Moonraker Probus Club of Devizes

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Nov 2010 The Paper Industry Ted Roche
March 2010 Magistrates in the Community Richard Giles

November 2010 - The Paper Industry

At the Nov 4th. meeting Ted Roche gave a humorous and informative talk on the Paper Industrry and his working life from a graduate trainee to Sales Director. Ted talked of the history of the Bowater paper group and its growth from the early 1920s as small privately owned paper merchants to an international group involved in all aspects from raw materials , manufacture and world sales. The various stages of paper manufacture from forest management and wood pulp preparation to industrial processing were reviewed.

Ted highlighted the importance given to personal relations within the group and the on the job training given at all stages of personal development which built mutual respect and loyalty for both the workforce and management. The attention given to the conservation of raw materials by extensive tree planting programmes illustrated the progressive attitude of Bowaters: the company enjoyed strong management and was a major player in the European newsprint industry in the 1930's.with mills in the Merseyside and Kent, and by the 1950's Bowater was the largest producer of newsprint in the world. The company also produced many specialized paper products such as coated printing paper and corrugated packaging products.

 The influence of the press barons on the paper industry and the ultimate impact of world- wide overproduction of newsprint led, despite diversification into allied products, and eventually after 80 years, to the absorption in the 1990's of Bowaters into a new entity, Bowater PLC, ultimately named as Rexam PLC.

 There was an active discussion covering aspects of manufacture and the impact of the 'paperless society.


March 2010 - Magistrates in the Community

At the March 1st. meeting Richard Giles talked about ‘ Magistrates in the Community’- their function, responsibilities, training and how they fitted into the legal system.

He said that there are some 30,00 magistrates in the UK , and the intent is for equal numbers of men and women, a good mix of people in regard to age and  professions,  representation of ethnic minorities- fairness, impartiality, and lack of prejudices are the qualities required.

Historically there were 11 courts in Wiltshire now reduced to three with the Devizes Court closing after hundreds of years and its function transferred to Salisbury.  The Magistrates court deals with around 96% of offences, and can apply various sentences to include a maximum of 6 months in prison, probation, fines, community work, curfew, conditional discharge or suspended sentence. Offences involving grievous bodily harm etc, or which could lead to a sentence greater than 6 months are passed up to the Crown Court.