Born 1935, Richmond, Surrey. Moved to Stockwell, London; educated locally and at Henry Thornton Grammar School, left 1952 with 4 [GCE] ‘O’Levels; went into insurance as a clerk; 1953 Royal Ordinance Corps until 1956, local labour exchange directed him to a job at Pathé labs, 109 Wardour Street where he was taken on as a Positive Examiner; recalled to Army Reserve (Suez crisis), October 1956, demobilised later that year and went back to Pathé labs and became the ACT [Association of Cinema Technicians] ‘shop’ secretary. He talks about his family involvement in trade union activity and how he became the Deputy to the Chief Shop Steward, then joined ACT as an organiser in 1960, under Paddy Leach, looking after the labs and ITV; in 1961 he moved to take over the Features and Shorts division, where he stayed until 1966. He then backtracks to talk about the ACT ‘shop’ at Pathé Labs and the wage scale, negotiating with the Lab employers.
He talks about working with Monica Toye, Daphne Ancell [BEHP Interview No 80] and Alf Cooper [Interview No 62] on ACT committees. He talks about the most outstanding negotiations when they were able to ‘tamper’ with the differentials, when they met three from each side to consider the problem and when the results of their deliberations were put to a mass meeting, at the ABC Cinema in Hammersmith. He also talks about the relations with the AEU [Amalgamated Engineering Union] and the ETU [Electrical Trades Union] (1966). In 1979 the FLA broke up and then it was back to ‘plant by plant’ agreements – he stresses that National agreements are important. He next talks about the various new technologies, the speeding up of printing, less staff, the regional laboratories. He then talks about his experiences between 1961 to 1966 in the Shorts and Documentaries field, about Ken Gordon, Gloria Sachs, Terry Trench, The [British] Transport film Unit etc., etc.
Continues to talk about Shorts and Documentaries, Ralph Bond[ Interview No 18], John Taylor, Steve Cox, and about negotiating with ASFP, Neil Brown, the Film Producers Guild at Merton Park [studios]. He then talks about his time with Feature Studios and Productions; he also talks about Frank Kelly, Bill Rule, Charlie Wheeler. The unions are now under heavy pressure because of the state of the nation. He talks about BFPA, about Jobfit [ a skills training initiative], the Shop Stewards Training Courses. He then backtracks to feature films.
He continues to talk about MGM Studios and about the Lee Brothers, Brent Walker, and Cannon. He then talks at some length about various of the ACT officials and in particular about George Elvin; he also talks about Anthony Asquith and about the amalgamation between ACT and BETA [Broadcasting and Entertainment Trade Alliance].
He reflects on the various moments throughout his career and how he hopes to continue after taking early retirement from ACTT.