Tax website closed after new data loss
The Sunday Telegraph's 2/11 front page notes that the recent data loss of confidential pass codes to Government Gateway websites, held on a memory stick belonging to Atos Origin was left in a pub car park!
A spokesman for Atos Origin, according to the Telegraph, said "an employee had removed the device from company premises in direct breach of our own operating procedures".
Olympic Report - from Roger Teal - Posted 18th September 2008
Roger Teal has sent CAPnews a very interesting piece on the Olympics - complete with pictures.
CAP London Christmas Reunion 2008 - from Bob Brock
Thought I’d give you all plenty of notice this year.
I’ve booked us in to the upstairs room at the Rugby Tavern in Great James Street for the evening of Wednesday 26th November. Put it in your diary now!
I expect most of you will remember the Rugby as the pub of choice for those working in Great James Street in the 70s, and later as a venue for the darts team. I know I made good use of it as a fresh graduate recruit in 76! If you can’t remember how to get there, any of the standard internet map sites will find it. It’s changed a bit in the last 30 years, but not too much!
Following last year’s crush at the Red Lion when 70 people tried to squash into a room for 30, I’ve gone for more space. The Rugby reckon they can seat 100, so it should be far easier to socialise and chat to the faces you remember (and make yourself heard).
I’m still waiting for possible buffet menus from the pub, but reckon that if the turnout is around what we had last year we could cover some food and the guarantee needed to get them to open the upstairs bar for a contribution of £10 a head.
If I don’t get enough confirmations to cover the pub’s guarantee, I may have to think again.
Peter Milham has suggested we set up an “alumni group” on LinkedIn, as an easier way of managing this group. I’ve therefore set up a group called “CAP Staff 1962-1987” which you’re all welcome to join. Unfortunately “CAP Alumni” was already taken by something called Capital University.
Click CAP Staff 1962-1987
PLEASE PUBLICISE THIS GROUP TO ANYONE YOU THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED, AND PASS ON THE REUNION DETAILS.
As ever, my contact list is only as good as the last address you told me of, so if you know someone who’s moved in the last year, do pass the message on to them too. Also let me know if you’d like your name removed from the list for any reason.
FOR THOSE WITH A CREATIVE BENT…
It would be nice to have a logo to go with the LinkedIn group, and perhaps there’s an opening here for someone with a creative bent. Technically the requirement is for a “large” logo 100x50 pixels and a “small” one 60x30 pixels, both in PNG, JPEG or GIF format and a maximum of 100kB. If you have the skill to do this, please let me know! I’m not clear on the ownership of the old CAP logos, so it might be necessary to invent something similar from scratch.
As I write, the skies have opened in Slough and most of the contents of the Olympic rowing course seem to be pouring onto the garden. Here’s hoping you enjoy the rest of this glorious summer…
CAP Open 2008 - posted 18th June 2008
From CAPnews Golf Correspondent - Arthur Trice.
The lead up to the US Open took place at Sudbury GC in west London on a chilly but at least dry 12th June where 27 ex-CAPers and their guests teed off on a nine hole Texas Scramble in the morning, followed by the BIG ONE, the ex-CAP Open over 18 holes.
The course was in excellent condition and the competitions were fiercly fought, with some outstanding golf and, unfortunately, I have to admit!, some appallingly mediocre golf - but that was just me!
The day ended with an excellent dinner, good conversation and reminiscences, followed by Westie's appalling jokes and the presentations to the winners.
The prize winners were:-
Texas Scramble with 35 pts. gross (30.1 net) : Ian Bays, John Brookhouse, Frank Perkins, Eric Philllips.
Longest Drive : Dave Barton
Nearest the Pin : Chris Knight
Par 3 Winner : Chris Knight (12 pts)
Par 3 - R/U : Peter Bayer (9) Placed 2nd.by scoring more overall points (32)
Par 3 - 3rd. : Peter Guy (9) placed 3rd ditto ditto next highest ditto (31)
Par 3 - 4th : Andrew Fox (9) placed 4th ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto (28)
Open Champion : Chris Knight (37 pts) but because he is not ex-CAPer cannot win the CAPii
Runner UP : Mike West (35 pts) - Winner of the CAPii
Third Place : Les Wilson (34 pts)
Finally all will appreciate that the organiser of this illustrious competition for the past million years has at last fulfilled his lifetime ambition - to receive the CAPii - well done Mike.
|Arthur Trice presents the CAPii to Westie|
CAP Oldies darts match - posted 28th April 2008
CAP has run a darts team in the Central London Darts League since the 1970s, and the name still lives on today under the captaincy of Nigel Rogers, though he is the only remaining CAP chap in the team. 24th April saw a challenge match between the current team and a bunch of CAP Oldies who in most cases hadn’t picked up a dart for 20 years or thereabouts. The match took place in the old CAP Devonshire Square haunt of the Duke of Wellington in Toynbee Street – an area changed considerably in the last few years as the workers of Spitalfields Market have given way to wine bars and expensive flats.
The Oldies were: Bob Brock, Lili Cook, Max Evans, Brian Morris, Richard Swift and Les Wilson, and we achieved a very credible 10-4 loss, despite going 4-nil down very early on (I guess the older you are the longer you take to warm up…). Rumour has it that there might even be a rematch in the offing. Star of the team was Les Wilson, who managed to get two of our four finishes.
Many thanks to Nigel for organising the night.
Roger Teal has sent CAPnews now four very interesting pieces on what it is like to live and work in China - complete with pictures.
(all .pdf documents that will open in a new window)
CAP London Christmas Reunion 2007 Report - posted 6th December 2007
From Bob Brock.
The venue was the upstairs bar of the Old Red Lion (72 High Holborn, WC1V 6LS).
This is just a quick note to thank you all for coming (or to let you know what fun everyone else had if you weren’t able to make it!). I’m sorry the room was such a squeeze, but that’s what happens when you plan with last year’s numbers! We were expecting 30-40 and got 67 at my best estimate, surely a record. I’m only sorry I didn’t have more time to catch up with everyone.
I thought you might like a who’s who of those I think I spotted there, so here goes….
Lili Cook (Prescott)
Gill Hegarty (Watt)
Julie New (Lee)
Jane Otkay (Wong)
Caroline Scantlebury (Cullen)
Now to business…
It gets harder each year to find a venue in central London to fit everyone in, and this year more and more pubs were asking for a guarantee of anything up to £500 for hiring a room, even if they had one free. I’m therefore going to suggest two things for next year. First, we move the date back a week to the LAST WEDNESDAY IN NOVEMBER (Wed 26 Nov 2008 – put it in your diary now!) to make it easier to find a room, and secondly to warn that I may need to ask for money in advance (probably a cheque) to cover any guarantee. Yes it’s true, Christmas is coming earlier every year!
Through expert project management in the CAP tradition, we managed to come in under budget so I have a small surplus left over from the food kitty. It’s under £30 (less than a pound a head) so I’ll save this as a contribution towards next year’s event rather than try to redistribute it.
CAP Open 14th June 2007 - Report and Photos
In the event, despite a most threatening forecast, the weather subsequently held up and Sudbury Golf Club once again - as it has done virtually every year now for the past decade or so - warmly welcomed us and, in pristine conditions, provided us with a grand setting for our annual soiree.
Attendance, with one chap unfortunately having to drop out at the last moment, didn’t quite make the two dozen but with 23 for the afternoon and subsequent evening meal, it was a fine turn-out. A warm welcome was extended to our five guests, all of whom were previous attendees, which suggests that the event is doing something right! Long may it continue.
The day started with, what has now become the traditional ‘opener’ for the ex-CAP Open day, namely a morning 9-hole Texas Scramble, which provides for a gentle ‘loosener’ to the afternoon’s main event.
While seemingly enjoyed by everyone it was hardly a contest as the ultimate winners imperiously swept aside all competition with a tremendous net score of 27.95, which was something like four shots better than their nearest rivals and has got to be some sort of record, even for CAP golf. Well done lads! The organiser will either have to split you up next year or make you all play standing on one leg to give anyone else a chance.
As for the Championship, many congratulations go to two regular CAP Golfers, namely David Barton who having won it already once before, becomes another double Champion and Rex Wearn who triumphed in the Par 3 competition. Indeed Rex had a particularly successful day, additionally picking up third place in the overall championship as well as the ‘Nearest the Pin’ competition.
Very well done to both of our main winners, in what were both closely contested and high scoring competitions and indeed to everyone who actually won anything - even if it may only have been the raffle - but as important, many thanks to everyone who turned out and helped make the day so successful.
And talking about the raffle, a special thanks to everyone who dug deep and helped us raise One hundred and Thirty-five pounds for the NSPCC - a tremendous result, which with the tax relief that they can also claim, was a handsome return for everyone’s support. Many, many thanks once again to everyone.
See you all, and anyone else who cares to come along, next year on
Thursday June 12th. - same time and place.
Winners for this year presented with their prizes by Westie were:-
Longest drive Martin Proudlove;
Nearest the Pin Rex Wearn
Par 3 Competition Fourth Place (9) Frank Perkins
Par 3 Competition Third Place (9) Rob Lord
Par 3 Competition Runner Up (9) Jim Senior
Par 3 Competition Champion (11 pts.) Rex Wearn
OPEN Championship - Third Place (36) Rex Wearn
OPEN Championship - Runner Up (37) Rob Lord
Texas Scramble Messrs. Iain McLean, Les Wilson, Chris Bradbury, Martin Proudlove;
OPEN Championship - Champion (38 pts.) David Barton
CAP Open 15th June 2006 - Report
Although the early morning break in the weather threatened to put, literally, a dampener on the proceedings, the day eventually went off to blue skies and a cooling breeze. Ideal for golf!
Given that the schedule for the day was reduced to just the one round - to enable the assembled gathering to watch England play Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup after dinner - most of the scores - with one notably exception, who shall be nameless - modestly lived up to the expectations.
There were a number of scores of thirty-plus points, with Barry Powell eventually claiming the CAPii as a worthy champion, with a very creditable total of 38 points.
Obviously his preparation of a week in Ireland, honing his game, stood him in good stead, although some eyebrows were raised, and indeed questions were asked, as to whether or not he may still have had traces of Guinness still in his blood stream, which would undoubtedly have counted as performance enhancing agency, and thus rendered him liable for disqualification.
However as no blood testing equipment - other than a rusty old syringe, which was found behind a bush beside the eighteenth green - it was decided that he be awarded the title, which was generously applauded. Besides, as the winning margin was a clear four points, it would have seemed curlish to deprive him of his well earned victory.
As usual there were a number of minor honours which were all closely contested - not least the Par 3 competition, which eventually went to one of the guests, namely Jim Senior. Jim, who works on the new Wembley Stadium construction, manfully held his game together to notch up, a not too disrespectful nine points (from four holes) - despite constant questions from his playing partners that maybe he should be getting back, as the big arch thing that towers over the stadium was at a dodgy angle so maybe had slipped!
Following dinner, everyone retired to the members lounge to watch the mighty England football team thrash their opposition, with some sublime footballing sorcery! The opponents put up stout resistance, but eventually had to succumb. Britannia once again ruled, if not the waves, then the playing fields of the Bundesliga!
In total the honours board was as follows:
Open Champion - Barry Powell (38 points)
Runner-Up - Graham Phebey (34) - guest
Third Place - Rod Bungey (33) - on count back
Par 3 Champion - Jim Senior (9) - guest
Runner-Up - Mark Jackman (8) - on count back
Third Place - Paul Archer (8)
Longest Drive - Graham Phebey (estimated 280 yards!!)
Nearest the Pin - Mark Jackman (about seven feet)
The evening finally closed around 7.45, with hopefully a grand time having been had by all, and assurances to reconvene at the same place again next year, for yet another ex-CAP Open.
CAP Financial Reunion at the Ship - Wed 7 Dec 2005
Bob (Brock that is), and all those who attended yesterday,
What a great evening. A fine and highly respectable turn-out, which resulted in some wonderful reminiscing and nostalgic chat - it gets better every year!
There were many old faces - with the emphasis on the 'old' naturally, as anno domini takes its toll and the wrinkles get deeper - with the exception of course of the ladies who all looked radiantly younger. I guess they must be using one of Pat Cooper's magic potions.
We even had one guy (now that's droll!) who had come all the way from Sydney to be with us - so widely has the reputation spread, of Bob's night out. It was good to see you Peter.
No doubt everyone will get together again next year - although regretably I will be unable to myself, as I will be making the reverse of Peter's trip and so should be basking somewhere 'down under' anticipating another forthcoming Ashes series. I will however be thinking of y'all.
On reunions incidentally, just an early warning, once we get into the new year I will begin contacting everyone about the next BIG reunion which, following much cajoling I have decided will be in 2007 - on CAP's 45th. birthday. No precise date or venue yet but it will be around the end of April and be in London, and be a sit down meal job. So put it to the back of your mind and in your 'futures' diary' and be ready - help will I have to say be required from as many of you as possible to ensure that I have as many 'up to date' email addresses of as many ex-CAPers as possible to whom word can thus be spread.
So for now, thanks again for a smashing evening and hopefully see many of you again in the New Year.
Just in case I didn't say it last night, I hope you all have a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.
Trevor Daniels, after 35 years in CAP, Sema, Schlumberger and Airwide Solutions (delete where no longer applicable) amazingly has retired!.
To celebrate the occasion he invited his colleagues and ex colleagues to join him for a parting bevy in Great Expectations on Friday 28th October 2005 at 12:30.
Pity we (Ed & Webmaster) couldn't take advantage of this kind and generous offer.
RCH to Oz
After several years "wintering" in Australia, Clive Hart and his wife Jean have decided to take up permament residdence in Noosa, Queensland. It is rumoured that the CAP 2005 Open Golf Champion (see elsewhere) will depart these shores in September. Clive has reluctantly resigned his membership of the OFGS (Old Fogeys Golf Society) whose members are pictured below ar a recent gathering at Reading Golf Club.
Clive with a bearded Mike West (Captain Birdseye), John Ritchie aand Arthur Trice
The annual golfing pilgrimage, universally known as the ex-CAP Open, was held on Thursday June 16th., at its traditional venue Sudbury Golf Club, in Wembley, North London, to which an assortment of 24 diehard golfers - ex-CAPers and most welcome guests - enthusiastically attended. If the weather was somewhat inclement, it was more than compensated for by the general level of golfing competence shown by the assembled gathering, convivial company and the pervading feelings of comradie throughout the day. Surprisingly, and perhaps regrettably, reporters from the sporting press or members of the R and A were distinctly noticeable by the absence.
After much hand-shaking, back slapping and other forms of greeting (the organiser has a slightly off-putting desire to hug people!) for friends not seen for a while, play started promptly at 11.00am, with a 9 hole Texas Scramble, which acted as a loosener for the main event of the day, namely the OPEN Championship itself, conducted as befits such a notable occasion with all due decorum - aided handsomely by a few beers of Fullers best over the sumptuous ploughman's lunch.
In the actual event, history was made, when after keenly contested competition, the Championship was finally won by the father - of a previous champion no less and so setting a 'first' (!) - to great, albeit (naturally) respectful, applause. There was some muted mumblings of '...off a dodgy Aussie handicap, you know' but these were quickly quashed under the stoic British stiff upper lip. However, as with that other famous trophy currently being contested for on the green fields of England with willow and leather, the CAPii, which is the prestigious cup, suitably inscribed, that the CAP Open Golf winner is presented with each year, will not be allowed to leave these cherished shores. A fellow can never be too careful with these Antipodean chappies, you know - of funny stock! Cup might never be seen again.
Anyway, enough of this nonsense, the Web-Master has distinctly instructed that this report must not be too wordy, so suffice to say a grand time was had by all, and a very hearty thank you to all who attended and of course for contributing so generously to the raffle in support of the NSPCC, and hopefully see everyone again next year, same place, on Thursday June 15th. The event is already booked, so make sure, should you wish to play, that it is in your diary.
Finally, congratulations to all those fortunate enough to have won something during the day's event, and who therefore, following yet another gastronomic extravaganza of a dinner, picked up the silverware, their names are as follows:
Champion (39 points) : Clive Hart (h/c 15)
Runner-Up (37) : Rob Lord (24)
Third Place (35) : Les Wilson (12)
Par 3 Competition
Champion (10) : Rob Lord (24)
Runner-Up (9) : Chris McEwan (16)
Third Place (8) : Stuart Skelsey (14)
Longest Drive (ball went into the next county!) : Chris Bradbury (12)
Nearest the Pin (2.65 metres) : Chris McEwan
Morning Texas Scramble with a net score of 27.5
Messrs. Martin Myers, Frank Perkins, Barry Powell, and Chris Conroy
2004 Financial Xmas Get Together
Here's a quick report on last night (Wednesday 3rd December) at the Ship. Maybe some of the others there can add their own comments if they can remember more than me the morning after. I did make a list of who was there, but have somehow lost it, so from memory they included... Diana Piper, Ros (Lake) Sluman, Graham Hills, Brian Morris, Barry Powell, Alison Walker, Peter Browne, Peter Kelly, Joe Hajduk, Pat Cooper, Tim Stevenson, Julie (Johnson / Lee) New, Peter Carver...
The pub was packed but the early-arrivers managed to find a good spot by the door that we could use as a base - IMHO it was definitely a better venue than we've managed for quite a few years, and a convivial time was had by all (Mr Theakston's beverages went down well too).
Thanks to Alison for bringing along the 1973 CAP Programmer's Guide for us to guffaw over (ah that Mike Ballard article on date processing reminding us that 2000 would be a leap year!), and apologies to Barry for sloshing my pint over his jacket.
Same again next year? Well, the approved date of the first Wednesday in December is the 7th, and we'll post details of where on the website again, so put the date in your diaries now!
And the website's wonderful and a great place to visit.
RIP Trafalgar House
July 1979 saw CAP take out a 25 year lease on a pristine office block
in Richfield Avenue , Reading. It was customised to house the Reading
Branch which had moved from older offices in Reading town centre.
August 2004 and Trafalgar House (RTH) is empty - yes 2004 take away 1979 equals 25! Sema's lease just ran out.
Thaks to Brian Hunt - ed.
ex-CAP Open 2004
Report by Westie
The ex-CAP OPEN 2004 took place at the usual place (ie Sudbury GC) on Thursday June 10th.
Altogether we had 24 in the morning, and 25 in the afternoon, and thanks to again grand weather, I think a good time was had by all - even those who didn't (Westie again!!!) win anything. The results were
am. Texas Scramble : Messrs. Rex Wearn, Chris Knight, and Eric Phillips - 9 holes in net 32.9;
Longest Drive : Graham Elliott
Nearest the Pin : Paul Gostelow
Par 3 Competition : Champion - Tim Williams (my son-in-law) 12 points Runner- Up - Barry Powell with 11 points
Open : Runner-Up - John Ritchie with 37 points
Open : Champion - Martin Proudlove with 40 points
(Martin in fact also won it last year, so he successfully defended his title.) I
Next years event is on THURSDAY the 16th. June - same place and time ie Sudbury at 10.30.
We have learned that Pierre Bonelli died on the 31st March from lung cancer. Apparently he had been very ill for some time.
End of another (post CAP) era...........??
Sema Slummie Sold
CAPnews can confirm for those that don't know that Schlumberger have agreed to sell Sema to Atos Origin (the previous rumour was Logica!) for all sorts of cash, share switches and reduced investments. The deal is to conclude (subject to shareholder agreement) in January 2004.
CAPnews has also learn't that pensions are safe. They were apparently the subject of lots of discussion when ATOS took Sema over, and they were aware of any shortfall in the fund.
We understand that the pecking order if anything goes wrong with the Company is pensioners first, then those with deferred pensions (i.e. those who have left) and then the workers!!
However the phone number to call is 01293 556229. That is the Schlumberger pensions department and as far as we know they will still be administering the pension fund for the foreseeable future. However at some point we believe it will be outsourced yet again, but not yet.
CAP Financial (and the rest!) Xmas Drinks
The tenth CAP Financial Xmas reunion took place on Wed 3rd December last in the Green Man opposite Great Portland Street station. For those of us who can still trace an employment history through CAP and Sema to Schlumberger and by then probably Atos Origin, it was pretty handy.
However it was a bit disappointing as only around a dozen turned up - nevertheless those that made it spent a good evening reminiscing.
Apple Mac Anniversary
In January, in a few weeks' time, the Apple Macintosh has its official 20th birthday. Magazines like MacWorld are filling their pages with tributes.
It may be of interest (particularly to ex members of CAP Scientific who were very fond of them!!) that the Computer Conservation Society (which is the computer history branch of the British Computer Society) has arranged to celebrate the Mac's birthday at one of its regular meetings held in the Science Museum, South Kensington, on Thursday 22nd January. The meeting is planned to include an illustrated talk with demos of vintage Macs, compared with current Macs running the mosr recent version of the Mac OS, known as "Panther". This is of course intended as a historical review, rather than as a sales pitch for current Apple technology.
The Honorary Secretary assures us that visitors are welcomed at CCS meetings. Indeed many of the CCS members are venerable dignitaries, like Professor Maurice Wilkes (who was of course the pioneer who created EDSAC, accepted as the world's first "real" stored-program computer, in Cambridge, in 1949 and is a member and a regular attendee). So if you feel that any of your contacts would like to come to enjoy this event - which will quite possibly have some of the world's foremost computer pioneers in the audience - please feel free to spread word around.
From Bob Brock
The hangover has now repaired itself, so this is just a quick thank you to everyone who turned up at the Rugby last Wednesday, or has sent best wishes since. I’m glad you all had such a good time. It was great to see some new faces as well as catching up with the regulars.
I’m not sure how accurate my register is, but my best guess is that we had 86 people there at one time or another – and the comments about needing to hire the Albert Hall / O2 / Wembley Stadium next time are getting ever more realistic. Nonetheless I think the Rugby will support another get-together if we re-arrange the furniture, so have made a provisional booking for Wednesday 25 November 2009. Put it in your new diaries as soon as they arrive!
For the record, the list of those I think were there on Wednesday is:
Richard Allen, Harley Atkinson, June Baker, Paul Barnes, Ian Bays, Richard Bevan, Tony Bosworth, Bob Brock,
Apologies to anyone I’ve missed, and best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year,
From John Haddock
Thought I'd send a quick email to say thanks for the site. It's been really useful for keeping up with what's happening with the pension scheme - certainly more helpful than the pension administrators!
Also interesting to read the bits of news about people I remember meeting and working with.
For those who think they might remember me, I joined CAP in Reading as a programmer back in 1983 after a few years programming brain scanners and radiotherapy planning equipment. I worked on a wonderful mixture of things including robots with Brian Hunt, process control equipment with Paul Hissett, X.25 with Dave Webby, billing with Simon Dallyn, etc., etc. In later years, like most people in Reading, I focussed on mobile telecomms. By mid 90's, by a process I don't fully understand, I ended up in telecomm' sales, eventually running the INS (Intelligent Network Systems) sales team.
Unfortunately all did not end well, with my time at Sema ending in the late 90's in a dispute about which I can say little except that a mutually agreeable settlement was reached.
I still live in Reading. At present I'm training for my planned retirement job as a radiographer (for you Reading-based people maybe I'll x-ray you at the Royal Berks). A bit tough being at school again but it keeps the brain cells working! I like to play badminton when my tendons permit (often with Daves Webby and Uglow) and enjoy walking - I'm webmaster for the Mid-Berkshire Ramblers (www.mbra.org.uk).
Very best wishes to all old friends from CAP/Sema and thanks again for the website.
From Mick Harmer
I only found out about this site yesterday, and had a fascinating read (obituaries a bit depressing though)!
I am still working for Atos Origin, and I am as horrified as some contributors to this site are about impact of the proposed “closure” of the pension scheme. I have challenged the proposed change which will remove from the trustees any discretion they currently have to award increases to the pre-1997 part of our pensions. The response I have had is that retaining this discretion (even with the company veto) will add £50 to £60 million to the liabilities that have to be declared on the Atos Origin balance sheet, but the company will not disclose the assumptions upon which this figure is based, and I cannot ascertain whether this is in addition to (or includes) the declared shortfall in the April 2005 actuarial valuation of £51.5 million (given that this shortfall was estimated with the discretion in place, I have my suspicions!). It however appears that Atos Origin (whose corporate pensions policy when they took over in 2004 was that all countries should only have defined contribution schemes) have made their minds up and only legal arguments will sway them – the fact that people like me have saved into a pension scheme for 34 years with an expected level of inflation protection is of no consequence. (indeed I have a book published in 2000 which states that inflation protection is required by law, but the increase was made discretionary in the Schlumberger changes in 2003, so I presume the law has been changed)
As for me, I am still living in Winchester but rarely visit the new Aquis House office in Reading – after six years on a Post Office contract in NE Derbyshire I have worked at DEFRA in Guildford and on the NHS Diagnostics contract in London in recent years. Jane and I are now grandparents; our son Jonathan has worked for BAE Systems near Preston since 1999 (don't know if he ever came across Mike Coulson!) so we don’t see our 18-month old granddaughter Elizabeth as often as we would like.
From Graham Elliott
I got the pensions scheme brochure today as I expect you did. Good that they are producing something for us. And good to that they report an excellent investment year.
I just thought I would offer a few ideas for your consideration.
I see no prospect that we can force them into giving increases. But we might shame them into it.
Wouldn't it be good to identify a number of other companies who do give discretionary increases even in the present pensions climate? I heard recently from a friend that the Minster Insurance company is still giving discretionary increases--and could get the % if needed. But if we could get our 602 members to talk to their friends and compile a list of companies doing this, wouldn't that be interesting to send to ATOS with a plea for their cooperation?
And do we have any idea of what giving and inflationary rise would cost the scheme? Would it not be dwarfed by the value of the scheme? And won't all the trustees be looking to become pensioners themselves in due course so have a personal interest in seeing some movement as a gesture?
If we could compile a list and thought it was worth doing, might we not get a significant number of our pensioners to put their names to a carefully worded appeal letter? Drawing their attention to the devastating long-term consequences of no rise for many years While supporting their obviously difficult situation in response to recent new legislation?
Very best wishes,
From David Barnes
Fearless CSG (CAP Reading Commercial Systems Group) Commercial Break reporter Percy Forster has emerged from retirement to report on developments downunder. While on a stopover in Australia (on his way to meet up with that very attractive secretary penguin in Antarctica) he espied 2 former CAP chaps getting together in the time-honoured way - over a few beers. He was able to get close enough to be able to take the attached photo as proof - CAP Oz/NZ in formation?
Dave Barnes later refuted any plans to launch the CAP ethos onto an unsuspecting Australasia...
I was planning a trip from NZ over to tropical far north Queensland, so upon seeing on your website that Clive Hart had moved to Queensland I figured it'd be good to take the opportunity to catch up with him. When I was in the process of getting ready to move to NZ in 1982 Clive Hart was the CSG Manager and had been very supportive of my decision to emigrate.
Jan and I met up with Clive and Jean at their home in Noosa and had a good guided tour round the area along with splendid lunch (including those afor-mentioned beers). The attached photo shows the typical mid-winter weather (although not quite as hot as the heat wave apparently hitting UK at the moment).
It was great to catch up again and mull over old times. We both figured that the CAP environment was probably the best we had encountered anywhere. I feel the basics of the SDLC instilled in us then still apply today (and has anyone else still got their CAP-CPP Programmer's Guide - parts 1 and 2)? I find it interesting that so many installations are still painfully re-learning the lessons from back then.
I took over copies of Commercial Break (CSG's in-house mag) I'd hung on to and we pored over these reminiscing over the various names. Clive has the newspaper article that covered CAP Reading's move into Trafalgar House, along with a giant photo of us all in front of the building (neither of us has changed at all of course...). If anyone can contact the Reading Chronicle (was that the paper?) and get an original of that photo it would be interesting to see it in better detail. (For the Trafalgar House Photo see 25.9.2000 archive - Ed)
Well, good luck to everyone wherever they are in the world (and raise a glass to those who've shuffled off it). One day I might be able to time a visit to the UK to make a CAP reunion.
From Mervyn Wiseman
Keep up the good work with the Web site.
There are still a few ex CAP people here at Airwide Solutions. They may not have contacted you but I know they are all keen 'readers'.
I am sure some of you out there may remember me. I joined CAP in Reading, back in March 1980. One week under the wing of Frank Perkins then straight on to the Plessey Modas project and Brian Eastman. I now work for Airwide Solutions, the bit that didn't go to Atos! Anyway, the real reason for this communication was to bring to everyone's attention the next possible phase for dear old Traf. House. Enjoy.
Trafalgar House Planning Application (it was here, but the information has now been removed from public access)
Best wishes to everyone,
From Steve Wells Hi,
From my earlier messages you may know that I have been working on the design of a new warship for the Royal Navy. Well, we got to launch the first of class a few days ago on February 1st. The champagne was smashed, the sponsor (HRH the Countess of Wessex) gave a little shove and ... nothing happened. It was nearly a minute before the static friction was overcome and the ship (5000 tons at this stage) slid into the Clyde. It was the longest, heaviest ship ever to launch from that slipway.
You can see a video of the launch on "BBC news".
It was strangely emotional watching it launch. Not being from the Navy I hadn't expected this, but there are six years of my life in that ship!
From Geoff Fabron
I found the CAP website and thought I would send a note. I joined CAP as part of the ‘grad drag’ of 1979 and was in the Commercial division supporting the Micro products (BOS, MicroCobol etc.) before being seconded out to the Johannesburg Branch in November 1980 with Simon Wride. It was originally going to be for 18 months but I met my wife out there and ended up staying in South Africa until 1992 when I returned to the UK with wife & two young children in tow.
I left CAP South Africa in May 1984 a few months before it closed down. Kept in touch with a few folks for a while but as time passed and I moved around we lost contact.
Would be nice to hear from anybody from those days.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
From Brian Eastman
Please accept my apologies for the long delay in getting in touch until now. I was messing about on the net and came across the CAPnews website; I’d heard about the site but had never managed to get the url of the revised one. I got the old one just as you took it down for improvements.
The main purpose is to supply you with an email address, so that I can receive first hand notification of any future CAP events. While I’m about it though, here’s a quick update for you. I’m basically unemployed at the moment due to MMT selling out to a (deleted - Ed) bunch of (deleted - Ed) based in Windsor. I’m trying to get my own business up and running without much success (link to website) while in parallel looking for employment. There’s not much work around in Berkshire for the mature project manager and even less for technical authors.
Two of my three children are now adults and all live with me in Reading. I’m a happily divorced man who still talks to his ex wife (Jeanette if you’ve forgotten; she has remarried and lives 800 yards from me). With three teenagers and me under the same roof life is never quiet especially in the early hours when I’d prefer to be asleep. The recent spare time has given me a chance to meet up with some of the old CAP Reading crew; Ken Camichel, Pete Weston, Brian Easteal, and Ron Dowding. I also see Dave Webby and Nick Wintle on a fairly regular basis. Nick has seen Rex Wearn recently; they both live in or around Newbury. All for now, regards to webmaster Arthur, and I look forward to seeing you both at the next reunion.
From Nick Juckes
I don't know whether you remember me, I worked for CAP in London and New York during the 70s and 80s.
I was married to Marian Kilsby who also worked for CAP in London and New York at the same time.
Sadly, Marian died suddenly three months ago of cancer at the age of 53. It was a tragically short attack - a month before she started complaining of a bad back and went into hospital with a suspected kidney stone. They diagnosed secondary cancers but were not able to find the primary at the time which turned out to be the pancreas. Within a fortnight she was gone. She was remarkably stoical through it all and never complained. It was a mercifully quick release if a great shock to us all.
I am in Sydney at the moment but anyone who wants to get in touch can at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe it is the passage of time but I look back fondly to my time in CAP/SEMA.
From Shauna Correia
My name is Shauna Correia and I am searching for Bill and Sally Imeson, the parents of a very good old childhood friend of mine (we used to both live in Portugal). I was hoping to be able to get in touch with Mr and Mrs. Imeson so that I could get in contact with their daughter Louise.
Could someone please email me with their contact information, I would love to get back in touch with them after all these years!
Thank you so much!
From Julie New (Johnston/Lee)
I don't often look at the CAP website, but find it very reassuring when I do, to hear the news of my ex-colleagues, and certainly wouldn't want it to disappear.
I worked at CAP from Sept 1980 until December 1983; I am still in touch with quite a few of my ex-colleagues, and particularly enjoyed meeting some of them when I finally managed to make it up to London for the Financials Xmas drinks on 1st December. We had such a great time, I know there isn't any chance of me meeting up more than 20 years later for drinks with colleagues from any other company I have worked at - and to me that is what is so special about having worked for CAP. It was such a great place to make friends - not to mention learning how to do things properly in this business! Yet another reason it was so good to see everyone in December - just a bit of reassurance that there are other people out there who remember the 'good old days' and they are not just a figment of my imagination!!
My only suggestion for the site would be a kind of 'Where Are they Now' page, where people could post their details - a bit like on Friends Reunited - just for those who would like to get in touch with former colleagues again?
I am still working in IT, as a FInancials Support Consultant for a company called Systems Union - I'd love to hear from anybody who'd like to get in touch. My e-mail is Julie_New@sunsystems.com (I'm much more likely to respond to emails at work - don't get much time to check home email these days!)
From Mike Coulson
This is Mike Coulson calling and this is is my CAP/Sema history. The photo is me now - a bit greyer than I used to be.
After working at AWRE Aldermaston making big bombs for 4 years, I got fed up of the secrecy. When I heard about a firm in Reading called CAP that paid you to write computer programs, I wrote to the Personnel Director, Graham Elliot, and asked for a job.
The first interview was with John Ritchie, complete with his sleeveless pullover and copy of the Daily Mirror. Next one was with Mike Ballard and start date was August 1st 1973 - the day after a mass exodus of CAP folk to an outfit called Triad. Perhaps they feared Coulson's arrival?
After that, life was projects -
FORTRAN programming at National Physical Laboratory in Teddington with Ted York
Phoenix Life during the 3 day week in New Oxford House, Reading with gas lamps and Bristol
Admiralty Compass Observatory at Slough - saw Concorde's maiden flight from Heathrow
Staff Management with Clive Hart and Linda Grant - and 3 sons born within 13 months!
Nuclear Stock Control at Harwell - team leading. Ledgers and Order Processing on Burroughs and Ventek minis - managing projects
CSS - maintenance. Real client management and selling! Manager of Commercial Systems in Reading, courtesy of Clive Hart's defection to MMT
Staff Assignments and Recruitment - Lindsay House and Soho at lunchtime
BaeSEMA - lots of recruitment
Bought out by British Aerospace then BAE SYSTEMS - more/bigger recruitment at AIRBUS (Bristol), Farnborough, New Malden and Preston
I finally took early retirement from BAE SYSTEMS in August 2003 so that I could grab a lucrative slice of the pension fund. Now I have 2 part-time jobs - one as a recruiter for EDS in Hook, Hampshire and another helping the disadvataged of Reading to job search.
If our paths crossed in the past in the Firm it would be good to hear from you.
Tel: 01189 611729
From Jon Barker
I joined CAP in 1980 from university (I think I was interviewed by Pat Cooper). I was only there for 6 years so maybe not that many people remember me, but I recognise quite a few names and faces on your website.
For instance, I worked for Gordon Henson at Mercantile Credit for a year and for Eric Peacock at MMI in Guildford. The last 3 years I was assigned to the Niracs project and thus spent a lot of time in Belfast. Colleagues on that project included Ian McCoubrey and Keith Pearce.
In my early days I was a programmer working for Gill Dibden. I left in 1986, not because of the company, but because I wanted the experience of working abroad and ended up in Bahrain for 2 years.
Since 1988 I have worked for NatWest (now RBS) and am still in IT and still a techie, but on internet development now. It would be very interesting to meet up with some of the old faces again. I read Pat Coopers comments about the old CAP pension and would like to know if there is a contact available so that I can find out what to do with it.
.....and also in a follow up letter
Hope you got my last e-mail about being an ex-CAP employee.
I thought you might like to know that I have tracked our old pension scheme down to a company called Entegria (I think on your web site the letters page indicates it is still Schlumberger). I gave them (Entegria) a call and they seemed very helpful. They have promised to give me details of what I have left, calculated for both age 50 and age 60, plus details of how I could transfer what there is to another scheme should I wish to do so. The phone number is 0118 918 5572.
Please ignore if you already know this but maybe some of our other CAP people would like to know.
Thanks Jon for that, in fact Entegria (www.entegria.co.uk)" is the new name for the pensions arm of Hogg Robinson who have been administering CAP pensions for many years. ART
From Andrew Pattersons
I will be retiring from Schlumberger (our bit of 'CAP' was not sold off to Atos) on 31st October, 37 years after joining the Barclays middleware team in Great James St. Having survived most of the purges and re-organisations, I am still working with IBM systems just as I was on day one. Fortunately, the basics don't change that much, so experience still counts!
My immediate plans are a trip to New Zealand for a second wedding ceremony. I got married to a kiwi recently, but her relatives and friends (and several of mine) were unable to come to the UK. We may also look around for ideas on where we might live if we eventually move there permanently. It will be my fourth trip to NZ and I reckon that a home in the North Island and holidays in the South Island will make the ideal combination.
On my return, I will carry on working part-time for Schlumberger for a few months, but fortunately the Schlumberger pension scheme is still relatively unscathed so I am looking forward to a leisurely retirement.
Anyway, to avoid losing touch (please keep the web site going).
From Simon Meeds
I guess the news has reached you...
On CAPnews you reported some time ago that "Sema" had been sold by Schlumberger to Atos Origin. It was basically correct, but some parts, notably telecoms messaging, were not sold. In fact in July that part (now in the New Century Place office in Reading) was sold to Taral Networks, a very small Canadian company who used venture capital for the purchase. The resultant company is now known as Airwide Solutions Limited and has its HQ at New Century Place. I have attached the Taral Networks press release below.
With things livening up in the IT and Telecoms industries, things are getting more interesting. This year I have become an MBCS CITP, which has to be quite a feat for someone who hasn't had a full time job for three years.
The Taral purchase came with the usual round of redundancies, which included some well established names... I probably shouldn't list them.
From Brian Hunt
Your editorial asks if anybody is looking at the web site and what they want. I look in occasionally but have not played an active part until now. Perhaps there are others keeping a low profile too.
I was clearing out my garage recently and now have a box full of old CAP memorabilia - Reports and Accounts, capability statements and articles. Some contain pictures of important people and events in CAP history - it would perhaps be interesting to scan some in and add them to the web site. I'm sure I've got some old CAP Christmas Chronicles somewhere too - probably in the loft. Are you (or any of your readers) interested ?
One thing that I expect all ex-CAP staff will be interested in is the state of their pension - particularly its security over the long term. I've been told that Your pension is currently being paid and will continue to be paid by the Sema Payroll department in Tipton. The control of the Sema Pension Scheme and Sema Payroll department will be taken over by Atos Origin. However, the functionality of the payroll department will remain the same and should not have any impact on pension benefitI take this to mean that the control of the fund has now transferred to Holland. Does anybody else know any more ? I only found this out by contacting pensions admin; they do not seem to be proactive in communicating to pensioners.
As far as myself I left in December 2002 after 33 plus years. Like many other retirees I'm now doing DIY, gardening, walking and a little golf. All of these have been hampered over the last few months by a slipped disc. The other thing that takes up a lot of time is Rotary - I joined the local club a few years ago and am really enjoying it. But at least I'm not shovelling horse manure all the time like you!
From Richard Brookes
I found the capnews.org site recently by accident while looking for information on what might remain of my company pension. It was great to see some well remembered faces and catch up on happenings.
For those who don't remember me, I joined CAP London Commercial Branch in 1980 as a new graduate, interviewed by Pat Cooper if I remember correctly. I learned RPG from Isobel Hart and was in London CSS for a year or so working for Rex Wearn at 233 High Holborn. Then I moved on to the Northern Ireland Rates project on the ground floor at Lambs Conduit Street and was in IBM TSG working for John Koenigsberger and Graham Hills for many years with such people as Bill Austin, Mark Gardner and Andy Patterson. After that I was working on Northern Ireland Water for more years than I can remember, did various things until finally resigning in 1995. I've attached a photo as a reminder although people should remember that I had a) some hair and b) a beard in those days.
What am I doing now? I'm co-director of a small IT company called The Gallery Partnership (www.gallerypartnership.co.uk). We write software, packages and bespoke and provide support services. It's a bit like CAP really, just about 100 times smaller. I don't think it will make any of us fabulously rich but we have fun and hopefully do some worthwhile things now and again.
Thanks for setting up the site, hope it all continues to CAP50 and beyond.
From Steve Wells
Yes, we are still out here!
Life continues! I am still living at the Bristol end of the M4 during the week and at the Wokingham end at wekends. Serious;y though. I live in Thornbury, to the North of Bristol, during the week. If anyone is in the area and fancies a pint I would gladly introduce them to the "Anchor".
Apart from that I am still tutoring for the Open University, but on a different course. I am now, it seems, an expert on the Technology of Music!
From June Baker
Just been looking at the report on the last re-union. Unfortunately I couldn't make it, first one I have missed.
I enjoyed all the photos especially the ones of Peter Guy and Rex Wearn. Its the first time I have seen them in years.
Look forward to the next get together.
From John SLee
The other day I bumped into Ted Sedman (virtually you understand) and he told me about CAPnews, so I thought I ought to write.
I started at CAP Reading in something like September 1973, having been collected during the milk round from Brunel University. I enjoyed the first day or two of the training/induction and then because of my programming experience (COBOL or Fortran, not sure which) was sent to Esso (or was it BP?) to finish off a project in Victoria, London.
Other projects included - Royal Admiralty Observatory, Slough (SINS - PDP11?); Plessey, Taplow (CORAL compiler); Marconi-Elliott, Rochester (including 6 months in the Bull and a few weeks in a black hole in the depths of a multi-storey car park)
Then I left to run the family business - an Ice-Cream Parlour and Coffee lounge in Newquay, Cornwall, while keeping my hand in with computer programming/ systems analysis in the winter. And now I've ended up as Anglican priest-in-charge of St.Just-in-Roseland and St.Mawes, and acting as webmaster for the Truro Diocese when I can find the time.
The face? I haven't a 1973 picture to hand, but my 6'5" frame might ring a bell. There are a few names and faces on CAPnews that ring a bell - anyone else remember me?
From Keith Clark
Just popped home for Christmas with my family in Chipperfield, Herts, and got to browsing round your new web pages - congratulations and thanks for all your efforts to keep us Chaps in touch. Have been living half time in Florida and half in California, although I choose to live in California I no longer have a home there, and, since I choose not to call Florida 'home', I suppose you could add me to the list of homeless people.
Actually I do have an address there:
Mike - I trust you have a great Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future
From Mike Spring
I was just browsing through the website enjoying news from familiar names from the past, so I thought I might as contribute my two pennyworth. We are still living near Cahors in France, making and selling wine. If you're interested to know more about what we're at, you can look at our website:
which also has a few pictures of our place. Reading the news of yet another ownership change at CAP/Sema makes me feel very content to be running my own business. I haven't forgotten the hideous disruption that changes like that inflict on everyone!
If anyone is in SW France and likes the idea, they'd be very welcome to visit us (especially if they want to buy some wine!!!!!!!!!). In fact an old colleague from my very earliest days in CAP came by the other day quite inadvertently. It was amusing for us both to rediscover that we had both once worked in the same office for Bob Cooper.
Our coordinates are:
Mike and Sue Spring
From Andrew Patterson
It was interesting to see your comment that deferred pensioners come above current employees in the pecking order. I had hoped this was the case, but have not seen anything definite. Do you have any official statement about this?
By the way, I am still working in a part of Slumberger (or whatever) which is not being sold off (yet). I am staying in SLB for the time being, so have to leave the Sema pension scheme, leaving a deferred pension there (hence, my interest in pecking). Then I start up a new pension with SLB for a few months before retiring in October, still messing around with IBM software, just as I was when I joined CAP 37 years ago.
From Ian Grimwade
For all of you NAGGS boys this may surprise you but after a year of running around as a caddy and working as a caddy-master I am now an Assistant Golf Pro - yeah, that's right Sweaty is a pro. Now this is a little worrying as I will soon be seeing Mr Bradbury et al with 8, 9, 12, 14 handicaps and could put be in a difficult negotiating position. I would like to see a NAGGS local rule instigated whereby anyone playing me gets their handicap halved. Sound fair?
Anyway, I am loving my job, and only have another 3-5 years until I can become a Head Golf Pro - how scary a thought is that? I am working at a great public course in Atlanta, Bear's Best which is a compilation of Jack Nicklaus' best designs from around the world (including the 10th from St Mellion, the 18th and 3rd from Gleneagles Monarch course and the 15th from Mt Juliet). Look forward to seeing those of you heading this way soon.
Here are my new coordinates:
Home: +1 678 714 3275
6004 Turfway Park Court
Info on Bear's Best.
From Clive Hart
We are now in our rented place in Noosa, Oz
We have taken a lease until mid April 2004. My golfing colleagues will be pleased to know that I came runner up in the monthly medal at my golf club playing off my Australian handicap of 21!!
Am looking forward to England's continuing victories in rugby and to Australia's eventual loss, at which point I shall take great delight in commiserating with the criminal descendants.
Clive & Jean
From Steve Wells
When I saw that the site was "under review", I feared the worst. Even if there are only a few of us, it is worth staying in contact.
So, what is happening to me? I am still working on the design of a new warship for the Royal Navy: the Type 45 Destroyer. We have now got to the stage where metal is being cut and welded at two shipyards in Glasgow and another in Portsmouth. Good news for thoses areas as it brings jobs. Jobs which will continue for some years as we now have six ships on order out of a likely total of ten.
Apart from that I keep busy with other activities outside work. I work for the Open University as a tutor. Next year I am taking a new course on the Technology of Music.
Those who remember me from CAP Reading may also recall that I was also the resident photographer! You can see recent pictures at: http://freespace.virgin.net/chez.steve/home.htm. You could add the URL to your list of web pages.
From Michael Lacey
Logged on to CAP chaps and saw "future under review" notice Hope it is not going to dissapear
From John Macleod
Why is the future of the CAP Website "under review"?
I trust it is not to be closed down.
From Paul Cheshire
Hi Mike, Why is the future of the CAPnews site is under review!?
I know I'm not the most frequent of "lookers"; and I guess Captain Hook can count the number of contributions I've made on the bent nails of one not-hand ... but there I was, hot for the latest gossip -- all things Atos Origin (as in the Origin of couldn't give Atos) and .... shiver me timbers ... there it was .... empty!?
I hope the review isn't because of poor health in the stalwart web-maestros?! but just a symptom of inertia / apathy in the CAP-clan!
If I had a vote, I'd use it in favour of keeping the site at least ticking over ...
From Ann Smith
It was a long time ago - do you remember me - Ann Smith -
I now live in Norfolk - teach IT to adults and deal in playing cards and games - surprising where bridge gets you!!!!
I watched the site for the last year and enjoyed it - why under review? Where is the news? Is this what you wanted to hear
Do keep the site going - and the reunions
Regards and all good wishes
From Doug Robertson (re his article in CAPnews)
A communications session with Beagle 2 in early October 2003 was 100% successful and Beagle 2 and Mars Express are now more than 75% into their journey towards Mars. A further communications session is scheduled for early November, followed by the preparation for, and separation from, Mars Express on the 19th December 2003. Entry, descent and landing will, of course, be particularly key and are scheduled for the morning of Christmas Day, with entry into the Martian atmosphere at 02:45 UTC and landing completion about nine minutes later at 02:54 UTC.
It is hoped to receive a signal back from the spacecraft on the same day but this is by no means certain.