds:   Hello Reg, Just looked on the Oldies site to see the sad news of the passing of Mr Moore. Never have I met a more warm and welcoming man than Derek when I joined the office in November 1988. I saw him a few times after he left the office and was always greeted with a smile and a handshake along with beautiful Irish accent that reminded me of home. May he rest in peace. Adrian McCrum, Account Executive, Williams Lea, St Crispins.

Ernie Downs adds:   I was extremely sorry to hear the news of Derek's passing. I had known him since his first day in HMSO, when he joined my section in Atlantic House prior to his move to Norwich. He was one of those rare people - extremely rare at the present time - who would put themselves out to help and support others.

If he was involved with any enterprise he gave it his full commitment. His interests were wide and varied, both within the office and outside. He served on the IPCS Committee, was minute secretary for the HMSO Golf Society, a stalwart of the PP Darts Team, and when he retired from HMSO was an active member in the Norwich Labour Party. He was a keen participant in various quizzes, sometimes organising them and setting the questions. For relaxation he was an angler, golfer, woodcarver, and supporter of Norwich City. He always tried to see the good in people even if they were the opposition. There were two things that were beyond comparison, Norwich City and the Royal County Down Golf Course.

He was also generous with his time and expertise in the practical side of things, in particular DIY. I only had to say I was going to undertake some work at home and he would say 'I’ll be round'. Sometimes when the job was finished it owed more to his efforts than what I had originally envisaged. I shall miss him. I was looking for something a few days ago and thought I will have word with Derek, but I can’t now. Somehow Google does not have the personal touch.

Norman Armstrong adds:  I have been reading the many tributes paid to the late "Derek" Moore by his colleagues in HMSO to which I concur and would like to add my condolences. Derek was a quiet and self-effacing person, blessed with many talents. He loved living in Norwich among his friends. I well remember the time the married Evelyn there was great jubilation as everyone was convinced he would be a "confirmed bachelor" and then this Irish colleen arrived on the scene.

When we lived in Norwich our families would meet and reminisce about home, he was a Co. Down man and I was from Co. Tyrone so we had much to talk about.

Lately I had been discussing with him about a remarkable coincidence when my son Paul, who is a Civil Engineer in Auckland, New Zealand met up with Derek's son David, also a Civil Engineer. When they got chatting they discovered they much in common, Irish background, lived in Norwich, and both parents worked in HMSO. Derek commented at the time the odds must be a million to one - he and I working together in Norwich and years later, our two sons working together in Auckland, 12,000 miles away.

James Holden 1921-2014

We were sad to hear, from his daughter Sue, of Jim's death, in Norwich, on 5 February 2014.

Jim joined HMSO in October 1938, He was promoted HEO - Chief Officer, Cardiff - in 1955 and transferred to CS Norwich in 1968, moving to CCTA upon its formation.

The Editor has been advised that the information we were originally given for Jim's funeral, and published on HMSOldies, was incorrect. The funeral will be held at 10.00 hours on TUESDAY 25 February at the Church of the Holy Apostles, Earlham. Other details are unchanged.

Cremation will take place at 1200 hours at Earlham Crematorium, and post-funeral gathering at the family home, 128 Greenways, Eaton.

Eastern Daily Press notice:

Les Birch adds:  Very sad to hear of Jim Holden's passing. He and his pal Bob Norris were well established in Manchester when Harvey Wild, Tom Harris and I arrived in the following year. Being a year older than us they were both allowed to volunteer for the Forces in 1940 so to a large extent they missed the fun and games we had with the office Home Guard, fire watching and the like. They both joined the RAF and both got involved with radar. The RAF demobbed much more quickly than the army and by the time that Harvey and I got back both Jim and Bob had been promoted to EO. Harvey and I were both rejected on our first promotion boards and sour grapes said that it was because we had not been on this mysterious radar.

In his younger days at least Jim was very well grounded in English Lit and could rattle off reams of the Lakeland poets in the very broad Bolton accent that I do not think he ever lost. I think he enjoyed his time in Cardiff and, having at last succeeded in producing a son, immediately had the ambition for him that he should play rugby for Wales. But I saw very little of him after the war although Tom used to keep me in touch with his movements.

I look forward to hearing from you as always but we could certainly do with a break in the seemingly endless sad news.

Andrew Baptie 1921-2014

 We were sad to receive a telephone call from Alex Smith to say that Andy had died during the night of 2 February 2014. This was a considerable shock, as the day before he had sent a characteristically lucid email recalling HMSO Print staff in the 1950s and 1960s in response to nostalgic piece sent in by Sinclair Simpson.

We have subsequently heard from Paul Bathgate, Andy Baptie's neighbour. Funeral arrangements have been made for Friday 14 February, 1130 hours, at Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh:

Paul has asked that we let any of Andy's old Edinburgh colleagues know if we have contact details.

Andy joined HMSO on 14 November 1949. Among other posts, he was promoted to Deputy Senior Works Manager in 1971.

Gordon Parfitt adds:  Hi Reg, Very sad news about Andy who was always a pleasure to be with and will be greatly missed. We all have happy memories of good friends and colleagues who made our time at work that much better by their presence. Regards, Gordon

Tom McNeill adds:  I was so sorry to hear of Andy Baptie's death. I worked at Edinburgh Press when he was manager and as he lived near me in Penicuik we frequently shared cars to work. As I recall he had a Hillman Imp, I had a Morris Minor. How things have changed. I recall later when I had a Vauxhall Viva and needed to change the clutch Willy Smith, who lived in Glasgow, helped me with this. On completing this Willy wanted to get home to Glasgow, Andy came out at close to midnight to take Willy into the station. He was a kind and helpful man who will be missed by all who knew him. I have many fond memories of Andy.

Jim MacCallum adds:  Hi Reg, I was sorry to hear about the death of Andy Baptie. We have kept in touch ever since we retired and had some good laughs together about our days in the Edinburgh Office. I am still alive but not only am I more or less confined to the house, I need a walking stick to keep my balance! Old age does not become itself! Keep up the good work. All the best, Jim MacCallum.

Hello Jim. Good to hear from you, albeit under sad circumstances. And good to hear that you are coping with the inevitabilities of the ageing process with your customary good humour! Best wishes. Reg.

Arnold Mackenzie 1931-2014

We were sad to read of Arnold's death, as reported in the Eastern Daily Press:

Arnold joined HMSO London in 1948, working in both Cardiff and Manchester before moving to Norwich.

Arnold on the right in 1976, with Jack Palmer and John Eveson

Fred Stubbs adds:  I knew Arnold well. He moved from Brundall a few years ago to Felixstowe to be near to his son. My wife and I, along with Jack and Marie Palmer, used to meet Arnold and his wife Marian, about halfway between Norwich and Felixstowe. After Jack's death we still met with Marie about twice a year. A great person to be with, always very friendly, easy to get along with. He will be sadly missed. Arnold had worked in Manchester and had been in charge at our office in Cardiff.

T.G. Smith 1922-2013

Roy Plackett has passed on the sad news that Tom died, following a short stay in hospital, on 31 December 2013. Funeral arrangements have been made for Friday 17 January 2014, 1545 hours at Earlham Crematorium, Earlham Road, Norwich. The Wake will be held after the funeral at The Trafford  Public House, Trafford Road. See EDP notice at 

Tom joined HMSO as a Printing and Binding Officer on 1 January 1957, and moved to Norwich upon dispersal, spending much of his time as HTO in CEPA. He moved to Poringland following his retirement, and remained active, enjoying the company of old colleagues at weekly meetings in The Trafford and elsewhere. The photo above shows him on the occasion of his 89th birthday.

Althea Wells 1932-2013

We received the following sad news from Lyn Scott on 25 November 2013:

Hello there Reg, I am Lyn, Althea Wells' daughter. I know my mum worked at St Crispins, Norwich, for a number of years. She was on reception. Sadly she passed away 8 November 2013, three days before her 81st birthday. I wondered if you would like to add her to your obituaries.
Kind regards, Lyn

David James Reeve 1951-2013

We were sad to read, in the Eastern Daily Press  dated 12 November 2013, that David has died at the age of 61. Funeral details can be seen on the EDP link:

David joined HMSO as a clerical officer in 1989. He spent most of his career in Supplies Office Machinery, where he was promoted and remained following privatisation.

Duncan Dawdry adds the following appreciation:  I worked with David almost continuously from 1989 to 2011, the last few years as his manager before he was made redundant (against his wishes) in 2011. I suspect that for him work was his social life but he refused to stay in touch with us so we had no idea how he was until this notice appeared. He was not a gregarious man, particularly in his later years but I counted him as a friend and I’m in shock about his early passing, although he was a lifelong very heavy smoker and wasn’t in the best of health when he left.

Dave Pelham adds:  Hi Reg, Just to add my condolences over the death of David Reeve. I took over from him on the section (S5) dealing with franking machines and remember the last evening he was in that post he turned to me and said "Well I guess I better show you what's what". That was about 5.45pm on the Friday evening! Despite that, I always found him a decent bloke and I am sure he will be missed by many.

Merle Lee 1932-2013

We were sad to read in the Norwich Evening News  dated 16 October 2013 of the death of Merle Lee:

Merle joined HMSO in March 1975 and worked as Administrative Officer in Supplies Division and in PS.

Angie Marshall adds:   Hello Reg, I spoke to Jitu today about Merle and he put me onto your website. I used to work at HMSO in Supply (1985-9). I remember that you knew my husband's uncle very well - Jock Barr. I was a close friend of Merle's and was pleased to see that she has been remembered on the website. I would appreciate you including these funeral details: The Funeral Service will take place at Woodland Hall, Colney Wood on Tuesday, October 29th at 2pm. Flowers to Gordon Barber Funeral Home, 317 Aylsham Road, Norwich by 12 noon please.

Here's a photo of Merle sporting rather dashing headgear when she came over for Christmas in 2009.

Kind regards, Angie Marshall

Hello Angie. Thank you for your note regarding the sad news about Merle. I certainly remember you at HMSO, and of course  Jock   – wonderful company: I can still remember many of his stories. He died so relatively young   must be over 20 years now  exchanged letters with his son Dennis at the time. The sad thing about HMSOldies is that we increasingly have to write about people in the past tense. I worked with Jock in London in 1967, with Chester Willmott, John Stanger, Ernie Millington   all of them wartime ex-servicemen   another world. Anyway, on a more cheerful note, I can picture you aged around 25, always cheerful, a lovely head of hair   – bet you haven't changed a bit! All the best. Reg

Ronald H George 1923-2013

Ron at work in 1973, Cornwall House probably.

On 12 October 2013 Brian Puplett (past Deputy Manager of OMTS) passed on the following sad news:

'Sadly I have just heard from Ron's wife Iris that Ron has passed away. The funeral is arranged for this Friday 18 October. She was a little evasive regarding the funeral, saying that she did not expect anyone to attend and understood the distance and difficulties for anyone from Norwich getting there.

I have many fond memories of Ron. He was always positive, never had a bad word for anyone and enjoyed a wonderful sense of humour. He never gave bad advice and was highly regarded by those who worked with him as well as suppliers.

Whenever anyone thought or mentioned him the words 'Good Old Ron' immediately came to mind: very fitting.

I have expressed all our sincere condolences to Iris. If anyone would like her address just email me and I will send it.


Having worked with Ron through the eras of KL Beak, Dan Farquhar, Les Crawford and David Eaglestone, I heartily endorse Brian's comments. Ron worked alongside Arthur Pannell on Machinery Testing when I knew him first, and he was always cheerful and extremely helpful. I last saw him at the annual reunion inThe Ship,  Borough Road, some years ago and he maintained his cheerfulness despite various discomforting operations.

Ron joined HMSO as what was then known as an OMRS Mechanic in 1948, and worked in Cornwall House and Britannia House upon promotion to Foreman and Senior Foreman.

Eric Bone adds:  Thanks, Reg. It is sad news. Brian’s words here cannot be bettered. Fitted my own recollections very well. RIP, old comrade.

Bernard Johnson adds:  I always looked upon Ron as a quiet thoughtful gentleman who would deal with the AM's business with OMTS in a professional manner. That was even when confronted with the 'problems' of Briggy & Eric Insley! Another good man gone; it must be something to do with age. Kind regards, Bernard.

Denis Moloney adds:  My recollections of Ron will be the same as many. A true gentleman, with a ready wit, twinkle in the eye and a very kind word for those deserving of it. Sad news indeed.

JLE Bishop 1937-2013

We were sad to hear that Joe died early in October 2013, following a long illness. His funeral will be held at Earlham Crematorium, Norwich, at 1200 hours on Tuesday 22 October 2013.  See also Norwich Evening News  dated 14 October 2013:

Joe joined HMSO Print (the legendary Room C44, Atlantic House) in September 1962. He transferred to Norwich upon dispersal, remaining in the Print area until retirement.

When his name is mentioned the first reaction is usually that he was excellent company - and then that he was an exceptional amateur footballer. Not a bad way to be remembered by old colleagues.

John William Elderton 1928-2013

We received the following sad news from Margery Kraszewski, who left Norwich to live in France with John several years ago:

Bonjour Reg
John has finally lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease, and after a brave fight he died on Tuesday 27th August 2013. He was admitted to hospital on the 13th and his daughter and her husband came from Australia and we were all with him at the end, which was very peaceful after several weeks of misery.
The cremation was carried out on 30th August: a very simple affair which he would have approved of. He never did like a fuss!
As he said in his last message to HMSOldies, he did intend to enjoy time in our garden and he got his wish, I am attaching a picture that I took in June.

          He is already sorely missed. Margery

John joined HMSO in 1957, and worked in Establishments, Rep Basildon, Supplies Division (Norwich) and other posts before taking retirement and moving to Mouais, in the Loire-Atlantique, a much-loved corner of France.

Margaret Crawley 1924-2013

We were sad to read, in the Eastern Daily Press  dated 25 July 2013, of the death of Margaret Crawley. Funeral details are given at:

Margaret was a significant presence within HMSO, starting her career in December 1946 and moving through the office until her retirement from S5, the Supplies Machinery section she managed both in London and following dispersal to Norwich.

Any memories or photos of Margaret that readers of this email may wish to add will be welcome.

Tony Smith adds:  I saw the sad news in the EDP. Margaret worked for me in my office machinery SEO days for a while. She was definitely a ‘one-off’. She was ever so popular with the suppliers. I recall that, when she wasn’t well on one occasion, one of the suppliers (was it Wally Wood of Olivetti?)  went all the way out to Shipdham with a bouquet of flowers for her! On several occasions when the work piled up, she would lock herself in her office (before open plan) and put a notice on the door that she wasn’t to be disturbed until lunchtime!

Thanks Tony. Yes, that would have been Wally Wood, who also died this year. As you say, Margaret always threw herself vigorously into Supplier Negotiations. I think some companies used to use her as a test as to whether some of their junior representatives would make the grade. All the best, Reg.

John Butler ‪adds:‬  I worked for Margaret for several years  in the 1960–70s over two separate periods. She could be quite demanding at times but was always generous and sociable. I can still well recall many convivial business lunches with her and John Stewart of Olivetti, Bob Judges of NCR, Eric Blackmore of ADDO, ? Gibbs of Muldivo and with her staff in the Victoria. She came to see me in my office on one of her visits to Sovereign House just before I retired and we had a very pleasant chat about times past. She had a strong personality for sure but was well respected by colleagues and contractors and I will always remember her.

Thank you John. You ably sum up my own memories of Margaret. When I joined Supplies in Atlantic House in 1965  S6b, with Tommy Taylor and with Charlie Lloyd as S6  Margaret was S5 in the next room, with you, Messrs Butler, Shutler, Almond, Wilson, Holtom at different times. She was more than a match for the poor SEO, Sam White, who soon left for another Department! All the best, Reg.

David Brusselen 1935-2013

The 10 July edition of the Eastern Daily Press  carried the sad news that Dave died on 6 July 2013. Funeral details are at:


Dave joined HMSO in July 1966. He moved to Norwich during the main dispersal, and spent most of his working life in Personnel Services, from which he retired as HEO in 1995.

Walter H Wood DSM 1922-2013

I was saddened to receive a telephone call from Theresa Wood today, informing me that her husband Walter died peacefully following a stroke on 1 July 2013.

Walter was not employed by HMSO, but he was a trusted and particularly well-liked representative of British Olivetti for many years. His monthly visits to office machinery sections, often as not accompanied by his old friend Peter Atkins, were always a pleasure. Walter was always a man of his word, and appreciated by HMSO staff and customers alike.

In fact, he was so well thought of that when he retired from Olivetti in July 1987 we gave him lunch in The Maids Head Hotel and presented him with a medal for long service and good behaviour!      


E Sidney Brooks 1922-2013

Gavin Turner has been in touch with the sad news that Sid died in hospital on 24 May 2013. He leaves his wife, Joyce. Funeral arrangements are expected to be made for 14 or 17 June: details will be confirmed later.

Sid joined HMSO on 11 November 1946 and was promoted EO in Publications four years later. Most of his career was spent in that division, where he rose to Assistant Director, and Leader of the Publications Distribution Project Team, which led to the move from Cornwall House to Nine Elms. He enjoyed his retirement, and regular lunches with Gavin Turner, Leon de Brunner and other HMSO colleagues.


Sid's widow Joyce has sent some further pictures of Sid and colleagues involved in the construction of the Publication Centre, Nine Elms, in the 1970s

Gavin Turner adds:  Leon de Brunner, Bill Greenaway and I appeared to be the only HMSO people at Sid Brooks' funeral on Friday [14 June 2013], although there was a group of very elderly civil servantish-looking gents who kept themselves apart from the family and other friends, who may or may not have been HMSO old codgers that the three of us did not know. It was standing room only at the crematorium with a mix of people representing Sid's wide range of interests: film people, from his film club, BFI, and BAFTA days, and the faded glamour of a bevy of Joyce's former ice-dancing colleagues predominated. The family included a range of Joyce's relations and Sid's grandchildren - there is apparently at least one great grandchild, and Sid had just missed the wedding of another of his grandchildren. We also met the husband and wife who ran the local chippie that Sid patronised - just to confirm his man of the people credentials. It was a well-planned non-religious ceremony, with upbeat reminiscences, poetry-readings and music; not quite the songs from the shows of Ken Rhodes' obsequies (let alone the Wagner), but leaning that way. The main eulogy was delivered by an old film buff friend, who appeared to be gay, and had a little joke about Sid's friendship with ice-dancing queens and other plain old Brighton queens. Sid had told us years ago that practically every time a flat in his block was sold by some old couple, it was snapped up by one of the Brighton gay fraternity. Not really knowing anyone else, we chatted briefly to Joyce and Sid's son Peter at the wake at the Seattle Hotel in Brighton Marina, and then made our excuses and left. I just made it back to North Norfolk by 6.30pm in time for the arrival of my weekend guests, having rushed onto the platform at Liverpool Street at the last minute and only just got a seat on a packed 3.30pm Norwich train.

June Minter 1931-2013

We were sad to read, in the Eastern Daily Press  dated 17 May 2013, of June's death:

June joined HMSO in June 1967 and worked in PS and Finance Divisions.

Eric Porteus 1924-2013

We were sad to read of Eric's death, reported in the Norwich Evening News  on 16 May 2013:

Although Eric was not on HMSO staff, many will remember him over the years in Sovereign and St Crispins when he undertook a variety of cleaning and maintenance jobs with his late wife, Olive, who was Contract Cleaning Supervisor for whom I had the honour of making a retirement presentation some 20 years ago.


John A. Owen 1939-2012

On 18 April 2013 Brian Broughton – ex HMSO, now working in Williams Lea Public Sector Division in TSO Parliamentary Press – wrote to HMSOldies with the following sad news, which is taken from the response to a request from Brian to the Chairman of the 1st Royal Eltham Scout Group where John was Scout Leader for many years:

'For the last few years John's health had deteriorated significantly and he had been in Abbeyfield care homes, firstly in Eltham and then, when requiring a greater level of care, at Sydenham. Last year, he went to a care home in Lincoln which is close to where his brother, Andrew, and his wife live.

On Boxing Day 2012  John died peacefully, aged 73. His funeral was a private affair in Lincoln but at the end of February a memorial service was held at Holy Trinity Church in Eltham. This was attended by all John (although John, of course, never married) and Andrew's family and by about 200 plus friends wishing to pay their respects.

For interest I attach a photo of John when he received his MBE at the Palace in 1995.'

John joined HMSO in October 1958, as a direct entrant EO into Accounts Division. He worked in CRS, and spent his final years in Publications at Nine Elms.

John Nash adds:  Many thanks for letting me know the sad news. Since we all went our separate ways I had not realised that John was so ill. Your comments are spot on. In addition he was a notable prankster and when we shared a room in Pubns we were the despair of John Morgan and Bert Leader. They were glad to see the back of us both to CRS where (I think) we behaved ourselves rather more. One other abiding memory of John's association with the Scouts. We were travelling in his Land Rover motor, proudly displaying the pennant of the 1st Royal Eltham Scouts; on emerging from a junction a traffic policeman held up the other vehicles and saluted as we drove by! Kind regards, John

Kathleen Lavinia Truscott 1920-2013

The  Eastern Daily Press  dated 6 April 2013 has reported the sad news of Kath's death as follows:

Kath joined HMSO in October 1968, following the move from London to Norwich with her husband Eddie. She worked as Messenger and Paperkeeper in Publications Division.

George Charles Billson 1929-2013


On 5 March 2013 we received the following sad news from John Parfitt:

Dear Reg, I am sorry to have to let you know that I have just heard from Janice, George Billson's daughter, the news that George sadly passed away last Friday following a brain tumour. George's funeral is being held at 11am on  Thursday 14th March 2013 at St Paul's Church, Swanley Village in Kent.
Family flowers only, but any donations in George's name to Ellinor Lions Hospices and should be sent via the Funeral Directors:

Welham Jones
31 Station Road
Janice has agreed that I let you know for the HMSOldies website.
I was with HMSO from September 1969 to being made redundant in 1998 and worked with George (who joined HMSO in 1954) both at The British Museum Bindery and later at Hansard Press.
Sincerely, John Parfitt

Cedric J Dann 1931-2013

We are sad to report the death of Cedric Dann, as reported in the Norwich Evening News dated 16 February 2013:

Cedric joined HMSO in 1973 where he worked in PP as Administrative Officer.

Funeral details as reported in the Norwich Evening News dated 23 February 2013:   

William Alfred (Bill) Ford 1925-2013

Brian Whitefield has written with the following sad news:

'Just in case other lines of communication have failed this is to inform you that Bill Ford died on 5 February. There is to be an announcement in the EDP. Alan Marrs and Cecil Hughes have been approached to arrange an informal wake in Norwich.

After his return to Scotland he was a fairly regular visitor to Norwich, staying with Ruth Vivian and we usually met up with him at some stage. In latter years there he suffered  painful and debilitating complaints, really suffering as he would do nothing about them.'

Bill's daughter Vivienne has also been in touch, recalling her father's happy times spent in HMSO Training, Staff Inspection and Supplies Division.

Bill joined HMSO in January 1948. I first remember him as a regular companion of fellow Scot Frank Payne in the Sovereign House canteen in the early days of dispersal. He was always cheerful, helpful, and above all good company.

John (JGH) Hamilton 1934-2013

On 10 February 2013 we received the following sad news from Norrie Veitch:

'I have just heard that John Hamilton died on Thursday 8 February 2013. John was my deputy when we retired on 18 December 1992 and we had been good friends since our apprenticeship days when we met at day release classes at the Heriot-Watt College in 1951.

We met up again in 1967 when John joined P & B Edinburgh when I was promoted to TO. He was promoted and served in the Gateshead Press for quite some time before he returned again to Print Procurement Edinburgh, and again served in various sections with me for the rest of his career in HMSO.

He was one of the Old Boys who met on the last Friday of every month at Prestonfield Golf Club and was a regular attender. John was a computer buff and loved to discuss computers and photography with Andie Baptie, another Gateshead and Edinburgh worthie.

He was a regular 'ski' holidaymaker (Spend Kids Inheritance) going on lots of cruises until bad health eventually forced him to stay at home. We shall miss John a lot. I haven't been informed of any funeral arrangements yet but will keep in touch.


Hello Norrie, Thank you for passing on the sad news about John. I remember John as a great man to have a conversation with when I used to visit Edinburgh at the time when Jim McDonald was head of print buying and the BT contract was being set up. The Staff List tells us that he started with HMSO in 1966. All the best to you. Reg

Ernie Downs adds:   I heard that John was not too good health-wise but news of his death came as a bit of a shock. I remember John from my days at Gateshead, from what I remember he was very active in RNVR. There was a ship calledHMS Calliope  moored on the Tyne and he was involved in the running of it. I can’t remember what his rank was but from his appearance, Petty Officer of some kind comes to mind.

Tom McNeill adds:  Dear Reg, I guess I should pay more attention to your website. I have just seen the news of John Hamilton's death. My recollection of John was on a Christmas outing to an Edinburgh restaurant where he ordered a steak and the waiter asked how he wanted it cooked. His reply was “cut off its horns and wipe its a**e”. Was there something about HMSO that attracted characters? There certainly seems to be no shortage of them!

Dear Tom, Nice one! Yes, there were a few around. I learnt more from being on courses with Joe Delaney, Stan Smith, RG 'Basil' Radford, Dan Paul, Charlie Lloyd and many others than I ever did from the lecturers! All the best. Reg.

Peter Anthony Taylor MBE 1926-2013

Hi Reg, Just to let you know that Peter Taylor died last Friday peacefully at home. Funeral date to be announced. [see below above photo]
David Higenbottam

Hello Dave, Sad news indeed, Peter was a good friend in the old Sovereign House Accommodation days, in the early 1970s. He joined HMSO from the Post Office in 1965 and worked in the Registry with Sally Dyke, John Gardiner, Arthur Baptiste, Ian Hatfield among others. I used to see him for the odd lunchtime in the  Fat Cat,with John, a few years ago but had fallen out of touch in recent years. Best wishes. Reg

David Higenbottam later notified the following funeral details:
Peter's funeral is Wednesay 20th February at St Faiths at 11.45am.

The notice published in the EDP can be seen at:

Robin Kelly adds:
   Hi Reg, I was deeply saddened to hear that P A. had passed away. As you know we were not only work colleagues for many years, firstly in the Registry and then the Accommodation Section, but became good friends that extended to our families, both he and his late wife Natalie were godparents to my son Neil.

I met him on July 29th 1968, my first day at HMSO, in Room F53, Atlantic House. I spent a month in London before the Registry staff moved to Sovereign House. As a 15 year old from the peaceful town of Wells-next-the-Sea it was a rather daunting experience. P. A. however along with another now long time friend J.T.P. Gardiner took me under their wing and I have always been grateful for their support at that time. Peter was instrumental in enabling me to finish work at 3.30pm each day so that I could travel back on the underground to my digs before the rush hour, typical of the man!

He soon realised I was sport mad and his similar interest meant our friendship soon grew. One of my early recollections of Sovereign House were the cricket matches that took place at lunchtime. P A was an excellent cricketer and he soon saw the opportunity for a bit of extra practice, the Registry was located on the 5th Floor North Wing, Rooms 5N 5-6, it was a very long room, virtually the whole length of the wing if I remember. Certainly long enough for a 22 yard cricket wicket and a few yards run up! Many an hour was spent along with I.C. Hatfield, B.C. Kirkland, J.T.P. Gardiner, P.A. and myself upsetting the ladies in the office as the ball, (a combination of rubber bands and Sellotape) whistled around their ears. The stumps were a red file box and the batwas a large strawboard tube and a smaller one joined together by packing tape. Eventually aggressive shots had to be banned to allow the ladies to eat their lunch in safety.

When we teamed up again in the Accommodation Section my outstanding memory was the remarkable organisational skills of P.A.T. during the move of staff from Sovereign House and Norvic House into St Crispins. Week after week of meticulous planning culminating in the weekend moves of 70-80 staff (ie furniture, boxes etc) It was demanding but most satisfying to see each stage completed so successfully. Learning off him stood me in good stead for the similar operation I undertook at the time of privatisation.

P.A. loved his cricket and he was an exceptional spin bowler in my opinion, the words wily and canny spring to mind. He became well known throughout Norfolk for his astute captaincy of Hellesdon C.C.

Even a serious illness in the late '70s did not deter him and his strength shone through as he recovered amazingly well enough to continue his cricket career. After his early retirement our friendship remained strong and I have fond memories of the cold, sometimes wet afternoons he spent on the touchline at Wells and further afield chatting to my father and brother in law whilst supporting me and my team-mates.

The deterioration in his health over the past few years has been sad to witness, thankfully I have many memories of the happy times I spent with a generous, thoughtful man who I truly respected.

Hello Robin, Thank you for your poignant reminiscences of Peter Taylor. You certainly recall the man I knew  and I remember your first week in Atlantic. We thought Peter had brought his schoolboy son in to see where he worked! All the best. Reg

Nell Cook 1911-2012

Hi Reg, I have learnt that having passed her 100th birthday, Nell Cook (ex paper keeper) became ill and passed away during 2012.
Regards, Keith Batchelor

Thank you Keith. I don't remember Nell, but she seems to have been another testament to the age-related benefits of working for HMSO.
All the best. Reg

Albert Ronald Ling 1920-2012

Gordon Parfitt has passed on the sad news that Ron died in November 2012.

Ron joined HMSO, Printing and Binding Division, in September 1938 and worked for a time in Manchester Press.

David G Napthine 1913-2007

It's a mark of such an intensely private man that we have only just learned of the death of David Napthine. HMSOldies was alerted about his likely demise on receipt of an email asking for information on him by an enquirer who had purchased a copy of The History of the Retriangulation of Great Britain’ . This also contained correspondence about the book's production in 1961-2 between David and the Ordnance Survey, including the director-general Brigadier R. C. A. Edge. The title, we discovered, had been advertised as coming 'from the library of David G. Napthine of HMSO'. We have since learned that David passed away on 19 March 2007, at the age of 93.

David worked in the publicity department of W H Smith in the 1930s but whilst still in the Army at the end of WW2, he enquired about the possibility of designing government publications, quite unaware that HMSO's new Layout Section had just been formed. He was quickly recruited by Harry Carter, the first Head in 1946, and in time became Chief Typographer until his retirement thirty years later.

During that period he quietly produced a huge body of understated tasteful typography. He was heavily involved with the Earl Marshall's Office on the design of the printing for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, meticulously handling over eighty different items and was recognised for his work by receiving an invitation to the Coronation with a seat in the triforium of the Abbey and subsequently awarded a Coronation Medal.

Many young designers were appreciative of his thoughtful guidance. John Saville remembers 'the gentle craft of a gentle man'. Fred Stubbs wrote 'of the high regard that people felt for him also the first-class work which he produced. He had a long and worthwhile life.' Lynda Sullivan remembers him as 'a very kind and caring man' as does Tony Garrett who wrote 'What a lovely man he was; like everyone I have very good memories of him – so kind and encouraging'.

Adrian Young recalls him as a thoughtful man of strong convictions always willing to offer advice and assistance, and later the kindness shown when, on returning to Australia, David sent him a copy of the quite substantial V&A publicationThe floating world Japanese popular prints  at his own expense, after being told the office wouldn't wear the price of a copy or probably the postage.

Vera Brice recorded 'He was indeed a very special person, one of a few (to be counted on one hand!) who have helped me enormously in my career, and especially in my enjoyment of typography. It’s very interesting to see how typographic excellence blossomed in the middle years of the last century with Monotype, Meynell, Carter, Schmoller, the Central School, and calligraphers such as Johnson and Irene Wellington, and the influence they had on the styling of typo and graphics and more importantly, how they were given free rein. When one looks at WH Smith now, what a sorry place, and the excellence that was HMSO also gone, and the state of publishing design in general. We were all so fortunate to have worked when we did'.

And finally Nodge Carnegie added he will '. . . never forget how quietly helpful David was to me in my very early days in the Graphic Design studio in Atlantic House. David was a great encourager and I recall his support – no questions, no fuss – when a senior member of staff took exception to one of my design efforts . . . which had been readily accepted (yes, it did happen - if only once) by the client. I later saw David's minute in the file and realised that he was just as effective in writing as Mr Westwood was. David's guidance and advice were always welcome. The history of GD records some of the impression made by David and his status and influence. Ivor Hosgood, even now, speaks of David with affection. A good man – one of the best.'

David wrote about the early days of the Layout Section in a paper entitled 'Harry Carter: Fragments of Memory'. This evocative piece became the catalyst for the preparation of the GD history Nodge refers to above, a book which blossomed to over 200 A4 pages. On receiving his copy David responded generously, adding '. .  .  kindest regards to one and all of those colleagues whom I knew and am thankful to have worked with over the years'.

We might add how thankful we are to have worked with him.

See also IC entry for 23 January 2013 'The chief typographer'

Kenneth Charles Pink 1932-2013

We are sad to record Ken's death, as reported in the Eastern Daily Press dated 10 January 2013:

Ken joined HMSO in March 1961, moving to Norwich upon dispersal and spending much of his working life in CEPA.

Ivor Hosgood, Ken Pink, Charlie Newcombe and Peter Skiggs at their joint retirement in St Crispins with Director Brian Ekers, in 1993.

Audrey Margaret Durrant 1952-2013

We have received the following sad news from Adrienne May:

'Audrey Durrant who worked first in Finance and then in programming, died 2nd Jan 2013 from oesophageal cancer aged 60. Audrey had never smoked nor did she drink. She opted for redundancy in 1995 and had not worked since. The funeral will be at St Faiths.'

See EDP Notice:

Audrey joined HMSO in 1974 and was promoted to HEO in 1986, following which she worked in IT Division (DS4).

Hugh Wilson

Richard Nelson posted in HMSOldies Facebook:

I heard of the death, earlier this month, of typesetter and HMSO contractor Mr Hugh Wilson. Members of GD and PP will remember him well. He had an office in Upper St Giles and at this time of year threw the best Xmas party of any of our regular suppliers. When he shut up shop he moved to Morpeth in Northumberland and enjoyed a lengthy retirement. His keyboarding was meticulous – if ever a mistake was found in his work, it was greeted with astonishment from the whole studio. The "GD Choir" once recorded a whole series of Xmas songs with "Hugh" substituted at appropriate (or inappropriate) places in the lyrics. I bet Nodge has got a copy somewhere.

Euphemia Gordon Bell 1929-2012

Gavin Turner has written with sad news regarding Euphie, who joined HMSO Edinburgh in 1964.

'Sad news from Edinburgh: Euphie Bell died suddenly at home yesterday morning. There will be a number of colleagues from down south who will remember Euphie as secretary to successive Directors at the HMSO office at Sighthill. She was a quiet, self-deprecating lady but with the twinkle of a really distinctive personality; discreet and efficient in her job and liked by everyone at the office.

Euphie had Parkinsons and other problems and had lived with quite a lot of pain and discomfort in recent years. I visited them when I was in Edinburgh three months ago and she did look much more frail than on my previous visits. She and her husband Jimmy lived in a sheltered housing complex in Colinton on the outer fringes of Edinburgh. In spite of her physical problems they had enjoyed quite a lot of cruising in their retirement, and were actually planning a final cruise on one of the Queens I think early next year. Jimmy contacted me very soon after the event and I have not heard anything of funeral arrangements yet.'

Gavin later sent information that Euphie's funeral will be at Mortonhall Crematorium at 1pm on Tuesday 18th December.

Contact information available from The Editor.

Jim MacCallum adds:  Hi Reg,I was sorry to see that Euphie Bell had died. We were very good friends during my stint in Edinburgh. She was PA to the Director and we had some good laughs almost every day. I am sure she will be very much missed by all who knew her.

Ken Elphick 1930-2012

John Nash wrote to HMSOldies on 17 November 2012 as follows:

Readers will be sorry to learn the sad news that Ken Elphick has died. Ken joined HMSO Norwich in 1974 and quickly became a valued member of Training Branch. His pleasant and courteous approach was much appreciated by all who attended the CTB courses. Before joining HMSO Ken saw colonial service in Rhodesia and also Tristan da Cunha. It was on this rocky island that he became interested in ornithology, a love which blossomed amongst his favourite East Anglian nature reserves and other locations. Kind regards, John

Details of funeral arrangements are as as follows:

L to R: Martin Brooker, John Nash ('teaboy' for the day), Ken Elphick, Christine Hanny-Saville, Ann Eason, Peter Wright.

Jack Payne 1925-2012

We have received the following sad news from Jack's daughter, Elizabeth:

Hello Reg, I am Jack's daughter and I thought you would want to know, for the newsletter, that Dad passed away last Monday 29/10/12, he was 87. He was diagnosed with lung cancer just over 12 months ago, but his health remained fairly good until about a month ago, when he started to deteriorate. Fortunately, he did not suffer for long, which is a blessing, Dad would have hated that, as he has always enjoyed excellent health. He is now at peace although very sadly missed by all the family. I would be grateful if you would continue to send the newsletters to this email. Many thanks & kind regards, Elizabeth.

Jack joined HMSO as a Technical Clerk in P&B in November 1951, on a salary of around £450 per year. His time at Manchester and the Press included involvement with the acclaimed NABADS amateur theatrical group.

Alexander Morris 1923-2012

We have received sad news from Jim Cairns, who organised the Edinburgh Reunion for ex HMSO staff in October 2012:

'I am sorry to report that, unknown to most of his colleagues, Alec Morris had passed away a few days previously, and his funeral was on the same day as the get-together.

I believe that he was 89 years of age, and had served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF at the tail-end of the war, stationed in India. I hope that some of his contemporaries might add to an obituary to him.

It's sad that so few people knew of his death as many of us would have attended his funeral.'

Alec joined HMSO Edinburgh in January 1950 and spent his time there in Printing Works and as TO in Print Procurement.

Tom McNeill adds:  Dear Reg, I have just seen the news of the death of Alec Morris. He was my TO in Edinburgh for a time when I was responsible for Air Publications. He was a lovely, very supportive man. He also bucked the system at times. I recall telephone calls to him from wages complaining that he had not cashed his pay cheque and they could not balance the books. His reply was that wages had done what they were required to do by sending his wages cheque, if he did not want to cash it that was his business. He had a drawer full of pay cheques, I think he rather enjoyed winding up Pay Section!. I really enjoyed working for him. I very much regret not going to see him since I moved to Manchester. As I regret not visiting Andie Baptie.

It is rather depressing seeing all the obituaries of people I knew and worked with. I guess that times are very different now and that the working conditions we enjoyed are gone forever. I feel privileged to have worked for HMSO when it was an honest and transparent organisation dedicated to serving the public. Public service seems no longer to be honest and transparent.

John Nicholson 1921-2012

Cecil Hughes has passed on the sad news that John has died.

John joined the Print section in HMSO Edinburgh in 1959, moving to Norwich upon promotion, where he took charge of P&B Binding section. I remember him as good company on the Mundesley Management Course in 1975.

Pat Sinden 1942-2012

We were sad to hear, from Helen Bryant, that Pat died this this week. Funeral arrangements have been made at St Faith's Crematorium, 2 pm Wednesday 26 September 2012.

Pat joined HMSO Norwich, where husband Geoff also worked, in November 1989 and spent most of her time in Print Contracts.

The  Eastern Daily Press  notice can be found at:

Elfrieda E Saunders 1929-2012

We are sad to report the death of Elfrieda, who joined HMSO Norwich in November 1972 and worked mainly in Publications and Print Procurement.

Funeral arrangements have been made for 1200 hours, Friday 28 September 2012, at Earlham Cemetery, Norwich.


Charles Bradshaw (1917-2012)
I am writing with the sad news that my father passed away on Sunday (26th August). As you know he had been in hospital and then a nursing home for over two years following his diagnosis with vascular dementia. A month ago he fell and had to have a hip replacement, and since then had been deteriorating steadily. He was 95. My mother is doing fine, and realises that it was for the best in the circumstances. His loss of sight and hearing over many years, coupled latterly with dementia, meant that he had had a poor quality of life for quite some time, even though he’d remained physically strong.
I fear there are not too many ex-colleagues left who worked with him, but I am sure you will let people know. After 38 years’ service, HMSO was such an important part of his life and I know he valued the friendships he made there and the experiences he had ― which of course provided material for his entertaining (albeit interminable!) stories for many years to come. I have in front of me the Challenge Trophy from the HMSO Horticultural Society, Fruit Section, inscribed with the name C P Bradshaw for 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958. I think that this was for tomatoes, and that he probably gave up at that point to give others a chance. I remember that era myself from the adventure of attending HMSO children’s Christmas parties (at Atlantic House?), and later of course I followed in his footsteps and joined the civil service ― alas, not HMSO.
The funeral will be in Oxford on Thursday 6th September.
Best wishes, Gillian Skyte (daughter)

Dear Gillian, Thank you for letting me know the sad news regarding your father. As mentioned in the past, I have vivid memories of the retirement evening organised for your father by Dan Farquhar, then Manager OMTS, in a pub in Waterloo. Happy days. Hard to believe that Charles joined HMSO more than 77 years ago. On behalf of old HMSO friends, please accept our sincere condolences, and pass on our regards to your mother.

Yours sincerely, Reg Walker

Victor Harold Morley 1920-2012

Dickie Dunn has telephoned with the sad news that Vic died on 22 July 2012. His daughter, Mari McLaren, told Dickie that the funeral will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Friday 10 August at 1530 hours.

Vic joined HMSO in July 1937. He was Deputy Director in Supplies and Computer Services Divisions among many other posts within HMSO.

Steve Chamberlain 1960-2012

Dave Burchall wrote to HMSOldies on 19 July 2012 as follows:

'I have just received the sad news that Steve Chamberlain passed away last week. He was 52 years old.

Steve joined HMSO in July 1979 and worked for both HMSO and TSO at Basildon and then in the House of Lords Reprographic Office as a Reprographics Officer. He was transferred permanently to the House of Lords Parliamentary Archives Office in Spring 2008.

Steve was a very likeable and extremely capable man and he will be missed by all of us that worked with him. His funeral will be held on Saturday 21 July at 10am at Holy Trinity Church, Rotherhithe, SE16 followed by cremation at 11.30 at Honor Oak Crematorium, SE23 3RD. Mrs Chamberlain (Steve's mother) has also arranged a drink afterwards at theShip of York  pub (Steve’s local), Rotherhithe, SE16 5LJ.

Dave Burchell
Parliamentary Liaison Manager, The Stationery Office'

Roy Stonehouse OBE 1916-2012

On 18 July 2012 we received the following sad news from Geoff Bedford:

'I learned today from his daughter, Francie Stonehouse, that Roy died last Sunday, aged 96, after a sad slow decline. The funeral was today, a short period after the passing, normal in the islands.

Sandra and I had already planned a visit to North Uist this September to see Roy and Francie. She asked if Charles Bradshaw was still with us (I know he was not a well man) and I am afraid to say that I didn't know. Charles and I are probably the only ones that Roy knew to be still with us or had any recent contact with and perhaps you would kindly pass on the sad news to Charles' family.

As I am sure you know, Roy was my Director in Belfast and we formed a good friendship during the worst of "the troubles" in the early '70s (bombed warehouse, badly damaged offices and bookshop ― more than once, moving the warehouse to Newtownards, successfully getting the then Civil Service Department to recognise through compensation the depressed value of homes in the Province when moving to an era of serious gazumping in England, etc!) He was awarded the OBE during his time as Director Belfast.

Our friendship with Roy and Jean lasted throughout our working lives, especially while our two children were growing up with visits to his small farm in Somerset (donkey, goats, Jersey cows, chickens, etc!) and then to the Pembrokeshire coast, both while he was Director Wales and West. This friendship continued into our joint retirements, our last meeting being that amazing coincidental encounter at the Green Welly in Tyndrum three years ago (he was off to Northern Ireland and we were returning from a visit to Mull to see Sue Reed). He was a very well travelled man following retirement, read widely and much valued the wilder part of the UK, especially the Lakes and the Outer Hebrides. His mind remained sharp to the end.

Francie's address is
            Francie Stonehouse,
            15, Claddach Kirkibost,
            Isle of North Uist,
            Western Isles, HS6 5EP


She would be happy to hear from former HMSO colleagues with any memories of her father.

Best wishes, Geoff '

Hello Geoff, Thank you for passing on the sad news. Roy wrote to me last September, in good spirits. He mentioned that he had written to Alex Ferguson that year, mentioning his first visit to a MUFC game in 1923. Sir Alex sent him a good reply, which goes to show that Roy retained his persuasive charm! Best wishes, Reg

Gillian Skyte adds:  Dear Reg (and others who knew my father, Charles Bradshaw). Thank you for passing on the sad news. I will pass it on to my mother who knew Roy (and Jean) well and still kept in touch every Christmas. She will perhaps drop a line to Francie. My father remains in a specialist dementia care home in Oxford close to us (he has vascular dementia, caused by mini-strokes over the years). I will tell him about Roy, but it will be uncertain whether he is able to take it in, or to remember him. Past memories have faded or disappeared, and he is increasingly confused and unable to express himself. Physically he remains relatively ‘robust’ for his age, though he recently had a fall and fractured a hip, had a replacement hip, and is now starting to try and walk again. Given his terrible car accident injuries in 1971 (which led to his early retirement) when he smashed his pelvis, and was told he’d need new hips by 70, it’s incredible that this is his first! He will be 95 on 3 August. As he is also almost blind and stone deaf, he sadly has little quality of life. Sorry to bring you more gloomy news. Best wishes, Gillian Skyte
Dear Gillian, Thank you for your thoughtful note, which I have copied to Francie Stonehouse. I have also copied to HMSO Old Boys, many of whom know Charles. I am sure that most of us feel deeply for you as regards your father's current situation. As I may have mentioned before, I was at his retirement party, organised in Waterloo by Dan Farquhar, late Office Machinery Technical Services Manager, and a very jolly affair it was. Over 40 years ago now, hard as it is to believe. But it helps to remember the good times! Best wishes, Reg

Jim MacCallum adds:   Hi Reg, I was sorry to see that Roy Stonehouse had died. He and I were very good friends during my stint in Manchester, especially in NABADS where I did the acting and Roy, being a very good artist, did all the painting of the scenery. We have never lost touch with each other and exchanged Christmas cards every year since we parted. However we can’t live forever. Hope you are keeping well ― I am struggling along as well as I can. Keep up the good work. Jim.

Hello Jim, Thank you for your reminiscence and for your kind words. Your mention of NABADS reminds me of Paddy Cochrane and the remarkable repertoire of plays you performed. I bet it seems like yesterday. All the best, and good to hear from you. Reg

Hazel Everett 1940-2012

Jennifer Hannaford has passed on the sad news that Hazel died in Norwich University Hospital on 5 June 2012. Her funeral was held at St. Faith's on Monday 25 June 2012 at 1530 hours. TheEastern Daily Press  notice can be found at:

HMSO designers remember Hazel:  Born Hazel Lemon and brought up in Suton, she was a talented artist in several fields. She was one of the potters at the prestigious Holkham Pottery, before studying at Norwich Art School under Leslie Davenport (an accomplished British artist, 1905-1973) who constantly experimented with media and materials. Hazel was a contemporary of Mary Tall the renowned Norwich painter.

Richard Nelson remembers meeting Hazel as a fellow designer when he joined the Jarrold Design Studio in 1969 handling mostly book-work for Thames & Hudson “She was always an animal lover and had a small chiwawa called 'Hercules' — all the more ironic as he was the runt of the litter with withered back legs! Hazel would arrive at work with black and blue bruises on her legs (these were the days of mini skirts) where the gander had got her when she was feeding her mini-zoo!”

Hazel became a freelance designer and handled work for HMSO before joining the studio permanently in 1987 working again with Richard and teams headed by George Hammond and Dennis Greeno. In time she job-shared with Janice Mather who remembers “. . . the brilliant team-work considering we worked on separate days. She had a bright personality and was very creative. I will always remember one Christmas she made some amazing white pigeons with holly in their beaks which hung from the ceiling around our desk. They fluttered when the doors opened into the studio”.

Following early-retirement from HMSO she undertook the Hazel Lemon Millennium Project which consisted of three panels each three feet wide and five feet high forming a triptych and each panel representing the three major churches of Wymondham and their congregations with 175 local men, women and children as well as babies and dogs that attend the churches.

Jennifer Hannaford remembers attending the Central Hall, Wymondham where the  triptych was displayed “. . . which was great fun. Lots of local people came to claim their portraits (free of charge). I believe Hazel sat in the church porches to get her subjects and was quite often cajoled into drawing the subject's dogs as well! The triptych was amazing ― huge, and each section full of people. I also remember a large painting of her son and his girl friend as Adam & Eve. The triptych was also exhibited in Norwich Cathedral and Wymondham Abbey.”

David Roberts 1930-2012

Marguerite Finn has passed on the sad news that David died, peacefully at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, on Thursday 10 May 2012. David's widow, Connie, has since told us that funeral arrangements have been made for 1100 hours, Friday 18 May, at Princes Street United Reformed Church Refreshments will be available downstairs at the Church, followed by Cremation (probably family only) at 1200 hours.

David joined HMSO in September 1948. Following his EO post in CRS he was soon to become the youngest HEO in the Civil Service. I first worked to him, via Norman Parker, in 1966 when he was ADS2, then again upon dispersal to Norwich in 1968 when he was Assistant Director of Reprographic Supplies, working to Roy Pysden in Computer Services. Upon reaching 60 he 'reverted' to spend a year or two in Quality and Consultancy Division. Readers of HMSOldies will have been entertained by his memories of days which only the most venerable office colleague can recollect.

Upon retirement David increased his activities with the United Nations Association and brought his articulate persuasiveness to bear to the advantage of many worthy causes. On a personal note, I will always remember him as the man who taught me to write 'civil service-ese.' A construction he would have red-pencilled instantly . . .

Later:  The Norwich branch of the United Nations Association has honoured David's memory by organising an annual lecture, the first of which will take place in The Forum on 20 October. Details are given in their newsletter:

John Eveson adds:   How sad. David was one of Quality's biggest champions. He worked with me (as the Alan Davies' PS divisional representative) in the early days of the Quality Initiative and was a really pleasant and reliable colleague. We went to several seminars and such like together and I recall how polite he was when on a car journey. I subjected him to an hour long CD session of Mariah Carey — looking back he must have found her warbling voice quite irritating but he said he enjoyed it! A Gent.

From Paul Cunningham :   Did people read David Robert's obituary in today's EDP? Sad news; I always respected him as a manager and as a man.

Alan Crabtree adds:  Sad news indeed! David was said to be one of those "recommended for accelerated promotion", and was my AD for a while in my early HMSO days, and though we didn't always see eye to eye (he once called me a "skater" on my Annual Report), I always had respect for him.

Reg Walker adds:  Yes, and a worthy turnout for his funeral ― many connected with his UN charitable works, and among the half-dozen ex HMSO was Reg Andrews, looking well. HMSOldies website carries an obit and a reference to his very readable short memoir of early days in the office.

Drew Taylor adds:  Sorry to hear the news. David was truly one of the good and the great.

Linda Grimble 1956-2012

We are sad to report, from the Eastern Daily Press,  the death of Linda Grimble on 14 April 2012.

Lin joined HMSO in May 76 and worked in Supplies Division. Her funeral will be held at Gorleston Crematorium on Monday 30 April at 10 am.

The EDP notice can be read at:

George Le Surf 1921-2012

Dave Crump has alerted us to the sad news about George on 5 April 2012:

'I regret to announce that George Le Surf died last evening aged 91 of cancer of the stomach. He came to me on promotion to EO when I ran Wages and Salaries in Norwich, and we and his family have been firm friends ever since. He leaves his wife, Jeanne, and daughter Jane, and his delightful grandson Thomas. He will be cremated at Earlham but obviously no date has yet been set.

Regards, Dave Crump'

Later:  funeral service will take place at Earlham Crematorium on Friday, 20 April at 9.45 am. Family flowers only please, however donations, if desired, made payable to Priscilla Bacon Lodge Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurses and sent to Gordon Rooney Funeral Services, 122 Bowthorpe Road, Norwich NR2 3TR.



Michael Oakley 1958-2012

On 30 March 2012 we received the following sad note from Dave Burchell, TSO Parliamentary Liaison Manager.:

'Unfortunately Mick Oakley passed away on Wednesday evening, at home, just prior to coming to work. This has come as a great shock to everyone at Mandela Way and many others who will have known Mick over the years. He was only 54 years old.

Mick joined HMSO at the age of 17 back in July 1975. His entire career was spent in the Pressroom of HMSO St Stephen’s Parliamentary Press and subsequently at the Parliamentary Press, Mandela Way. I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew him at SSPP and Parliamentary Press.

I have known him since he was an apprentice at SSPP and his father Gordon was a "legendary" figure in the SSPP Warehouse.

Mick leaves Louise, his wife, and children Ryan and Claire and I am sure we all send our sincere condolences and warmest wishes at this very difficult time.'

Louise Oakley has given us Mick’s funeral details which are as follows: 11.45am, Thursday, 19 April, Eltham Crematorium, Crown Woods Way, Eltham, London, SE9 2AZ. No flowers please, but Louise would be happy should anyone wish to make a donation to a charity of your choice in Mick’s name.


Frank Knights

Hi Reg. My name is Alan Knights ― my late father was Frank Knights. He was a Press reader/corrector and told me many stories of forays to certain alehouses during the lunch break on the night shift. He worked there 1965-1976 and very sadly passed away on 11 March 1989. With all kind regards, Alan

Hello Alan, I did not know your father, but assume that the Press he worked in was St Stephens, in Blackfriars. I used to visit occasionally, and enjoy the Young's Special they served in the Prince William Henry down the road. I seem to remember a bacon-curing yard round the corner, which always set the juices working. Of course, the old Press is no more, the building having been converted into a Magistrates Court and HMSO privatised in 1996. Best wishes. Reg


Arthur Aldersley 1913-2012

We were sad to receive the following email from Arthur's son John on 4 February 2012:

'Just to let you know that my father, Arthur John Charles Aldersley, died peaceably without pain this morning at my sister, Hazel's house in Roughton Norfolk aged 98. He remained remarkably physically fit until the last few months, but was suffering from a form of Alzheimers for over eight years and towards the end was housebound and in need of 24 hour care. He kept his sense of humour and awareness of and words to all the old songs to the end.'

Arthur joined HMSO as Clerical Officer in January 1946. He spent most of his time with the office in D Division, moving to the Reprographic Unit in Basildon in the 1960s. John Aldersley originally corresponded with HMSOldies on 8 February 2006 (see Information Circulars).


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