Tom Ballard


2001/165 Tom Ballard interviewed by David Finkelstein at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh on 6 November 2001

000 Erosion of craftsmanship. Watching different colours going in was fascinating. New process was more sophisticated and needs different skills.

039 Jan Collins (vice chairman) didn't see eye to eye on how the factory should be run. Got rid of piecework, caused problems. Thought they had recruited too much, fell out with Jan Collins.

075 Threatened to resign, went back to publishing in Educational, Bible and Atlas publishing. 1977 links with print trade finished. Restructured company and he went to St James Place, London.

099 1980 came back to Glasgow in charge of the Print Marketing Department. Murdoch in charge. Control of company gone south.

111 Publishing no longer tied to the factory, factory lost the business. Factory tried to get work from external publishers.

127 Not difficult to get paperback work. Decided didn't want to work for Collins. Advert from Government Printing Office in New Zealand for Director of Publications. Wanted to start commercial printing.

155 Was 55 years old at this time, resigned from Collins. 3 years in New Zealand. Didn't take off but enjoyed it. Based in Wellington.

183 Came back to retire but went and edited diaries until he was 65.

190 Prominent figures and firms. In Glasgow most of the firms are now gone.

216 People he dealt with in Edinburgh. Waddies, Pillans and Wilson, Constables, Waterstons. Some are still in operation.

226 Paper merchants and binders he dealt with. At Paton's would do art catalogues and would subcontract to other companies for binding.

249 Union situation difficult, had a monthly lunch with McCorquodale, Collins. Simplicity Patterns and Lairds. Biggest employers of SOGAT labour, compared notes.

262 Inherited the chairmanship of negotiating committee for 5 different unions. Always got slightly better deal in Scotland compared to England. Meeting with unions, got on well with Bill Keys. Enjoyed it but it was quite tough.

301 Collins came out of Master Printers, thought didn't need help of the other printers.

309 Important people he remembers includes Hope Collins, Ian Collins, David Nixon and Ian Chapman.

324 Contact with authors: met Agatha Christie. Bernard Ferguson the Governor General of New Zealand welcomed him to the country. Industry went through a difficult period between 1969 and 1975.

349 Firm belief that someone from Britain should be sent out to run New Zealand operations. People who started in Collins: David Bateman and John Blackwell. Collins was the dominant British publisher in New Zealand, particularly because of the stationery business.

372 Still a lot of contacts in New Zealand, son stayed and studied law.

378 End.


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