Tom Bullimore

(Reid International, Inveresk, Spicer Cowan and Paper Federation)

2002/40, Tom Bullimore interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 7/8/2002

Mr Bullimore worked in marketing and purchasing within the papermaking industry between 1953 and 2000. Worked at Spicer, Reid International, Inveresk and Spicer Cowan and then the Paper Federation.

000 Shift from imperial to metrication. Able to run machines but waste factor was colossal. Great reluctance from mills to accept metrication
032 So far behind the rest of Europe. Large machines with hardly any crew. Woodhall Mill a toy in comparison.
050 Printing strike a huge amount of work went to the continent and never came back. A lot of mills made for stock. Comparison with computer setting; death of letterpress.
090 Mills accustomed to 4 colour work. Mills down south so far advanced. 16 colour press. Advanced technology.

135 Demand for products. The Water of Leith mills were distant from their markets. Mills could not market, Galloways 3 salesmen covered the whole of the country.

156 Had wanted to be a journalist but ended up starting with Spicer Cowan paper merchants who were owned by Reid International. Companies owned by Reid International.

217 Vacumn metalising. Went into Spicer Cowan as a general assistant working on fine papers. Inside selling. Took department over, more involved in supply side.

242 Inveresk 1963. Carrongrove involved selling on the mill side. Papermills not marketing.

273 Fine papers going through turmoil. going into packaging. Appointed to Galloways as Sales manager. Galloways in trouble getting coater to work to match with market.

286 Covered West of Scotland and another man covered East. No orders.

301 Went back to Reid to work in packaging. Pilot scheme for lamination and plastics. Transferred to Head office in Kent in 1975; idea to get packaging into all branches.

334 Responsible for shutting of Cowans. Reid International wanted to make changes to Cowans but they wouldn't accept them so it was decided to close the mill and Mr Bullimore was employed to do this.

365 Machines were sold off and building demolished. Had built the machine away from water source. Paper went down to finishing house on sledges. Amalgamations.

395 Reid International bought over by Wiggins Teape. Transferred to Basingstoke and took over packaging and supply of packaging.

427 Graphic and display materials. Realised there was too much variety of products. Need dedicated warehouses. Lorries used, no dedicated transport

453 Could stock pile products for depots. Did not choose complaints, mills would just replace. Realised some places complained all the time, complaints dropped. Time was wasted previously chasing complaints.

480 Galloways Galart was good quality. Galitho took a long time to perfect. But their tonnage was small, could not expand to take share of the market.

494 Experienced men at Galloways and not meeting share of market. Changes in technology and pulp specifications.

525 Holland making straw pulp; strong chemicals polluting water. Cracked down on this and cut through industry. In UK all surviving mills have huge cleaning and oxygenation plants.

544 Went to Paper Federation after Wiggins Teape. Also on National Association of Paper Merchants, was volunteered by company. At Paper Federation looked after packaging.

573 Involved with industry standards, national negotiations. Trade Unions not made a great impact on packaging.

585 Arbitration service/tribunals. There as a technical advisor to advise on setting of standards. If firms not up to scratch would assist them.

604 Packaging industry set down own standards. Problems with getting industry to understand tolerance. Problems with aviation / Ministry of Defence, assure that products would work. Supplier was given recipe which they must abide by.

693 Accountability. Funniest job, how do you package a jump jet? Put them into a vacumn sealed nylon bag.

720 Control computers going out to the Falklands. Put them on pallets, did not pack them.

742 Good technicians in mills in past years. Knew industry was in decline, were exposed to mass markets and knew capacity was too small. Woodhall 30,000 tonnes production per annum. Other mills would produce that in 5 weeks.

776 Plastic industry, solutions to improve production. Took investment which the local mills did not have. No investment credit available.

804 Colour printers in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth were main customers of Galloways. Market predominantly domestic.

833 Central Scotland big in history of papermaking. Didn't live locally but visited often as quality problems. Production of firms in UK could not meet tonnage demands.

867 Size of Finnish mills, government was behind them. Domestic engineering machines. Helped to build Spanish mill.

904 Great people in industry within limitations that they needed. Reid International sold machines to France, was extended in width and length, meant price would drop.

940 Industry not close enough to central government. Areas closer to central government got more support. Now only one large mill in Scotland and that is Tullis Russell.

951 End.

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