Welcome to NBR Wrinklies

Life At Castle Mills





Issue No. 2                                                     ?                                                          3rd May, 1972

Greetings from the Factory Manager

A special greeting for the first edition proper of the unnamed Castle Mills newsletter! I hope that everyone will take the time to submit at least one entry in the title-naming contest. Remember – your interest and participation are essential to the success of the venture whose main objective is to improve communication between all sections of the factory.    Communicating up (from you to me) is just as important as communicating down (from me to you). Only by the free exchange of information in both directions can we work toward a common objective in an atmosphere free of rumour and tension. Working under these circumstances will be more enjoyable – let’s try it!

Happy Birthday to you

Tom Fallon on Sunday 30th April.

John Gray on Tuesday 2nd May

And last but not least

Big Joe McLennan on Wednesday 3rd May.


The summer season is now in full swing and the next important match is for the Inter-Dept. Trophy, which is being held at Gullane No. 3 course on Saturday 13th May. Thisis a team event, ande is open to our Castle Mills and Newbridge factories. Since its inception in 1967, this trophy has always been won by a Castle Mills team, although last year it was shared with I.E.D., Newbridge.

The two teams entered this year are as follows :-

Hose Room ‘A’

Hose Room ‘B’

I. Topple

G. Weir

L. Cameron

R. Haldane

J. Fry

D. Forsyth

G. Dunnet

T. Lee

Reflecting on the Winter Season, two successes were obtained by Castle Mills personnel;. Partnered by I. Renton of Newbridge, Dave Forsyth won the Winter Foursomes and the Morrison Putter (best aggregate in Winter Medals) was won by Ian Topple, Materials Flow.



During the last several weeks there have been definite signs of improvement in the oil hose order situation. While we have not received any major systems contracts we are advised by the Sales Department that several major contracts will be awarded in the near future and that our quotations put us in good position to be the successful bidder. We have, however, received several orders for spare hoses for the Das Island Installation. This means going back to our previous flotation construction as the Sales Department wants the spare lengths to be identical to the original line that we furnished in January.

Eric Robinson found a new customer who was in urgent need of replacements for defective hose made by one of our competitors. By giving a good delivery promise he got an order for 16 lengths of H.1515 without nipples. Although we had some trouble with the outside diameter caused by lack of definite information when we started the order, the customer was pleased with our service. Good performance of our hose in the field should bring us more business from this customer.


We should all be encouraged by the money and effort that the company is spending to promote Castle Mills products at two major trade expositions being held in May. In addition, a sample of our latest AQUAFLOAT construction will be shown at the International Rubber Conference to be held at Brighton in Several weeks.  More of this next week.


Shattering – that’s the only way to describe the way the entries for a Title are coming in. 

The amount of interest shown in this simple competition has surpassed all expectations.

The judges are going to have one helluva job picking the Winner.

Don’t be put off though – you still have until the 12th May to get your entries in and yours might just be the one the Judges like the best – so keep them coming.    



Interest in helping to keep the Newsletter going has been most disappointing. In fact, no one has come forward with any offer at all.

Don’t forget one of the prime aims in starting off this venture was to give you the chance to air your views, bitch against what you consider faults in the system, ask for answers to questions which are bugging you, etc, etc. It is you on the shop floor that hear all the complaints, rumours, etc. Give us a chance to clear the air by passing this information on.


Sandy Kay, ex Factory Manager, is due home from Japan on the 3rd of May to take his wife and family back to Japan with him. He is home for two weeks and we hope during this time he will look in to see his old colleagues.


The changes in the Personal Allowance announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the last Budget have been applied by Payroll this week. Everyone paying tax in the Tax Year just started should have either a small rebate or a reduced tax payment. Salaried Staff will receive the benefit of this in the May salaries.

Income Tax Forms P60 were in the pay envelopes or salary advices last week. This shows the total earnings, tax paid, National Insurance, Graduated Contributions and where applicable Superannuation Contributions in the year 1971-72. Hold on to them. You have no idea the trouble caused at a later date if they are lost. Certainly earnings related benefit entitlement in respect of sickness or unemployment will be held up until a replacement can be obtained. It may also be required for rebates of Local Authority rents or rates.

It is a useful document – don’t lose it!!

N.J.I.C. Agreement

The N.J.I.C. for the Rubber Industry have at last reached agreement on the proposed changes in Section Five – Wages and Conditions. These apply to the Minimum Weekly Earnings level, shift and overtime allowances and holidays as undernoted.

Minimum Weekly Earnings level raised from £17 to £19 for men and £13.60 to £15.50 for women inclusive of the 5p. per hour.

Shift allowance

Minimum Overtime Allowances










1st 2 hours






1st 2 hours (Night Shift of 3-shift system)














Sundays & Statutory Holidays





 Annual Holidays      More about this next week.



Twelve accidents occurred in the month of April. Even for only three weeks this is good compared with past performance, and let us hope we can keep it up.

At the moment one aspect of safety is causing some concern. A short time ago a considerable sum of money was spent on safety equipment for solvents. Now this was not money that the Company wanted to throw away, but was spent on the recommendations of the Safety Officer, solely for the protection of employees. And what has happened? For the sake of a few seconds saved in washing hose some of the bench cans have already had the springs and safety gauze ripped out.

All that this means is that somebody has a reckless disregard for the safety of his fellow workers and it behoves all of us to put a stop to this before a tragedy occurs.

Management take such a serious view of this that anyone found offending will be subject to instant dismissal.


A few vacancies exist for ‘B’ Oil Hose Makers and it is proposed to fill three of these just now. While we have been in touch with some of the men who unfortunately had to be made redundant we would be happy to consider people you know and could recommend for this type of work.


Young Bruce Stewart leaves us on Friday the 5th of May to take up a post with the Civil Service.

Bruce joined us as a Post Boy in May 1968, and after roughly nine months there moved into the Materials Flow operation where he settled down to the fairly complex job of detailed planning of Oil Hose production.

We wish him well for the future.


To All Members

As you know we are all committed members of the Union in a very practical sense, we are committed to make it the best and most forward looking branch of the Union, and this can only be done with full participation by all our members. In simple terms you are the Union.

In future editions of the Newsletter we shall endeavour to spell out the benefits to you along with the queries that are brought up, and also give you the personalities of your Branch Committee thus putting everyone clearly in the picture.


Who (quite rightly) was walking around with a smile on his face a mile wide?

No other than Laurie Cullerton.

Why? – because he came up with a suggestion for a cutting knife which could be fixed to the lathe to take the soul destroying effort out of taking a hose requiring repair back down to the body wire.

A simple little gadget knocked up by the I.E.D’s and John Hanson and virtually operating in the same week as the suggestion was made. A fine effort by all concerned.

How much is Mike going to give away here?


Johnny Hobson we regret to report was eliminated from the “Evening News – Search for a Star” contest in the third round.

As John himself says “you are really competing against top notch professional acts at this stage in the game and I would rather play for my own pleasure than drive myself the way some of them must to attain such high standards.”

John does a lot of good work very quietly for the ‘Old Timers’ and Childrens Christmas parties – not only by performing himself but by persuading others to perform, lending equipment, organising the programme etc. He also does a marvellous Santa Claus.

Better luck next time John, and keep on strumming.


Just in case you’re wondering what’s happening to the various pieces of wire braid long length equipment – we have sold a wire winder and one Wardwell to Uniroyal, Montreal – they are crated and ready to go.

Heathall have fallen heir to the long length 3 ton gantry and work started Monday 1st May on removal.

Uniroyal, Oxford, U.S.A. are purchasing a considerable amount of equipment mostly from the long length wire braid operation. Right now we are puzzling bout the best way to pack and ship.


Normally we deal with Oil Hose by Serial No. – very staid and routine. But now and again the situation arises where a number isn’t enough to highlight a particular hose.

Such an occasion came up last week, where in an attempt to prove the point, a hose 3was put into No. 4  Heater with a metal hood cover it to guard against possible condensation affecting the cure.

The metal hood was made up at very short notice by the Engineers out of 45 gallon drums and the finished job has since been referred to as –

1.      Dougal

2.      The Chinese Dragon

3.      The Hooded Terror

Much more interesting than discussing Serial No. 16477!!!


Tom Wright, one of the Oil Hose trainers, has received an award of £120 for a suggestion submitted under the Company Suggestions Scheme. His idea was to change the old method of tying down the wire cord onto the nipple flange and proposed that the wire be tied down onto the neck of the nipple. This saves 9” per end of wire on a 20” hose or 9” x 2,849 ends of wire equals 2,137 feet of wire savings. Using 1971 production output the savings would amount to a staggering 1,158,360 feet of wire or £1,204.

Two other awards, each of £5, have been paid to Laurie Cullerton and Laurie Anderson for suggestiomns on reduced electricity usage by switching off all lights during daylight and by reducing the number of binding wires in 20” and 24” hoses. The latter suggestion isw not to be implemented at the moment as several recent hose failures in the field have been associated w2ith the nipples being pulled out of the hose.