The PAFEC 10th anniversary brochure – August 1986

This is what a leading UK software company looked like 30 years ago. After thinking I’d lost this brochure for good, it eventually turned up at my late parent’s house while I was sorting through the last of bookshelves this afternoon. All six pages are available for download here (pdf).

PAFEC Employees 1986The photograph is from the back page and was taken on the lawn at Strelley Hall. It shows many of the 270 employees. I can remember quite a few of the people pictured (I’m in the background towards the left hand side), and it would be good to hear from you in the comments if you’re also featured in the picture. If anyone still happens to have the key to the people in the photograph (I remember it being displayed next to the copy of the picture hung by the staircase in the hall for many years), it would be even better to hear from you!

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Reader Comments

  1. Mark Vandersluis

    I too have that brochure somewhere – certainly a nostalgia trip! I recognise around 60 (including you) and can name 40-50 of those, but that leaves an awful lot of others.

    • Ian Polaine

      Just come across this whilst trawling the web in an idle moment. I remember this photograph being taken; I’m the one lurking at the back with my arms folded (probably sulking about something!). I can probably name a similar number to you Mark, I don’t have an original of this however and my ageing eyesight is making it difficult to make out some of the faces. Perhaps a joint endeavour would allow us to put names to most.

      It certainly brings back memories and it has prompted me to dig out my collection of PAFEC Posts and ancient brochures, I also found a copy of the original document, written by Ian McKenzie, that proposed the development of DOGS. If anybody is interested in seeing any of these let me know!

  2. Mitch Ward

    Thanks for that, my first job was at PAFEC, and I’m lurking in there somewhere.
    Some great memories!
    If anyone wants to get in touch, you’ll find me on linked-in…

  3. pjohnson580

    I still have a copy of the original brochure – happy days! I loved my job and most of the people who worked there – the best job I ever had – so creative. Sacked in 1992,

    I recently bumped into Richard Henshall at the Mulberry café – run by his daughter Geraldine – he did not recognise/acknowledge me. A lovely café, but maybe one should not revisit the past .

    Most of the people I worked with were extraordinary – thanks!!!

  4. Gordon Dinnie

    Hi Guys,

    wow – that really is a blast from the Past.

    I worked for Pafec straight out of Uni – 1989 until 1993, pre and post sales in GIS and then later briefly presales for P2, moving between Stapleford and Strelley a number of times in such a short period.

    Having worked for many other Software companies over the last 26 years, I am still impressed by the quality of staff at Pafec – I think they were the most technically adept and competent people I have probably ever worked with, and the most inclined to solve problems regardless of job roles and official job roles.

  5. Geoff Clarke

    I worked in South Africa for a international company which supplied components to the motor industry, our first Cad system was Pafec, 2d and 3d Dogs, with westward workstations, and a HP 540 cpu and networked via a RS232 line on a Unix OS.
    The system worked well, and would have continued, but it appeared Pafec was pursuing other projects. If they had introduced PC Dogs earlier, you could have been like Autodesk today.

    • tim

      Hi Geoff,

      I think you’re right that PAFEC would have survived longer had the PC version of DOGS appeared sooner, but it was company strategy for many years to ‘ignore’ the PC. I seem to remember an article in an issue of the ‘PAFEC POST’ explaining why. We were wrong, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!


      • Sally Norman

        Hi Tim,
        I remember you and the team in the office upstairs at Stapleford. I quite often tried to read your writing and type a letter for you heehee! I used to share that big office with you, Cameron Reid, Nick Barber, Janet Pearson, Carol…, Mike Giddins, Damone Quigley, so many more, their names escape me now.
        Loved working there, especially the pub lunches and the nights out in town! Happy memories eh!
        I remember working down in reception with Alison, still in touch with her, love her to bits! We used to get up to all sorts, but that’s another story!
        Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell, hope all goes well for you. I’m living down in Hastings now, children all grow up and doing their own thing.
        Lovely to see you’re still on form! Stay in touch!
        Sally (Way)

  6. Mark Tedds

    Gosh – takes me back – I was one of the High School pre-Oxbridge students working there in my year out (1983). I was working on DOGS with Mark and Ian. I seem to remember writing some code to help West Midlands Gas digitise their pipe network. Oh – and Ian whistling down an acoustic coupler to try to force it to sync up to some remote customer system so he could fix it.
    Front left tall with sunglasses is Jeremy (forgotten surname!) who called himself The Orange Stick Insect (TOSI) and developed the foundation of DOGS in his year out before Uni. Spent every lunch down the local, typically arrived at work late morning – occasionally late enough to go straight to the Pub!

  7. Ian Polaine

    Hi Mark

    Ian P here, great to hear from you! I’d almost forgotten about acoustic couplers! For the uninitiated these were early modems which required you to connect to a remote computer by dial-up using a phone, when you got through you had to ram the telephone handset into rubber sockets on the top of the modem. I seem to remember that the earliest ones I used at Pafec had a connection speed of 300 bit/s (yes 300 bits!). I can remember trying to debug customer software whilst having to stand precariously on top of the telephone handset in the hope of getting a more reliable connection. Tell young folk today and they don’t believe you!


  8. Keith Green

    Goodness, that photo brings back memories. Although, the memory of being on that photo eludes me ! I started properly in 1986 (year out working in the stables in ’84-85 and then Stapleford from ’85) so I might have just missed it. I recognise a good number!

    • tim

      Hi Keith, good to hear from you!

      I think the photo was taken in the spring of 1986, just before the 10th anniversary in August. I was still working in the stables then. I don’t think the porting teams and the rest of support moved to Stapleford until the following year.



    Brings back great memories. PAFEC was my first job (just visiting UK on a tech-swapping program) from 83-84. This picture looks like it’s from when I was there, but can’t be sure. I recall many of these faces. Would love to know where Russell Bonser and Keith Sheldon ended up.

Your thoughts?