ive = 96; // show more snow on screen at once snowStorm.useTwinkleEffect = true; // let the snow flicker in and out of view Very grateful for your kind words and lovely card.
Jottings

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April 2010 --- met Ken Spree shopping in Rainham

April 2010--- spoke to Dave Buckingham who said he had a couple of pics for the site and that he was working on a history of the 'Chicken Club' for future inclusion.

April 2010--- met Ken Jeffery's wife to return the pics she sent in to be included on the web-site. She was very well.

April 2010 ---saw Yvonne Wallington (as was) in Matalan in Strood where she was working.

April 2010-- told by his Daughter that Ron Spain is still with us at the grand old age of 91.

April 2010--- had a phone call from Alan Southworth who said that the ex Staples people at Rochester Print Finishers, were looking at the site and found it interesting.

April 2010 --told by the nursing home staff in Maidstone Road in chatham, that Kit Goodhew was unwell and taken into hospital.

April 2010---had a visit from Ken Morrist who brought some pics for inclusion on the site.

May 2010--- visited Tony Kilbey in Falmouth Cornwall- He is well.

May 2010--- had some sad news from Kim Barham. Ron Spain went into hospital and passed away. She said he greatly enjoyed seeing the pictures of his old friends on the site during his period of illness. Kim is Ron's Daughter.

May 2010----- Met Paul Dixon and Judy in Lostwithiel in Cornwall.---- After a very bad year, Paul is much better and looking well.

May 2010--- Had a visit from Barry Cox, I must admit that he looks very well and hasn't changed much over the years.

May 2010--- had a phone call from Peter Simmons, who helped me identify people in some photos.

May 2010---- had a phone call from Roy Howe out in New Zealand, he and the family are doing well and he has enjoyed seeing old faces on the web-site, also some of the machines he used to work.

May 2010--- Had a phone call from Tony Styles who has been abroad for a time. He says he is well and sending some more photos to the site.

May 2010--- Had a nice letter from Sir Clive -- who wishes us all well and good luck with the web-site.

May 2010--- Spoke to Jeff (Ellis) Jones at his home- He is doing fine and the family is well. He is trying to get a look at the site.

May 2010---Kit Goodhew is back at the nursing home, but staff told me she is not very well.

May 2010---- Had a phone call from Martyn Whale in N.Z. He is well and still working in the trade. He asked if I had any news on how Delysa Nicholls was faring, but I explained that I had not been able to make contact with her. If anyone has any news, if they let me know, I can give them Martyns e-mail address.

June 2010--- Spoke to Tony Styles who is enjoying the site and sending some more photos and e-mailing something for the Memory page.

June 2010--- Spoke to Dave Buckingham on the phone and his wife Millie. We are going to meet up for a coffee and he is going to give me The story of The Chicken Club to put on the site.

June 2010------ Had an e-mail from Kevin Howes. he said he was enjoying the web-site and was grateful for the nice words about his dad.

June 2010---- had a e-mail from Roy Boormans Son, John. he had beeen introduced to the site by someone in Medway and enjoyed the photos of his father and also found a picure of himself.

June 2010--- met up with Dave Buckingham and his wife Millie. He brought the typed pages on his involvement with 'Chicken Club' that he had promised. They are going in to the photo pages along with a brief out-line of how it started, before Dave became involved, that I will provide. Also, I am including a lovely photo of Dave and Millie that I took at the time.

June 2010 ----- had a phone call from Barry Cox, saying of the report of the death of Kit Goodhew. He will try to attend the funeral for 'old times sake'. I shall be seeing Barry next week and will see if I can get a photo taken of him for the web-site.

June 2010---- had a phone call from Tony Styles, saying he had been notified of the death of Kit Goodhew. It is a fair distance to Horncastle where he now lives,-- but he is intending to be at the funeral.

June 2010--- e-mailed Paul Dixon and Peter Simmons about Kit, but haven't had a response yet.

June 2010-----met Barry Cox in Strood. He says "unfortunately he cannot attend Kits funeral." ------------I took a photo of him when he visited my son Jay. See it in the latest photo page.

June 2010------------ Apparently Angela Templeman (as was) was seen in Strood looking as lovely as ever.

June 2010-------- Tony Styles phoned to say that unfortunately something had come up and he would not be able to attend the funeral.

Juine 2010------- Paul Dixon came up to Medway for Kits Funeral, also there were Alan Southworth and Bill Scott.

June 2010-------------had a phone call from Peter Simmons, he had been away and was sorry to hear about Kit passing away.

June 2010---------- Steve and Lynda Wadhams visited me, up from Devon. Steve worked at Love Lane bindery from 1967 to 1980. He well remembered Syd Foreman and Stan Harris and also mentioned a 'Maisie' who worked in the canteen--- anyone know Maisie who? see their picture on p11 of photos.

July 2010 had a phone call from Martyn Whale in N.Z. He says "the printing trade is not doing very well out there"

August 2010---- had some e-mails from Alan Southworth at Rochester Print Finishers, giving some more names an information for the site. He has broken his ankle in 3 places. I told him he shouldn't go to those places.

August 2010---- had an e-mail from Debbie Beadle, she was enquiring if there was any information about a Vera Trice, who was in the bindery at Love Lane in the 1940s. I think it is unlikely that anyone would be able to provide any, but post it here just in case.

August 2010------- Saw Fernella Mitchell in Rochester High Street, must be the first time for 30 years. She looked fit and well and says that her grand children are keeping her busy and that her sister Felicity is fine. She had heard of the web-site through Yvonne Wallington.

August 2010-------Spoke to Ron Ambrose on the phone. He says he is OK, but can't get about much because of arthritis in his knees. He is going to get his son to show him the web site on a lap-top.

August 2010------ Had an e-mail from Steve Wadhams reminding me that Eileen Jones, who lives in Strood used to keep an album of all the Staples weddings. CAN ANYONE GIVE ME ANY CONTACT INFORMATION.

August 2010---------Met Bob Dunn in Rainham. He told me that some while ago he had sent me some photos for the site. I explained that I had not received any and on further discussion realised he had sent them to the wrong address. I went to the house he sent them to and was able to get them. They are being scanned in and contain pictures of Olga Templeman, Brenda Burford, Tom Blacklock, Karen Poore and Norman Heard amongst others.

August 2010-------- Had a phone call from Alan Southworth and he is starting to put some details together, which along with some pieces from Steve Wadhams will shed some light on the 'Staples' Cricket team.

August 2010------- Mary Howes and Freda Jeffery visited to bring a few more pics to be added to the site. We looked through the Galary at photos of Nobby and Ken and changed some of the captions to be more accurate. The new pictures as well as one that I took of them together, are going on to p12.

August 2010------- Spoke to Lynn Glover on the phone. She says she is well and it sounded like she was enjoying her time with her Grandchildren, who she described as two very beautiful daughters of Darren, aged 5 and 3.---- I later spoke to Darren who is looking out some photos to add.

Sept 2010--------- Spoke to Ossie Pocock on the phone, he said he was fine and had heard about the site, but not seen it yet. He may have some old photos that could be included.

Sept 2010----------Spoke to Eileen Jones on the phone, when she worked in the bindery she compiled a book of wedding photos of the Staples marriages. I am trying to persuade her to let me include the photos in the site.

Sept 2010----------- In a hotel in Coventry, Sylvia and I got talking over coffee to a couple at the table and we discovered that the lady, Ann Hookins, had worked with Sylvia in the 1960s at Hyde Press 331 High Street Rochester. People came to work at Staples from Hyde Press over the years, amongst them were Eddie Hurley, Tony Styles and Me.

Sept 2010---------Barry Cox e-mailed me to say that he had met Will Gates and that he was now retired at 61 and enjoyed the web-site.

Sept 2010---------- A NICE PIECE OF WORK FOR THE WEB-SITE. JEFF HUGGINS, WHO HAD BEEN SOUGHT AFTER BY ANDY BAKER LIVING IN N.Z.,(BOTH APPRENTICES AT LOVE LANE) READ ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKES AND WONDERED HOW HIS OLD FRIEND ANDY BAKER WAS. THEY HAD LOST TOUCH. HE CHECKED ON LINE FOR 'STAPLES'-- GOT THE SITE AND THEY ARE IN TOUCH AGAIN--------------SEE THEIR PICTURE ON P11.

October 2010------------ I phoned Eileen jones again to see if she had come to any decision about the book of wedding photos that she has kept from all her years at Staples. I would love to add some of the pictures, but I think she is frightened that they will get damaged.

October 2010-------- had a phone call from Bob Dunn, he is sending in some old transparencies for inclusion in the site. He also has sent in some memories that I will add to that page.

October 2010----------- Had some e-mails from Stella Hissey who is the daughter of Gillian Wanless who worked in the Bindery at Love Lane. Unfortunately I had Gillian under the wrong name, but hopefully it is correct now. Stella also adds the information that although her dad Dave didn't work at Staples, he played for the Football team. I am still hoping that someone out there will provide some information on both the football and cricket teams.

November 2010-----------------Had an e-mail from Roy Howe in Aukland N.Z. to say that they had finally been able to access the site. (had computer trouble). Found it very interesting.

November 2010------- Alan Southworth sent in two copies of 'The Staple'. These are a social magazine from Staples Press Limited from 1951 and 1953. I am going to scan and take in some of the 'bits and pieces' that concern Love Lane and names of people that came to Rochester from elsewhere in the group of companies. There was even an office in New York.

November 2010------------ Brian Bull e-mailed me at the site and said that he was in touch with Tom Blacklock. Subsequently I have contacted Tom and he may be sending some items to add. Anyone who remembers the machine room jam sesions of the 60s will remember Tom.

November 2010------------- Been getting some e-mails from Tom Blacklock and he has sent in some old photos (see page 13). It has been very good to get in touch with Tom after all this time and he is well happy living in North Lincs.

November 2010-------------------Had e-mails from Barry Cox to let me know that he is moving to The Isle of Sheppey. Hope he keeps in touch.

November 2010 -------------------- More mail from Tom Blacklock. He is now living in North Lincs. See a pic. of him and his wife Pat on page 13

December 2010---------------- Had a disc from Tom with some old cine film on. Will try to extract some pics onto my Macbook and add them to the site.

December 2010----------------------------------------------------- Had an Christmas Card from Clive and Lindy Martin.

December 2010-------------Had a letter from a prospective employer asking for a reference for Syd Lloyd, which I have been glad to give.

December 2010-------------------About to load the scans from the copies of Staple that Alan Southworth sent in. Have found many new Love Lane names to add to the Roll of Honour. Some I will not know the department applicable.

December 2010---------------- Had a phone call from Barry Cox to let me know that he had seen in the paper that Pat Brewer has passed away. Pat was a livewire in the bindery at Love Lane with a pretty face and was very popular. She served on CIDA the social committee and was well respected. She was originally a Laing and her mum Elsie, who was a cleaner for the company was also a well loved character. Elsie remarried and became Lowery. Pat married Andy Brewer who, as I remember worked at Mackays.

December 2010 -----------------spoke to Rod Palmer on the phone after he had sent me a Christmas card. He cannot access the site at home, but now that he knows of it, he is going to browse it in the local library. Rod is well and now fully retired.

January 2011-------------Heard from Barry Cox, he and his wife are getting sorted out and settling in after their move from Strood to the Isle of Sheppey.

January 2011------------received a late Christmas card from Martyn and Amy Whale out in Auckland N.Z. they are ok.

January 2011---------- had the news that Lee Fairbrother has had a heart attack. The bad weather conditions with all the snow hasn't helped matters, but he is "comfortable" at the present time. I will try to get more information later.

January 2011-----------received another picture from Tom Blacklock that is going into the site.

January 2011---------------Alan Southworth came over and added a few more names to the Roll of honour, he is well, apart from recovering from some broken bones. He told me that Marie Harris was very ill.

January 2011----------- had an e-mail from Tara Paine. She complained that she was not on the Roll of honour, don't know how I could have missed her out. She also gave me the bad news that Marie Harris had passed away on the 17th January. Marie was never a quiet person, but like Stan she was very popular with the 'girls' and other members of staff in the Staples bindery.

January 2011----------------The copies of Staple are now loaded, there is some interesting reading on how things were in the 50s. I have started adding some comments and there are names in there to be recognised by some of the 'older' staff.

February 2011------------------ Had an e-mail from Bernadette Vinten telling me that Geoff Capstick's wife had passed away. Geoff was well liked and respected in the office at Love Lane. He always cycled to work, living at that time on the Dickens Estate in Rochester. For some unknown reason to me, some of the younger office girls nicknamed him affectionaly as '007'.

March 2011----------------Had an e-mail from Ken Morrist to give me the sad news of the death of John Treays. John passed away at 7p.m.on 25th March. He had been taken into hospital with chest problems. John was a well liked in the machine room at Love Lane, I think he had quite a few difficulties during his life and he will be sadly missed. I liked John a great deal. I bought an old black Hillman Imp from him at one time. The way I remember John is epitimised by the first photo of page 13.

April 2011----------------Had contacts regarding the loss of John Treays from as far away as New Zealand.

April 2011---------More news from Tony Kilby.

May 2011------------Had an old photo of Tony Styles sent in to the site from Colleen Ross. It was a photo her Mother had kept from way back and I will scan it into the pages.

May 2011------------------Found and old sheet from Rochester Repro which was an enterprise that Norman Coward and Jay Curtis started when Staples expired. I am going to scan that in as well.

May 2011--------------Heard from Chris Noyes who has provided details of his Father when working at Love Lane. I will add them to the Roll of Honour.

May 2011-----------------had an e-mail from Delysa Nicholls who had hit upon the site by putting her name in Google and finding a picture of herself in the Bindery. I hope she will keep in touch and provide something for the site.

May 2011-------------- had another e-mail from Bernadette Vinten.

May 2011---------------had an e-mail from Keith Bedford who left Love Lane in 1981. He says he may have some stuff for me to include.

May 2011---------------- Had a phone call from Tony Styles to let me know the sad news that John Rodda had passed away. John was another of the 'Good ole boys' at Love Lane and was Tony's Brother in Law. John was a well liked Character in the Comp Room and met his life partner Pauline in the works, when she joined the company working in the office. Our sympathy goes to Joyce and Pauline.

May 2011---------- Had a phone call from Bob Dunn who was distressed to read about the death of John Rodda, here in the jottings. Bob had been friends with John since his time at Love Lane. When Bob was with Karen, they had spent time down in Wales with John and Pauline. He tells me he has a good picture of them and will send it in to the site along with a few memories of John for inclusion.

May 2011-------------received a letter from Bob Dunn containing a memory to be added to that page and two great pictures (see page 14) -----------He says == Dear Geof, It is so sad to learn of the passing of John Treays and John Rodda. Two smashing blokes to have known and a pleasure to have worked with. My thoughts are with their families.

May 2011------------- Had another e-mail from Keith Bedford. he is very saddened to hear of the death of John Rodda. He remembers his time with the Comp room staff very well. He still has lots of his "Comps" stuff including a setting stick with the initials A.L. on it, given to him by Alan Luckhurst

Unfortunately during his busy life with the Police (as a job I hasten to add), he dosen't have any photos left to add to the site.

June 2011-----------Bernadette Vinten says she has had a sad year so far, losing her Mum in March. She is still trying to get a photo of Bill Vinten to add to the site. The three Vinten brothers (Bill, Dave and George), added a lot to Love Lane.

June 2011----------Heard from Lee Fairbrother to say that he is improving after his heart attack in December. He dosen't smoke or drink, so was taken back a bit by his demise, but it sounds like he is fighting back well. He says the Medway Cardiac Exercise Programme he is on, has done wonders and it has helped a great deal sharing the experience of recouperation with new people.

June 2011---------- had a phone call from Barry Cox to say that he had bumped into Alan Luckhurst and Allen Quy in B and Q in Gillingham.He said they both looked well at 76 years, (dosen't time fly). He told them about the site and although they said they were "having computer trouble", they would try to get on. ----------------- I VERY MUCH HOPE THEY DO AS THEY WERE BOTH GREAT CHARACTERS AND WELL LIKED WORKERS AT STAPLES. THEY BOTH HAD AN INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND MUST BE ABLE TO ENRICH THE SITE WITH ANY CONTRIBUTIONS. Allen Quy ran the photographic section of the Social Club and also organised film shows---.

June 2011------------- I e-mailed Chris Noyes reminding him that he mentioned he had some memories that he would like to add to the site that I haven't received yet.

June 2011-------------- spoke to Gary Freestone on the phone. He has been very poorly, but "keeps on taking the tablets" He sounded ok and said he has recently spoken to Mick Lee. He said he had a lot of memories of Staples, --so I've asked him to let me have some to put on the site.

June 2011-------------Heard of a company in Faversham called The Hell Box Letter Company. It seems that they are still producing letterpress type and have two Mono Casters (one of which is a super caster) that were in the caster dept. at Love Lane. I have been given the ok by them to put a link in our web-site to go through to theirs.

June 2011----------------spoke to Terry cooper and asked him if he would provide a bit of information about Love Lane casters. He spent a lot of time working in that department, with some great guys. He is hoping to get time to do something to add to the site.

June 2011-----------had a phone call from Rod Palmer. He and Sylvie are well and he is posting a disc into the site with some things to be added.

June 2011---------Spoke to Arnie Manning, he is well and will be visiting me to see the site. He does not have a computer at home.

June 2011-------------Had an e-mail from a Bryn Clinch, he has remembered some of the names on the roll of honour as he worked at W. J. Parrett, he thought that a couple of Comps came from there to Love Lane, named Ted Cansdale and Jack Lines. Am checking this information out.

June 2011--------- Spoke to Ian Timothy on his mobile. He is good but very busy. Ian is much like me, in having the "keep going away habit". He says he has not forgotten about the 'stuff ' that he has in the loft of his old house (still in the family, fortunately), some of which goes back to Keith Jarretts' days with the social side of the works. I hope he gets round to finding it when he gets time. HE COULD HAVE SOME INTERESTING STUFF.

June 2011-------------Spoke to Tony Styles and he helped me in confirming some old names from the composing department in the early 1960s.

June 2011----------- Had a phone call from Dave Buckingham, expressing his sorrow at the passing of John Rodda. he had hoped to meet up with him again and it came as a great shock. His thoughts are with the family.

July 2011-------had another phone call from Rod Palmer. We talked about the stuff he has already put on the site and he asked me to make a few amendments. He also talked of other things he might like to add.

July 2011---------Spoke to Sylvia Whitnell on the phone after the photo came in of Eddie at Parretts. She is going to look out anything that we may find interesting.

August 2011-------------- saw Mick Smith Kerr in the shopping precinct in Rainham. He looked well and said he had been on to the web-site. Mick was at Love Lane for only a short time in the machine room as a minder. About 15 months I believe. He was a popular guy though at the time.

August 2011----------------This jotting comes from Deborah Keun (nee Jacoby who was P A to John Quinney). I was so sorry to learn that Kit Goodhew had passed away last year. She was a lovely lady and I always enjoyed seeing and chatting with Kit whenever I came to Rochester. In fact, I received a call from JQ yesterday and during conversation he asked whether I had news of anyone – I was able to say that I had come across the Rochester site a few weeks back. Well done for putting the site together! I now live outside Bolton, Manchester and work full-time for Bolton Hospice as secretary to the Management Team! Kind regards. Debbie Keun. ----------------Its good to know that through this site we get more information about the group and its people than even the 'Top Man'. ----G

August 2011----------- a very quiet month on the site. I am hoping that some of the 'characters' from Staples who had quite an impact on the company, may one day send some stuff in.-------------- I would love to get imput from Peter Paffett, Delysa Nicholls, Ian Timothy and Alan Luckhurst to name but a few. There must be so much that they could add for the interest of all.

September 2011--------------had e-mails from Julie and Roy Howe and Martyn Whale in New Zealand. Also from Barry Cox, Keith Bedford, Alan Southworth and Tom Blacklock.

September 2011--- have had an e-mail from Martyn Whale in N.Z. The print firm he works for, has been taken over and he still has his job but is now working nearer home.

September 2011-------Been in contact with Lee Fairbrother, who like many, still remember their times and friends at Staples with fond memories ----He is still progressing well after his problems with his health and sounds like he has a 'new lease on life'.

September 2011------------Had an e-mail from a contributor, to say that by chance he had been in contact with a person in Canada who thinks he may be related to Eddie Whitnell. I gave him Sylvia's address so he can check it out ---.There are new pics of Eddie and one of his 'beloved' lorries on Page 15.

September 2011-------had another e-mail from Keith Bedford. He said he had lost the details of how to get on to the site.--------I gave him the information.

October 2011-------------- Ken Morrist brought some more old photos in. I am scanning them in to page 15 and then we are going to try to name as many faces as we can when I add the captions. These will include new faces on the site.

October 2011-----------Had a phone call from Rod Palmer. He pointed out that I had not amended one of the captions that gave incorrect details of the Christmas card he designed. He was quite right and has been put right now. He also said that he had mailed me a disc with some more items on--- but I never received it and he is going to send it again.

October 2011---------- Jay Curtis tells me that Terry Cooper is retiring from Headley Brothers.

October 2011----------- Rod Palmer tells me that he saw Dudley Rhodes recently, apparently Dudley had kept in touch with Vic Lee for some time after Vic left Love Lane. I thought that Vic was most definately 'one of natures gentlemen'.

October 2011----------- Had an e-mail from Stewart Murray. He had seen the new pic on Page 15 and remembered it well. He says that the Miller 2 colour had been in for about three months when the photo was taken. He says he is surprised how 'skinny' he was, but after all, it was thirty years ago.

October 2011------- Bumped into Eileen Joiner in Debenhans in Chatham. She says she has now retired. (she looked very well and not old enough to retire). She also said that she had been looking at the site and had been greatly saddened by the losses of both Nobby Howes and Ken Jeffrey. She had worked with both these 'good guys' for many years, both at Love Lane and on the Medway City Estate.

You can see all three together in the last picture on page 5.

November 2011---------- Had a bit of a get-together with Bob Dunn, Barry Cox, Ken Morrist and Rod Palmer. Jay Curtis popped in after a while later. --- Bob had quite a few names to add to the Roll of Honour, including his son, who I had missed off. --- we were able to put some names to faces in some of the pics on the site. A lot of 'old times' were talked of, as well as many old friends remembered. See a couple of photos on page 15.

November 2011-------- We have decided to try and arrange to meet again in Wetherspoons in Rochester for a light lunch, before Christmas.

November 2011--------- I have updated the site on all of the additions and corrections that I remember from the meeting and hope these will be checked by the originators.

November 2011------------Sent the pics of the meeting previously mentioned to Roy Howe out in New Zealand, Lee Fairbrother and to Tom Blacklock.

November 2011---------- Someone mentioned to me that they had bumped into Mick Smith Kerr, who is much improved after a bad illness. Mick is another 'character' from the machine room who's picture we do not have on the site.

November 2011----------- had a nice letter from Rod Palmer and he was reminiscing about 'the old days'. he remembers Tony Kilbey and his brother Chris from their times in Gravesend. He also says that he picked up a booklet in his local shopping area entitled 'Prelude to War' and when flicking through the pages found that it was printed by Staples Printers Rochester and published by Meresborough Books of Rainham. It seems it was first produced in 1989. ( just before the leaving of Love Lane). He sends his regards to anyone from Staples that reads this and he is preparing some more 'tales from the comp-room'. I look forward to receiving them.

November 2011---------- Tom Blacklock thanked me for the pictures mentioned previously, but asks "who are all those 'old gits' and where have the bright young things gone"

November 2011-----------had an e-mail from Lee Fairbrother telling me that he had won Bronze prize in the Kent Wildlife Trust gardens competition. He says he is pleased with the work he has done in his garden to encourage its development. He sends a pic of the presentation which I am adding to page 16.

November 2011------ Lee Fairbrother would like to join us at the Wetherspoons get-together in Rochester. I will let him know the details as soon as its arranged.

November 2011--------------- had a nice surprise phone call from Ian Moore who worked in the Platen room at Love Lane. He had found the site by chance and said he 'was over the moon' to find all the pics and info'. He was able to remind me that it was himself who was the missing name in the beach photo no. 16 on page 15. He also expressed an interest in coming to the 'Get Together' as soon as its finalised.

November 2011----------- had a nice picture postcard from Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z. They were travelling to Wellington on the Overlander train to meet up with Roys Brother and his wife, who were on a cruise calling in to the port at Wellington.

December 2011-------------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn. He noted some names that I hadn't included in the Roll Of Honour. These were Pat Phillips and Eric Rosier. I don't know how I could have forgotten Eric. ( I also don't know how Tom Blacklock didn't notice Pat was missing). I have added them now. Also added Ian Moore.

December 2011-----------Had an e-mail from Alan Southworth to say he had found some old football photos. We will get together some time and see if they can be included.

December 2011----------- Had an e-mail from Martyn Whale in N.Z. He is still with the same finishing company in Auckland, but is much busier in the larger premises that he now works in. He says he is doing lots of hours.-----------He and Amy have bought a second property and are going to 'do it up'.

December 2011----------- had quite a few Christmas cards, phone calls and texts over the festive period. I wish all the best to anyone who reads this.

January 2012------------ Happy New Year, It is good to know that some of the 'good ole boys' are still out there. I have had an interesting contribution from Bob Dunn in which a co-incidence links right down to New Zealand from South Amarica and back to Love Lane. --I am putting it on, now that things are getting back to normal after all the festivities.

January 2012----------- It is now on --- see pic 7 on page 17.

January 2012------------ Will start to think about having that 'Get Together' at Wetherspoons in Rochester, in a few weeks.

January 2012---------------Had a long phone call from Tony Kilbey in Falmouth. We talked about the 'old times' at Love Lane and he is trying to remember some other names that are on the edge of his memory and could go onto the roll of honour.

January 2012----------- Had an New Year Greetings e-mail from Martyn and Amy Whale in Auckland. He misses some things about the U.K, but seems to be doing well.

January 2012--------------- Have been given a name from Facebook to add to the list. Kevin Edmonds who was apprenticed at Love Lane. Does anyone know what Department he was in?

January 2012-------------- Whilst Bob Dunn and myself were talking, the name Terry Mason came up. We both seem to recognise it from Love Lane -- but can't place any details. Does anyone out there remember the name?

January 2012 -------------- Had a text from my son Jay to say that he had bumped into Rod Palmer, Dudley Rhodes and Keith Sizer in Sittingbourne.

January 2012 -------------- I was at a wedding anniversary party on Sunday and got talking to a guy who worked with John Treays for a long time, after he left Staples. He told me that John had two daughters.

February 2012-------------- Jay Curtis popped in to see Alan Southworth at Rochester Print Finishers and brought me some old photos and bromides of Love Lane that Alan sent for inclusion in the site. I will be adding them to page 17.

February 2012------------- Bumped into Jeff Jones and his wife outside their house in Rochester yesterday. They looked well and said their sons were doing ok. He told me that he was seeing Alan Southworth the next day.

February 2012---------- Had an e-mail from Lee Fairbrother, he informs me that re my request about Kevin Edmonds, that he did an apprenticeship in the Composing Dept. and was a good footballer and friend of Gary Freestone. Am updating the details.

February 2012-----------Have spoken to Ken Morrist and Barry Cox to try and fix the date for a 'get together' in March. More details to follow.

February 2012 ----- Had an e-mail from a guy who used to work at the Kettering branch in the late 1950s. He asked me a couple of questions about books they used to print. Unfortunately I couldn't be of any help to him.

February 2012----------- The next GET TOGETHER is at the Golden Lion Wetherspoons in Rochester High Street on Friday 20th April at Midday. Just for a chat and to swap memories etc. Anyone welcome.

March 2012-------- Been a bit quiet this month, but have spoken to a few people including Dave Buckingham and Ossie Pocock.

March 2012----------- was on a bus travelling from Hitchen to Luton and got talking to a guy named John. It turned out that he was from St. Albans, quite local and when I mentioned Staples Printers, he remembered that branch very well. He said he had quite a few friends who once worked there.

March 2012--------Phoned Alan Southworth and he is coming over in a few days to help me sort the captions on the latest batch of photos he sent in.

April 2012--------------- Alan wasn't able to make it. Hopefully see him later.

April 2012------------- had an e-mail from a guy that used to work at the Kettering branch asking if this site is part of the same group. I explained that it was and that the old Kettering factory is now part of a supermarket car park.

April 2012----------------Been talking to a few old members about the forth coming get-together.

April 2012 ------------------ had and e-mail from a lady in London researching the history of her Grandfather. She had found his connection with Staples group and now found his name on the old Head Office boards. She also has on old piece of Staples history that she sounds willing to add to the site.

April 2012------------------ The get-togther at Wetherspoons was not too good as the Wifi was down, (I had checked it 2 days previously and it was fine). We moved to the Eagle a little way up the High Street which is a 'hotspot'. It would have been good to see a few more people but new faces were Lee Fairbrother and Keith Sizer. We had an interesting time and some photos will be going onto the site and into Facebook. We had much chat and loads of recollections-- some of which were not even rude.

April 2012------------- Came across Delysa Nicholls in Asda Chatham. She looked well and is doing ok. She says she "will get round to sending in some of the many photos that she has, as soon as she gets time."---- I hope she does.---- It was good to see her again.

April 2012-------------- Rod Palmer tells me that he met Kendra Sharpe around Christmas,

April 2012------------- had an e-mail from Peter Fogarty, he is doing ok and nearly 65 now. He still remembers one of his favourite people from Love Lane,-- Paula Horlick and was 'over the moon' to find a picture of her on the site at last, its on page 17.

April 2012--------------- I have been told that Robin Berkeley is out in Thailand running a moped repair shop.

May 2012-----------------Never received any pics from Delysa, to be honest I didn't expect to.

May 2012-------------------saw Mick Smith Kerr in Tescos, he has recovered from his illness and looks in very good shape.

June 2012--------------------- must admit that I have ben a bit lax in attending to the web-site. The better weather means I have much more to attend to in my hobby of keeping reptiles. These are all out doors you understand and also in a 16' x 10' "tropical house" at the bottom of my garden. I don't keep any in 'tanks' indoors.

June 2012----------------I have had a couple of calls asking if I am ok. Seems the lack of imput made people wonder if I was indisposed. Nice that they should contact me.

June 2012--------------- spoke to Tony Styles on the phone. I am sorry to say that he has been VERY ill with cancer. He has spent time in hospital and had much 'kimo'. He sounded tired and suggested to me "that he was very lucky to still be here". I am sure that if any of you would like to speak to him, that if you contact me, I can ask him if I can give you his number.

June 2012---------------- noticed that Ian Timothy has his house up for sale in Rainham, which I believe his daughter was still living in. I phoned him and asked him to remember 'that if he got time when clearing the house, I would like to get some of the old social stuff that Keith Jarrett gave him.

June 2012 -----------------Alan Southworth contacted me with some bad news about an old Staples worker. He asked me not to put a name on the site until he had verified it. More later.

July 2012----------------had an e-mail from Dave Sandford who worked in the Comp Room at Love Lane 1973 - 1977. He remembered Con Quinn, Arthur Rolings and Tony Styles amongst many others. Sounds like he was a bit of a lad by what he describes, hope he can contribute a little to the site.

July 2012----------------spoke to Joyce Styles on the phone. Tony is back in hospital for another round of kimo. She will keep me posted as to Tony's progress.

July 2012-------------- the bad news I mentioned earlier is that Norman Searles and his wife had a fatal car accident in Stamford while on holiday. Norman will well be remembered as another of the 'good ole boys' and worked in the bindery and later on paper stocks with Simon Drury. He spent much time working on problems arising from Chapel affairs. Alan Southworth tells me that the funeral is on Tues 17th July.

July 2012------------- had a message from Jay Curtis telling me that sadly, Terry Coopers wife has passed away. I have tried to contact Terry but not been able to do so as yet.

July 2012---------------Had a nice e-mail from Roy and July Howe out in N.Z. They have been on holiday to the Gold Coast in Australia. They have included some photos and they look well.

July 2012 ---------------- had a late 'brekkie' at the Tuck Inn on Saturday, as I was leaving who should come up and say hello and shake my hand, but Andy Coe.----- Andy was one of the great guys from Love Lane machine room and there is no-one I would have rather met again than him. He works with Terry Prior and he says he has some imput into the site for me. I look forward to him e-mailing.

July 2012---------------- Spoke to Paul Dixon and gave him some of the latest news over the phone. he is still having some health problems and has to go back to hospital this week.

July 2012------------------Went to the funeral of Terry Coopers wife Sue.I was the only one there from Staples. I am putting a picture on the site. I think everyone who worked with Terry always knew that he meant well in all he did.----- At Love Lane he was NGA FOC when I was his deputy. Many years later he and I were on the team who desperately tried to 'save' Rochester under the leadership of Bill Scott after the 'night of the long knives"

July 2012------------- Had a lovely postcard from Roy and Julie Howe who have had a lovely holiday with friends in Australia.

July 2012------------------went to Gravesend to see Jay and met Sandra Soder who worked for many years with Tony Redsull at the Gravesend Reporter. Tony was a very nice guy and a good and reliable worker when he joined Staples. Sadly he passed away in June. I had a lot of respect for Tony.

July 2012----------- Had an e-mail from Andy Coe --- he is posting in some photos. More later.

August 2012 -------------Had a chat with Bob Dunn. he undertook a lot of Andy Coe's training at Love Lane and would be pleased to see him again some time.

August 2012. spoke to Alan Southworth and he told me that his brother Dave, Steve Howard and Stan Harris went with him to Norman Searles and his wifes funeral.

August 2012------------ received some old photos from Andy Coe, am adding them to page 19.

August 2012--------------- had a phone call from Tony Styles. I think its fair to say that Tony was not expected to survive the cancer that had been attacking him. However he was telling me that after suviving all the treatment and fighting all the way --- surprisingly to his medical staff -- the tumor had drastically reduced in size and may at some time be able to be surgically removed. He cannot believe that there is now light at the end of the tunnel. He is looking forward to a continuing recovery and we on this site send our best wishes.

August 2012 -------------- Bob Dunn and Andy Coe and I have agreed to meet up for breakfast at some time at the Tuck in.

September 2012. ---------had a phone call from Ian Timothy to say that he had commenced the clear out of his old house prior to arranging the sale and had some of Keith Jarrett's old stuff from his work in the social side of the factory.

September 2012------------ Ian brought the photos and other stuff from his loft to my house. They were passed to him when Keith Jarrett retired from the Medway City Estate factory. Ian looked well and is soon moving to nearer Sittingbourne. He is now self employed as a handy-man and is doing ok.

WHAT IAN HAS BROUGHT, IS GOING TO KEEP ME BUSY FOR A LOOOOOONG TIME. THERE ARE NEW FACES TO ADD TO THE SITE AND LOTS OF NAMES TO BE REMEMBERED.

September 2012------------ had a telephone conversation with Paul Dixon and he did not have to go back into hospital as his condition seemed to have stabilised some.

September 2012-------------- Spoke to Tony Styles who told me he continues to make progress. He mentioned that he had not spoken to Paul Dixon since leaving Staples - Later Paul said I could give Tony his Telephone number.

October 2012 ------------ Bob Dunn phoned to give me the very unwelcome news that Karen had passed away. Obviously he was a bit 'shellshocked' and later I passed on the news to Ken Morrist and Tom Blacklock.

October 2012--------- I told Bob that I would make a page to remember Karen and he asked if I would like to include a couple of photos from when they were together. I liked that idea and he later dropped them through my letterbox. See 3rd. pic on page 20.

October 2012-------------Bumped into Leanne Rapley in Gillingham. She is well and her daughter Talia is now 12 years old.

October 2012---------- Barry Cox has sent me a pic of an old busines card file from Staples that his dad 'Lorry' gave him when Barry worked as a 'rep'. I have put it on page 20.

October 2012 ----------- Tommy Blacklock has sent me a couple of very old photos that I will add, they are of Parrett and Neves, but contain faces of people that later worked at Love Lane.

October 2012 ------------- saw Alan Southworth briefly at Rochester Print Finishers on the Medway City Estate. Seems a life-time since we started the company in 1998 at the demise of Staples. He seems very well and was shocked at the news of the death of Karen. RPF are still keeping going in these difficult times, it shows a lot of hard work and determination from the staff.

October 2012 -------- have started to load the pictures from Ian. I would greatly appreciate any help in adding names to the faces -- or any other relevant information.

October 2012-------------- Had a text from Alan Southworth giving me the names of the two ladies on page 19.17 that I could not remember.

October 2012 --------------Has some e-mails from Keith Bedford who is about to retire from the Lincolnshire police. He includes some photos of odds and ends of memorabilia of Staples from his loft. They are a bit fuzzy, but I will include any that I can.

October 2012----------had a good old couple of chats over the phone with Tom Blacklock about old times, friends, and workmates. Very enjoyable. I'm so pleased to be back in touch with him.

October 2012--------------- spoke to Ossie Pocock on the phone concerning the clock-card from 1929 with Pocock on it. he told me that he had 2 sisters who worked at Love Lane, (I will add them on the roll of honour) but not as he recalls any family that far back.

October 2012------------- had an e-mail from Kerry Barton. She has given me some information for the site that I will add soon.

November 2012---------Barry Cox e-mailed the name of the driver that I could not recall for the photo on page 21. It was Bernie Collins.

November 2012------------ saw Bob Dunn in Rainham,--- he reminded me we were going to contact Andy Coe regarding having a breakfast at the Tuck In.

November 2012----------- had an e-mail from Martyn Whale. All is ok with them and they are pleased to be getting better weather now that early summer is upon them in N.Z.

November 2012------------ had quite a co-incidence happen,-- loading the latest batch of photos onto the site I came to the last one, no19 on page 21, which shows Rene Bailey. I haven't seen her for many years, but she was behind me in a queue at Morrisons in Strood today. We had a brief chat and she is well. Unfortunately she dosen't have access to the internet.

December 2012----------- met Bob Dunn in Rainham.

December 2012.------------ met Barry Cox and wife Pauline in the Savacentre. They are both well.

December 2012 ---------- bumped into Mick Smith Kerr and his wife, they also are doing ok.

December 2012.----------- had an e-mail from Debby Keun, formally Debby Jacoby, who was P.A/Secretary to John Quinney who was Chief Executive of Martins Printing Group 1980 - 1996.-------- She tells me that John passed away 3th Dec. at Felpham West Sussex. He was quite a character.

December 2012--------------- Jay Curtis tells me that Tara Paine has contacted him through the 'Staples Printers Rochester' page on FACEBOOK. She passed on the sad news that Ken Warren has passed away. Another very nice guy.------- If I remember correctly, he was a good footballer when young and had a trial for Gillingham.

December 2012----------had a phone call from Rod Palmer - he is doing ok.

December 2012-------- had a phone call from Paul Dixon. He is going to e-mail details of some of the drastic changes that are being made at M.P.G. Books (Hartnolls) in Bodmin. More jobs being lost. Just to remind you that this is no longer Martins Printing Group after the Mangement buy-out under Tony Chard.

December 2012----------more from the FACEBOOK page -- Felicity Wraight has also made contact with Jay. Funnily enough I have just been loading some pics on page 23 and she is on some of them.

December 2012--------------bumped into some-one else in the Tuck In, this time Terry Cooper. He says he is 'not too bad' after the sad loss of his wife. He has said he will give me a ring in the new year and 'we can meet up for a coffee and a good old chat'.

December 2012--------------spoke to Eileen Jones on the phone. I have just been loading photos on the site, which included her. It made me remember the photo book that she so diligently kept, in which she kept a pic. of all the wedding couples from Staples from the 1950s.-- Again I reminded her that I would be pleased to show her the web-site and then if she wished I could scan and take the photos in. She told me that some of the old Staples Bindery Ladies met up for a Christmas drink. They included Joan Kemsley, Joyce Day, Shirley Wallace and her Sister Gwen. Also Doris Tandy, Doris Stanton, Ann Jones and Maureen Bowles.

December 2012----------- spoke to Ossie Pocock on the phone regarding the death of Ken Warren. He said he only found out himself from the local church news-letter. He said he was o.k.

December 2012------------ had an e-mail from Tom Blacklock expressing his sorrow at the passing of Ken Warren. He said that Ken and himself worked together on the Quad Royal many times in the Love Lane machine room.

January 2013---------------had an e-mail from Barry Cox expressing his sorrow at the passing of Ken Warren. He says that he knew Ken when he was at school and Ken's Dad was the caretaker. He passes his condolences on to the family.

January 2013------------had a phone call from Bob Dunn, he has lost his mum over the Christmas period and is now trying to catch up with things. He also was sad to hear of Ken's death and had many good memories of him as they had worked together many a time.

January 2013-------------had an e-mail from Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z. Roy remembers Mick Smith Kerr well, who's picture is now on page 23. ------Julie says that with their new broadband connection, they have just been into the web-site for a lovely trip 'down memory lane'.

January 2013---------------- Had a couple of nice e-mails from Bernadette Vinten which added some names to the 'roll of honour'. I have put the details to the 'Memories' page, as she nicely sums up some of the old times in the bindery at Love Lane. Berny married into the Vinten family and I believe I am right in thinking that there were four other members at the factory. (George, Bill, Dave and Doreen).

January 2013----------------- had another e-mail from Roy and Julie Howe out in New Zealand including a news paper article on how their son Peter delivered his wifes', (also Julie), second baby, (a boy, Daniel) in the back of a car on the state highway on December the 16th 2012.------ The second picture on page 15, shows Peter as a toddler with his Dad Roy-- take a look.---------- Just as a final interesting point, Peter's younger brother Michael, is also married out there --- to a girl named Julie.

January 2013------------- Had an e-mail from Paul Collins saying he had lust had a walk along Love Lane in Rochester, following his reading of the hauntings described by Barry Cox on the 17th pic on Page three. Click on it and take a stroll down there, if you dare.

January 2013-----------------------Had an e-mail from Barry Cox in which he has asked me to add the following to the 'Jottings'

Geof, I would like to say a big thank-you to you for putting this site together, I have been from childhood to present day, over sixty-five years associated with Staples through mainly my Dad and also working there myself. I have looked back at people I used to know and laughed with and enjoyed their company. It is a very pleasant revelation to behold old times, and to read about others one knew.

Well done Geof I think we are forever in your debt for this site, may it join the ranks of history.

Deepest regards

Barry Cox CKT

February 2013------------------ been very quiet through this cold dark month. Had e-mails from Barry Cox, Peter Fogarty, also Martyn Whale and Roy and Julie Howe out in New Zealand. --Have seen Bob Dunn a couple of times, but thats about it.

February 2013------------------- spoke to Ossie Pocock on the phone. He helped me with some infomation on the site concerning some of the names added recently from Keith Jarrett's files. He sounded very well and said that he had been able to access the site through his son and had liked it very much. He still says that he may have some photos that he intends to look for, that could be included. He also mentioned that he has not seen Will Gates for the last few weeks and was wondering if he is o.k.

February 2013---------------- meant to include above-- Ossie said that he had quite recently seen Ken Morrist's Sister Elaine -- or 'Shaney' as we all knew her and she was well.

March 2013----------------- bumped into Dave and Millie Buckingham in Sittingbourne. They looked well and Millie said that she had found a glimpse of herself in one of the old photo's that I have included recently from Keith Jarrett's stuff. I will try to locate it and add her name to the caption. Dave expressed his regret at the passing of Ken Warren. I think everyone liked Ken.

March 2013-------------Had a couple of e-mails from Tony Kilbey. He may be moving abroad.

March 2013------------- spoke to Rod Palmer on the phone, he is keeping well. He gave me two names for the Roll of Honour that I am trying to substantiate-- anyone remember Phil Fuchter or Ernie Burton please.

March 2013-------------------had an e-mail from Paul Dixon telling me that he had received an e-mail himself from Andrew Quinney, saying that a Memorial Service was being held during this week for his father John. Paul had fowarded the details to Peter Simmons, but had no contact details for Tony Styles. (That's strange, because Tony asked me for Paul's phone number last year and said he would get in contact with him).

Paul also sent some of the sad details to the demise of Bodmin branch. At the end of last year MPG Books made about half of its workers redundant. This in a town like Bodmin is a severe blow, where jobs are not easy to come by.---Tony Chard, who headed up the management buy-out when MPG Books left Martins Printing Group, bought Biddles and Cambridge University Press (always 2 of Hartnolls main competitors). Production is being concentrated at these East Anglia sites, one is at the existing Biddles factory and the other a new build - mainly for C U P work and the Bodmin content. --- A small production unit remains at the site in Cornwall, for short run and digital work. This still remains the group admin H Q.------ Paul states that book production has been hit hard by the popularity of e-book readers. It is true to say that Tony Chard's move represents a considerable reduction in the capacity of a few years ago.

March 2013------------------------ Had a nice e-mail from Lee Fairbrother-- he confirms exactly what Rod Palmer has told me. Phil Fuchter and Ernie Burton were both caster operators in the early 1970s at Love Lane. Phil was an apprentice with Lee at Kent Art Printers -- along with others who later came to Staples, including Bob Dunn, John Ody, Rod Palmer and Dave Buckingham -----.Phil Fuchter joined Staples a couple of months before Lee did, in 1969. He worked as a night operator, but didn't stay very long and went to Switzerland, Lee thinks.------ Ernie was supposed to be a 'bit of a character' and known for selling cheap fags. --------I will add these names to the Roll of Honour.

April 2013 ----------------- Had an e-mail from Chris Noyes. It is an advert for some miraculous slimming pills. I know I have put on a little - but at 6 foot 2 inches, I am still only 12 stone something. Don't know what he can mean.

April 2013-------------- had an e-mail from Delysa Nicholls. She tells us that Sue Devonshire (tea-lady extraordinare) has passed away on the 16th of April. What a character she was.

April 2013-------------Jay told me that Tara Paine had noted Sue's passing on our 'Staples Rochester Facebook' page. I had looked at the phone book to see if there was an entry for Devonshire in Strood. I was going to try to contact her husband, who I remember as a nice bloke.-------Does anyone know her age.

May 2013---------------Have remembered the name of Sue's husband -- it is Robert. Hope he's still around.

May 2013-------------- have had an e-mail from Peter Fogarty from 1970. It has a photo with faces on that we cannot put names to. Need some help. Will load it soon on page 26.

May 2013 ---------------another photo arrived from Peter Fogarty. Going into the first spot on page 27. It shows the irrepressible Brian Ross.

May 2013-------------------had an e-mailed in photo from Tom Blacklock of some old printing equipment that he re-discovered in his garage, adding it to page 27.

May 2013--------------------- had breakfast at the Tuck In with Bob Dunn and Andy Coe. It was the first time that we three had been together for about 33 years since the machine room days at Love Lane. It was great to talk over old times. Bob and Andy had worked together about ten years ago, but hadn't seen each other since. I have a few old memories to add that they talked of, also some new names for the roll of honour. See the photos on page 27 that I am adding.

June 2013-------------------- spoke to Alan Southworth on the phone, he says he has just had an operation on his eye. I think he has had one or two problems over the last few months and hope that he is soon back to normal.

June 2013------------------ called in at Rochester Print Finishers on the Medway City Estate. Just leaving, as we arrived, was Wendy Sayers. We had a brief word and she looked and sounded fine and said she had been onto the web-site.------ Saw Eileen Johnson and Dave Southworth, Dave did a little job for me and he was looking well and sounded ok. He told me that his wife Jenny had taken a tumble and sustained a broken hip. (I'm sure we all wish her well).-------Eileen popped over to McDonalds with Sylv and I for a coffee. There was a photo taken of Dave and Eileen which I hope gets e-mailed into the site for adding to page 27.

June 2013--------------- spoke to Paul Dixon on the phone and he gave me some of the background details to the further demise of MPG Bodmin. --There is still a chance of a rescue for Tony Chards plans for Cambridge University Press and some continuation of employment down in Cornwall. Paul has said he will let me have any further information for inclusion. I may been seeing Paul and also purely by chance, Peter Simmons, on a family trip to Liskeard in October.

June 2013---------------- got hold of Peter Paffet's address and called on him. He and wife Jean, made Sylv and I very welcome with tea an biscuits. He had not seen the web-site, so I asked him to put his name and Staples into Google. And there 'low and behold' was his face with a group from the works at the World Pie Throwing championships. He surfed the site a bit and saw many old faces. He and Jean have been very unwell at times since Pete's heart attack in 2004--- but hopefully are better now. I am sure he could add some input to the site, as he was one of those 'characters' that Staples seemed to generate.

July 2013--------------- Starting some good holidays now. Also going to be a 'hot summer'. Will be adding more when I get the chance, in a while

August 2013------------- Spoke to Ken Morrist and he tells me that his sister Elaine, (Shaney to those who knew her), has been very ill and in hospital. He thinks she is showing signs of improvement now. He also told me of the death of Phil Mitchell. Phil was an apprentice at Love Lane and a very pleasant guy. I still remember him sometimes, as he had his own peculiar greeting of "alllwight", said in a fashion that I still catch myself copying, even now on occasions. Its hard to believe that people like this are not in this world any longer.

August 2013------------met Bob Dunn for a 'wet chapel' in the White Horse in Rainham and he expressed his sorrow at the passing of Phil Mitchell. Like me, he couldn't recall anybody who didn't like Phil.

August 2013--------------Barry Cox has e-mailed in to say that he sends his condolences to Fernella on the loss of Phil. Barry's words are that Phil 'was a good old boy'. ----He also forwards best wishes to Shaney on a speedy recovery.

SORRY -- NO UPDATES AT THIS PRESENT TIME-------. MY DEAR WIFE SYLVIA IS SERIOUSLY ILL IN HOSPITAL. GEOF.

Sept 2013--------------I have had some kind words from Bobby Dunn, Ken Morrist, Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z., Barry Cox, Tom Blacklock and a nice phone call from Rod Palmer, who's wife (also Sylvie) is under the weather. My best wishes go to them. -----My Sylvia was given 48hrs when rushed into Medway Maritime Hospital and all the family spent that weekend up there at her bedside. When they removed her oxygen, she promptly started breathing on her own. Now three weeks later she is out of intensive care and making progress slowly. She has opened her eyes and is talking and gaining some of the weight that she lost in the first two weeks. There is a very long way to go before we, as a family, are now daring to think of some sort of recovery. Geof.

Oct 2013------------------ I have been very grateful for the phone calls, e-mails and kind words over the past five weeks, which as you can probably imagine have been a nightmare. Sylvia continues to make tiny improvements and we are now discussing with the medical staff her re-habilitation. I think she may come home in the not too distant future, where we can look after her and and see how much progress she can make.

Oct 2013----------Had a long chat with Tommy Blacklock on the phone, really enjoyed our conversation, also spoke to his wife Pat, which was nice. he recounted a strange happening in Menorca when he toppled down some rocky precipice and spent a long while in hospital. Am going to give his number to Bon Dunn.

Oct 2013------------ Had a nice e-mail from Bernadette Vinten with best wishes to Sylvia. Any of the 'real old boys or girls' from Love Lane would probably remember the three brothers -- George, Bill and Dave Vinten.

Oct 2013------------Great to get a lovely text on my mobile from Barry Cox. Also phoned Bob Dunn and passed on Tommy Blacklock's phone number, hope they let me know later how the chat went.

Oct 2013--------------Sylv cotinues to make TINY bits of progress, the family are now dealing with how we handle the future, to best assist her recovery.

Oct 2013------------Had a lovely card with best wishes from Cornwall. I had planned a trip there on the 5th October for a week, hiring a house in Liskeard and taking the whole family. It had so happened that Peter and Catherine Simmons would have been visiting Paul and Judy Dixon at that very time, although I had not known this till speaking to Paul about meeting up. Jay had been looking forward to seeing Paul again after all these years. We were also planning a surprise trip down to see Tony Kilbey. Hoseasons who own Cottages for You, have been brilliant at returning nearly all the payment. --------So the card comes with sorrow that we didn't meet up, plus best wishes to Sylv and is signed by them all. I am putting the lovely Cornish view shown on it, on the photo pages.

Oct 2013---------------- Sylvie continues to make small improvements and is much more aware of things and visitors and becoming more interactive. We have arranged a place for her in a care home in Rochester with nursing facilities to continue her re-couperation. I wanted to have her come home -- but have been made to look at it realistically in how it would have impacted on me.

She had 8 visitors up Medway yesterday and enjoyed it, so I am hoping she can continue to progress with specialist physio and nursing care. Like it is in todays world, there is no financial help available and she is classed as 'self funding', so the council officers are going to decend on us to take whatever they can. And believe me it seems that they can take a lot.

Nov 2013----------I have been very gratefull for the kind words and best wishes over the last two difficult months. Have had a phone call from Kenny Morrist in the last few days and also Tony Styles. Tony has been unwell again after making much progress, but says he thinks he is now 'on the mend' again.

Nov 2013--------- spoke to Alan Southworth on the phone. he says that they are still quite busy at Rochester Print Finishers and hoping things will stay that way. I sincerely hope that they find things improving with the slow change in the counties fortunes. They have battled so hard and consistently through this long recession and have outlasted nearly all their opposition. I know that Alan recalls, as I do, that way back in 1998 when we started it, the local finishers, gave us six months as, we were 'a bunch of useless Staples ex-managers'.

Nov 2013------------Sylvia left hospital today. We are settling her into her new en-suite room in the Nursing section of the care-home in City Way. Things have worked out better than expected, as the Council Officer turned out to be extremely understanding and very helpfull. I have had some help at last with finance and do not lose any of my house value. (which I was previously told that they would take half).

Nov 2013----------I hope you haven't minded me using the 'jottings' to let you know about Sylv. I know its my site and I can put on what I want, but its dedicated to all the great characters at Staples, but it has helped me, in some of the worst times, to feel that I was talking to old friends.I hope for a bit of stability in the next few weeks after spending every day in the hospital for he last two months. I will update you later.

Nov-------2013 Had an e-mail from Jeff Huggins (Comp apprentice at Love Lane). He has had an e-mail from Andy Baker (Love Lane) and wife Julia out in N.Z. Seems they have missed the bad times and earthquakes out there. You may remember they finally got in touch after many years through this web-site.(see a photo of them out side the Love Lane offices in the pages). Jeff says that he and his wife are unwell and sadly even his dog is not too good, so I'm sure we send them our best wishes.

Nov 2013-------------spoke to Paul Dixon on the phone- I told him that Tony Styles had phoned me and he suggested that I give Tony his e-mail address. I have sent this to Tony so he can get in touch with Paul if he so desires.

Nov 2013----------- have e-mailed Tony Styles a couple of times, -- but as yet have had no response. Spoke to Bob Dunn yesterday and he hasn't yet phoned Tommy Blacklock, he says he definately will 'get round to it' and I am sure they have a lot of memories to chew over, when they do talk. (I would love to be a 'fly on the wall', when it happens). They were a right couple of lads.

Nov 2013-----------Sylv is spending more time out in the special wheeled armchairs and we are now organising this special 'tilt in space' wheelchair for her. If we have to buy one, they are £1600, but we are hoping to get a grant through the NHS. Obviously if we were foreign, we would be able to get much more help. Today she is going down to the main floor and into the hair salon to have a shampoo and set. Although she has very limited mobility, three times over the past two weeks she has leaned forward and sat up a LITTLE bit on her own in this chair. Also one night, she turned herself onto her side. So my friends -- we are not giving up.

Nov 2013----------- I have been a bit lax with the Staples site over the past few months, but I have spoken to Bobby Dunn and also Jay and we would hope in spring to do another 'Get Together'. Probably at the White Horse in Rainham, we can lay on a few snacks and it is direct on main bus routes and ok for parking. More later.

Dec 2013----------- Sylv's wheelchair arrived at the care home on Monday this week. (costs £55 per week to hire). Jay came in with me to help assemble it, which proved more complicated than we thought. She has taken to it quite well. Yesterday Bob Dunn came in with me to visit. I picked him up outside his house in the morning and she was out in the lounge in her chair when we got there. It was great to have a chat with Bob for a couple of hours and he enjoyed seeing Sylv. -----Later, armed with his bus pass, he left after saying that he would come again. When lunch was over, I put a thick jacket on her and a blanket (it was very windy) and took her out on to City Way. We called into a little shop, bought a small bar of chocolate and ate it half each. When back in the lounge later, with Sylv having a taste of a small sherry, (something she was always fond of), two of her friends arrived unannounced.-- All in all, a pleasant day in the scheme of things.

Dec 2013---------- Had a Christmas Card from Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z. and also a couple of e-mails from them with photos. Bob and I talked about them warmly, yesterday. We were all close friends in the Love Lane days of Staples.

Dec 2013---------- Had Christmas cards from Paul Dixon, Tony Styles and Ken Morrist, (Ken and Jan arrived unexpectedly at Friston House just as I was again pushing out Sylv in her wheelchair), we stood on the pavement and chatted for a short while and they left us to it, saying they would come again.

Dec 2013-----------Had a Christmas card from Rod Palmer with a lovely note detailing how things are going. He says that wife Sylvie is not too good at the moment and I'm sure we all send our best wishes for a good recovery. He also says that he is in the process of putting together some more 'Tales of Staples' that I will be pleased to include in the site when they get to me.

Dec 2013-----------Went for a swift drink with Bob Dunn and a mate of his at the Manor Farm last night. Bob mentioned old friends including, Frank Ryde, John Short, Malcome Castle and John Treays. Bob says that he thinks Frank and John are still local and I am going to check the phone book to see if I can locate either of them.

Dec 2013----------- Had a card from Deborah Jones. Any of the old Production Office staff from Staples will remember Deb who was an excellent co-ordinator at Hartnolls in Bodmin. She and I struck up a good working relationship and when she came up to visit our branch, Sylv and I took her out for a meal. Later we went down to visit her and her son in Cornwall. we have kept in touch even when she left the group and moved. She has sent me a photo of herself and Andy Vosper who I think was, or is, a director at another Cornish Bookbinders. It is of their fairly recent wedding day. ----As its part of my life at Staples, I will add it to the site. Certainly, Tony Styles and Paul Dixon will remember her well.

Dec 2013--------- Had a card from Clive and Lindy Martin, so its good to hear that they are still ok.

Dec 2013------------Had a card from Alan and Barbara Southworth. I think things have improved a little for them at Rochester Print Finishers over the past few weeks. With the print trade going through the turmoil it has, with the recession and changes in technology, it is terrific that they have survived at all. I'm sure that this is mainly due to Alan and his brother Dave, who have persisted in carrying on the high standards they helped create and inherited, from Staples.

Dec 2013----------- Found Frank Ryde's number and gave him a ring -- he seemed pleased to hear from me and I gave him the details of this site. We may hear from him and there could be a contribution from him of some sort, in the future. He thinks Malcome Castle could be in Essex.

Dec 2013----------Have to apologise to all the users of the site that we didn't get round to adding the usual Christmas decorations this year to the home page, but its been a bit difficult at the moment. Have just been notified that Sylv will be assessed on 3rd Jan 2014, to see if she gets a wheel-chair supplied. If she does get this from the NHS, (and remember we are English, so its more difficult for us), it will be a great help and save us £55 pounds a week in hiring the one we have now. Today I took her down to the George pub., where she had a sherry and I partook of a small port wine for a celebratory Christmas drink.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL EX-STAPLES PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS.

Dec 2013------------ had an e-mail from Frank and Christine Ryde, its nice for me that he 'extolled the virtues of the web-site'.-- He has recalled some pleasant old memories that I have now put on that page. I hope to hear more from them later.

Dec 2013--------- Further to Rod Palmers' note mentioned a bit earlier, he says that he gets on to the site at his local library and that this gives him trouble. I do hope he is able to contribute more through 2014. He mentioned sending good wishes to all who may remember him, especially Paul Tony and Jay.------- To those who remember Rod., for your information the note was still written in that impeccable, unmistakable and immaculate handwriting.

Dec 2013---------- Just a quick update to let you know that Sylv's day home on 25th was a complete success. I was terrified that she wouldn't be able to cope with it, but in the end it was great.

Dec 2013------------- Had a nice seasonal greeting text on my mobile from Barry Cox. I am so glad to be in touch with someone as nice as Barry. he gets that warmth from his Dad I'm sure, 'Lorry' was a great character.

Dec 2013------------ Also had a Christmas phone call from Bobby Dunn, I am grateful for all the good-will. Another "good old friend".

Dec 2013--------- Had an e-mail from Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z., telling me how their Christmas went, which they spent with their family and grand-children.

Dec 2013----------- had some information from Martyn Whales' Dad. Seems that Martyn and Amy are doing quite well in N.Z. They have sold the two houses they had bought, (one was leased out) and moved into rented accommodation, while they look for a new, (bigger I presume), place. Seems that Martyn is doing ok in the printers where he works and Amy has had a promotion in the store where she works. Apparently its a bit like a B&Q. -------I have his new telephone number if anyone would like to contact him.

Dec 2013--------------Phoned Rod Palmer for a quick chat to see how his Christmas went.

Dec 2013-------------- Had an e-mail from Martyn and Amy Whale out there in New Zealand sending seasons greetings to all.

Jan 2014------------HAPPY NEW YEAR. I wish everyone who visits the site, all the very best for the coming year. GTC.

Jan 2014---------- Had an e-mail with New Year wishes from Tommy and Pat Blacklock.

Jan 2014---------------Have the NHS wheelchair assessment today and am hoping it goes well. If they agree to loan us one of these spcial 'tilt in space' chairs it will save us the £55 per week that we are having to pay out now for hire charges. Also have booked a taxi to have her come home for the day on Sunday.

Jan 2014------------The assessment went well. They made it clear that they don't usually loan to people in care homes, but because we had already hired a wheel chair and had proof of outside and home visit use, they agreed to do so. However we may have to wait quite a while.

Jan 2014-----------Went to a New Year line-dance party at Rainham Girls School last night and who should walk in but Norman and Christine Coward.----- Christine, who worked as a cleaner on the Medway City estate site, is a good dancer but Norman said he goes "just for the music" and I didn't see him on the floor once. They both looked very well and Norman hasn't changed a bit. He mentioned that he sees Alan Luckhurst and Allen Quy and that they are living in Walderslade. Near to another old Staples man, Ken Heath. I hadn't remembered Ken to add him to the 'Roll of honour', but I have done that now. Ken used to work in the Keyboard dept. Norman said that neither Alan or Allen had access to a computer, so I don't expect that they would be interested, but I asked him to pass to them my phone numbers and offered to pick them up and bring them over and show them the site over a coffee. ---It was good to see Norman and Chris again, we used to go caravanning together in the 'old days'. Norman always seemed popular at work and I don't think I ever saw him get angry,

Jan 2014------------- Went to dinner at the house of my Nephew Tony Curtis, who was in the Sales Team at Medway City Estate for a while, with his lovely wife Nicola and live-wire daughter Clara. He told me that he had bumped into Lynn Glover and that she had just got an i-pod, (I think that was it). He suggested that she may now be able to look at the web-site at last.

Jan 2014----------- Had a phone call from Freda Jeffery. Her Daughter had shown her onto the site again and she enjoyed seeing the old faces. She expressed her sorrow for Sylv's problems which they saw her on 'Jottings', which was very kind of her. She went on to tell me that it is 5 years since she lost Ken, (14th Jan. I think) and we had a chat about 'old times'.

Jan 2014--------- Sylv came home by taxi again yesterday-- just for a quieter visit than Xmas day, it went very well.

Jan 2014-----------Have e-mailed Frank Ryde again to see if I can give his mail address to Ken Morrist. Did try before but never had a reply.

Jan 2014------------Went for a 'quick one' with Bob Dunn last night. We spent most of the time talking about holidays, his mate Chris who was also there, spent Christmas in Morroco. However some of the names mentioned during our other conversations were, John Rodda, Terry Cooper, John Short, Sue Thake and Karen.

Jan 2014----------Just booked the special taxi again to bring Sylv home for this Sunday too.

Jan 2014-------------Had an e-mail from Lee Fairbrother. He says he has some painful joint problems, but has been referred for physiotherapy and hopes that will help. He mentions that he popped out to see Len Williams earlier last year, also his lovely dogs. ---He says Len was ok and looked marvellous, in fact 'the same ole Len'.---- He also says that he went out for an evening with Mick Lee, Gary Freestone and Ron Smith. He obtained Gary's new address and later sent him a Christmas card, but did not receive a reply and is worried that Gary is not alright. He sent good wishes for 2014.

Jan 2014------------Sylv's last trip home went well and I have bought a Renault Kangoo with tail ramp and wheel-chair access. I pick it up tomorrow and it will make things easier for us.

Jan 2014-----------Had an e-mail from a guy named Brian Wolfe. He says that he is researching the history of Priestfields Recreation Ground, (north and south of Priestfields Road). He goes on to say that Stanhope Press had a tennis club there in the 1930s and that the war curtailed any further playing and may have led to the demise of the club. He is asking if there is any information anywhere. Our 'Local Historian, Barry Cox" may have access to some facts but apart from him, who knows?

Jan 2014-------------Had a welcome phone call from Kenny Morrist. we had a chat and exchanged New Year greetings. He mentioned that Elaine, his sister, (Shaney to the Love Lane bindery), is still making good progress after her bad illness.

Jan 2014----------Spoke to Alan Southworth on the Phone. He has had a second operation on his eye and is now much improved. They are a bit light for work at this moment at Rochster Print Finishers after the Christmas period, but it looks like they will be rushed off their feet next week. They are still 'keeping the wolf from the door' and expecting a continuing, if gradual, future improvement along with the national recovery. He says that brother Dave is ok.

Jan 2014----------- Collected the Kangoo and Jay came with me early yesterday morning. Jay thought it was fine and that I had made a good choice. Later in the morning I went in to see Sylv and after lunch, wheeled her out to look at it. It was the 6th day running that she had been placed in her chair out of bed, which to me is absolutey brilliant. As the sun was out and I had a blanket, I decided to try it out for her. So I figured out the ramp and special restraining straps and put her in. We went for a ride and called on a couple of friends. It is true that after such a tough time, she is only partly aware of what is happening around her, but she was perfectly relaxed and seemed to enjoy it.

One of the people we called on was Lorraine Newbury, one of our oldest friends. I always remember at Staples on the Medway City Estate, when we had a VERY URGENT job running one evening on one of the perfectors in the machine room. It happened that after a plate clean the bloody thing wouldn't go. I tried all the emergency electricians that I could find in my book, but no-one was available. I had a thought and phoned Lorraine to see where Brian, her husband and my close friend, was. By luck he had just got home after his days work. Brian is a qualified electronics engineer and to do me a favour he drove straight down to the factory. He fairly quickly traced the fault to a micro switch, did the repair and off the machine ran. I asked him to put an invoice in to the Company for his time, but just then, the Works Director came in--- and did I get a ear-bashing for "BRINGING ONE OF MY FRIENDS INTO THE FACTORY", while nearby the great press thundered on, with Len Bagnall standing there smiling.---- Eventually Brian's invoice was paid after much delay.

Jan 2014--------- Had a phone call in response to Lee Fairbrother's comments about Gary Freestone from Bob Dunn. I have e-mailed Lee to let him know. Gary is now living quite near to Bob and he has seen him a couple of times and Gary says he is 'not feeling too bad'. Maybe when we organise the spring 'get together' Gary could join us.

Jan 2014-----------Just another little 'aside' on Sylvia. it has given me much comfort as I have said before, for the thought that some of my old friends and work mates were reading my updates. The kind words I have received have been a great source of strength.----- She had her latest Physio assessment yesterday and they see continuing small improvements in strength and control. They want to do another next week to see if she could sit on the side of the bed. The council care manager is visiting us today and I'm not sure what it is that she exactly wants, but between her and the financial officer, I hope they can soon give me the final position regarding all the costs, so I can start to sort out all the money to pay etc. I am still having to pay this £55 pounds a week for the wheel-chair. I hate being in this 'state of limbo', so to speak, not knowing how to budget for the future. The Kangoo has turned out fine and on Monday I wheeled her in, locked the chair down and took her up Asda to get her a few things she needed. She seems quite happy in it and also liked the tour round the store.

Jan 2014------------- have received information that gives me the address of Allen Quy and Alan Luckhurst. I will write to them and ask if they have any old pictures etc., that they would like to add to the site. I will offer to pick them up and bring them up to my house and show them the web-site over a coffee. To be honest I'm not really very confident that they will be interested, but I will add a stamped addressed envelope and see what happens.

Jan 2014---------Jay came round for a meal on Saturday evening, with the rest of the family. It was Burns Night, so I did a haggis. (with extra pizza on the side in case, but they all liked the haggis, then ate the pizza).

Jan 2014-----------Spoke to Bob Dunn again on the phone and gave him some more information about my current financial position with the 'powers that be'.

Jan 2014------------ Sylv came home again on Sunday, just to spend a 'quiet day'. She was ok and comfortable.

Jan 2014------------Had the meeting with the council officers. Not as bad as it could have been. I now have to start paying the money that they are going to charge Sylvia for care and that they are claiming from her bank savings. As yet I still cannot get at her finances -- so I will have to cover these myself and then with the authority to do so, when I get it, remove the amounts that they are taking at a later date.----- I myself, will now have to pay the 'top up' fee for the care home which is £80 per week.

Jan 2014-----------Spoke to the NHS about this wheel chair that they say they will provide, nobody could give me any indication of what was happening at present. --Brilliant.

Jan 2014-------------Posted a nice friendly and polite letter with a stamped addressed envelope to Allen and Alan. I hope that they answer in due course. More Later.

Feb 2014---------- Had a phone call from Bob Dunn-- he is still on the track of John Short and hopes to have some information soon.

Feb 2014------------had a couple of e-mails from Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z. They are ok, but now slowly heading into Autumn.

Feb 2014---------------I was right to think that Allen Quy and Alan Luckhurst would not be interested in the site. At least they sent back a polite, if very short note. It contained a wish for a recovery for Sylvia, but declined any input, or having a look at the site. Perhaps they thought I wanted something from them, I think those of us who were fortunate enough to make good friends in our work places and throughout our general lives, still carry this ability to share our time with people, forward with us now.

Feb 2014-----------Spoke to Paul Dixon on the phone. Unfotunately he is not too good again at the moment and is having to undertake some more treatment. He said the seas have caused much damage down there in Cornwall.------ He will try to give me the final details about the saga of Tony Chard, (Hartnolls) and the total demise of the group that took over at Bodmin and indeed at lot more besides. If you haven't read about it -- look back to March 2013 here in 'jottings', to see how it all unfolded.

Most of the work went to T.J., I think -- in Padstow Cornwall, where Deborah Jones worked after leaving Hartnolls, see her pic., no, 8 on page 27.

Feb 2014-----------Had another e-mail from Martyn Whale, he and Amy are finally going to visit the South Island. He says they have wanted to go since they arrived in N.Z. and they can't wait.

Feb 2014-----------Spoke to Ian Timothy on the phone. He sounded full of the 'joys of spring'. It was good to hear him sounding so cheerful. He says they have settled very well after the move down Sittingbourne way. He made it quite clear however that they hadn't "crossed the bridge". We talked about all the stuff he brought me that was from Keith Jarrett at work, that I loaded on to the web-site and agreed that he would like it returned. We have made a provision for me to deliver it to him when the weather is better and have a coffee. He said that he is currently digging a pond, (there should be enough water about), for much like me, Ian believes that a garden isn't a proper garden without a pond.

Feb 2014----------- Some good news for me, in that at last we have been notified that the long awaited wheel-chair from the NHS for Sylvie arrives on Monday. They will do the hand-over on Tuesday and set it all up for her. If it is all ok, then I have to dismantle the other one, pack it up in its original carton and get it collected. At least now that will save the £50 per week hire fee.

Feb 2014-------------Phoned Tony Styles on the 14th. It was his birthday. In a nutshell he is still doing ok, but has some continuing treatment ongoing. Considering how ill he was, he sounded very 'chipper'. He confessed he 'never got around' to phoning Paul Dixon. I told him that I was sure Paul would welcome a call.

Feb 2014------------ Had a phone call fom Tommy Blacklock, his server is down at the moment so there are currently no e-mails from him. We hope that at some time in the 'not too distant' future, we may be able to meet up again, I would dearly love that. ----Tom was always one of my favourite mates back in the Love Lane machine room.

Feb 2014----------Great news for me, in that the new chair from the NHS for Sylvie has arrived and its a cracker. The physio's will be setting it up for her today and Bobby Dunn is coming in to the care home with me tomorrow morning to help me dismantle and carton up the hired one. That will be collected on Thursday.

Feb 2014----------- Jay Curtis, who is into forts, shelters, tunnels and the like, does a lot of work in the restoration and exploring of such. He tells me that he was offered a place on a forth-coming trip, which he has jumped at. It appears that he is going to Ukraine/Russia to go underground at the Chernobyl site. He has visited some wierd placed, both here and in Europe, but I think this 'takes the biscuit'.

Feb 2014------------- Stopped off at the Tesco's in the Rainham Precinct on the way home last night to do a bit of shopping. joined the shortest queue with my basket and there one person ahead was Brenda China, (Brenda Burford as was). The last time I saw her was in Staples Boardroom on the Medway City Estate, when the Company was holding one of the open days and Brenda in smart black uniform was working for the people that did the catering. I asked about her husband Stewart, who I met a few times through our hobby of pond-keeping and he is ok. We chatted for a couple of minutes and she confided that 'somewhere' she has lots of old photo's. Whether she will ever get round to finding them remains to be seen, but she said she had not seen the web-site, so I suggested she takes a look and I'd be pleased if she kept in touch. I suggested she check out the photo 4th on page 12, of her with table tennis bats.

Feb 2014-------------Had and e-mail from Peter Fogarty. He is well and he reminded me of a couple of things from the Love Lane machine room and I've asked him if I can include them on the 'Memories' page.

Feb 2014-----------Had an e-mail from Tony Styles. He tells me that he phoned Paul Dixon with the phone number I passed on to him and they had a good long chat. It must be more than 15 years since they worked closely together in the boardroom. They have both been 'under the weather' recently, lets hope there is much improvement for them through this year.

Feb 2014-----------Good job Bobby Dunn came and gave me a hand yesterday. Jay and I originally took the bits out of its carton and assembled the hired wheelchair two months ago, but I'm damned if Bob and I could get it back in the same box. We managed to get it in most of the way and shove all the bits in that we had taken off-- but had to fold the box flaps over as far as they would go and use masses of tape to hold it shut. Hopefully the van will collect it ok today.

Feb 2014-------------Had a couple of e-mails from Peter Fogarty. He has an interesting project going at the moment which he told me about. He may give us some details on the site later.

Feb 2014------------- The packing that Bob did with me must have been satisfactory, it was collected by van, arrived safely at the suppliers and I have my deposit back.

March 2014--------------On the way back from the shops in Rainham yesterday, I heard a shout and across the road, Mick Smith Kerr was walking his dog. They were both pleased to see me and his dog is very friendly. We chatted for a while and I gave Mick some details of how things have gone for me. He looked extremely well and that is great considering how ill he was at one time. It seems only yesterday that we worked on adjacent machines in the Love Lane machine room. I think that at that time, he was on the Quad Demy, (which I later made my regular machine because of my love of and ability with, half-tone illustration work) and I was on a Heidleberg Cylinder.

March 2014------------Had another phone call from Bob Dunn. He is still trying to contact John Short. It seems that Bob has known John most of his life, but lost touch. Anyway, as the story goes, there is a friend of Bob's who is taking a note up to the house of John's sister, because he thinks John is living there too. He is hoping John will get in contact. There is a photo of John, having fallen over during a football match, 7th pic. on page 18.

March 2014------------Had e-mails from Peter Fogarty, Barry Cox and one from Delysa Nicholls. It was good to hear from the later after quite some time and find out how things are going. She sounds well and also thinks back fondly on her Staples times. She still expects to be able to find some of the old photos she has up in the loft at some stage, for me to include on the site.----- See a good picture of her, the 13th on page 22.

March 4014----------- Sylv was out with us on Saturday to a garden centre, then home with me on Sunday, while I worked in the garden. So on Monday she spent the day in bed at the care home for a rest. I was just seeing to her lunch when Ken and Janice Morrist walked in. It was great to see them and they stayed for a while and we talked. I am sure that I had given them Roy and Julie Howe's e-mail address out in N Z before, but they said they hadn't got it. So I have just sent it again to them to get in contact.---- If you want to see the three of us on stage --------- check out the 24th picture on page 20.March 2014----------Had a chat with Alan Southworth on the phone. He says he and the family are well, work at Rochester Print Finishers is steady and some of the ex 'Staples girls' are still coming in on a part time basis. His wife Barbara has worked in the 'care' industry and she was able to pass on some useful information to me.

March 2014-----------------Had an e-mail from Ken Morrist to say that after I passed on Roy and Julie Howe's details out in N.Z., that he and Janice have been in contact with them after all this time.

April 2014--------------- All very quiet, nothing much happening on the web-site front. On a personal note, things are still very hard. I have had a provisional meeting with the respective area care manager with regards to seeing if its possible for Sylvie to come back home with a suitable care package, but so far there are a lot of obstacles. Although the car parks seem awash with disabled badges, often for younger big fat people, who have eaten themselves into being a liability, I have not received one for transporting the wheelchair yet, still we've only been waiting seven weeks. Sylv is having some good days and some, not so good. She is still so difficult to feed and that is why I am still spending so much time, every day at the care home. - With all the driving 'to and fro' and not having much time to do things at home, it is getting me down. But how can I not do it? The staff cannot spend the time I do and cannot persist the way I do, they would just have to put in the book -- 'refused'. Sad thing is, when she is home for the day she eats much better. It was our 52nd wedding anniversary during the week.----------- At the back of my mind I have a 'plan B' and will keep on trying to get the best result I can.

April 2014--------------This month is rushing by and it has been good to see some sunshine after all the winter rain. Have spoken to Bobby Dunn and had e-mails from Barry Cox -- but very quiet apart from that. The site seems to be 'fizzling out' a bit -- but that was bound to happen. Still I'm glad that I put it all together. I know there are some characters still out there who have photos that would be good to add -- but I don't hear from them. I am feeling a little more settled as I get into new routines and the lighter evenings let me 'do a bit' in my garden that has always been a bit special with the 8 feet tree ferns, palm trees, pond, lizard enclosures and tropical house. Sylvie is comfortable at the moment in the care home, but has lost a little weight last month, which we are trying to remedy. I took her to the wheelchair centre at Medway hospital last week and they have made some improvements to her seating that help her to be more comfortable. Also this week we have received the blue badge -- so parking with wheel chair access will be a bit easier from now on. I plan to take her to the sea-side one day this week, just for a careful little afternoon trip out and see how it goes.

April 2014----------------Have now a meeting arranged for the 30th of this month with the repective officials and all my family, to dicuss the situation. I am more than ever determined to try to get Sylv home and have also met with a suitable care provider company, who does not see any insurmountable problems.

April 2014----------I did the trip out on Good Friday and took Sylv out with her sister Evelyn. She travelled well and we stopped at McDonalds at Whitstable on the A2. After a cheese-burger, chips and coffee (of which Sylv partook of a small amount), we went on to St Mildreds Bay.----------------------- Right on the sea adjacent to the car-park, just past the sunken garden, there is a big stretch of rough grass-land up against the cliffs and we have been planting bulbs and bushes there to encourage wild life for about 8 years. It is wild and cold and lashed with sea spray in winter, but the daffodils are in profusion in spring, growing up against the chalk cliffs, most years it looks like some of the 'locals' pick the ones they can get at for Mothers Day or Easter. The blue-bells, of which we planted 40 bulbs scattered in groups of 3 five years ago, are spreading into big clumps and I hope they will start seeding this year. They looked very healthy and are full of flowers. --There are also little Holly trees along with hawthorne and other bushes peering out from the covering of wild cow parsley and nettles that are always in evidence in summer. Already I saw 2 butterflies on the flowers. Many times after planting (I would say that only one plant in twenty actually survived), sometimes in the bitter wind or pouring rain, we would dash to 'Pav's' cafe, which is very close, for a good bacon and eggs.--------"Why did we do it?", you might ask, just because we enjoyed it, I suppose. Some times we spent quite a lot on the plants and bulbs, only to find them pulled up or trampled down, after all it is a popular dog walk area.----We used to go down regularly and obviously I haven't seen it for 8 months, so it was good to still find plants fighting for survival. This includes a small Pampus grass that is starting to make its presence felt---In a few years it should be a little patch of cheer for birds and insects. Mind you, -- in the past people have seen us when we were planting and said they had wondered where all the Spring bulbs were coming from.------- Then continuing on to Margate and using the blue badge for the first time, -- we parked on the seafront, after a stroll we had a drink at one of the local pubs in the new 'bistro' areas opposite the harbour encouraged by the Turner Museum. We were at the pub where Eric Morecambe had his wedding reception, (see the plaque high up on the wall over the door). --For me it is good seeing this area 'coming back to life' with the continuing flow of visitors increasing now. -------When, as a child, my family had a boarding house in Cliftonville, at the Lido theatre on the seafront at the bottom of our road, there were shows with stars including Benny hill, (who boarded in the house next to ours) and Reg Varney, this, at that time, was one of the top holiday destinations in England. In those days the beaches were just pure golden sand. All the masses of chalk beds strewn around along those beaches now and ensuing growths of seaweed were brought about later in the great storm, which I think was 1953. Believe it or not -- I seem to remember it was a Saturday night. I find it sad to see Margate, Cliftonville and Palm Bay like they are now--however I see the signs of rebuilding and I really hope rejuvination can continue as is has at Herne Bay.-----Then later, back to the care home with no problems.

April 2014------------ Barry Cox has e-mailed the site to wish all a Happy Easter and sends his best wishes. I know his wife Pauline had been unwell recently and hope she improves soon.

April 2014-----------Jay Curtis tells me that Terry Cooper is back after retiring, working at Headley brothers.

April 2014---------------Barry Cox has sent some photos by e-mail of the area of St Mildreds Bay described above. He goes on to say that he had a beach hut there at one time, he included a photo of the inside and it looks lovely..

April 2014-----------Had a couple of e-mails from Peter Fogarty, just talking about 'this and that'. He is trying to get in contact with Alan Quy as he was a friend of his at Love Lane.

April 2014--------------Jay Curtis tells me that our Staples Printers Rochester page on Facebook, tells of a meeting between Tara Paine and Lee Fairbrother, I think on a bus in Strood. It contains a photo of the two of them and I will add a link shortly to get across and look at it and also add it on the site.

April 2014-----------Jay also tells me he saw Dave Buckingham in Sittingbourne last week. ----He said Dave and his wife are fine and sends his regards to 'all old friends and workmates'.

April 2014--------- The meeting with the four council and care managers went well. Completing the assembly were seven family and friends,------------ (including Sylv in her wheelchair) and also a nurse from Friston care home. They covered all aspects of my proposal to have her home and took statements from everyone with regard to how each of them thought it would affect her. They must have taken a favourable assessment, for two of them are back in the care home tomorrow morning to look at how the staff cater for her needs. ---As the meeting concluded, they made an appointment with me to come up and see the house next week and intimated that they, at the moment, saw no reason why it should be a problem to have her come home with a suitable care package in place.

May 2014---------This month has started wet and miserable. Looking back at yesterday I am hoping this will now go ahead. I realize that it will be a whole lot of new restraints and conditions for me, but at least I will be able to plan things to make Sylvia more comfortable, for although the care home is to a very high standard, I still find a lot to be desired for, in her particular care.

May 2014------------Have been in contact with Barry Cox and we are going to talk to see in we can have a breakfast in the Rainham area soon, to 'catch up'.

May 2014------------Spoke on the phone to Bob Dunn and also Barry Cox.

May 2014----------My son Jay set off at 4am this morning with a sizeable group of friends, going to Ukraine. No, not to fight the Russians, they're visiting Chernobyl,-- ( don't ask me why-- they are all like-minded in their quest for strange underground and eerie places). The have included a tour of the nuclear facility.

May 2014-----------had an e-mail from Lee Fairbrother telling of the sad death of a great friend of his and his family at Medway Hospital after a long illness. The lovely Jackie Hearn, who I don't think ever worked at Staples but was often involved in the social activities can be seen on picture 21, on page 4 of the 'Gallery'.

May 2014---------Had an e-mail from Barry Cox expressing his sadness on the loss of Jackie Hearn. He echoes the sentiment that she was a lovely person.------------- He tells that she lived opposite his Gran in Montford Road in Strood and that at one time 'went out' with Trevor Brice of the group Vanity Fair. Trevor was on old school friend of Barry's. He sends his condolences to her family and friends.

May 2014--------------My friends round the corner to where we live had quite a surprise yesterday. I and the rest of my family have been aware of a situation through various face-book pages, that there was something afoot.-------------Doreen, a near neighbour, was pottering about in the kitchen, when the doorbell rang, she opened the front door, her mouth dropped open and she burst into tears.-------- Malcom, her husband, heard the sobs and went quickly to the hallway and there stood his son Martyn and wife Amy.-- They without a word to the parents, had sold up everything in New Zealand, returned to the U.K. and turned up completely unannounced at the house. Now, it is true to say that Martyn and Amy have not been the most active at keeping in touch with family and friends here at home, it is also true to say that Doreen and Malcom have missed their Son and Daughter-in-Law very much, but their joy at finding that being seperated from their respective families, had also proved too much for Martyn and Amy, was exhilarating. ------I will look forward to seeing them soon, I was instumental in getting Martyn his job at Staples, as his family were good friends of ours. He spent lots of time with our family and I hope I helped encourage his love of plants, gardening and wild life. They met when I employed Amy to work in the office at Rochester Print Finishers. I wish them all good luck back here 'at home'.

May 2014-----------Martyn and Amy Whale called at our house yesterday. Sylv was home with me for the day, sitting in her wheelchair in the sun whilst I pottered about doing some jobs in the garden. We drank coffee and chatted for a while, then looked round my garden, were surprised at the size that some of my lizards are now in the garden enclosures and hunted for tree frogs in the tropical house. They both looked very well and are back for good, they say.------ They then went off to call on my son Adam at his new house in Hempstead.

May 2014--------------Had a visit from the Gillingham Council care officer and the Occupational Therapist to my home yesterday. They came to continue the exploration of my request to get Sylvia home to continue her care following last weeks meeting. It all went very well in their check on suitability of the layout etc. and they have now given me the news that it can go ahead,-- SO SYLVIA IS COMING HOME. They have outlined a suitable care package and this could be in place within six weeks. It will mean another swift change in my routines, but I feel sure that I can cope.

May 2014--------------Had a phone call from Alan Southworth. He says he and the family are well and Rochester Print Finishers are still 'ticking over' ok.

May 2014-----------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn, he said that finally he has met Gary Freestone in Rainham. Gary told Bob that he was feeling better now and I think Bob said that Gary had a lot going on and had become a Grand-dad. Bob mentioned to Gary that Lee Fairbrother had tried to find out how was doing. Hopefully we may get some more news later. There is a good photo of Gary --4th. on page 23.

May 2014------------Things are moving pretty fast on the home front. A lorry arrived yesterday morning and delivered a smart 'hospital' bed with all the safeguards and also position controls from a handset. Also came a neat hoist, smaller than I expected, complete with re-chargeable battery. There was also a special mattress, but when they unpacked and demonstrated everything to me, -- they said the mattress was not the correct one. I have had a phone call to say it will be replaced today.

May 2014-------------Have had a phone call to tell me the 'transfer' of Sylvia to home, is scheduled for the first week of June.

May 2014------------The photo of Lee and Tara mentioned previously, is now the 10th on page 27.

May 2014-------------SYLVIA IS COMING HOME ON TUESDAY 3RD JUNE. I am now a bit terrified, after all I have put in to make this happen I am worried that perhaps I am wrong, that it will be better for her. I am hoping that when I can get into the new routines, that I can see that it is. There is a comprehensive care package in place, so I am keeping my hopes up.

June 2014------------Jay tells me that Terry Cooper is going to get in touch with me and that he and Ian Lachowicz are meeting for lunch at sometime in the future and would be inviting me to join them.

June 2014--------- Had a phone call from Bob Dunn.

June 2014------------ Had a text from Barry Cox and wife Pauline.

June 2014 --------- Jay Curtis 'bumped' into Leander Overy in Maidstone. He said she looked well.

June 2014------------ Today I am going into the care home to assist with the transfer of Sylvia home. I can't pretend that I'm not a bit frightened, but its what we have wanted right from the start when she seemed to start fighting back.

June 2014----------Am very very busy, but pleased with all the help I am getting from various organisations. Sylv is fine and I hope she can continue to make some small improvements and have peaceful days. I am sure I can get a some of the weight back on to her that she lost in the care home.

June 2014-------------Had a nice phone call from Rod Palmer, he says that he has some more to put on the web-site. He is sending a disc and I look forward to reading and adding what I know will be up to his usual interesting standard.

June 2014-----------------Just an update on how things are going. I have never been so tired as during the first two weeks of having Sylv home here with me. But now I am getting into some routines and the care she is getting from the home visits is excellent. She has already made lots of progress with skin problems completely clearing up after causing problems for many weeks, she is eating much better and I am able to start her off earlier in the morning with a breakfast that she likes. I have a feeling that she has already put on just a little weight after the progressive monthly loss in the care home. The carers coming in tell me that they notice that she is more aware and responsive already, than when they first came.

I have had a phone call to say that the County Supplies will be delivering a special safety armchair for her use and also that ceiling tracks can be put in, as I enquired about, to two rooms to make much more space and ease of transfer.-----I cannot say how grateful I am for all the support of the NHS. I think my way of talking to people and ease of 'form filling' has helped a great deal.----I am also truly grateful for the lovely words, sent in many ways by old friends and work colleagues.

June 2014----------Heard from Terry Cooper and he, myself and Ian Lachowicz, are meeting up for lunch later this month.

June 2014-----------Jay came round to have an early lunch with Sylv and myself and I showed him the disk sent in by Rod Palmer. We enjoyed the content and it is in his usual cryptic manner. It relates back to some of the good old characters of Staples and I will be taking it into the Memories Page shortly.------------------ I phoned Rod and thanked him for sending it. He told me that his dear wife Sylvie is also unwell and I am sure we all send our best wishes.

June 2014 ------------Had a phone call from Bobby Dunn and I gave him the news that our old 'mucker' Roy Howe out in N.Z., is not too good at the moment.

June 2014------------Terry has had to cancel the meet up for lunch next week and is going to get an alternative date later.

June 2014--------------Sylv and I were in Tescos yesterday and bumped into Bobby Dunn. We had a chat and he is fine.

June 2014-----------Had a nice phone call from Tom Blacklock last night. I have been so pleased to have got back in touch with him. We are still talking about being able to meet up some time.

June 2014---------------Had a surprise phone call from Peter Simmons. It was great to talk to him again and he enquired how things were going. He has moved house, but still in the same area as previous and he and his wife are doing well. He gave me some sad news that Dave Starling has passed away. I had a lot of time for Dave and am sad at his passing. I remember one particular time when Dave handled the Frogletts account, he had his customer on the line asking if her books would be ready for Friday. He was given the assurance by the' powers that be', that it would be fine. He passed the news to his happy customer. On the next Monday, that customer, Fern Flynn was on the phone literally in tears as the books were not ready. Dave was told in no uncertain terms 'not to promise things that we couldn't do'--- he was not a very happy bunny for a while. I felt for him, as he hated letting people down. I greatly enjoyed working with Peter and Dave.

June 2014-------------The District Nurse has signed Sylvia off as she has healed nicely from the skin problems left over from the care home. Great in just three weeks.

June 2014------------- The ceiling tracks for transfer management are to be installed on the 9th July. Haven't heard about this armchair yet, will check on its progress today.

June 2014---------------Tom Blacklock and wife Pat are coming down to Medway for a visit in mid July, they are going to come for a meal with us and I am really looking forward to seeing Tom again after a very long time. They are stopping over night, so we should get a good bit of time to talk over old memories.Will get a photo for the site.

July 2014---------------Have had the ceiling rails put up in both the front and back rooms which greatly assist Sylvia with quick and safe access to her wheelchair. They look much more unobtrusive than I thought they would. --It is great for me that the carers are noticing changes and improvements in her and even mentioning them in their daily record book. -------It means that it is not just me kidding myself. We have a visit due next week, where the occupational therepists will dicuss the supply of this special armchair that they have suggested. Because of Sylv's much better upper body control, she can now sit for periods with the special arm and body supports removed, quite comfortably. I am tempted (because I am now able to use these new hoists myself), to give her a chance to sit on our settee with her feet on the ground and see how she does.

July 2014--------------Had some sad news from Peter Fogarty, that Brian Ellis has died. His funeral is at Medway Crem., at 2pm on Tuesday 22nd July. -------I am in touch with the family to try to get more details. I know that after the funeral there is a get-together at the Coopers Arms.

July 2014-----------Saw Ian Timothy today and we had a good old chat. He is now well settled in his new home and he and the wife are well.

July 2014-------------Sylv and I went for brekkie at the Tuck Inn with neighbours, it was as good as always. However we didn't see anyone we knew.

July 2014--------------Tom and Pat Blacklock visited Medway yesterday. They came to us for coffee after they arrived and walked the little dog, then came back for a meal in the evening. It was about 34 years since we had been together. Later Bob Dunn came over and joined us and we had phone calls from Ken Morrist, who is on holiday and Roy and Julie Howe out in N.Z. Quite a splendid evening I think.

July 2014-------------Had an e-mail from Peter Fogarty saying that he had attended the funeral of Brian Ellis at the Medway Crematorium. He mentioned that in the twilight days of Peters life he had been mentioning names of some of his old work-mates. These included, Bert Clinch. Charlie Waghorne, Arthur Hibben, Maurice Kent and Len Fairbrother. All of these 'good ole boys' are now in the great comp room in the sky, I remember these characters so well.. ---Brian's sister Suzie is going to let us have an 'Order of Service' so that I can show it on the pages of this site in his memory.

July 2014-----------------------I took Sylv over to the care home last Wednesday to have her hair done and whilst there I asked the staff if they would weigh her. The great news for me is that since she has been home she has put on 2.1 kilos. At last I have been able to reverse the trend of her continually losing weight that so worried me. She is now spending some time sitting on the settee with her feet on the ground and seems really comfortable. These ceiling tracks are ace and I am finding them so easy to use.-----The NHS have visited and said that they will supply a proper tilt in space arm chair for her, this will take about 6 weeks. This will be on loan from County Supplies and is made to the correct size and have the correct support. It will give more options of how she can spend the day instead of laying in bed as she used to have to do.

July 2014-----------------Returned all the bits and pieces to Ian Timothy that he loaned to me to add and interesting sections to the web-site. This was accumulated by Keith Jarrett and kept by Ian when Keith retired from the Production office on the Medway city Estate factory. See parts of it on pages 24, 25 and 26 in the gallery.

July 2014----------------Had some e-mails from Barry Cox. More on these soon.

July 2014-------------Had an e-mail from Linda Palmer, who as a 15 year old girl started in the Bindery at Love Lane. She was Linda Hampton then and she well remembers Mr O'Niel, Sid Foreman, Rosemary Foy and Christine Camper. She goes on to say that although it was over 50 years ago, she still has fond memories of working there and regrets losing touch with the 'girls'. She mentions emigrating and I have asked her where she is now.

August 2014-------------In a further e-mail from Linda, she says she also remembers Stan and Marie Harris and Steve??? She may mean Steve Howard. She thinks she remembers me and the outings and Xmas booze ups. SHE WOULD LIKE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ROSEMARY FOY AGAIN-- SO IF ANYONE KNOWS OF HER WHEREABOUTS---------PLEASE COTACT THE SITE.

August 2014------------Had an e-mail from Barry Cox which included a link to see the N guage model railway that he has built. I am including the link here, so that if you want a look -- click on. ------CLICK HERE TO SEE.

August 2014-----------------Had another e-mail from Linda--- she says she has found a couple of old photos and is going to scan them and send into the site, I look forward to receiving them and putting them on the 'Gallery'.

August 2014-------------Barry cox has made contact saying that he saw Rosemary a couple of years ago and thinks she was living in Halling.

August 2104----------------Roy Howe is not very well out there in New Zealand, so Julie his wife tells me. We are waiting for more news and I will keep you informed.

August 2014---------------The 'stand in' chair arrived for Sylv that they are loaning us until the one the correct size is ready. She seems quite comfortable in it and it is another option for us.

August 2014--------------My friend Brian Newbury and his wife Lorraine came over and had a meal with us last night. Brian never worked at Staples, but visited me there a few times and did some work for the company on one occasion. He took a good photo of that perfect gentleman Bruce Hayes and also his wife Rita , see it number 8 on page 17 of the Gallery.

August 2014-----------------Had some terrible news from Julie Howe out in Howick, New Zealand. Roy Howe, her husband and my good old buddy, had a massive bleed in the brain in hospital last night and passed away. She and her son was with him through this tough time. I am devastated to hear the news and am going to add a memory to that page that you may find interesting.

September 2014----------------Have added the scans of Roy's order of service that Julie has posted to me. These last few weeks have been quiet on the web-site front, but have spoken to Barry Cox, Bob Dunn, Ken Morrist, Tom Blacklock and Rod Palmer.

September 2014--------------Took Sylv back to the City Way care home on Wednesday to have her hair done. The hairdresser there who comes in two days a week, has become a good friend and she looks after Sylv's hair nicely. ----One of the senior carers who had much to do with Sylv when she first went in to Friston, was in on this occasion and she hadn't seen her since she came home. SHE COULD NOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE.

September 2014--------------Sylv has continued to make SMALL improvements and is generally comfortable. Her new chair has been delivered and it is brilliant. We went back to Margate last Sunday with friends and she travels now with no sign of sickness or other problems. I have booked Christmas Day for her and all the family for lunch at a local Havester. The menu looks great and we are all looking forward to no cooking or washing up this year.-- With things as they are progressing now, I am daring to look at the possibility of us having a holiday next year ----.I have found a web-site that enables you to book suitable accomodation and include a professional care package on site.

September 2014-----------------Julie Howe has sent me a dvd of the funeral service of Roy. I must admit I find this a bit difficult and am summoning up the where-with-all to watch it. I will pass it to anyone else who wish to see it.

October 2014------------I have booked a holiday for July next year. It may be a bit premature or even foolhardy, but sometomes you have got to take the 'bull by the horns' and go for it. It is a farm in Cornwall and has all the required facelities that we need. The whole family will be coming and if Sylv keeps up these very tiny improvements, then I am sure we can cope well and have a good time.

October 2014------------I finally got round to viewing the dvd sent of Roy's funeral. I kept putting it in the slot -- but couldn't press play. this happened over a few days. In the end, it was a nice family celebration of Roy's life, done in a good way by a Scottish guy. The celebrant had a nice way about himself and it was a 'humanist' event with not too much sad 'clap-trap'. It was a bit of a shock to find that Bob Dunn, Ken Morrist, Tom Blacklock and myself got a mention half way around the world.-----See the pic 7 on page 12 for these faces.

October 2014-----------have dropped the dvd in to Bob and he will post it off to Tom when he has seen it, who will then send it to Ken. If there is anyone else who remembers Roy and would like to have a view, if they let me know I can get it to them sometime.

October 2014------------------Today is Sylvie's Birthday. I never dreamed that when she was in the care home one year ago, that we would be having this one at home. Her sister came over Friday, my youngest son Adam with Melisa, together with one of Sylv's oldest friends Lorraine and husband Brian, came for a take-away on Saturday evening, her Brother Bill came over for lunch on Sunday and Jay and David are coming to tea tonight.

October 2014---------------went shopping to Sittingbourne and bumped into Barry Cox, it was nice for me because when Barry said hello to Sylvia, she gave him a nice smile. It was good to see Barry again, as always and he looked fine. A little later Sylv demolished half a cheese burger, some chips and coffee in McDonalds.

October 2014----------------- Have had an e-mail from Ken Morrist which he has asked me to add to this jottings page.

He says "I have been looking through the Staples Printers website and think you have done a grand job." He goes on to say, "I know how tough it must be at the moment for you Geof, you are an inspiration to us all and we hope that Sylvia continues to improve. She is a real fighter and having known you both for over 50 years, I know that to be true." -- He then kindly adds, "on behalf of all your friends and family -- THANKS--, friends like you are special. All the best mate." -------He finishes by describing the day that as a young teenager he walked down the yard at Love Lane, new lunch-box in hand on his first day and by chance being greeted by me. "Cheers Geof.".

(I have never fogotten it either- it just so happened that he would be working with me in the Platen Room at the start of his apprenticeship. Ken and Janice became great friends of ours, with whom we shared many pleasant memories.GTC)

October 2014---------------Had a phone call from Alan Southworth telling me that Syd Lloyd has passed away. I don't know his age but he was still a 'young man'. I greatly liked and admired Syd and when he was my deputy as manager in the machine room, I held him in great esteem. I send all commiserations to Violet. It appears that although Syd never smoked, he suffered with lung cancer. I will add a couple of memories of him to that page as soon as I get time.

October 2014-------------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn he tells me that Tom has seen the dvd of the funeral of our dear old friend Roy, has made a copy to keep and is sending the original back down to Ken. We are tentetively planning another 'get together' to have a drink to Roy,----------- perhaps in Spring.

October 2014------------One of my friends who lives near the road where Syd lived, has dropped a card through the door expressing my regret at his passing. It includes my telephone number as I wondered if Violet will call me. See a good picture of Syd, the 6th on page 6 of the Gallery.

October 2014---------------- Phoned Len Bagnall to tell him the sad news about Syd. They worked closely together in the Machine room for many years. He says he and Margaret are well and that he sees Will Gates occasionally.

October 2014-----------------Phoned Peter Simmons and spoke to Katherine and then Peter. They are well and told me that Paul Dixon, who they had just visited, is unwell again.

October 2014----------------- Not a good week this week. Sylv had the district nurse come yesterday to take a routine blood sample and couldn't get one properly. It was a 'fasting' one so they are wondering if she was a bit dehydrated as it was early morning. She has plaster on arms and back of hands when they left and they are coming back Friday morning to try again. Then I rang Paul Dixon. I am sorry to say Paul in 'not too good' and has had to give up his beloved sailing and bird watching walks. I remember when we were staying with them one summer down in Cornwall, we all went for a lovely stroll along a river bank and he showed us birds we wouldn't have seen for ourselves, including crossbill finches. He also explained the difference between a Sparrow and a Dunnock to us. (Which I thought were Sparrows).

October 2014-----------------It was really lovely to get a call from Violet Lloyd, She says she is 'bearing up' and the family, (they have 3 children) are helping her through this tough time. The funeral is on Wed 5th Nov at 2.45pm at the Robin Hood Crematorium. Flowers from family only.

When we were chatting, she mentioned 'her sister' Eva. Now I remember Eva well, but knowing her as Eva Day I really didn't realize that she was Violets' sister. I remembered Violet Patmore and didn't remember she was originally Violet Day. I will try to get to the funeral to pay my last respects to a really nice man and valued work colleague. See a nice photo of Eva, the first on page 5 of Gallery.

October 2014------------Not too bad for weather today -- wet, but definately not cold. Sylv had her hair done at Friston yesterday and today we have a bit of shopping to do after the Council care manager and finance person visit at 9.30am. They are discussing about whether there are any finances available to cover the care required when we go on holiday. (I know its a long way off) -- but I think its good to have a goal to aim at. Then this afternoon we are meeting up with one of her oldest friends for a cream tea at Wyvale. ( I have a membership 'buy one get one free' offer).

November 2014-------------The warmest Halloween on record finished the month of October with the highest temperature of 23.6 at Gravesend. I went to a costume line dance last night (not me in costume) and this witch with a green face and plastic nose came over to chat at one point. It was Christine Coward. Now knowing she is a very good dancer, I mentioned that I hadn't seen her on the 'floor'. She explained that unfortunately she is having a lot of trouble with her hip and the pain prevents her taking part. She went on to tell me that Norman is well and they have seen Alan Luckhurst and Allen Quy recently and that 'Little' Alan was a bit unwell.

November 2014-----------Phoned Len Bagnall again just to pass on the details of the funeral. Spoke to Margaret. Thought I would just add here that when Len was the other duputy on the shifts in the Machine room opposite Syd, he was equally as reliable and trustworthy. I don't think I could have had two better people doing the job. Bob Dunn descibed Len as 'one of the good ole boys' in a pic in the gallery, I think he was so right. See caption on 16th pic of page 27.

November 2014-------------Have had a message from Tom Blacklock to say that he has posted the dvd back to Ken Morrist.

November 2014-----------Where I parked at the crematorium the oak and plane trees had already lost quite a lot of their autumn leaves. It was bright with a chill wind. The service for Syd was well attended, with many from the care community as he seems to have made a great impact to this later career in his life. I was fortunate enough to be asked to give him a reference when he was making this change some years ago, seems he did very well and was well respected. The only other face I saw from Staples was his wife Violet who conducted herself with great dignity even though the whole family were heartbroken and sobbing. Syds' son was a splitting image of his father when I first knew Syd back at Love Lane. Violet said I could give her a ring in a couple of weeks to see how things were going.------------ I returned home cold and sad. Syd was only 60.

November 2014--------------Have been informed after the visit of the Council Financial officer that they will pay the same weekly amount that they do now towards the care needed for Sylvie when we go on holiday. That is great news for me as I had a some trepidation that a big part of my time would be taken up as a carer, but if I can organize the same as she has here, it really will be a holiday for me too. The farm web site carries a link to a company supplying this service, so I will be talking to them.

November 2014--------------Have been looking at the small motors that fit on the back of a wheelchair to help up inclines, hills and rough places. I checked one out in a local shop and it worked fine. They vary from £200 second hand to £650 new, so I was quite pleasantly surprised, when having a quick look on the mac-book last Sunday, found a supplier in Essex doing a special Autumn sale, brand new, the one I want for £297. This was vat free for disabled use and with free delivery. I ordered one straight away ---- and it came on Tuesday and is brilliant.------ Because Sylv cannot 'work the wheels', the chair she has, is fitted with only small wheels, not the larger ones you can spin to move along with. The original we hired had these large wheels and was so easy to push, however this one is quite difficult up hills. Now, however, you snap the motor on in 2 minutes flat and it can roll along on its own when you hold the controls.The speed is adjustable and it has reverse.

November 2014----------------Had an e-mail from Peter Fogarty. He seems ok. Also a couple from Tony Kilbey down there in Falmouth and he says he is keeping busy.

November 2014------------The trip back up from the shopping precinct is now a doddle. The all uphill walk is now easy with the new motor. I modified the fittings a bit because its a slightly out of the usual chair and its good. The dietician from St Barts hospital is visiting Sylv today, just routine to check on progress. I hope they are going to bring the gear that will allow them to check her current weight, we all believe she has put a few pounds on, but it would be good to know how much.

November 2014---------------Phoned Ken Morrist -- he has received the dvd back from Tom Blacklock and is returning it to me shortly.

November 2014------------Phoned Violet Lloyd and we had a good chat. She is bearing up and I asked if she has a nice pic of Syd that I could add to this site. She said she may have an old Staples photo also and would see what she can do.

November 2014------------------Sylv has put on another 1.2 kilos. I am so pleased about this and continue to hope it gives her more strenght.

December 2014---------------Ken Morrist dropped the dvd back to me. I will watch it again sometime.

December 2014-------------Had another e-mail from Julie Howe -- she is bearing up.

December 2014--------------Had a phone call right out of the blue and I have been allocated 4 hours respite care per week. They are coming to see me next week and sort it all out, but it means that a carer will visit at times we can arrange and be with Sylv while I get some time to myself. This will be at no cost to us.

December 2014-------------The Dark Watches~~~~~~These cold wet days over the winter are ones I do not like. I set myself four targets to aim for. The first is Boxing day. (that means Christmas has passed), then the next is Snowdrops, I love seeing them come out through the frost and snow. Then Crocuses, knowing what we have to look forward to-- then the fourth is Daffodils, we are in to Spring.

December 2014---------------Had a Christmas card from Tony Styles, he says he is lucky after his bad illness to feel much revived and is able to do another trip 'down-under'.

December 2014------------------Had a nice Christmas card from Rod Palmer and wife Sylvie. He included a note in his usual and inimitable hand writing and states that he is getting together a bit more for this web-site. I look forward to receiving that.

December 2014----------------Had a Christmas card from Steve Wadhams and wife Lynda. Didn't get one from them last year as they were in the process of moving, so am very pleased to get this one. They were good neighbours in the same road as us when our children were little as well as a good friend at Staples Love Lane, where Steve worked in the bindery. Some of my favourite Christmas memories are of our children playing together with their new toys 'after Father Christmas had been'. Steve left the trade some time ago when the lived in Devon and is now employed in one of the large stores near Southampton following their relocation. See them on the 24th photo on page 11.

December 2014------------Am well pleased to get the usual card from Clive and Lindy Martin. Also had a card from Paul Dixon, who kindly says, he and judy are 'thinking of us'. I am going to phone him shortly to see how he is.

December 2014---------------Also had a card from another Staples friend, Ken Morrist and wife Janice.

December 2014------------Had a phone call from Rod Palmer and we had long chat. He mentioned that he had seen Dudley Rhodes recently and he was ok.

December 2014------------Also a card from Deb Jones (as was) ex Hartnolls. She is married now and there is a nice photo of her, the 8th on page 27. She was a good friend and always so pleasant to talk to on the phone during our working days for the group, Sylv and I visited her down in Cornwall and she came up to see us. A real nice lady.

December 2014------------Had a card from Bob Dunn and Sonia.

December 2014-------------Martyn Whale popped in to see us and brought a card from himself and wife Amy. He is now working at Mackays and sees Andy and Paul Starling, who he says are fine and doing well.

December 2014--------------Jay Curtis has survived the latest staff shake up at Headley Brothers and is going on to a strange shift pattern. It means longer days, but less of them -- this seems to suit him.

December 2014---------------Received a nice card from Julie Howe, my son Adam printed out from this site the great photo of Roy, her late husband and my good friend and this went to Bobby Dunn who had it blown up and sent over to her. She tells me that she has had it made even larger and done on canvas and it now is on the wall in her living room down there in Auckland, where she can look at him every day. See it 2nd on page 13.

December 2014----------------Had a card from Tom and Pat Blacklock.

December 2014--------------Received a phone call from Paul Dixon and we had a long chat. He expanded a little on the unfortunate health problems that he has at this time and says he will e-mail the site with some news soon. It is always great to speak with him and I mentioned to him that several people have sent their regards. For this he is grateful.

December 2014----------------Had a nice Christmas message from Barry Cox. He says that 'things have been difficult' for himself and wife Pauline over the last few months. He has had to attend hospital, but could be worse. I WOULD LIKE TO SEND CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR GREETINGS TO ALL THE GREAT FRIENDS AND OLD WORK MATES OUT THERE LIKE BARRY, HOPING FOR PEACEFUL AND HAPPY TIMES AHEAD.

Sylvia continues to make these tiny improvements and sometimes now it is not just looking after my dear wife who had a stroke, but it is seeing glimpses of Sylvia herself.

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL.

December 2014-----------------Had some old photos e-mailed into the site from Dave Caleno which are now on page 27 of the Gallery. He has also added a memory to that page. He also lets me know that he and wife Dot are still in Strood and that he retires in February. He says he has a guide to his Staples pension and its 'not too bad'. He ends by wishing the 'old Staples crowd' a Happy Xmas and a much better future from next year.

January 2015------------------HAPPY NEW YEAR. Had a text from Barry Cox with best wishes for 2015 and also a couple of texts from Peter and Jean Paffett. Great to hear from Peter again and hope we can keep in touch during the coming year.

January 2015----------------Noticed when I was discarding the Christmas cards that I never received one from Alan Southworth.. Hope everything is alright with him and his family.

January 2015---------------Great to get a phone call from Alan Southworth, he says he DEFINATELY did send me a Christmas card in mid December. Nice to know he is still checking the site regularly.

January 2015---------------Had a chat with Terry Cooper on the phone. We are going to have a coffee together soon.

January 2015--------------Had an e-mail from Roger Young. He has sent in an old photo which I have put on Page 28 no 8. He tells me that it was taken by one of the office staff (probably Vic Lee) and used on the dust jacket of a book "The Compositors work in Printing" produced at Staples Love Lane. I hadn't remembered this book for decades, but I seem to think now, that it was printed in light blue on this cover.

January 2015--------------Had further e-mails from Roger and chat about Love Lane and the workers therein.

January 2015----------------------Had an e-mail from Barry Cox. He asks me to add some details about the photo I have mentioned above 8 on 28. He says, "I like the photo on page 28, the Cumberlands you mention had Keith and Stewart and they teamed up with Bob Gibbs and one other and became the Teanbeats and then the Classmates, where sadly Bob died in an accident on the way home from a gig." He goes on to add, "I'm sure Lee (Fairbrother) will back me up on this. Bob lived up the road from me and Keith in Cedar Road, (later Barry noted it was Beech Road) both went to Temple and we were all schoolfriends. Keith owns the pine and oak furniture shop by Rochester Bridge. They were a very good group and nice people to be with."

January 2015----------------Have e-mailed Lee Fairbrother to take a look at the latest on this page.

January 2015-----------Had a reply from Lee who gives me loads of information regarding the people in the photo that started this conversation. I have asked him in a reply if I can add it here. After all, this site holds for posterity the names and thoughts of many Staples people and their friends and families. Therefore in the future it might just help fill in backgrounds to searches by anyone researching their past relations.

January 2015---------------Had some more names for the Roll of Honour sent in by Roger. These include one of the office girls who I don't recall. Very unusual that, me not recalling an office girl. I will add these as soon as I can.

January 2015----------------------Following all the chit chat from Lee Fairbrother and Barry Cox over the photos, the following has been received from Lee, which I have added here.

Well, well, well, what a couple of fab fotos!!!! I had no idea Maurice was a Comp, (that is Maurice Kent on the book cover, who was later in the Readers) something I never thought of, tho seems obvious now. The other pic from '56 is wonderful and a big thanx to Barry for the queries -- right thinking cap on ---- I have never heard of The Cumberlands, but what's the betting the name came from Cumberland Gap? 1956 was a bit before my time, and I caught up with this fabulous band around 1959, which were indeed The Teenbeats, with one of the best line-ups the Medway Towns have ever produced of Keith Rossiter, Colin Kelly, Bob Gibbs and of course my Mentor Luce Langridge, wonderful picture of him, which I have copied and sent to his Facebook page as he is a ''Friend'' of mine along with his brilliant son Bob, who can be found in many many venues around the Towns week nights and weekends 'depping' for Brothers Grimm and countless others. Keith Rossiter, of Strood Rossiter fame, Don played for The Arsenal, was a brilliant front man, and also owns a little haberdashery shop at the top of my road, he often goes to clout me even now when I ask for his Autograph!! Colin, excellent Fender Strat lead guitarist, his nickname was Nomprel, as he worked at Mackays and was very thin, hence Nomprel Kelly. ( A Nomprel was a 6 point piece of printers wood or lead furniture for spacing between or around type and a point was 1/72th of an inch). The Wonderful Bob Gibbs, brilliant Fender bassist, who made the front pages of the Sundays for all the wrong reasons, I don't want to back track now, it was very upsetting at the time in Medway, but Charlie Chester was involved and was a big thing at the time, he still is sorely missed by all Medway Musicians. And of course Mr Luce Langridge, a brilliant Rock Drummer, but of course, Stuart was a down south good ole Country Boy at heart {sacrilege lol} and has probably backed every great American Country big Star in his time as well of course The Johnny Young Band over here, he and his wife also managed to bring Bob into the Drumming world, so all is good there too. I still have my copy of ''Let's get together tonite'' , when professionally they were Kevin and The Classmates (Barry -- Temple) if I could have afforded to buy every copy to make that Number One I would have done. The Teenbeats main rivals back in the early Sixties were Dave Champion and The Strangers, (see 4th pic on page 8, then find his face on the 'Dance pic', same page) another link to the Print Trade, and also another brilliant drummer in Mick Clydesdale -- so Stuart and Mick were battling it out until I came along in 1962 and took their Crown????? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I WISH!! (see 13th pic on page 4) I had absolutely no idea you (GTC) and Tony (Styles) went so far back, and super to see him in the photo as well, I always thought it was more football with Tony like his brother. Having another look at the pic a chap on the right sure looks like Robin Pemble who was lead Guitarist in my first band The Senators, so there we are Geof/Barry, that has brought back many happy memories, of cold dark evenings squashed in tin shacks in the back roads of Strood, watching Colin Kelly jump from amp to amp thumping out Hall of The Mountain King ----------- WONDERFUL STUFF. ATVB Lee.

January 2015------------------- Going off this subject for a minute and just adding a couple of things on my 'home front', I have now been officially informed that I can get financial help when we go away on holiday to Cornwall (all being well) and that means I can get a sufficient care package down there to make it viable for me to have a break too, without all work.-- Also at last I have heard from the Courts (after ten months) that I have been awarded Deputyship over Sylvie for Health, Personal and Financial affairs. The grave mistake I made was in us not having Lasting Power of Attorney over each other before anything happened like it did. I have subsequently found that this was a bad error of judgement on my part and is critical in managing affairs in a situation like this. It lost us a big chunk of our savings.----- This Deputyship allows me to sort out things with banking, pensions etc, which were against the law for me to touch, previously. --Since some of my close friends have been through this period with me, they are putting this situation right in their own affairs. I have had to provide to the Courts a bond for £21000 (you don't pay the money, but would have to in any misappropriation) and the cost of the whole thing is just under 2 grand, far in excess of having solicitors arrange the Lasting Power for two people.

January 2015--------------Back to the music subject previous, Barry Cox has sent me a link to youtube and it contains the Classmates on a Decca recording of "In Morocco" from 1964. ****CLICK HERE****

January 2015--------------Had another email from Barry Cox, which I add here ----------"Geof, I went to see Keith Rossiter today and had a reminisce about old times. Keith said in the old days he turned down 'Black is Black' because he thought it no good. Big mistake. He is very humble about his past and thinks it should be forgotten, no way. It was and still is, good music.

He still has the twinkle in his eyes, maybe a bit dimmer now but still the same old Keith. He runs the shop with his lovely sister Linda, I’m sure she lets him think he owns the company .
The banter between them is worth buying some furniture from them, just to experience. To me he is more Bilbo Baggins than a rock star these days. But aren’t we all, age does no one any favours, but to me he is still one very nice guy that I have had the pleasure of calling a friend for many years. If you go in the shop and say Barry said, if I sing 'In Morocco' can I get a discount.................................stand well back his language is still colourful."

January 2015--------------Back in early December I stated that I didn't like the dark days of winter and that I marked off in my mind four stages to Spring. Well the second stage in here ---SNOWDROPS---. The nights are definately getting lighter and soon we will have crocuses (step three), Then Daffodils.

January 2015------------Have had some texts from Martyn Whale and he is still at Mackays and see's some of the old Staples boys. He and Amy have bought a house down in Thanet and we shall go and visit them in Spring.

February 2015--------------Its been good getting e-mails from Roger Young remembering old times and work-mates. He has given me some names for the Roll of honour and also told me that Jim Prime a machine minder from way back in the Love Lane machine room is living a few doors away from him. He says he too frequents the Tuck Inn. Barry Cox and I are meeting for a coffee there soon. Roger should remember Barry's Dad, 'Lorry'.

February 2015--------------Spoke to Kenny Morrist, he remembers Jim Prime very well, he said that he was on the 'New Perfector' most of the time and left Staples for a job on big presses 'on the island'.

February 2015--------------Have been careful with Sylv going out in this very cold weather over the last few weeks, but as it warmed up dramatically this last couple of days, ventured back to the Tuck Inn today with my son Jay and Ray, a mate I go line dancing with.

February 2015--------------Jay tells that he saw Keith Sizer. He is doing ok and looks on the site now and then.

February 2015--------------Gave Paul Dixon a ring way down there in Cornwall. He sounded a bit 'brighter' to me and I think he is feeling a little better. I told him of our plans to visit Truro in July and he is very hopeful of being able to see us at the farm. He has said that he may now be able to put together the details of the 'final days of Martins Printing Group ex staff'' and what happened in their planned expansion and final demise. I will add that here if he is able to do it. (check back to March 2013 and Feb 2014 to refresh your memory).

February 2015--------------Spoke to Peter and Catherine Simmons today. It may be that we can also see them on our trip down west in summer. They are fine and told me that in some clearing out they have been doing, they have found some old photographs from Staples social events. If any seem interesting they may mail them down to me to add to the 'Gallery'. Peter asked me if I had heard from Peter Paffett and did I know how he and Jean were. He asked if I could pass on his regards.

February 2015------------I texted Peter Paffett and passed on the regards. Had a very brief non-committal reply in response. Hope they are both OK.

February 2015------------I have finally been awarded Duputyship to Sylvia by the Court of Protection. It has cost £1668 and taken 11 months. Any couple that does not have Lasting Power of Attorney over each other-- please do it now. It is about half this cost for both parteners to do it at a solicitors or it can be done on line for a good bit less.. At least now I can resolve some of her financial affairs.

February 2015---------------Saw Steve Howard and his wife in B M yesterday, the good outlet in the new shopping area at Queenborough. They seemed very well and Steve said that he looks through this site often. I always regarded Steve very highly as a worker and craftsman and I know he was a well liked and respected member of staff. When he moved from the bindery to the machine room at Love Lane, he took on a difficult job when sometimes relations between those two departments were not always good. He was like a breath of fresh air and simplified the guillotine supply of cut stock to the machines and was soon well thought of by all. Seems a long time ago from when he was admired by so many of the young bindery girls at the factory. When some have got in touch through the site, one of the names aways remembered is ---- Steve Howard!

February 2015---------------Had some more e-mails from Roger Young and he has given me another name for the Roll of Honour, Bill Beecham. This is not a name I recall, it is added in and I am going to see if anyone left of the 'old guard' can add more information.

March 2015--------------Tried the phone numbers that I had for Ossie Pocock and also Ron Ambrose, but sadly there is no answer on one and the other is not available. Am trying to get in touch with Will Gates to see if he has any news on Ossie.

March 2015-------------Great weather brighter and daffodils appearing and its getting a bit warmer. Like it.

March 2015----------------Got hold of Ossie on the phone after all, He has just spent a month in New Zealand, enjoyed it very much and is 'doing OK'. He says that Len Bagnall told him that he went to call on Ron Ambrose only to find that he had passed away last year. I asked Ossie, who was at Love Lane a long time before me, if he remembered Bill Beecham, (see mail from Roger 3 previous, he remembered the same names that I recall, but not this Bill.).

March 2015------------------Had a text from Ian Timothy-- he is in hospital at the moment where he has had an operation on his knee. He hopes to be fit again quite soon.

March 2015---------------had a lovely e-mail from Julie Howe, she seems to be 'putting her best foot forward' and rebuilding her life after the sad loss of Roy. Sounds like the family is keeping her busy and she is planning a holiday to Oz with a close lady friend.

March 2015--------------Barry Cox tells me that he is sad to hear of the death of Ron Ambrose as he liked him. Also he can't recall his Dad (Lorry) mentioning a Bill Beecham. ---------I am adding a memory of Ron to that page.

March 2015---------------Roger Young e-mailed again to say that he had been able to speak to Jim Prime. Jim was at the Love Lane machine room when I joined Staples in 1961 and is now a neighbour of his.-- It seems that he also was unable to remember the 'Bill Beecham' that we have been discussing, but this far Roger's memory has been spot on with some of the things he has added to this site, so it remains to be seen.

March 2015-------------Barry Cox has e-mailed a new youtube link to his model railway set up. It is great, so I will substitute it for the existing one here on Jottings August 2014.

March 2015-----------------Had a phone call from Lynne Glover. It was good to talk to her after all this time and she sounded fine. She says there may be a couple of old issues of 'Staples News' in her cupboard somewhere and she will try to look them out for me. We have bits and pieces of some issues from Kieth Jarrett's collection in pages of the gallery-- but I hope these could be different and have something of interest. Also it seems, she see's Will Gates now and then.

March 2015-----------------Heard from Roger again, he has been talking to Dick Galliers. Now Dick goes back a long way and was at Love Lane when I started there. He backs up the memory of Bill Beecham and even describes him. So he stays on the roll of honour.

March 2015--------------Have had contact with Dave Caleno, Barry Cox. Martyn Whale and Tony Kilbey amongst others. I haven't heard from Bobby Dunn since Christmas and hope he is ok. Also haven't heard from Alan Mouseworth down there in Rochester Print Finishers.

March 2015---------------Went out early this morning-- down to have a blood test for my yearly check-up. The phlebotomist, when my number came up and I went in, turned out to be a woman who is in the same line dance class as I am. She said not to queue in future but 'just go through'. Jay told me yesterday that Martyn Whale has left Mackays and will be working nearer his home in Thanet and now outside the 'print' trade.

March 2015--------------Bob Dunn phoned last night. He is fine and we had a chat. He is writing a piece continuing on about the local group The Teenbeats following on from the photo I included. I will include it when it arrives. He mentioned other names that 'rang a bell' and I think it will be interesting to other readers. We agreed that, with the weather improving, we would aim to meet at the Tuck Inn during the next three weeks. If Barry Cox is reading this, then Bob would like it to be when Barry and I are arranging a 'Brekkie' down there.

March 2015-------------------When I went on holiday from Love Lane one year with the family, I 'nicked' a baby palm tree that had seeded under a big Chusan palm in a park in Dorset. When we first moved here to Rainham it was in my tropical house at the bottom of the garden, but soon outgrew the space available. Martyn Whale's Dad, Malcome, helped me move it into the garden. It is now about 20 feet tall and I've just seen the local Collared Doves building a nest in the top. I feed the two that stay around all the time and after about two years of putting sun flower seeds in a place for them, I have finally got them to feed out of my hand. They are very wary and skittish birds, so I see this as quite an achievement.

March 2015---------------Had an e-mail from Dave Knott who is the youngest son of Eric Knott who served at Love Lane for many years. I have included it on the Memories Page and am putting a 'mock up' news paper cutting produced by his workmates at the time of his retirement into page 28 of the Gallery.

March 2015---------------Barry Cox has said he would like to join Bob and myself at the Tuck Inn, so we will arrange this over the next three weeks, hopefully on a nice bright morning.

March 2015------------------Had a knock on the door yesterday to find Kenny Morrist standing there. He is as well as can be expected as he suffers a bit from shortness of breath. He is doing excercises to help the situation. He hadn't seen Sylvia for a while and was pleasantly surprised to see her improved some what. He was only able to stop a little while, but it was so good to see him and he seemed relaxed. I told him about the loss of Ron Ambrose, he was saddened as they worked together many times and I think played 5 a side football in the machine room team as well as table tennis for Staples in the Medway Towns league. There is a good photo of Ken and Ron -- no.16 on page 2 and one of Ken and me, 24 on the same page.

March 2015--------------------Had another e-mail from Dave Knott and he likes the entry about his Dad and has enjoyed more of our web-site.

April 2015----------------------One of the carers who came into the house this morning mentioned that one of her daughters was taking part in a horse riding event over Easter. She went on to mention that she herself used to ride and did quite well, training at Mathews Riding Stables. I asked her did she know Tony who owned it and she did. This was Tony Rocco. I think originally from Malta or somewhere similar he set up a company called Medway Rewinds and spent many long days (and nights) in Love Lane attending to any of the array of electrical motors on the ancient Staples machinery that had 'given up the ghost'. He could be summoned anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to do emergency repairs. If I remember correctly, he also opened a pizza retaurant in Rochester High Street and his subsequent hard work made him a comfortably off man. There will be a few of the old staff out there who will remember Tony I'm sure, possibly with some affection-- he was always quite a charachter.

Apil 2015------------------Bob Dunn called in yesterday and brought some more additions to the earlier contributions on the local music scene. I'm sure these will be found of interest and I add them here.

He prefixes them with a comment on the loss of Ron Ambrose. ----------------Bob says,-- "I was sorry to learn of the passing of Ron Ambrose, he and I worked closely together when I was his deputy in the Love Lane machine room back in the 1970s, as you say Geof, he enjoyed a bit of a moan at times, but he was a good hearted man. I hope his epitaph ends with his OFTEN used quote, 'there's gonna be a row about this'."

Bob then goes on to the music topic.----------" Following the stories about printers and the local music scene, I knew Colin Kelly of the 'Teenbeats' well. We started in the trade at the same time. I was then at Kent Art Printers and we would often meet at 'Petes Music Shop' in Medway Street in Chatham when checking out the weeks new releases. The Teanbeats in those days had the Strollers as their main competition, they were both great groups. -------Around this time some of my mates formed a band called 'The Tupelos', named after the home town of Elvis Presley and they took up as resident band at The Invicta behind Woolworths in Chatham High Street. The club was run by Ray Wade, father of the lovely Ann Wade who worked in the bindery at Staples. (See her on picture 4 of page 5 in the Gallery and check out those eyes, G). It was great to be called on stage at times to duet on Ricky Nelson or Buddy Holly songs. The Tupelos often shared the bill with 'Dave Champion and the Strangers'. (Dave was Dave Gower who also worked at Staples Love Lane in the machine room, a photo of them is no.4 on page 8.). Later The Tupelos went on to support such names as The Rolling Stones, Screaming Lord Sutch and Dusty Springfield. Another couple of names that I think Lee will know well from his days at Kent Art Printers are Tony Ellingham who was a compositor and Max Hoad who was a small offset minder, 'yes there was litho way back then'. Tony was the vocalist with a Gravesend band, The Casuals and later in 1968 he changed his stage name and became Dorian Gray. He had a top ten hit with 'I've got you on my mind' and I think others as well. In 1973 he joined up with Max to form a band called Unit 5.----(In my caravaning days I remember this band well from some of our best social events G.)--Max played lead guitar and they are still performing, changing their name this year to '5 In The Bar'.----It is certainly true that us old printers had a lot of influence on the local music scene~~~~~ GREAT OLD TIMES."

April 2015--------------Saw Mick Smith Kerr in the shops yesterday. He and his wife looked very well and he said he was feeling fine. He asked me about Roy Howe as he and Roy worked together before being at Love Lane and was sad to hear of the passing of him. I reminded him to check the 'Jottings' to keep up with the news and he said he would do so.

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April 2014========The last part of this month has been very traumatic on a personal level. Sylvia was suddenly taken very bad with an infection. She was rushed to hospital and two nights later the family were summoned by phone at 9pm from the ward to attend her as she was 'very weak'. However she fought through and the fluid in her lungs cleared. I started going in at 8am and helping to get her to start eating again and would leave at 6.30pm. The staff were great and made me coffee and toast when I arrived and being under staffed as always, appreciated the time consuming tasks that I undertook. She is still very sleepy and unresponsive, but home again and I can see what sort of continuing recovery she can make. I had loads of texts and calls from friends I am in touch with and they were very warmly received. GTC

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May 2012---------------Had a phone call from Bobby Dunn asking how Sylv is doing, he also mentioned that he had seen Gary Freestone a couple of times and they had been able to have a chat. Gary has been somewhat poorly over these last years, but Bob says he is 'doing ok and enjoying his Grandchildren'.

May 2012-------------------THE WEBSITE IS NOW FIVE YEARS OLD-- THANK-YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED AND SUBMITTED ITEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS.

May 2012---------------It is great for me in that Sylv is progressing well on her return from hospital and now eating and drinking better as she gains strength.

May 2015---------------Had a lovely phone call from Peter Simmons, receiving good wishes from Peter and Catherine is very valued.

May 2015-------------Lee Fairbrother emailed in a lovely picture of his Dad and Ron Ambrose, I have mounted it on Page 28 of the Gallery.

May 2015-------------Had a text from Tony Kilbey from down there in Cornwall.

May 2015-------------have also added two other interesting pics to page 28. A good one of Bill Gates and Eddie Whitnell and also one of Yvonne Wallington. I am unsure of the caption I have added to this particular one-- so if anyone out there with Bindery knowledge can enlighten me, I would be grateful.

May 2015-------------Spoke to Tommy Blacklock on the phone. We had a bit of a chat and he enquired about Sylv. He and Pat are fine and we hinted that it would be good to meet up again sometime.

May 2015------------Spoke to Paul and Judy Dixon on the phone. Paul says he has had trouble emailing the site. We are trying to sort this out. He unfortunately also says that he is 'not too good' at the moment. We are still wondering if we will be able to see them again as we still plan to go on this holiday to Cornwall in July.

May 2015-----------------Whilst dashing into Tesco's yesterday on my way back from a line-dancing class while one of the respite carers kept Sylv company, I ran into Leanne Rapley. There was only the briefest of hello's but she seemed good.

May 2015-------------------Had an email from Paul Dixon.. He explained a bit about him being poorly. I am sure anyone who reads this will want to send all best wishes to him. He added a brief memory of Rochester and I have added it to that page.

May 2015------------------ After the last few weeks having the names of Dick Galliers and Jim Prime mentioned as still going strong, yesterday someone told me that Ernie Hutchings lives not far from me. Ernie was a machine minder at Love Lane when I joined the company. He subsequently went to New Zealand and later returned and rejoined Staples. I have asked them to pass on my telephone number to see if we can get in touch

May 2015-------------------Had an email from Dave Caleno this morning, he sent a joke-- never included one here before, but I like this so here it is.

We had a power cut at my place this morning and my PC, laptop, TV, DVD, iPad & my new surround sound music system all shut down.
Then I discovered that my iPhone battery was flat and to top it off it was raining outside, so I couldn't play golf.
I went into the kitchen to make coffee and then I remembered that this also needs power, so I talked with my wife for a while.
She seems like a really nice person.

May 2015------------------Phoned Eileen Jones. I am trying to persuade her to let me scan some of the photographs she has from her time at Staples. Amongst her collection is one of practically every wedding photo that included a person from the works over a period of 40 years. She has them mounted in a special album and I need to convince her that I can scan them page by page without doing any damage. She is thinking it over. She mentioned a few things involving "girls" from the Love Lane bindery that she still sees. These include Doris Stanton, Audrey Somerfield, Bette Goodran (who married Roy Smith) and Doris Tandy (nee Selves). She also told me that Yvonne Wallington passed away about a year ago. She added that she had heard from Sylvia Whitnell, June Parker and Stan Harris all recently. She asked me if I knew how Dave and Alan Southworth were getting on and I explained that as far as I knew they were still at Rochester Print Finishers.

May 2015----------------Had a message from Alan Southworth telling me that he and Barbara had suffered a family tragedy with Son Darren passing away. I'm sure every one of us who knows them, will offer our sincerest condolences and remember them with affection.

May 2015--------------------Jay Curtis told me he had seen Martyn and Amy Whale and that Martyn was enjoying his new job outside the print trade.

May 2015-----------------I HAVE SOME MORE VERY SAD NEWS. PAUL DIXON PASSED AWAY THIS WEEK IN A HOSPICE IN CORNWALL. I HAD REALIZED FROM MY TALKS WITH HIM LATELY THAT HE WAS VERY ILL, BUT DID NOT FEEL LIKE ADDING THAT HERE. OUR THOUGHTS GO OUT TO WIFE JUDY. ---------WHENEVER I THINK OF STAPLES ROCHESTER, THE 'MAIN MAN' WHO SEEMED TO BE ITS HEART AND SOUL IN ALL THE YEARS HE WAS THERE, --- WAS PAUL DIXON.

May 2015-----------------Have let as many old fellow workers of Paul know the news as I can. have received a lot of condolences for Judy.

May 2015-------------------The funeral is at 2.30pm on Tuesday 23rd June at Glynn Valley Crematorium, Bodmin PL30 4AP. If anyone would like to send a card to Judy, if they text, phone or email me I will give them her address. It is family flowers only -- but if anyone would like to make a small donation in his name -- then its to Leukemia and Lymphoma Research. If anyone wishes to attend the funeral all that long way away, then Judy's request is "Paul loved colour so much, so not too much black please."

June 2015-----------------When Peter Simmons phoned me to give me the news of Pauls death, I could barely believe it. I have spoken to Judy and she is deeply distressed. The only slight comfort for her may be, that Paul's illness had become very debilitating and left him a mere shadow of the man he was. I have now spoken to many 'old' friends from Staples and they all express their sadness.

June 2015-----------------Have been in touch with Rod Palmer. Terry Cooper, Alan Southworth, Ian Timothy, Peter Simmons, Martyn Whale and Lee Fairbrother amongst others. Also spoken to Judy Dixon again to pass on more condolences.

June 2015-----------------It was a brilliant sunny and warm morning today. Myself and Sylvia met up with Bob Dunn and Barry Cox at the Tuck Inn for 'elevenses'. We expressed our sorrow on the loss of Paul Dixon, Barry had only met him briefly when visiting Love Lane after he himself had left, but he knows that his Dad had a 'lot of time' for Paul. We talked a bit about model trains (You can see the set-up that Barry has made by scrolling back to August 2014 and clicking on the link), then other names mentioned included Harry Greenland, Dick Galliers, Will Gates, Kenny Morrist and Sukhi Singh.

July 2015-----------------Back from a lovely holiday in Cornwall.. We never drempt that Sylvie would be able to go on a trip like this with the family again, but she was happy and comfortable. Judy Dixon joined us at our farmhouse for a meal on the Sunday evening, which was very pleasant. She is currently staying with friends and we expressed our sorrow. Judy gave me the order of service at Paul's funeral and I have put it on page 29 of Gallery.

July 2015---------------I did the advanced/offroad courses on the Segways which I was looking forward to and had the certifcate stamped 'Expert'. This is also on page 29.

August 2015------------Very quiet on the site, expect everyone is enjoying the lovely weather. I am still finding it difficult to get used to the idea that Paul has gone. Sylv and I spent a lovely day at Ramsgate with friends last week and she is well enough to miss the lunchtime care visit on some days -- so it gives us a real 'day out'.

August 2015---------------------Bobby Dunn phoned and told me that he had seen Steve Floodgate. Steve worked in the machine room at Love Lane and was promoted to shift co-ordinator opposite Vince Haudiquet. They worked from the production office when the factory started to take shift work seriously. Bob went on to mention that Steve had recently seen Jim Jeffries. Now for some reason I don't remember him and was surprised when Rod Palmer spoke of him in such glowing terms some time ago and even sent in a cartoon based on Jim and Bruce Hayes. Bob remeinded me that Jim was not on the roll of honour, so I will add him now. (See Rod's drawing pic 20 on page 14).

August 2015-------------One of the carers in on their call to Sylv was talking to the other one and I heard her say "I have been up to Pat Reids house". Now my ears pricked up at that and I asked how old this Pat was. I was told about 72. Now there may be someone out there reading this who goes right back to the 60s at Love Lane and could remember a very vivacious dark haired girl of that name in the bindery who was a great friend of Berylin Gash who was a pretty blonde also in the bindery. Well-- I asked some questions thinking that it would be unusual for a girl like Pat not change her name by marriage and it brought up a strange coincidence. It turns out that this Pat married the brother of the Pat at Staples and therefore became Pat Reid. They are going to pass on my regards to the original one and tell her about this web site.

August 2015---------------Today I took Sylvie out for the day with a friend, Rosemary. We went across the bridge to Sheppey on a wet day with light rain at times. Rosemary is a friend from line dancing and subject to a big coincidence when we first got chatting. We were with a few other members of the class we go to, having a meal at an Indian restuarant in Rochester, when I said "I used to live not far from here in Rochester", to which she replied "so did I". -- She then asked where abouts I had lived and I offered May Road. She, surprised at this said, "I lived in May Road too", following up with "what Number?" I replied that it had been number 50, she replied, "I did as well".---- It turned out that we had both lived in the same house though some years apart.-------------- During the time on Sheppey visiting B and M, (good shop that), and getting fish food and fresh fruit and vegetables from Brambledown as well as a lovely lamb fillet, we called in to the 'Bee cafe' between the bridge and Sheerness. having been there a few times and seen it with many sitting out in the sun and open air, with some guy strumming a guitar and cream teas abounding, it was a bit damp and quiet. However we had scones and coffee and were chatting, when I mentioned a visit I took recently with Sylv and Jay to Falconwood to see where I went to school and dodged the bombs in the war. I mentioned the road I lived in and suddenly one of the ladies at the next table, said "excuse me I'm not evesdropping but did I just hear you say Sutherland Avenue". I said that indeed this is where I used to live and she asked "what number?" I told her 238, (its a long road), to which she replied that she used to live at 234, another coincidence what. My best friend and schoolmate Alan Metcalf lived in that house.


August 2015-------------I add this jotting sent in by Lee Fairbrother.---------- I heard as I was walking through a Strood car park yesterday (15/08), a voice I thought I knew, I turned to see Kevin Barratt who I have not seen for sixteen years, oh how they pass so quickly. We spent a pleasant
quarter of an hour reminiscing on Staples past with all good memories, especially the way we helped each other
out with the Plate to TP4 scenario, in alleviating any downtime!!-----(I remember that. These guys were mustard, but never seemed much appreciated by the management.G)

Kevin was shocked to hear of Syd Lloyd's passing and of course very sad, as it was about the time that he
last saw him, when Syd went to Mack's and then became a full time Carer.

Anyway, I told him about this site and how Geoff would be pleased to hear from him, he still works at the same
place which he joined after our demise on the Medway City Estate, so I thought you would be interested.

Hope you are all well, Yours Sincerely, Lee Fairbrother.

August 2015------------The first carer came yesterday on one of the now routine calls for Sylvia, her name was Christine and I asked if she knew who else was due. She told me "the other Christine will be here". I said oh there's another one is there and she replied that it was Christine Bucknall. When she arrived I asked if she was the one from Staples bindery and she said she was. She didn't recognise me, nor me her, but I remember that she worked in the bindery and married Peter Bucknall who spent much time on the folders. They later split up, with Peter going to Mackays of Chatham.----She said she would get her son to show her the website.

September 2015--------------Jay tells me that he parked outside Dave Buckingham's house in Sittingbourne and later saw him. Dave says that he and his wife are ok.

September 2015------------Bob Dunn came down the Tuck Inn for a big bacon sandwich with Sylv and I yesterday. ----An old friend of mine Tom Sackett also joined us. Although Tom never worked at Staples, he and Bob know each other from way back when Bob and I ran our fish and aquarium business. Tom was, at first, a customer of ours and then later working at C A Vs, he acted as a sub contractor and did a lot of busines for himself and us. He was always a very honest guy and has been a good friend over the years.

September 2015---------------Barry Cox sent me a text saying that while driving through Strood he had caught sight of Will Gates and wife Christine. He shouted and waved as going by. Nice to know they are still about.

October 2015------------------Ken Morrist dropped in for a quick chat. He was pleased with Sylv's progress and brought me up to date with Jan and the rest of his family.

October 2015--------------------Barry Cox visited us and stopped for a good old chin wag and coffee. It pleases me that he too was amazed at Sylvia's progress as she was sitting on the sofa, he couldn't get over the fact that she was interacting with him and answering him. He took a photo of us which I may put on the site. It is always a great pleasure to see Barry. He brought Sylv a lovely bunch of flowers.

October 2015-----------------I have been emailed an article about Sir Clive Martins 80th birthday earlier this year. I will add this to the site also on p29.

November 2015----------------Had an email from Roger Young in which he says he has been into a local nursing home to visit Ken Stickens. Ken was a great character in the Love Lane Comp Room and left Staples to help start up Wyvern Press in Sittingbourne. Roger explains that Ken is wheelchair bound at times, after suffering a stroke and having trouble walking, but is well in mind and memory. He intends to visit again and I am sure anyone who remembers Ken would want to send their best wishes.

November 2015--------------Bobby Dunn phoned and we had a long chat. I told him about the London Bus book just added to page 29 of the gallery and he is going to have look.

November 2015------------------Had an e-mail from Tommy Blacklock up there near Scunthorpe. He says 'snap' to the pictures of the London Buses book and sends a picture of his copy which is sporting a dust jacket. I am including it on page 29 of the Gallery.

November 2015-----------------Bob Dunn tells me he caught a glimpse of Gary Freestone from the window of a bus he was on as he sped by in Rainham.

November 2015---------------Just seen on Google the new owners of Unit 3 Northpoint, Medway City Estate. This was the unit of Rochester Print Finishers Ltd and is now part of TT Litho Printers Ltd. It has become their finishing and fulfilment factory. TT had been a customer of RPF for some years and TT had a sad loss recently of Tom Forgarty one of the founders. He was the brother of Peter Fogarty who worked in the Composing department of Staples at Love Lane. Rochester Print Finishers had been like a mini Staples at one time, employing 14 staff, the majority of which were ex Staples. Knowing that has gone now and with the loss of Paul Dixon, Staples is like a fading mist to me.

November 2015----------------Spoke to Alan Southworth on the phone. Alan has been unwell recently and I'm sure we would all wish him well. When after leaving Staples we worked side by side in getting RPF going, I greatly admired Alan and enjoyed working with him. We had some very difficult times and I know that sometimes I was not easy to work with. I have this terrible thing of not doubting I am right when I have made a decision, but we got on very well and time showed we did make some pretty good choices. We sometimes had to pinch ourselves seeing all our staff at one stage, with two stitcher gatherers, the Heidelberg cylinder, guillotine and various folders, all churning out work.

November 2015--------------Jay tells me that Terry Cooper is keeping busy in his retirement and does some good work assisting the public with hospital visits etc.

November 2015------------------Have phoned Judy Dixon a couple of times to see how she is getting on, but had no answer.

December 2015----------------Have had some nice texts on my i-phone from Barry Cox.

December 2015----------------Had a Christmas card from Clive and Lindy Martin in their usual historical style. Also a card from Judy Dixon, she is bearing up and spending Christmas with Paul's sister.

December 2015-------------Christmas cards from Kenny Morrist, Julie Howe and Tony Styles, Alan Southworth, Bobby Dunn, Tom Blacklock, Tony Curtis and Steve Wadhams.

December 2015-------------- With Sylvie continuing to fight on, I have just booked a family holiday for July next year in farm cottages on the Isle of Wight. Something to plan and look forward to through winter. Still in a few days the nights start pulling out again. The cottages will have all the coversions we need and I will have to lay on care as last year.

December 2015---------------Had a card from Rod Palmer and a short letter. He and wife Sylvie are doing ok with a few ailments. He still reckons he will have a bit more to add to the site from his memories soon.

December 2015------------Had a phone call From Bobby Dunn. He is going to add a bit soon as we are approaching the date fast of the day he joined Love Lane and met me and took over from me on one of the machines. Long time ago. More later.

December 2015--------------Had a phone call from Judy Dixon. This is a hard time for her and she states the obvious that at times she is out or at a function and expects to turn and see Paul, then the realization hits in all over again. She says she is doing as well as she can and I told her that a lot of people from this site send their best wishes and remember Paul with great affection.

December 2015----------------Martyn and Amy Whale called in, they look very well and it was nice to see Amy her old bright self again. She has a new job now working in the care sector and seems to be doing well. They stayed for quite a while and drank our coffee and we talked over old times and old friends.

I AM SO LUCKY THAT MY SYLVIA IS STILL WITH ME AND WE AND THE FAMILY ARE HAVING CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH AT THE QUEENS HEAD IN WIGMORE.

I WISH ALL MY OLD FRIENDS AND WORK COLLEAGUES AND OTHERS FROM THIS SITE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED OR JUST PERUSED--- A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

December 2015--------------------Tony Curtis came over with wife Nicola and daughter Clara. They are well. We talked about his time in the sales team at staples and he also mentiond Norman Coward as someone he remembered well.

January 2016--------------------Had a visit from Bob Dunn yesterday. He has brought me three pages of handwritten copy to add on the Memories page. It is relevant to this day because it is exactly 50 years since he started at Staples Love Lane. It contains many names of work mates and also insights into his time with the Company. I will start to write it up as soon as I can.

January 2016-------------------- Jay loaded a couple of photos on to our facebook page today and within half an hour had a 'like' from Keith Bedford.

January 2016---------------Had an email from Roger Young. He is still trying to tie up getting any photos that there may be available for the site from Ken Stickens. There is a hold up at the moment due to a house move -- but he will continue to try a bit later.

Jaunuary 2016-------------had a phone call from Bob Dunn, he likes the way I have typed up his entry on the Memories page.

January 2016--------------Tony Curtis called in for a chat whilst shopping in the Rainham area.

JANUARY 15TH 2016------------------I FELL DOWN THE STAIRS. Carrying some stuff down I tripped and fell. I seemed not too bad at the start but later my family called an ambulance and I was carted off to hospital. Fortunately nothing was broken but I have severe bruising to hip, pelvis and right thigh and both ankles. I am writing this on 6th Feb., this is the first time I have been able to get upstairs again to my little office. Until yesterday I hadn't even been able to get out of the house. We have had to 'buy in' extra care and the family have rallied round, with Sylv's sister coming to stay for 12 days to help me get through it and care for Sylvie. Sorry there have been no notes through this past four weeks. More later.GTC

February 2016---------------Because of the amount of pain I have been experiencing 4 weeks after the accident, the district nurses referred back to the hospital and my case was reviewed. It turns out that the x-rays were not clear after all and that I have a small hairline fracture on the pelvis. At least that explains why I have thought getting better was taking longer than I hoped.

February 2016-----------------Getting about a bit now without the frame. I can make it down the garden and upstairs, still quite painful but much less swollen ankles or blue toes. Also - oh! the bliss of being able to turn over again in bed. Bob Dunn has regularly been dropping in and doing some shopping for us and other friends, family and neighbours have been great.

February 2016-------------------Had a distressing phone call from Claire the daughter of Alan Southworth saying that Alan had passed away yesterday peacefully at home. I had known that he was very unwell for some months but didn't record that here. I was hoping to see him again when the weather was warmer. I spent a great deal of time with Alan after Staples when we worked so closely together in Rochester Print Finishers and always respected and greatly valued his good nature, calmness and never ending effort. ----My sad regrets and best wishes go out to Barbara and the family.

February 2016---------------Have returned the frame to my friend who lent it to me. District nurses are coming in once a week to treat my ankle. Bob still doing some shopping and e-mails from Barry Cox and Julie Howe out there in NZ are helping keep me cheerful. Have driven to Tesco and done a little shopping myself, leaning on a trolley. Still quite a lot of pain.

February 2016-----------------Had a phone call from Peter Paffett. He had heard about the demise of Alan and I was able to give him the telephone numbers for Barbara and also for Dave. Peter said that he and Jean were ok but had a few health problems.

February 2016----------------Bumped into Leanne Rapley yesterday on the biscuit aisle at Tescos. She is well and was sorry to hear about Alan Southworth. I took a photo of her on my phone and will put that on Page 29.

February 2016----------------Right out of the blue I had a phone call from Ernie Hutchings. Ernie was a machine minder at Love Lane in the 60's and went to New Zealand. He returned later for a further period at Staples. He is coming over soon as he is not living far from me to have a look at the web site. He may have a few old photo's he says. He mentioned a few memories and a few names and not surprisingly he well remembered Fernella and Felicity. These two young vibrant sisters often caused havoc amonst the men and young boys of the works when they 'sallied forth' with their more than ample bosoms thrust out in front like battering rams. Some were even known to hide from them.

March 2016-----------------Had a phone call from Rod Palmer. He and Sylv are as well as can be expected and he was sorry to see the news about Alan Southworth. I mentioned anything that I thought he may not know that had transpired on the site recently and he talked about a few old memories. Rod asked if I knew anything about Dave Starling (sales rep.) and I told he that Dave had passed away.

March 2016----------------Had an e-mail from Barry Cox. He remembers Ernie Hutchings and has asked me to pass on his regards when we get to meet. He mentioned a fishing trip. I will ask Ernie if he remembers this at a later date.

March 2016--------------Had a text from Barbara Southworth telling me that Alan's funeral is at Robin Hood Crematorium, 3p.m. on Tuesday 15th March. I passed on the information to Ian Timothy, Terry Cooper, Martyn Whale and Mary Howes amongst others.

March 2016-------------Had a text from Peter Simmons and he tells me he still sees Bob Candler at times and they keep in contact by phone. He added that Bob spends some time in Cyprus. Its true to say that I found Bob one of the two most unpleasant people I ever worked with at Staples.

March 2016--------------Spoke to Jenny Southworth on the phone and passed on my condolences for the loss of brother in law, Alan. Dave was out, but Jenny said he was fine. We touched on the memory of the time that we did 'nights' together on the Staples Gatherer Stitcher Trimmer working for Rochester Print Finishers. We had just started the company but before taking over our new unit or having our own machinery. This was a very rush special job for Unwin Brothers, so it was agreed we do it on the Rochester kit. I was a bit out of my depth, but Jenny who was a stalwart of the Staples bindery kept me going.

March 2016---------------Had a text from Martyn Whale. He expressed sorrow at the passing of Alan. Martyn had worked with Alan at Staples and of course was employed at Rochester Print Finishers for a while. He said that he hadn't seen Alan for about ten Years---- (Martyn and wife Amy spent some years in NZ), but he will see if he can get to the funeral.

March 2016---------------Had a phone call from Dave Southworth. It was great to speak to Dave again. He was a co worker for whom I had the greatest admiration. He was great to work with at Staples and when he joined Rochester Print Finishers he was a tower of strength. Dave mentioned thta Eileen Johnson has now finished at the unit, but Wendy Sayers is still working there at times. I told him I will try to make Alan's funeral, but will probably still be a bit 'weak on my pins'. It depends on getting someone to be with Sylvia. Whatever happens we have made arrangements to meet up in Spring at McDonalds on the Meway City Estate to talk over old times. I was pleased to hear how good he thought this web site was.

March 2016---------------Had an e-mail from Tommy Blacklock, just checking up to see how we are doing. Have also tentatively talked to Tom about trying to meet up with him and wife Pat and also Bob Dunn sometime in the early summer. Tom is up there in Scunthorpe and obviously its a bit of a 'trek'. We will see what we can do.

March 2016---------------Had an e-mail from Julie Howe in NZ., its still nice and warm there at the moment but it is now into their Autumn. She is keeping well and friends and family are helping her to carry on in her life without Roy. They were very close and I know she is finding it hard.

March 2016--------------I am getting around a bit more easily now and the pain is reducing. I can drive ok and making progress daily.

March 2016---------------Talking to Bob Dunn when he dropped a bit of shopping in for us a few days ago I came up with another name of someone who left Staples and went to Bowaters. If you haven't read his entry on the Memories page about his 50 years, its worth a look and contains a list of the workers who did go from one to the other. he agreed it was one he hadn't thought of so I am now adding Arnie Manning to that list of his.

March 2016--------------- Now able to walk out slowly without any walking aid so really hopeful that I can get to Alan's Funeral.

March 2016-------------Feel bad about a text I had from Ian Timothy. I inadvertantly gave him the wrong date for Alan's funeral when I sent him the original information and he and brother Gary have made their arrangements. I am hoping they can sort it out and get there as they both had a long association with Alan.

March 2016-------------Had a couple of texts from Barry Cox about an ongoing problem he has about where he is living. Also managed to man-handle Sylv's wheelchair and take her out. We popped into the Tuck Inn for 'elevenses' and then to the shops. Paid for it later in the day with a bit of pain, but the bacon and eggs were worth it.

March 2016-----------------Am going to Alan Southworth's funeral today. Another really good friend and work colleague gone. Alan was one of the main people I would contact if I had a querie come through to the website that I couldn't answer. I will really miss him. I will never forget one sunny morning at Rochester Print Finishers when I went downstairs from the office and stood with Alan to discuss some aspect of a job. Both Stitchers were zipping along with the girls cartoning at the ends, Dave was on the guillotine trimming work for despatch, folding machines were churning out sections both there and upstairs, Norman was on the Heidelberg Cylinder cutting and creasing sheets and on a bench folders were being taped and made-up. Alan stood there looking round with a great big smile on his face and he turned to me and said, "I can't believe we've done all this." He was so proud. and so was I.

March 2016---------------A chill wind eddied around and the car park was very full, the grey paths cold and the lawns winter mown short. I limped over to the sombre clad gathering by the buildings waiting for the hearse bringing Alan. Another very special person has left us. The funeral service was packed, a testimony to Alan's popularity and it was a lovely humanist, cheerful and celebratory service. There were of course many from Staples, but I found it difficult that some old and close work mates and friends now seemed like strangers. Barbara and her daughters showed the pain and loss they are feeling and one never seems to be able to find the right words to do anything about it in the short time you get to express your sympathy. They will be very grateful I'm sure for the company of so many and I know that I will not be able to get nearly as many mourners when my turn comes. Alan was a bit special, what you saw was what you got, I don't think he had a 'devious bone in his body'.

I had a respite carer keeping Sylv company at home, so was not able to go to the Robin Hood pub after the service. I limped away discreetly feeling quite depressed. More than I usually do after one of these funerals, from a personal point of view in the past when I was in any uncomfortable situation, I could get out of the way, sit down next to a bright smiling Sylvia and suddenly be alright. Now, I still have a little of that, but not enough any more to stop me feeling a lot of Alan's family pain.

March 2016-----------------I am putting the Order of Service for Alan on Page 29. Some of the Staples people there were, Peter Bucknall, Peter and Jean Paffett, Dave and Jenny Southworth, Lee Fairbrother, Wendy Taylor, Karen Cameron, Steve Howard, Eileen Johnson, Alan Forrest, Pat Gray, Jeff Jones, Kevin Howes, Dean Costen, Gary and Ian Timothy.-- (A big thanks to Dave Southworth for supplying the names I couldn't get)

Also It was good to see three of the lads who joined RPF to come and work for Allan and I, in the early stages. Mark Rouse and Dave Pilcher who left Molineaux and young Kenny (can't remember his surname), who was the first RPF apprentice.

March 2016----------------Had a phone call from Peter Simmons. We chatted a bit and he again expressed his sorrow at the passing of Alan. He also told me of a personal family tradegy of his own during the year which I was so sorry to hear about. There can't be anyone out there who knew Peter and Katherine who would not wish them well.

March 2016----------------Had a text from Barbara Southworth, she asks me to add to this site these words, "I wish to send a big thank you to all the ex Staples members who attended Alan's funeral yesterday. Clare, Emma, Aaron and myself were deeply moved by everyone who came. We also wish to thank everyone for their cards, texts, flowers and kind words. Thanks again -- Barbara."

March 2016----------------Phoned Dave Southworth and he gave me the names of the Staples staff that attended the funeral. I have added them above. I missed seeing a lot of them as I was definately 'under the weather' on the day.

March 2016-----------------Had a phone call from Kenny Morrist and we had a chat. He and Janice are ok.

March 2016-----------------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn and we are planning to meet up shortly. In the coversation we did have, we were discussing the bit of a mystery as to where Arnie Manning did work after he left Staples at Love Lane. Does anyone out there have any information.

March 2016-----------------Had a text from Barry Cox just updating how things are going. Its great how Barry has kept in touch over this very difficult period I have had.

April 2016---------------Had another text from Barry, he will be coming my way during the next few days and may get time to pop in and have a chat.

April 2016----------------Had another e-mail from Roger Young. He has been in touch with Ken Stickens' Son about any possible photos there may be of Ken's time at Love Lane. It seems that dissappointingly there aren't any. Roger also says that he has spoken again to Jim Prime who is still fit and healthy. He told Jim about my escapade of falling down the stairs, to which Jim retorted that 'he won't be trying that, as he lives in a bungalow'.

April 2016---------------Had a chat with Tom Blacklock over the phone and also with Bob Dunn.

April 2016-------------Had an email from Julie Howe. It is 36 years to the day that they left England for their new life in New Zealand. I remember well their last party in their Strood house and also Roy's last day at Love Lane. I am so pleased that we never lost touch through all these years.

April 2016------------------Had a phone call from Barry Cox. He has seen Will Gates and had a chat with him.

April 2016---------------Will be getting back in touch with Ernie Hutchings again shortly. Now that the weather is warming up a bit he is going to pay me a visit so that I can show him this web site and I'm sure he will love seeing the old photographs of his work-mates at Love Lane back in the 1960s.

April 2016-----------------Barry Cox paid us a surprise visit bringing Sylv some lovely yellow flowers. Yellow was her favour colour in her younger days and she always wanted a yellow car. While he was with us he took some photo's of lizards in my back garden reptile areas. He took them on his phone which has a brilliant camera in it and then e-mailed them to me. He also sent some of his continuing work on the model railway he has, they were pretty impressive.

April 2016--------------------Julie Howe out there in N. Z. has just done a six day tour of South Island. She has already sent me some pictures and she had a good time, but I know she missed Roy very Much. There is one very nice photo of her and I will add it to page 30 of the Gallery. I was always a bit sad that when we visited them in 2002, we never managed to 'do' South Island, it certainly looks a beautiful place.

May 2016-------------------Received an email from Lee Fairbrother which he asked me to add here in Jottings. it gives me pleasure to do so.

I have a wonderful new partner in my life, a lovely lady, and I was telling her about
the funeral I attended earlier for Alan Southworth, she looked quizzical, and said
was his wife Barbara?, and I said yes, and it turned out they were best friends through
their school years – Small World !

Loved the "Hurricane" poem Geof, I have already this year, been to quite a few woods
in the Cobham/Shorne area and believe me there is still plenty of evidence of that
horrendous night in ’87.

Sincerely hope you and family are ok,
Best Wishes,
Lee Fairbrother.

***

(the poem is on the Memories page..G)

***

May 2016--------------Very quiet on the site at the moment, still I never envisaged it would get this big and have some many contributions when I started it. Spoke to Bob Dunn on the phone and had emails from Barry Cox. On the personal front, I am getting better but much more slowly than I thought. I can now shift Sylv out of the front door in her wheelchair and load her in the Kangoo as before, which I couldn't do a few weeks ago. I have had my yearly check up at the local doctors surgery and everything was fine, even my cholesterol was down a bit.------- Also yesterday had my eyes tested, which also was satisfactory on all counts. I had never had the periphery test before, but was fine on that, which augers well for my continued driving. I have used the savings tokens from Tesco's and doubled up the value in their last ever 'Boost'. Two pairs of new glasses with tints for £30 in their store. My pelvis still gives me pain and feelings of weakness after all this time, (fell down ths stairs in January), but everything looking a little brighter now. For my sins I still miss the line-dancing, but don't know if I will be able to get back into that again.

May 2016--------------Had messages from Bob Dunn, Barbara Southworth, Barry Cox and Ernie Hutchings.

May 2016----------------Following the message from Lee Fairbrother just previous, Barbara Southworth contacted me keen to find out who the school friend of her's was that he mentioned. I passed the request on to Lee and then gave the answer back to Barbara. She was so pleased to have the mystery solved and told me that the lady in question, Lesley, was indeed a friend since junior school and a lovely person.

May 2016---------------Ernie Hutchings is visiting me today. He was a machine minder at Love Lane in the 1960s. I am hoping to be able to let him see a good number of his old friends and workmates in the pages of the 'Gallery'. Bob Dunn who worked with Ernie previous to Staples and was a friend of his in those days, is hoping to be able to call in as a surprise.

May 2016---------------Bob Dunn called in and brought Sylv another lovely bunch of Yellow Chrysanthemums, he also brough me a lovely bottle of red wine. It was a lovely surprise.

May 2016-------------The visit went well. Bob called in, he had worked with Ernie before Staples and it was a great surprise for Ernie to see him again after what must be forty or so years. Ernie and his two companions seemed to have a very pleasant afternoon. It is impossible to list all the old friends and work mates that were discussed and for Ernie to see a great many faces of them, was a real pleasure. It must be over forty years since I last saw him at Love Lane, he has a little difficulty with his memory but enjoyed the visit. I took a couple of pictures with my phone which I will add to page 30 of the Gallery. If Barry Cox reads this, Ernie remembers his father with great affection as a 'great guy to work with'. He may have a few old photographs at home and if so I will scan them and add them also.

May 2016-----------------Had a text from Barry, he has seen the above comment and sent his best wishes to Ernie.

June 2016---------------Sylv has been home from the Nursing Facility for two years today. None of us ever dreamed this was possible. The morning was a bit brighter than the dreadful weather of late, so we went down the Tuck Inn again for elevenses. On the way out, a car load of people drew up on their way in and a guy alighting looked long at me and called 'Geof'. I said 'yes' questioningly, and he said 'Roger'. How nice it was to see Roger Young again after all these years. We had few minutes chat that kept him from his food and he seems just the same friendly very likeable fellow that I remember in his brown 'Comps" coat at Love Lane. We have emailed through the site, but to meet him again was great. It was nice for me that he said he reckons he's been through every picture in the gallery. He also pointed out a spelling mistake (I hate them) on the home page. It is in the background grey 'Rochester'. It is an original as these were scanned from Staples own leaflets.I took a quick pic of Roger and am putting it on page 30 of the Gallery

May 2016-------------Spoke to Kenny Morrist, they are doing ok and were on holiday last week.

June 2016----------------Spoke to Bobby Dunn, he says he is a bit concerned, as he hasn't seen Gary Freestone lately.

June 2016--------------Visited Ernie Hutchings. Turns out he only lives a few minutes from me. I managed to get the web site up on an old 'huddle' that they have and show them the Memories and Jottings pages. We also looked through the Gallery and he remembered many old times I have some old photos from him that I will add to the site. They don't particularly concern Love Lane but are part of Ernie's past and contain faces that someone may remember.

June 2016-----------Had an email from Tommy Blacklock, it is always a pleasure to here from such a good old friend.

june 2016-------------Phoned a number I was given and spoke to a guy named Jim. I asked it he had ever been in print and gave him my name. He remembered me and has never forgot his days at Love Lane. It was Jim Jeffries. If you go through the Memories page you can find a click on link to the cartoon that Rod Palmer sent in about Jim.

June 2016 ------------Phoned Rod Palmer and gave him the news about finding Jim. Rod and wife Sylvie are 'not too bad'.

July 2016--------------Haven't updated for a few days. Right out of the blue, last week Sylvie developed a bad cough over night, with sickness and bad breathing. I phoned 111 and talked through the symptoms with the operator, who then put on a medic who asked some questions. He then announced that they were sending an ambulance. This arrived within 15 minutes and the outcome was that they rushed her to Re-sus and she was treated for Sepsis. I had never heard of this, but since have learned of its seriousness and frequency. She was put on a drip and anti biotics and was very poorly for a few days. The medical care was very good in my opinion, but the standard of mangement of the day to day business of the ward was a joke. She has recovered well and came home yesterday. We are due to holiday on the Isle of Wight next week and think this could be alright.

July 2016------------Waiting for a bus outside the hospital was Steve Howard who looked in fine fettle and wasn't there for treatment.

July 2016--------------Had best wishes by text from Barry Cox and also Martyn Whale down there in Ramsgate. Good friends indeed.

July 2016--------------had a phone call from Bobby Dunn with all best wishes.

July 2016------------Don't know how she does it but after being so ill with Sepsis and no improvement since being home from Hospital, Sylv has suddenly rallied and is much improved now. Beginning to think we may make the planned holiday.

July 2016------------------------Holiday was great.. All my misgivings vanished like a puff of smoke.

July 2016----------------Had a phone call from Bobby Dunn and texts from Barry Cox.

July 2016--------------Had a surprise email from Dave Uden. Dave worked for Tech, but spent many hours at both Love Lane and the Medway City Estate sites. Dave was a very friendly and popular guy as well as a pretty good electrical engineer.. He got us out of a hole and got machines running on many occasions. He says he is very pleasantly surprised to find the web site and that he spent many happy times at the factories. He is saddened to read the names of many people he knew well, passing away.

July 2016 ------------------Had calls from Bobby Dunn and emails from Roger Young ( still arraanging this meet up at he Tuck Inn for August) Tommy Blacklock and Dave Uden.

July 2016--------------Had an email giving me the name of Mark Wells, who I now remember, to add to the Roll of Honour. Mark worked in the Studio and Platemaking.

July 2016----------------Jay tells me that he bumped into Lee Fairbrother and Lesley at Slough Fort at Allhallows. He said they were fine and Lee sends his regards to all.

July 2016-------------A bit of news has reached the site on the progress in the trade of a couple of ex Staples staff. It seems that Darren Glover is now Bindery Manager and Dean Lanning is Machine Room Manager, both at Mackays of Chatham. Best wishes for success to both of them.

July 2016-----------------Tommy Blacklock has been giving me some information on Ernie Hutchings. You may have seen in previous jottings that I met him again recently after many years. Ernie was a machine minder at Love Lane and now lives with a lady friend Val, in a house in Rainham fully converted for the disabled. The woman who owns the house is named Jenny and all three are great friends. It is true to say that Ernie's memory is not what is used to be, so we have had a lot of trouble trying to establish where Staples fittind in with his earlier days. He gave me photo's for the site, most of which were of no relevance. I included some for him and now have more details to set the record straight him and the ladies. Along with Tom's input I have also had information from Bobby Dunn and Barry Cox for which I'm grateful. Tommy sent me a DVD of old cine film he took which included Ernie. I had trouble on my mac., in which it wouldn't allow the stills to be printed or emailed, it even would not permit me to click and drag into Photoshop. So I ended up taking picture of the stills with my i -phone, mailing them to myself and then dragging them to crop etc. the results which are not brilliant are going on the latest page of the Gallery along with explanations in the captions.

August 2016----------------The pictures from the jotting above were pretty grim. Adam is going to try and produce some a lot clearer using the equipment he has. It will take some time.

August 2016---------------Also from that same jotting, I have just heard that 'Val' that I mention is now very ill. Iwill keep the information coming.

August 2016---------------A nice morning.-- Popping Sylv in the truck (Kangoo) and taking Jay on board, we went down Rainham and picked up Bob Dunn. Then onward to the Medway City Estate to meet Dave Southworth for cheese burgers, fries and coffee in McDonalds, It was good to see Dave again who is now working in unit 3, the previous Rochester Print Finishers unit. He is well and he and jenny are 'doing ok'.-----As always we swapped stories and brought up old memories of fellow workers at Staples. Names mentioned included Jack Harrison (everyone who new him, seemed to like him), Ron (there'll be a row about this) Ambrose, Alan Southworth of course, also Jackie Wildash, Leander Overy, Barry Cox, Angela and Olga Templeman, Rod Palmer and Alan Luckhurst amongst others. When we left we drove past unit 3 which is now owned by T.T. Litho. It seemed a hive of Industry with Dave now back in the middle of it. It was nice for me to see the new signs for their front of the building saying 'incorporating Rochester Print Finishers'. Its nice that the name of the company that I helped start, is still alive. Most of the RPF binding machinery is still in operation. (I still think back to when we had a staff of 14, most of whom were ex Staples and all the effort and long hours that Alan put in. He also gave me unswerving support on some of the difficult decisions I had to make, sometimes not understood by everyone). Jay took some photos, which if ok, I will add to page 30 of The Gallery. GTC

August 2016--------------Bob Dunn gave me a lovely photograph of himself and Karen. It was taken in June 1989 in Rio. So I am adding it to page 30 to celebrate the Olympics.

August 2016---------------Had e-mails from Barry Cox and Julie Howe and spoken to Bob Dunn on the phone. I will contact Roger Young again soon and arrange this 'elevenses' at the Tuck in.

August 2016---------------Had an email from Judy Dixon. She says she is away a great deal as the house seems so empty without Paul. I told her he is spoken of with great affection by those of us who worked with him and knew him. She says she has come across some photos of Staples and the installing of the Printa X and the new factory. I have asked if she will send them to me and I can scan and return them -- they could have a lot of interest to this site.

August 2016--------------Have fixed up for 'elevenses' at the Tuck Inn with Roger Young, Bob Dunn and ourselves for Thursday and am looking forward to that.

August 2016-------------Have found some old business cards in my briefcase (that I don't use now) from my Staples days and am sticking them on a slot on page 30 of the Gallery.

August 2016------------Oh! my goodness. -- The packet of photo's has arrived from Judy Dixon. There is in excess of 200 pictures. They cover the Printa X perfector from Japan coming to Love Lane, construction of the new factory on the Medway City Estate, the first 'Staples Open Day' and visit to Leeds castle and a subsequent open day and trip by boat to the White Cliffs Experience. Lots of familiar faces crop up, plus some who are not familiar to me. Also lots of customers of the Company and pictures in the new work places. It will take me ages to process these onto the site and I am going to see if I could get two or three ex workers to spare me a couple of hours to supply any information on the photographs that they might remember. I am extremely grateful for Judy taking the trouble to send these to me considering how difficult things could be for her.

September 2016-------------Picked up Bobby Dunn and met Roger Young at the Tuck Inn, we spent a long and enjoyable 'elevenses' talking over old times. To be honest, with those two most of the discussion seemed to centre around those gorgeous bindery girls at Love Lane. Roger has a brilliant memory and reminded me of times I had forgotten. He has written one for the Memories page that I will add, about the old coach outings I organised. We all enjoyed the time spent together and will probably do it again. ---Jay Curtis came in a little later with some of his friends and took a couple of pics of us, I shall add one to page 30 if he sends it to me.

September 2016------------Had a lovely surprise email 'out of the blue' from Phil Henry. You have to go a long way back to an apprentice in the machine room who was a well liked pleasant lad at Love Lane. He has been spoken of by those of us who meet at times at the Tuck Inn. He has sent in some good memories and I am putting them on the 'Memories' Page. He also mentions some names and I will have to check that they are on the 'Roll of Honour'.

September 2016------------Another surprise email, this time it is from Bob Candler. Bob was was Commercial Director at Love Lane for a period and put a lot into updating the estimating standards and customer contacts during the time that Staples Rochester was trying to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century.

September 2016-------------Had further emails from Bob Candler-- we may see him again sometime.

September 2016-------------Have altered the caption from Phil Henry's information and am adding another picture he sent in to the Gallery.

September 2016-----------Had some nice mail from Julie Howe out there in New Zealand. Roy who sadly passed away 2 years ago is in the photo that Phil Henry sent in to the site.

September 2016-------------Had a text from Terry Cooper,I am trying to arrange for him and Ian Timothy to take a look at this load of photos from Judy Dixon. I think they could help me identify people.

September 2016---------------Had some more emails from Phil Henry and made some amendments to the memories of his.

September 2016--------------Unable to tie up a get-together with Terry and Ian. I have phoned Peter Simmons and he is going to take a look at the site when the Open day pictures start going on and see if he can help with the identification of the customers etc.

September 2016-------------Jay and I are going to meet up with Lee Fairbrother at the Medway City estate McDonalds, I am wondering if Rod Palmer might want to join us.

September 2016-----------Phil Henry visited my house and as a surprise, Bob Dunn and Ken Morrist were there. He was very pleasantly pleased and happy to see us all again. I am adding a photo to page 30. We are going to do an 'Elevenses' at the Tuck Inn some time.

October 2016------------Had an e-mail from Tommy Blacklock. He and Pat are fine, but unfortunately their little Yorkie, Ted is very unwell and it looks like they are losing him.

October 2016-------------I am having trouble getting back in touch with Phil Henry. We talked about getting together at the Tuck Inn before the really bad weather comes, but I havent been able to contact him at his email address.

October 2016-------------Had a photo sent in by Julie Howe of Roy when he was in the Air Training Cadets. I am going to add it to the site for 'old times sake'.

October 2016--------------Bob Dunn tells me that he met Gary Freestone down the Rainham Shopping Precinct and that they had a good old chat. Gary has some mobility problems, but Bob says he was well and cheerful.

October 2016-------------Terry Cooper came to see me. He is well and says that he enjoys the site. He brought information about Brian Fothergill and some photos to add to the Gallery. He talked about trying to rearrange the 'meet up' between himself, me and Ian Lachowicz.

October 2016-----------While Terry was with me he gave me the information that Brian Fothergill had died. He passed away on March 9th 2016. I don't think there was one single person at S P R who didn't like Brian for the quiet pleasant and friendly guy that he was.

October 2016--------------The first batch of photos from Judy Dixon showing the Printa X going into the Love Lane factory are now on the Gallery Page 31. I shall be starting on one of the 'Open Days' at Medway City Estate after a few other pictures go on.

November 2016------------Haven't been on for a few days as my Sylvie was rushed into hospital last week. My sons and I were summoned in by phone on Friday night as her blood pressure had fallen dangerously low. However she has fought back and although not out of danger, has made a few improvements in her vital signs.

November 2016------------Had lots of texts, phone calls and emails about Sylvia for which I am so grateful. She is amazingly making a recovery. I go in each morning and do her breakfast at 8.30 am, taking her favourite cereals from home, then keep her fed and hydrated to keep her blood pressure up.I have taken her wheelchair in and she is going to be transferred to it today. She is still on oxygen, but only a very low amount now.

18th November ---------------Sylv coming home today.

November 2016------------My Joy was short lived. Sylv was taken very bad on Sunday and taken by ambulance back to Medway hospital. Later that evening whilst I was with her, the doctors told me she was very poorly and her heart was struggling to keep up with the chest infection she had. They suggested it was advisable to call the family.---- At near midnight I asked them to go as they had early starts for work the next morning, and assured them I would be with her the whole night. She weakened and was moved to a ward where I sat at her bedside and held her hand. at each half hour they took her temperature and vital 'stats'. -- At 3.30 a.m. check I felt very low and saying my goodbyes----- At the 4a.m. check the ward assistant said "Oo-er!", I asked what the matter was and he replied, "they've started rising", I said "what have". "The vitals, the vital signs, they are rising", he replied. And they gradually did.

She fought back over the next two days, with them still reminding us of the battering her heart had taken. I was with her for as much of the time as I could and gradually she opened her eyes and woke a bit. She has since passed a 'swallow' test and is eating and drinking. They let me in as much as I like and I start with her breakfast. I have my fingers crossed for her coming home again.

November 2016-------------I have had some very precious e-mails and texts from old chums, also some lovely flowers from Barry Cox in Sylv's favourite colour.

November 2016----------Had a package and letter from Phil Henry which I was so pleased to get. I will answer him and share the contents with you later.

November 2016-----------Sylvie is home. After three weeks that have left me like a wrung out dishcoth with sleepless nights and sometimes periods of little hope, she is making a slow recovery. My family and friends were like a tower of strength throughout this period.

November 2016---------------Phil Henry has sent me a copy of a 1970 'STAPLES PRINTING GROUP NEWS'. it shows the size and complexity of staples in those days. I will try to scan each page and add it to the gallery. Phil says he really enjoyed his visit to see me and meeting "His other two heroes Bob and Kenny, gave him a lovely few hours" I would like to keep in touch with him now.

November 2016------------- Bob Dunn, Barry Cox and Roger Young amongst others have kept in touch all through this time and I hope they know how special that is.

December 2016-----------------As I write this on 6th Dec. I am coming to the end of another rotten time. Last Friday Sylv was again rushed into hospital. She was suffering from the same recurring chest infection as previous and because of the pain of swallowing was refusing all food and drink. I phoned 111, they despatched a paramedic and he, after a look, sent for an ambulance. So once again I have spent my time with her, this period in Bronte' ward. Her vital signs however were stronger than last time, hopefully because of my prompt action. I am waiting for the transport bringing her home at this minute and this time Jay and Adam and I, have insisted on 'at home' follow up care to try to assure it dosen't happen again. We think there is someone called the 'District Matron' who will oversee this period.----Once again all my sincere thank you's to those who sent kind regards and best wishes.

December 2016------------Thursday evening, the infection struck again and Sylv was once more taken to medway Maritime Hospital by ambulance. She survived a difficult night and has made a little progress.

December 2016-----------------A difficult few days with Sylv becoming worse. Then last night the hospital rang at 9pm to say they were concerned with her condition. I decided to go in and was grateful for Adam offering to take me as I had partaken of a couple of glasses of red wine. Myself, Adam and Melisa talked things over with the nurse and I decided to stay with Sylvia through the night. At about 4.30 am the doctor explained that the condition was very serious. I left by taxi about 6.30 am and got a couple of hours sleep at home, however when I went back in she had made a little progress. We are keeping our fingers tightly crossed.------- And when I got home tonight -- there, was a lovely bouquet of flowers and a little gift for Sylv and I from Phil Henry. If you are reading this Phil, it was a lovely and much appreciated gesture. You have always remained one of my favourite people from my 'days at Love Lane'.

December 2016------------Have had contacts from Bobby Dunn, Tom Blacklock, Barry Cox, Judy Dixon and Roger Young. All a pleasure to get.

December 2016----------------What a difficult Christmas this is turning out to be for me and the family. I'm afraid we are losing our very dear Sylvia. I haven't put all the usual decorations up, nor the outside lights, my heart isn't in it. I'm in the hospital with her every day, but I'm finding it hard going, I don't feel too good and am not sleeping very well.-------- I have had Christmas cards from Judy Dixon, Clive and Lindy Martin, Martyn and Amy Whale, Steve Wadhams ( a great lad in the Love Lane bindery ) and family, Tom and Pat Blacklock, Ken and Jan Morrist, Terry Cooper and Bobby and Sonia Dunn.

December 2016---------------Sylvie still fights on, she is so dear to me and all I can do is sit with her each day and hold her hand, while they try differend things to maintain her comfort.

December 2016--------------Seasons Greetings to all my old friends and workmates, had a card from Tony Curtis.

Christmas Day 2016------------The start of another difficult day, had a text from Barry Cox, great to get that. I am waiting for Adam to pick me up to go into the hospital.--- Also had a Christmas card in the week from Rod Palmer and some thoughts about a chance meeting a few months ago. I will add some of his words later.

December 2016-----------Popped down from the ward and met up with Barry Cox and wife Pauline in the coffee shop at the hospital, we had a chat. Sylvie is now very weak.

 

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14th January 2017-------------After a very long battle my dearest Sylvie passed peacefully away at 7 a.m. this morning in Medway Hospital. I have spent every day for the last six weeks in the ward with her. Now my battle to get along without her begins.

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January 2017-----------------With the help of family and friends I am getting through the days, just like so many others have had to do. Sylvias' funeral is at the Medway Crematorium at 2pm on Tuesday 21st February. After the service there will be a get together at the Robin Hood Pub (ME5 9RJ) We would like to know if anyone wants to join the family at the pub, so let us know and we can organise the food. We are requesting NO FLOWERS PLEASE, But if anyone would like to make a gesture in her honour, please write a cheque for what you like, making it out to 'The Mare and Foal Sanctuary', write your name on the back adding in memory of Sylvia Curtis, put it in an envelope and give it to the Undertakers or one of our family. The undertakers will send them to the sanctuary and receive a receipt.( p.s. the sanctury is in Newton Abbot in Devon.)

January 2017---------------Had a phone call from Rod Palmer amongst many others and I mentioned earlier that he had sent a note with his Christmas card. In it he talks of the day a few years ago that he was in Gravesend Town centre and bumped into my son Jay. As they stood talking Dudley Rhodes came along. A few minutes later and there was Keith Sizer,--four former work colleagues from Staples at the bottom of Windmill Street. Rod describes it as 'a chance in a million'.

January 2017 had emails from Roger Young and Dave Uden and right through my troubles I had daily contact from Barry Cox, these were much appreciated.

January 2017------------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn, he says he bumped into Steve Floodgate who was ok.

January 2017-------- Had an email from Ken Morrist which he asked me to add here, he writes, "Dear Geof, Jay and Adam, I'm sure that Jan and I will be amongst the many many friends and colleagues past and present, who are sad at hearing of Sylvia's passing. She will be in our hearts and minds, as you are."----- Many thanks for your kind words and lovely card Ken.

January 2017-----------------The incorrigible Barry Cox has asked me to join him at the Tuck Inn this morning. It will be hard for me at this time, but I am going to do it. Jay and Bob Dunn are joining us.

January 2017---------------I am so grateful to friends and family, with over 55 cards of condolence. The arrangements that have to be made at this time are well under way.

February 2017-------------I soldier on. Getting help from family and friends, trying to make new routines. Yesterday they came and collected the wheelchair. That was very painful as it had been almost part of Sylvie for the past three years and had enabled me to give her an acceptable and even enjoyable standard of life. I am back to the line dancing which I still greatly enjoy. Today the family are coming over and we are changing the furniture upstairs and downstairs to how it was before I had to make all the disability changes. I intend to start loading some more of the photos that I have waiting to go on, soon.

February 2017--------------Had a note come by post from Bobby Dunn about a chance encounter of an old colleague, I add it here.

Bob writes:- "A short time ago I went for a drink and chat with an old mate to the Manor Farm in Rainham. It was busy but a table became vacant and we sat down. I heard someone call out 'Bob'. I saw that at a nearby table were sitting five men, two of whom I recognised as old work mates from my Bowater days. A third one with them raised his hand and called 'Hello'.-----It was immediately one of those 'I know him, but where from?' moments. The mate that I was with went to the bar, so I went over to say hello to the lads at the other table. The one I thought I knew said, 'you wont remember me', I asked,'give me a clue?', 'Staples' he said, 'you trained me on the Roland. you and Geoff were the machine room managers'. 'That's right I remember I said. He continued, Mick Smith Kerr was my mate. Suddenly it clicked, 'Goldberge I exclaimed-- Martin Hughes. 'You've got it he said'. ---------He is well and retired now. He worked at Insight Cartons with the Bowater lads. We had a brief chat and he said he will get in touch. I hope so after all these years, SINCE WE LAST MET IN 1980!" B Dunn

I remember Martin well and a pleasant guy he was. Also a good worker I recall. --GTC

February 2017---------------Jay and I went to the Robin Hood Pub. today to finalize the details for the gathering after the funeral on this coming Tuesday 21st Feb. Anyone would be most welcome to be at the Crematoriam at Blue Bell village at 2pm. and also at the public house after the service to help celebrate the life of my dear Sylvia.

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March 2017--------------Here I am again. Trying to find a reason to carry on each day like so many others have had to do. I am so grateful to all friends and family who helped us give such a lovely farewell to Sylvia and offered such support and comfort to me. The service was packed and it seemed everyone was comfortable and well fed and watered at the get together afterwards. I am working out new routines and eating properly and I will now try to start putting the remaining photo's sent into the site by Judy Dixon, into the pages and also the copy of STAPLES PRINTING GROUP NEWS from 1970 posted to me by Phil Henry.-------- If there is any of my old work friends out there who would like to see a copy of the Order of Service, if they let me know I will email one over. It was exceptional I think, designed and Produced by Adam and Melisa.

March 2017---------------A couple of very old, very dark and one damaged, photographs have turned up of one of the very first outings I organised after joining Staples. On the 'Memories' page Roger Young recently sent in a memory of the outings and remembered Berylin Gash. These pics go right back to that time. Am adding them to the Gallery.

March 2017-------------John Hawkins has been in touch, he wants to join in one of the breakfast get togethers at the Tuck Inn. I will keep him informed. He can't make this Tuesday when Jay, myself and Terry Cooper are going, because he is on early shift. I will arrange with him later and try to include Bob Dunn.

March 2017--------------Had an email from Debbie who used to work in the office at Love Lane. She implies that she thinks the web site is good. She reminds me that her surname was Martin and assures me that it is now Staples. I remember her well and she was very pleasant. She paid me a nice compliment "that I was always talking about my wife", that is very nice to remember at this present time. I am trying to get hold of Andy Coe to let him know she is in touch as they were friends at work.

March 2017---------------Had a good brekkie down the Tuck Inn with Terry cooper and Jay. there will be more.

March 2017-------------Terry Cooper was concerned that all might not be well with Tony styles, so I rang him. He is fine.

March 2017------------Had a nice phone call from Rod Palmer. We had a good chat and it is always good to hear from him. I have suggested a meet up with him and a few others at the McDonalds on the Medway City Estate.

April 2017--------------A ring at my doorbell produced a visit from Barry Cox. I got him a coffee and we talked about people we knew. It was good to see him.

April 2017--------Have had a couple of e-mails from Tom Blacklock and a phone call from Bobby Dunn.

April 2017-------------Ernie Hutchings visited me again and I was able to show him the photos of him, his wife and workmates from a fishing trip from Folkestone..

April 2017--------------Debbie Martin (as was) now Debbie Staples, (yes that is true), the vivacious young bright blonde from Staples Love Lane Office has sent in a brief thought -- I have added it to the 'Memories' page.

April 2017--------------We are having a bit of a meet up for coffee and maybe a cheeseburger at the McDonalds on the Medway City Estate at 10.30am on Thursday 20th April. (The Strood end of the Medway Tunnel). The latest to say they will try to be there are Kenny Morrist and Bob Candler.------ Rod Palmer, Me, Barry Cox, Bob Dunn,Terry Cooper, Jay Curtis and Dave Southworth are scheduled to make it. Any more old Staples people wany to join us?

April 2017-------------The above 'meet up' was enjoyed by all I think. Unfortunately Terry Cooper has hurt his Knee and was not able to join us. It is a long time since I last saw Bob Candler, but he came and very kindy produced some special offer tokens and treated everyony who wanted them, to a burger, fries and coffee. We had one long table and chatted away. Kenny Morrist brought some old photographs for us to look through and also surprised me with how far his memory goes back. Lots of old times, situations and people were talked of and good memories raised. I will try to organise another in May, probably at the Fort Amhurst cafe.--------This is quite central for buses to Chatham, has free parking and does a nice £2 breakfast fry up. It is also quite roomy.------Again it would be on a Thursday.----------Many photos were taken and I have asked for some of them to be emailed to me and I will add some to the Gallery.

May 2017--------------Been getting some moans lately from followers of the website who notice the lack of input. It is fair to say that through the last few difficult weeks, some of the days I find hard to get motivated. I keep saying and its so true, that I am one of many in this situation and all there is to do -- is carry on. My family and friends gave me no chance to 'hide away', a feeling which comes on one often and I am now keeping more busy and trying to get on with things. Jay is in Chernobyl again at the moment and what with the changes in his work and shift patterns, he hasn't yet got me any of the McDs photos he took.

May 2017--------------Had a phone call from Jenny who is the landlady from where Ernie Hutchings lives, to say he is very ill in hospital. He is due to come home but is to be on Palliative Care. I wish him much peace.

May 2017------------Have some bad news, Ernie passed away peacefully in Medway Hospital this week. I am dropping a card in to Jenny and Val (a long term ladyfriend of his). It will be signed from Myself, Bob Dunn and his old friends at Staples. Funeral details will follow.

June 2017--------------My animals and my garden are keeping me busy and at full stretch this time of year. I have had contact from Barry Cox, Bob Dunn, Martyn Whale, Tony Curtis and Terry Cooper--------.I am line dancing three times a week and am still rubbish. The family spent a lovely week in Scotland and we all enjoyed meeting relatives we hadn't seen for years. Twelve of us went out to a local pub for a meal and I had Haggis, neeps and tatties. It was absolutely so tasty.

June 2017------------The funeral of Ernie Hutchings is at Bobbing Crematorium on Tuesday 20th June at 11a.m.

September 2017----------------Have neglected the site for a while, but will try to catch up a bit. I have had Julie Howe staying with me for seven weeks of the summer. She is the widow of our old dear friend Roy Howe. It was her first visit back to the UK since emigrating 39 tears ago, or there abouts. I ran her around visiting relations and old friends. She has now returned home and I don't expect we will see her again.

While here she saw Bob Dunn, Tony Curtis, Jay Curtis Kenny Morrist and Barry Cox.

September 2017----------------Had an email from Peter Fogarty, He is helping to deal with the wishes in Dave Ellis's will. He has asked me for details of Eric Langham, Jim Frazer, Jack Johnson and Maurice Kent. I have had to explain that all these old colleagues are long since deceased.

September 2017-----------Had an email from Roger Young, he bumped into June Parker in the Forum Centre in Sittingbourne recently. He says She still visits Sylvia Whitnell occasionally who is now in her nineties. He remembered picking them up for a lift to work sometimes and June remembered he had a red and white car. (it was a Standard Pennant). In another mail, Roger says he has met Keith (Barney) Adams, Jim Pride and used to see Dave Gower (Champion) on occasions. He goes on to tell me that he is off on a cruise in October.

September 2017----------------Just off to Tenerife with Adam and Melisa-- back in October.

October 2017------------Had a scare and thought I'd lost my mobile phone at Dance Juction in Rochester after a lesson. While I was searching, a voice said "Hello Geof" I answered back and the person said "you don't remember me do you?" I said I didn't and it was Lynn Cattee. Looking very young still, a very pleasant young lady in the Bindery I remember. (I found my phone later).

October 2017-------------Had mail from Barry Cox, he is tenderly nursing a young Banana plant (Musa Basjoo) that I have given him.

October 2017----------------Had a phone call from Bob Dunn------ he reports that he has seen Mick Smith Kerr again, who seems fit and well.

November 2107-------------Saw Ken Spree down in the Rainham Precinct shopping centre. I hadn't seen him for what I think is a couple of years or more. He was on a mobility scooter, but was very lively and we had a good chat about Love Lane, table tennis, (he was a very good player) and the old times. He talked of Ken Morrist, Roy Howe and Tom Blacklock amongst others and remembered the lads and their guitars.

Nonember 2017-------------Back in September I told of Julie Howe coming back to the UK to visit friends and family. She stayed with me and I enjoyed taking her all over the place visiting relations etc. We got on very well having been in touch all these years and she has invited me to go and stay with her in Howick near Auckland. I am going in early January and returning in early April, I am really looking forward to the visit.

November 2017------------The company that took over Headley Bros of Ashford has closed, that means that this near Christmas, a lot of skilled people are out of work. That includes Jay.

November 2017--------------Been in touch with Barry Cox and Bob Dunn and I also had an email from a guy in the Metropolitan Police in London who was trying to trace a person who's name is written in a book printed at the Stanhope Press in Strood in the 1920s. --- I had to explain that even I 'don't go back that far'.

Novermber 2017--------------Have obtained my flight tickets and travel insurance for my trip to N.Z., got a couple of good deals I reckon. Obviously I'm a bit disappointed at missing the cold dark months of January, February and March, but we all have to make sacrifices--------.I cant wait.

December 2017--------------Have had Christmas cards from Clive and Lindy Martin, Judy Dixon, Ken Morrist, Rod Palmer, Bob Dunn, Tony Curtis and Barry Cox.------ Have done another couple of Tuck Inn Brekkies.------- Bernadette Vinten tells me of an Eileen from Love Lane bindery that has passed away, but no surname.

December 2017----------Just twenty two days and I'll be on my way to New Zealand. Julie has arranged a really nice trip away to Mt Munganui for us and we are planning another one to the South Island. This is a six day one and includes flying from Auckland to Christchurch and doing the coach tour, staying in three star hotels. It includes a boat trip and ride in the giant cable car. --Later---I can hire a car in N Z no problem, here, my age makes it difficult. Also her best friend Ann, is having us to stay for a couple of nights, then drives us down to Ohope Beach. We stay there for a long weekend. Ohope Beach is a very lovely place I'm told. ----(if you see ten people on it - its packed-).

January 2018-------------Met up with Ken Morrist, Bob Dunn and Jay Curtis at the White Horse pub in Rainham. We had a good old chat and a few drinks. It was partly like a little 'send off' time for me.

January 2018-------------Had an e-card and text from Roger Young. Hope to meet up with him later in Spring.

January 2018--------------Had a very sad phone call from Rod Palmer, his dear wife Sylvie has passed away. Everyone who knows 'Good oll Rod' will send all their condolences I'm sure.

Januart 2018--------------I fly from Heathrow tomorrow (Tuesday) and arrive in Auckland on Thursday for my visit with Julie Howe.

APRIL 2018

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I had the most wonderful time on my trip to New Zealand. Julie was simply the best company I could have wished for and we enjoyed our trip to the South Island very much.

May 2018------------------Spoken to Rod Palmer and had Emails from Roger Young. Also seen Bob Dunn, Tony Curtis and and Ken Morrist.

May 2018---------------I have already booked my flights back to New Zealand and will go mid December I shall be able to spend Christmas with Julie and her family, as well as enjoying the rest of the weeks. I am staying with her longer this time, returning end of March 2019

May 2018----------------Had an email from Paula Jeffrey giving me details of the passing away of Dave Buckingham. I rang his wife Milly and passed on my condolences. They lost him on Sat. 19th May. The funeral is at Bobbing on 8th June at 12 noon and anyone who wishes to pay their respects are welcome. Dave was so poular and well liked by everyone who worked with him. He was indeed another of the Love Lane 'Good Ole Boys'.

May 2018--------------Jay Curtis after losing his job at Headleys of Ashford when it closed, is back in print. He was eventually offered a job as a postman but has instead started working shifts locally at a large book printers. He is working back with people he has known in the trade in his previous employments.

June 2018-----------Had e-mails from Bob Dunn Bob Candler and a new contact Gary Graham ( Bindery). Also a phone call from Rod Palmer.

June 2018---------------Intend to do a meet up at Fort Amhurst Chatham for a brekkie in their nice (good value) cafe, in the coming weeks.

More later...

June 2018----------------THE NEXT STAPLES MEET UP. We are meeting at the cafe in Fort Amhurst, 9 Dock Road Chatham ME4 4UB at 10.30am on Tuesday 24th July. This is a really pleasant roomy cafe with free parking and good toilets, they do a good and inexpensive breakfast. Several old collegues have indicated that they will be there and any one who worked there or had anything closely linked to Staples are very welcome to join us. you will probably get your photo onto the website Gallery. ----------Please join us if you can, you will be very welcome.

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October 2018--------------------------OH WHAT A LONG TIME SINCE I UPDATED THESE JOTTINGS

I suppose to be completely honest, there can't be many out there who still read or check on this site. I apologise for my lack of attention recently, but there have been a lot of extenuating circumstances.

The get together mentioned above was very good, Bob Dunn, Rod Palmer, Jay Curtis, Ian Moore, Dave Southworth and Peter Bucknall were amongst those who met up. It was a lovely sunny morning and everyone seemed to enjoy the location and the chat.

Also with us was Julie Howe. Julie was the wife of Roy who was a machine minder at Love Lane and the first to get retrained from Letterpress to Litho at the factory. Roy sadly passed away over four years ago and Julie was on her second visit back to the UK., and she joined us at the cafe.

Her family and mine were in constant contact through the years and Sylvie and I went to visit her and Roy in their lovely house not far from Auckland in 2002. In these last 18 months she and I have been great company for each other and shecame over and stayed with me, which greatly brightened my house and my days after my loss of Sylvia. We really hit it off and having known each other for all these years,that enabled us to do some trips and see her and Roys relatives together. We became very close and I have been to stay with her in her cute little house in Howick. She has asked me to go outand stay with her again and I will be wout there for Christmas and well into March. I suppose you could say we are an 'Item' and we want to spend as much time enjoying each others company as we can.

October 2018--------------Saw Mick Smith Kerr going shopping in Rainham Precinct, he looked and sounded fine.

October 2018----------------If anyone remembers Tony Kilby from Love Lane, he married that lovely Christine Foreman from the bindery, He now lives in Cornwall and I spoke to him on the phone. He is well and preparing to move to Devon.

October 2018-------------Nice to get Roger Young back in touch again. Its funny how after all these years, one can remember just how bright and breezy and pleasant many of the people one met, were. Roger was one of those 'once met -never forget' people. Roger had some bad news to pass on though, Daphne Adams who is the Mother-in-law of his eldest son, is very ill. He tells me that she worked at Love Lane in the early sixties in the pay office, but neither I nor Bob Dunn can place her.

October 2018--------------Roger has let me know that, sadly Daphne has passed away.She will not be on the roll of honour, so I will try to add her soon.

October 2018-------------I am going to try to add the captions to the latest photos on the Gallery, I use Dreamweaver to manage the site and it seems to be messing me about at the moment. Also want to put on a couple of my summer pics - including a nice one of Julie.

October 2018---------------I hope I have passed on the news previously to this, Lee Fairbrother has married and that is smashing news, I wish him every happiness.

October 2018-------------A little bird has told me that Terry Cooper has a 'new lady' in his life. Terry was one of the nicest guys I worked with. Firstly at Love Lane and at one time he was F.O.C. and I was the deputy F.O.C. Later after working elsewhere for quite a time, he returned to Staples on the Medway City Estate and we again worked together on production and factory management. I know Terry was dedicated to his lovely wife, but I can't help feeling pleased if he has someone special to share time with.


November 2018------------Hi everyone just to keep you all posted I have had a fall and sadly managed to break my wrist and fracture my hip, I am now back home after a week in hospital, with an operation on my hip and my arm in plaster, I am recovering slowly but am well, fingers crossed I will still be able to get to NZ. More later..

December 2018--------------I am back on the computer in my office. Now able to climb the stairs ok. I have made a very quick recovery and an signed off 'Post op' by the hospital and 'fit to fly'.

December 2018----------Had Christmas cards from our old Staples friends already, including Tom Blacklock, Ken Morrist and Clive Martin.

December 2018---------I fly out in two days time. It takes thirty hours and it is the start of their summer, Nurse Julie has promised to help me
recuperate and even pour my red wine if I'm a bit unsteady.

December 2018-----------Jay Curtis tells me that he bumped into a guy at work and after a chat realised they were both ex Staples and knew each other. It was Steve Want, I remenber Steve so well. He was a good minder and popular workmate of many at the Medway City Estate site. It would be good to see him again and I hope he will come to one of our breakfast 'get togethers' in Spring.

I WISH A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO OLD FRIENDS AND WORKMATES....AND ALL BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR,

I have e-mailed LeeStaples Printers Rochester , | History | Ex Staff | Roll of Honour | The Stanhope Press | Old man Hudson
Well, well well what a couple of fab fotos!!!! I had no idea Maurice was a Comp, something I never thought of, tho seems obvious now. The other pic from '56 is wonderful and a big thanx to Barry for the queries -- right thinking cap on ---- I have never heard of The Cumberlands, but what's the betting the name came from Cumberland Gap? 1956 was a bit before my time, and I caught up with this fabulous band around 1959, which were indeed The Teenbeats, with one of the best line-ups the Medway Towns have ever produced of Keith Rossiter, Colin Kelly, Bob Gibbs and of course my Mentor Luce Langridge, wonderful picture of him, which I have copied and sent to his Facebook page as he is a ''Friend'' of mine, along with his brilliant son Bob, who can be found in many many venues around the Towns week nights and weekends depping for Brothers Grimm and countless others. Keith Rossiter, of Strood Rossiter fame, Don played for The Arsenal, was a brilliant front man, and also owns a little haberdashery shop at the top of my road, he often goes to clout me even now when I ask for his Autograph!! Colin, excellent Fender Strat lead guitarist, his nickname was Nomprel, as he worked at Mackays and was very thin, hence Nomprel Kelly. The Wonderful Bob Gibbs, brilliant Fender bassist, who made the front pages of the Sundays for all the wrong reasons, I don't want to back track now, it was very upsetting at the time in Medway, but Charlie Chester was involved and was a big thing at the time, he still is sorely missed by all Medway Musicians. And of course Mr Luce Langridge, a brilliant Rock Drummer, but of course , Stuart was a down south good ole Country Boy at heart {sacrilege lol} and has probably backed every great American Country big Star in his time as well of course The Johnny Young Band over here, he and his wife also managed to bring Bob into the Drumming world, so all is good there too. I still have my copy of ''Let's get together tonite'' , when professionally they were Kevin and The Classmates (Barry -- Temple) if I could have afforded to buy every copy to make the Number One I would have done. The Teenbeats main rivals back in the early Sixties were Dave Champion and The Strangers, another link to the Print Trade, and yet another brilliant drummer in Mick Clydesdale -- so Stuart and Mick were battling it out until I came along in 1962 and took their Crown????? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I WISH!! I had absolutely no idea you and Tony went so far back? and super to see him in the photo as well, I always thought it was more football with Tony like his brother. Having another look at the pic a chap on the right sure looks liKe Robin Pemble who was my lead Guitarist in my first band The Senators?? So there we are Geoff/Barry, that has brought back many happy memories, of cold dark evenings squashed in tin shacks in the back roads of Strood, watching Colin Kelly jump from amp to amp thumping out Hall of The Mountain King -- WONDERFUL STUFF. ATVB Lee. On 20 January 2015 at 10:12, Geof Curtis wrote: Hi Lee hope all is ok -- you might want to check the latest 'JOTTINGS' -- ATB G