Desmond Jones - Professional Career - Anecdotes
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Des Gets Transported
Back in the mid 70ís one of Desmondís largest clients was GEC, part of this huge group was GEC Transportation Projects. GEC TPL were bidding for an Urban Railway system in Mexico, and Admin Publicity got the job to produce a brochure, posters and other promotional material.Part of this bid involved preparing an exhibition stand in Mexico City for the Mexican Government.
Des put together and produced all the exhibition graphics, and took them out to Mexico himself in an extremely heavy portfolio. When a Mexican taxi driver tried to pick it up at the airport Des recounted that his feet came off the ground!
Des had been told to expect assistance from the Chamber of Commerce in Mexico and planned to hire an exhibition system when he got there, but like many things back then in Mexico he got no help! No such thing existed and everything would have to be built from scratch. This would have been very expensive and way beyond his budget. At this point he had contacted a Mexican Exhibition company to assist him but they also could not help him find a display system for hire.
Finally he had a spark of genius and went to a local joinery. He duly talked them in to hiring out a number of doors which he connected together by hinges, covered them in felt and used the whole set up as his display system. GEC was very impressed with the result and so were the Mexican Government! He was even introduced to the Mexican Transport Minister. One of the directors of the Mexican Company he spoke to earlier were also so impressed, that they became good friends, which later led to the formation of another company, "Intramex", set up to promote international trade with Mexico.
After this success, Des later ended up in Costa Rica on another railway project to connect the East and West coasts to facilitate the trade in concrete and bananas.
The DJ Publicity Team having a working lunch at the Surveyor Pub, East Molesey
Des Dices with Death
Another part of GEC produced traffic control signals. They had just completed the signalling of the Crooked Billet junction, near Staines, and wanted some aerial photographs. This was back in the days before drones, so would have to involve a Helicopter.
Des already had another client account, Alan Mann Helicopters, that flew out of Fairoaks, so was able to get a good deal on a flight. Des was accompanied by his son Chris, who also worked for DJ Publicity by then, along with Des' wife, Doris Jones (all pictured together above). Chris' job was to load the film magazines for the Hasselblad camera that Des was using.
The helicopter was a Bell 47, which was basically a Perspex bubble on skiís with a tail rotor mounted on a pylon! When the pilot realized what we wanted to do, he suggested removing the doors so that Des could hang out of the side restrained only by his seat harness!
It was rather like going up in a glass elevator sat on a 3 seat sofa - but the job was done and some very nice photographs were taken.
One of Des' DJ Publicity creations to show navigation
One of Desís clients produced living image displays for museums and exibitions. On one occasion he was called out to photograph Richard Gibson, better known as Allo Alloís Herr Flick.
Des Causes Security Alert
DJ Publicity had another photography contract with a construction company who were building a link bridge between 2 buildings at Heathrow airport. It was a prestigious project and they wanted every aspect of the project covered, including a time lapse sequence over the building, and lifting in place, of the bridge.
Des wanted to get some night shots, so he and son Chris ended up on the roof of a building inside the Heathrow airport perimeter with some large cameras, tripods and lenses. Also at this time there had been some security alerts at the airport and, to make the public feel more secure, there were troops stationed there.
Someone had reported their presence as suspicious and the army duly despatched a Scorpian tank to investigate! Luckily they saw the funny side of it when they found out who we were and confirmed that our security passes were in order.
The core DJ Publicity team (Doris, Chris and Des Jones)