Memories of RXMP

This Timeline takes the history from the building of the Forest Brewery in Mitchedean in 1868 through to today.

The Brewery was built in 1868, prospered for many years.however the Brewery was put into liquidation in 1932. In 1940 Bitish Acoustic Films moved from London, became a part of Rank Organisation. Rank Precision Industries made Bell & Howell Cine Equipment under licence. Rank Xerox was formed in 1956 and in 1960 started to manufacture the Worldd's first fully automatic Copier (The 914) which with many other items is on display in the Xerox Museum in the Mitcheldean Town Hall. ;xNLx;This display has been brought to you by 'The Friends of the Xerox Museum' and with the support of the Wickstead family. Also a very generous donation by Mary Critikos previously of Xerox Corporation.

1282-03-01 00:00:00

Iron mining

was carried out for hundreds of years. In 1282 there were 8 forges in operation at Mitcheldean

1710-04-01 00:00:00

Town Hall Built

Purchased by Wintle's Brewery in 1924, who later sold it to British Acoustic Films. Gifted to the Parish Council by Bessemer Trust (on behalf of Rank Xerox) in 1965

1852-05-01 00:00:00

Mitcheldean Church renovation

In the first half of the 14th century, Mitcheldean prospered as it had become a market town and most of the church was rebuilt with the nave, chancel and aisles in the Decorated style. It was during the period 1422-1500 that the church attained much of the appearance it has today. The church spire fell in 1733 and was then rebuilt by Nathaniel Wilkinson of Worcester. The church was renovated in 1852, The Gothic Revival architect, Henry Woodyer was engaged to 'restore' the church. It was closed while work proceeded and re-opened in 1853 with a new chancel having a high-pitched roof.

1868-04-01 00:00:00

Brewery Building built

Forest Brewery owned by the Wintle's family was built to take advantage of the good quality water. Forest Brewery was sold to Cheltenham Original Brewery in 1930. It went into liquidation in 1932

1882-05-01 00:00:00

Mitcheldean Brick Works

Image of a brick. The Brickworks was initially owned by the Colchester-Wemyss family. There were three kilns each capable of holding 65000 bricks

1885-05-01 00:00:00

Stenders Cement Works

Stenders Quarry is situated west of Mitcheldean and is on the south side of the Drybrook road. The site was known formerly as the Wilderness Cement Work Quarry. The Quarry, which was gradually extended during the second half of the nineteenth century, provided material for the cement works. Working stopped in 1918 and the Quarry became derelict. The site is owned and managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. It was purchased in 1974.

1898-08-01 00:00:00


as the British subsidiary, based in London, of the French Gaumont Film Company.

1921-03-01 00:00:00

O.S. Map Mitcheldean 1921

Overview of Mitcheldean pre WWII buildings and before BAF, RPI and Rank Xerox expansion

1923-03-05 07:17:39

Brewery offered for sale at auction - withdrawn

Due to ill-health Francis Wintle attempted to sell the business

1925-03-01 00:00:00


The Company was formed by ELECTRIC FONO Film of Copenhagen and GAUMONT of Great Britain to exploit recording of sound on film. The process invented by Messrs Petersen & Poulsen, Danish engineers.

1925-03-28 14:12:30

Brewery Fire does £30,000 damage (c £1.2m in 2017)

FULL REPORT of the fire appeared in The Lydney Observer Friday 3 April 1925 (attached), also in Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester Journal, Cheltenham Chronicle and the Shepton Mallet Journal (the latter four are available @

1929-06-01 00:00:00

Thomas 'Tommy' Law joined British Acoustic (BAF) Films

Tommy brought BAF to Mitcheldean in 1940 and was the Rank Organisation man who spotted the 'Xerox' opportunity

1934-05-01 00:00:00

Denham Film Studios

Originally owned by Sir Alexander Korda and later the Rank Organisation as a film studio. During WWII films made by US troops were processed and edited The final commercial film was made in 1952. The site was then rented out and part used as a Rank Xerox warehouse and administrative centre.

1935-05-01 00:00:00

Pinewood Studios created

In 1935, millionaire flour magnate J. Arthur Rank (1888–1972) went into partnership with Charles Boot and they transformed the Heatherden Hall Estate into a film studio. Boot named the new studio Pinewood because "of the number of trees which grow there”.

1936-05-01 00:00:00

BAF involvement in BBC TV first night by Ray Camp

Vision 50: Not many people realise, says Ray, that BAF were concerned with the opening of television at Alexandra Palace in 1936.'

1937-08-01 00:00:00

Forest Brewery went into Liquidation

At that point the Brewery owned 72 Public Houses within, and surrounding, the Forest of Dean.

1938-10-22 00:00:00

First Xerox Copy created by Chester Carlson

To this point, Carlson's apartment-kitchen experiments in constructing a copying machine had involved trying to generate an electric current in the original piece of paper using light. Selényi's article convinced Carlson to instead use light to 'remove' the static charge from a uniformly-ionized photoconductor. As no light would reflect from the black marks on the paper, those areas would remain charged on the photoconductor, and would therefore retain the fine powder. He could then transfer the powder to a fresh sheet of paper, resulting in a duplicate of the original.[19] This approach would give his invention an advantage over the Photostat, which could create only a photographic negative of the original. Astoria 10-22-38 (The first xerographic image) The world's first xerographic image[20] On October 22, 1938, they had their historic breakthrough. Kornei wrote the words "10.-22.-38 ASTORIA." in India ink on a glass microscope slide. The Austrian prepared a zinc plate with a sulfur coating, darkened the room, rubbed the sulfur surface with a cotton handkerchief to apply an electrostatic charge, then laid the slide on the plate, exposing it to a bright, incandescent light. They removed the slide, sprinkled lycopodium powder to the sulfur surface, softly blew the excess away, and transferred the image to a sheet of wax paper. They heated the paper, softening the wax so the lycopodium would adhere to it, and had the world's first xerographic copy. After repeating the experiment to be sure it worked, Carlson celebrated by taking Kornei out for a modest lunch

1939-04-22 08:16:40

BAF employees

at Woodger Road in London before move to Mitcheldean

1939-09-01 00:00:00

World War II declared

1940-04-01 00:00:00

British Acoustic Films moves to Mitcheldean

During the war BAF produced its own design of 16mm Projectors, also Searchlights and Plotting tables

1941-04-01 00:00:00

BAF employees

a photograph of the BAF employees when the horse and cart was used for local supplies collection (tools)

1941-05-01 00:00:00

Army Film and Photographic Unit established

During the Second World War, Pinewood was requisitioned, and the Crown Film Unit, No. 5 Army Film and Photographic Unit, Royal Air Force Film Production Unit, and Polish Air Force Film Unit were based there. The Crown Film Unit completed many classic wartime documentaries,

1943-06-01 00:00:00

Machine Shop completed

Floor area 13250 square feet (1232 square metres)

1943-08-14 00:00:00

BAF 1st Annual Sports & Athletics Meeting at Church Farm, Abenhall

A full afternoon comprising of 41 different events ranging from 100 yard race, egg & spoon, sack race etc.

1944-06-09 00:00:00

D-Day landing 1944

Both UK and US troops filmed and photographed the D-Day landings. Images and film are available to view online. Denham Studios is where the film was processed and edited. The US troops used Bell & Howell Eyemo 35mm Cine Camera. Design is similar to cameras later built onsite at Mitcheldean.

1945-02-21 08:11:23

BAF employees photo taken Feb 1945

A photo taken Feb 1945 showing the current workforce working on WWII activities for British Acoustic Films

1945-09-02 00:00:00

World War II ends

the end of the war sets new challenges for the skilled workforce.

1945-09-15 00:00:00

BAF Sports Meeting & Fete

followed by a GRAND DANCE in St Michael's Hall. In addition to athletics it comprised amongst other things pillow fights, blindfold derby & a cigarette race!

1946-05-01 00:00:00

Licencing deal with Bell & Howell

The number of employees in 1948 was c.350. After the war, BAF decided not to continuing manufacturing models of their own. Instead they began to manufacture, under licence, models of American design by Bell & Howell.

1948-01-01 00:00:00

Haloid pre-914

During the period spanning 1948–1959, Haloid applied xerography to many products in an attempt to monetize its new technology. The Copyflo, introduced in 1955, was the first completely automated application of xerographic technology. It produced enlarged prints from microfilm—originals of which were mounted on cardboard “aperture” cards or microfilm reels—on a continuous roll. Although of limited use, it was a successful product and turned enough profit to induce Haloid to change its name to Haloid Xerox in 1958 to more closely associate itself with the new technology.Even more interesting are the products developed for military applications, many of which were classified top secret at the time. Among them was the elusive “Two-Minute Mini”, a highly specialized xerographic camera developed to take “electro-photographs” in the immediate aftermath of atomic bomb tests when gamma ray activity would make the use of ordinary photographic film untenable.Every product developed

1948-04-01 00:00:00

HALOID acquires licence to Chester Carlson's

basic Xerographic patents from Battelle of Columbus, Ohio

1948-04-01 00:00:00

Fred WICKSTEAD joins staff

Fred Wickstead was later described as ‘the architect of Mitcheldean’. He joined The Rank Organisation in 1948 as Production Manager of British Acoustic Films, then making Bell & Howell cine equipment. The production unit was housed in the old Mitcheldean brewery building.

1948-04-01 00:00:00

British Acoustic Films (BAF) acquired by The Rank Organisation

1948-05-01 00:00:00

B&H 605 Cine Cameras

1948-05-01 00:00:00

B&H 606 8mm Cine Projector

1948-05-01 00:00:00

B&H 16mm Projector production

1948-05-01 00:00:00

B&H 600 series 16mm Projector

This was this first 16mm projector produced under the licence agreement with Bell & Howell in USA

1948-05-01 00:00:00

Number of Employees

Starting with Bell & Howell and finishing with Xerox production.

1948-05-01 00:00:00

Production units output

Production units output starting with Bell & Howell and finishing with Xerox

1948-06-01 00:00:00

BAF ANNUAL SPORTS DAYs viewable on website

They started in 1943 and continued throughtout the war years. Between the years 1948 - 1955 inclusive the event was capture on 16mm cine film.

1949-03-01 00:00:00

O.S. map of Mitcheldean 1949

An overview of Mitcheldean post WWII but before BAF, RPI and Rank Xerox expansion

1950-06-01 00:00:00

Tool Room & Case Shop completed

Floor area: 10200 square feet (948 square metres)

1950-12-01 00:00:00

BAF Social Evening at Bradley Court Hotel

Attendees include Peggy Smith and Norman Masters on left and Marion and Horace Cornwall on the right

1951-04-01 00:00:00

Aerial View of Mitcheldean Plant

Aerial photo of Mitcheldean site before the expansion brought about by Rank Xerox

1955-01-01 00:00:00

Xerox Copyflo

The Xerox Copyflo 11 was a roll feed, Xerographic printer used for reproducing images from 36mm and 16mm film originals. The Copyflo produced dry, permanent, positive copies on plain roll paper, vellum, or offset master stock up to 12 inches wide. Three Copyflo models were introduced with speeds varying from 20 feet per minute to 40 feet per minute.

1955-06-01 00:00:00

Press sheet metal & automatic shop completed

Floor area: 10550 square feet (980 square metres)

1956-06-01 00:00:00

Polishing & Plating shop completed

Floor area: 13000 square feet (1208 square metres)

1956-06-01 00:00:00

B&H 625 8mm Cine Projectior

1956-06-01 00:00:00

B&H 624 8mm range Cine Camera

1956-12-19 00:00:00


as a joint venture between the Haloid Company of Rochester and The Rank Organisation to exploit the technology outside of North America.

Memories of RXMP

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