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Press Cuttings by Year
Sorting and collating the press cuttings has proved to be surprisingly difficult. The first surprise was the volume of press cuttings for the early 1980s. The second surprise was that I had assumed the press cuttings were the company’s press cuttings. They turned out to be my personal press cuttings. It seems that the company’s press cuttings have long disappeared.

The press cuttings start in 1980, the year Sue Grindlay became my secretary/PA.. For the next 20 years she kept a file of my personal cuttings. I must have seen them at the time and I must have known about the file but I had forgotten. On re-discovering the press cuttings and reading some of them, my first reaction was horror. Here I thought was the cult of personality writ large. Reading some more, however, it seemed more like ‘Booster-in Chief’ than Stalin. And then I remembered that in those days we had no advertising budget. We were a small company in a market dominated by huge multi-national corporations and we needed attention to sell our wares. I was the advertising budget and the media were willing accomplices. At the time it must have sounded huckster and hype but mostly it worked out although I have no real idea why .We built good systems and the users loved them. We had a user Association and the users elected me Chairman. It couldn’t happen today.

The press cuttings need to be sorted into the six sections of the archive, each of which has a press cutting category. This is a big job. We decided, therefore, to post all of them together in one place in year order and then to gradually copy them into the relevant sections. Some of course will remain in the master file when they cannot be identified with a particular section but hopefully most will properly pigeon-holed. The master-file will remain intact. Nothing has been omitted.

Some of the cuttings are hard to categorise. In 1984 there was a great corporate circus within our group of companies lovingly recorded by the press. Some kind of war was being waged behind an impenetrable thicket of corporate gobbledygook accessible only to a privileged few. We were on the periphery and had been cast apparently as the bad guys. It was diverting, bizarre and oft-times sardonically amusing. In many ways it was a comedy of manners full of foibles, gullibility and pomposity. If a book was to be written, and there is more than enough material, it would be a British-style farce. Later in 1984, I bought the company and walked away. The corporation subsequently disappeared.

The press cuttings are much thinner in the 1990s not because the company was doing less interesting things but because I no longer had to do the ‘advertising.’ I was also busy with the University of Brighton, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, the farm and the horses, the restoration of the lakes and the carp fishery, none of which being remotely press-worthy. I remember the decade most for six beautiful grandchildren.

Hopefully over time we will find some company press cuttings to add a little balance to the Archive. We will add them when we find them.



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© Michael Aldrich 2011