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Brian Watson

Movember 2022 – Team Tash

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Movember, formerly known as November, is when selfless men around the globe forgo shaving to grow a moustache. We have 3 work colleagues bravely taking part this year all hoping to raise awareness and funds for male health, specifically prostate & testicular cancer as well as mental health and suicide prevention. Everyone at J Thomson is getting behind the boys and we wanted to quickly ask why it is important to them.
Scott Macnair, Brian Watson and Mark Jones (or Team Tash) all work in our Pre-Press Department.

What motivated you to take part in this years Movember?
Scott: Mental health and cancer has been a big part of life recently with close family members so I felt that was the least I could do to help raise some money for a fantastic cause.

Mark: Raising money for cancer charities always motivates me. I’m always up for a challenge, but trying to grow a half decent tash is uncharted waters for me.
Haven’t shaved my face properly in years so I can already hear the team call out… “When did the baby start working in prepress?”!!

Brian: I really like what the charity does to raise awareness of men’s health, so thought it would be great to raise money for them.

How will you handle not shaving for 4 weeks?
Scott: I don’t normally shave so 4 weeks should be a walk in the park, not looking forward to seeing my baldy face in the mirror.

Mark: I’m not too fussed, it should be fine. I think the wife will hate it though. Hope my 6 month old baby girl still recognizes me.

Brian: Will be a hard one for me as I always shave but should be fun to see what I look like after a month :).

Have you decided on a particular style?
Scott: I was thinking a cross between Magnum Pi meets Burt Reynolds a cool sexy look lol. 😂😂😂

Mark: The Hulk Hogan tash is a cool style, but as long as my tash isn’t grey I will be happy.

Brian: Anything apart from a Freddy Mercury tash and I will be happy lol.

Good luck boys we look forward to our weekly updates!
And as a thank you for taking part we will be treating the boys to a real Turkish Shave once finished.

Team Donation Page:

People Create Print : Apprentice Aiden Lewis

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This month’s issue of People Create Print we caught up with one of our print apprentices Aiden Lewis. See his answers below.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself? (where do you live/where did you go to school)

My name is Aiden Lewis, I am a 23 year old from North Wales, I currently live in Dumbarton. I went to the largest college in North Wales to study electrical and mechanical engineering for two years, before moving up to Scotland..

2. How long have you been an apprentice at J Thomson?

I have been working for J Thompson since August 2021.

3. How did you find out about the position?

I found out about the apprenticeship through

4. Were you interested in print before or did you set yourself a challenge?

I had accidentally stumbled into the print industry in 2019 when I used to live in Wales. I found out that I had an eye for the trade and wanted to continue my career when I moved to Scotland.

5. What are you liking best about the role?

What I like best about the role is the technical knowledge I need to do my job well, I have an interest in the way things work, so learning the ins and outs of the press makes my job enjoyable and interesting.

6. Are there any areas you find harder than others?

I find the physical aspects of the job harder than the technical parts, getting in and about the press to carry out maintenance can be both challenging and fun for me.

7. What else did you consider as a career?

Before becoming an apprentice printer, I had considered joining the Royal Navy as a Mine Warfare Specialist, this is because my Taid was in the Royal Navy when he was younger.

8. What do you like to do outside work?

Outside of work I spend my time with my partner or my friends, typically this is split between going on days out around Glasgow or the Scottish rural towns, or I play video games with my friends.

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself as a fully qualified printer, with the ability to run the press independently and without direct oversight. I look forward to the day where I know I have the confidence to complete jobs by myself.

Cookbook for Charity 2022

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Susan Hart, one of our design team, approached me recently about a cookbook she was producing for her aunt in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. For the last 25 years her Aunt Sadie has held a “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” in the village of Blackridge for the charity and has raised almost £40,000. The potential sale of this cookbook, along with home baked goods, will take her over this incredible amount. It was a no-brainer; I was delighted to help such a wonderful cause.

Susan got involved as she has personal experience of Macmillan Cancer Support having used them when her mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. They provided palliative care for her mum as well as valuable help for the family as a whole. She said “Caring for my mum at home would not have been possible without the support of Macmillan. When I was asked if I could help with producing a cookbook I did not hesitate and it helped that I worked for a printing company. I approached Kevin Creechan, our MD, about perhaps a discount on the project and he went above and beyond by sponsoring the whole job which means 100% of the profits from the sale of the book will go straight to Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland”.

Kevin Creechan
Managing Director

Jthomson People make print

People Create Print : Craig McNeill

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Jthomson People make print

This month’s issue of People Make Print we caught up with Craig McNeill a long standing member of our print family. Check out Craig’s hilarious answers in this blog.

1. Did you choose print as a career or did it choose you?

I’d have to say it chose me, or to be more precise I blame my big mate John “Smudger” McFadyean, another long standing worker in JTCP. He got me a start.

2. How long have you worked at J Thomson CP?

26 years, I started in 1996 and I know looking at my picture it’s hard to believe I’m that old 👀🤣.

3. What is the best project you have ever worked on, why?

The install of the KBA Led UV press, as it was new technology we had to learn as we went. It was a good test for all involved.

4. Have you always worked in print?

Pretty much unless you count my paper run and 6 months in Safeway (Morrisons).🤣

5. You have a month off work, where would you go?

I’d take my wife and kids to Disneyland as I’ve always promised them but haven’t managed to yet. That would be great.

6. What is something you think everyone should try at least once?

Nightshift 🤣

7. If you could sit next to anyone on a plane, who would it be?

Megan Fox on our way to the Seychelles together. Or my wife Emma, either would do🤣.

8. Who would you invite on your talk show and why?

Would have said Diego Armando Maradona before he passed away but I’ll say Kevin Bridges as he would be a good guest and a cracking laugh.

9. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

A few spring to mind here instantly, but I don’t think this is the right forum for these revelations, so I’ll go with the time me and my big mouth shouting jokingly about something in the factory led to me realising just how far sound travels. Shout out to my old gaffer Jacko for seeing the funny side 🤣.

10. What would the title of your autobiography be?

Confessions of a lithographic scientist👀🤣

11. What will people say at your funeral??

Only time he’s been on time for anything!!

International Youth Day – Becky – Prepress

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Since today is International Youth Day we decided to ask our newest apprentice some questions about herself and the start of her J Thomson journey….

Tell us a bit about yourself? (Where do you live/Where did you go to school)

I’m from East Kilbride. I went to Calderglen High School in East Kilbride.

How long have you been an apprentice at J Thomson?

I started at J Thomson in April and started my apprenticeship in July.

How did you find out about the position?

My uncle comes in to repair the presses and he told me about it.

Were you interested in print before or did you set yourself a challenge?

I didn’t even know this was a career before, when I heard about it I wanted to try it.

What are you liking best about the role?

Learning about all the new things and meeting lots of new people.

Are there any areas you find harder than others?

Remembering all the stuff I’ve learned and getting up very early.

What else did you consider as a career?

I never really knew what I wanted to do.

What do you like to do outside work?

I like cooking and I go out with my friends a lot.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Finishing my apprenticeship and continuing to learn new things in my new role.

cycle to work day

Cycle to Work Day 2022

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It may be Cycle to Work day but for Iain Cormack and Graham Gilchrist every day is for cycling to work! Whilst they were against a lycra clad photograph, we asked them about their daily commute to work. How many miles do you cycle per day?

Iain – 15 miles

Graham – 10 miles

Do you ride in all weather conditions/seasons – do you have a favourite?

Iain – Ride in all conditions……preferably sunny

Graham – Yes, all conditions. Prefer the few days a year where waterproofs aren’t required.

Do you cycle for health, fun or environmental reasons (or other ie saving money)

Iain – Health reasons mostly

Graham – All of the above

Do you cycle the same route every day? (give brief description ie from where and is it mostly town or is there any greenery/country roads)

Iain – A few variations of the route, the main objective is to cycle through parks and avoid traffic

Graham – I cycle from Rutherglen to work and back. During the summer / better weather I change the route about as I get bored doing the same journey every day. Sometimes go into town and through Glasgow Green even though it’s a longer route. During the winter I stick to the main roads and go the quickest, most direct route to get home out of the wind & rain.

Do you listen to music (safely) and if so what are your go-to-tunes?

Iain – Yes; Queen, I want to ride my bicycle

Graham – No, safety first!! Need to keep your wits about you as not all drivers are courteous and give room on the road.

Do you cycle apart from to work? If so where is your favourite routes/areas?

Iain – Not very often

Graham – Not often but when I do it’s normally with my kids to the park with the obligatory stop at the ice cream shop.

Boozy Brunch for Two in the Superbox at Hampden Park

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To take part in our fantastic competition to win a “Boozy Brunch for Two in the Superbox at Hampden Park” simply log on to one of our Social Media pages (or all to increase your chances), click follow/like then in the original post comment done and share to your own followers.

The lucky winner will be treated to a red carpet arrival,  4 x drinks (glass of prosecco, expresso martini, festive fizz or bottle of beer),  2 course Festive Brunch and Resident DJ all in the luxurious Superbox at Hampden Park. There are 2 dates to choose from 10th or 17th December*. Prize is worth £80!

Winners will be chosen at random and announced on our Social Media Pages on 31st August.

Entrants must be over 18. Employees of J Thomson Colour Printers exempt from entry although are encouraged to share.
*Date will be subject to availability.

Employee of Quarter – Paul Duncan

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At J Thomson we know that we have exceptional employees, so to celebrate their achievements we have decided to initiate a quarterly contest to recognise and reward them for their outstanding contribution.

The first winner of this award is Paul Duncan from our despatch department. We have received so many comments from our customers commenting on his helpful and positive attitude that we’ve thought about starting a fan club for him. He always has a smile on his face, and nothing is too much trouble. Congratulations Paul! Enjoy your £100 voucher, you absolutely deserve it. Our September winner has a tough act to follow. 🎉💯👏


People Create Print : Alastair Baird

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On 20th May 2022 we are saying farewell to Alastair Baird, Financial Controller of J Thomson Colour Printers for 20 years. Before he leaves we took the time to speak with him about his career, life with J Thomson and what he plans for his well deserved retirement.

1. Why finance?

Computing wasn’t an option – I did 1 years computing in my course at Glasgow Uni but never saw a computer. They rented some time off a computer in Newcastle and we wrote programs on punch cards – put the cards in a cubby hole and they were run overnight.

2. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced at J Thomson?

The last 3 years have been as hard as anything. I was heavily involved in the due diligence when the business was sold to Bell and Bain and then 2 years of the pandemic – which I worked all the way through.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you “actually” know about print?

Something to do with ink on paper I believe – 2.

4. In your 20 years who have you enjoyed working with the most?

I have been very lucky with all the staff in the admin department – its meant I have never had to do any proper work.

5. What is your funniest memory during your time at J Thomson?

There was an incident with Marie and a charity auction – I will say no more.

6. And your most embarrassing?

Dealing with the golf club committee after a J Thomson golf day advising why we would not be invited back next year.

7. If you could choose 6 guests for a farewell dinner who would they be? (colleagues / famous/ dead or alive etc) And why them?

Bruce Springsteen wasn’t a fan at the beginning but saw him live in 2013 and then started to look at some You-Tube live performances, QI presenters Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig, Billy Connelly, a friend, now dead, David Donald, who was a lecturer and just fascinating to listen to and of course my wife.

8. Name 5 things on your bucket list that you will try to do in retirement.

Learn to play golf (I have been trying for 40 years but I am still worse than a beginner), sea-kayaking, travel, win the lottery, as much skiing as possible.

9. Do you have any personal or professional regrets?

Staying too long at a previous company which I didn’t like probably because I didn’t have enough faith in my ability.

10. What message or advice would you give to your successor?

It’s a great company to work for – just enjoy.

11. What are you going to do all day?

I am still going to set the alarm for 6.15 am then after it rings, switch it off and go back to sleep.

12. How would you like to be remembered by your friends at J Thomson?

The ‘Jannie’ – I could sort out IT issues (I just Googled the answer).

People Create Print : Scott MacNair

By Latest News
prepress manager

Welcome to our new “People behind the Print” feature. With almost a 2 year gap and far less physical meetings, we decided to let you get to know the person who helped deliver your print.

This month we are interviewing Scott MacNair, Pre-Press Manager

1. What was your first role at J Thomson?

I started working in JTCP as a Mac operator in December 1998 and was delighted to be selected for the 1st management training program and I have now succeeded in becoming the Prepress manager.”

2. What is the best project you have ever worked on, why?

The White Paper that we printed for the Scottish Government in November 2013. It was such an important publication for Scotland and its people, and I was proud to be part of it.”

3. Have you always worked in print?

I left school in September 1986 and started as an apprentice platemaker in Scottish Studio’s and Engravers.

4. You have a month off work, where would you go?

It would have to be the Maldives, couldn’t think of anywhere more relaxing to have a holiday. Sun, sea, sand, and no internet connection.

5. What is something you think everyone should try at least once? 

Swimming with sharks. (Although due to COVID I haven’t actually been able to do it)

6. If you could sit next to anyone on a plane, who would it be?

Billy Connolly, I think he is a comedy genius, and he would have me laughing all the way to the Maldives.

7. Who would you invite on your talk show and why? 

Frank Sinatra, Robert De Niro, Marlyn Monroe, Maradona and Robin Williams

8. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Being stripped and tied to a wheelbarrow when my apprenticeship was finished. Not my favourite experience!

9. What would the title of your autobiography be?

Live for the moment.

10. What will people say at your funeral?

Hopefully, something nice!!