Black People : The biggest financial success in your life to date is?


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2005
London in the United Kingdom
Mechanical Designer/Project Manager
How did Frank Bruno, Linford Christie and Daley Thompson secure [€150] US $180 million investment, 800 jobs in Welwyn Garden City [WGC] Hertfordshire England?

A few years back I heard Frank Bruno [won the WBC heavyweight championship of the world from Oliver McCall in 1995] say on tv that he had become a boxer, professional fighter because he didn’t know how to do anything else, which prompted me to contact a friend of mine, Neville Williams who is a friend of Frank’s, to arrange for me to meet Frank [that didn't happen] so that I could tell him what a positive impact he has made to many people’s lives, especially mine.

Easily my most successful and high-profile Mechanical Designer contract was as part of the 5 man Design Integration Team led by Ivor Thomas [my best boss to date] on mid-volume Photocopiers at Rank Xerox’s WGC Research and Development [R & D] facility between 1985-7.

However, it became obvious once I started there that but for the manner in which Frank Bruno, Linford Christie, and Daley Thompson had made being a fit-looking 6 foot 4 black man, a friendly jovial character, as opposed to the super-macho menial mugger, obvious criminal threat to life and limb stereotype; I would NEVER have got that contract despite my engineering qualifications and experience, as most of the people on site did not know, had never even spoken to anyone black, previously or since.

I had just finished my first Mechanical Designer contract at Stone Vickers who specialised in Marine Drives, that incorporated computer controlled variable pitch/reversible thrust propeller systems, which included design/detail checking General Arrangements of Marine Thrusters (auxiliary drive systems used to manoeuvre or stop large ships, independent of Tugs, etc.) that are multi-directional and retractable (azimuthing) into the ship’s hull, which are now standard, as opposed to back then, experience that had greatly enhanced my drawing speed re mechanical design and detailing, producing drawing for manufacture.

At Rank Xerox in Welwyn Garden City [WGC], I worked in a five-man Design Integration [DI] team [Arthur Fox, Derek Page, Barry Sullivan] co-ordinating the design and detailing output of 15 Design Engineering groups of the Hannibal B0 & B1 R & D program, that produced the Xerox 50/46 copier. However, with no experience of photocopiers, smaller-scale assemblies with plastic mouldings was a challenge that I enjoyed [assisted by the prototype modeling shop’s guidance and supportively rapid production of my designs], was eventually very very successful in.

Post resolving the fuser handle foul that was preventing the paper system door from closing and having done the tolerance study that highlighted that the paper system to drives plate latch was subject to a + or - 30mm tolerance build-up relative to the machine datum, which is probably why it was totally ineffective; I was given the short straw job of coming up with a design that resolved this issue [everyone but me, knew that I was in BIG TROUBLE], in that weren’t my more experienced workmates going to have to eventually bail me out?

In fact, I subsequently designed and detailed a latching arrangement, (which was patented by disclosure and publishing in Rank Xerox’s [U.S. CI. 355/3R, Int. CI. G03g 15/00] 1988 journal, thus no one else can patent that design) utilising a cam on the drives plate.

The cam and latch were used to upgrade Derek Page’s safety interlock [fire risk prevention by assuring that paper drops out of the Fuser when the Paper system is removed] of the Fuser assembly to position and accurately locate the Paper system of the Xerox 50/46 copier which subsequently had an 8-year production run.

Isn’t ANYONE who genuinely believes they are not programmed graphically illustrating that their programming is COMPLETE?



Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2005
London in the United Kingdom
Mechanical Designer/Project Manager
This copier was already 1 year behind schedule when I joined Rank Xerox’s R & D, and in 1986 it had slipped to 18 months which is when I along with the rest of the DI team attended a meeting with Xerox USA where they made very clear the dire financial consequences, with regard to the whole WGC site being closed if this copier was not ready for market before a 2-year slippage.

Xerox’s 50/46 Copier made it to market in 1988 with my latching arrangement on it, which I quite frequently used to show family and friends as Fulham’s Ryman’s had this copier throughout the 1990s.

However, in 1997 while working for Heidelberg Finishing Systems in Slough when I inspected my latching arrangement on their Xerox copier I noted that the latch adaptor was made of steel as opposed to the plastic that I had utilized to minimize potential damage to the drives plate.

When the Xerox service engineer came to service the copier I inquired as to why the Latch Adaptor was in steel when it used to be plastic, his response was

“The most frequent call out we had for this copier was when the latch adaptor was broken by heavy-handed clients, whereas the steel upgrades are no problem. Anyway, that design is 10 times better than the total GARBAGE we just had to wedge in place, that a boss and 4 designers took a year to come up with, trying to replace it.”

Successfully solving this latching problem, gaining a solo design patent actually terminated as opposed to secured my Rank Xerox career as it created a mount Everest of jealousy, however just in case my ego was not planet-sized enough didn’t the failure of a boss and 4 designers to come up with a better solution make me an exception to David Kearns Xerox’s CEO’s “Leadership through Quality’s” All of us are more intelligent than any one of us, mantra?

Though initially surprised when my Rank Xerox contract was terminated, with only Alan Bickerstaff, the resident GENIUS being supportive; by stating as I invited him to my farewell drink at the pub “That’s strange, THEY are not protecting you very well”.

I just moved on, did not really look back until in the early 1990s when I rang Ian Goode to see if my solo patent application had been successful.

Ian Goode subsequently explained that it was, and as he gave me a copy of my patent, said that when he had sent it to Xerox’s HR, who as opposed to forwarding it to either my contract agency or my home address [has never changed] they simply wrote on it “Not known here” [photo attached].

However, I still truly feel fortunate that the so amiable and likable image for black men generated by Frank Bruno, Linford Christie, and Daley Thompson not only gave me a chance to show what I can do but made a significant contribution to WGC’s survival or there would not have been a site to be secured by the €150 US $180 million investment, rebuilding of the site and 800 jobs in WGC [opened by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine on 25th April 1995].

Though this solo patent belongs to Xerox wouldn’t a THANK YOU have been nice; as opposed to the so effeminate sulking, total DENIAL integral in yet another example of black people making a significant contribution in the UK being totally marginalized, ignored as opposed to acknowledged, experiencing similar GRIEF to black people in the USA?

Isn’t ANYONE who genuinely believes they are not programmed graphically illustrating that their programming is COMPLETE?

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