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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

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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!!

burrell collection glasgow

What a great night at The Burrell

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What a great night at The Burrell for the book launch of William Burrell: A Collector’s Life.  It was wonderful to see some of the titles we produced on behalf of Glasgow Life finally on the shelves.

Can’t wait for the grand opening next week, it’s looking fantastic!

New Corporate Identity

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You adapt and well, change…and change is what happened at J Thomson, literally, with the introduction of a new and modern corporate identity. One which moved the branding from a solid, corporate style to a more elegant and sophisticated style with a softer, fresher colour palette.

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Golf Fang

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J Thomson Colour Printers hosted its own version of the Ryder cup on Friday 28th January at Golf Fang Glasgow. Managers and trainee managers from each department competed against other for the bragging rights.

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