Roger Gilson joined the map making business when he left school in 1993 and has worked at Dennis Maps since it was founded, currently in the role of Operations Director. After 29 years in the business, there’s not much he doesn’t know about maps!


I wake up at 7am most mornings and have overnight oats with berries and yogurt for breakfast. Every morning, come rain or shine, I walk our family dogs Pippa and Squirrel. It’s nice to get out in the fresh air before heading into work.


I leave home for the drive to the factory. I travel to work with my wife, Naomi, who is Office Manager at Dennis Maps.


As soon as I arrive, I head to the factory floor to say hi to everyone and check everything is running smoothly. My role involves working at my desk but also being on the factory floor a lot, so I know what everyone is doing. There are 16 people in the factory today, so I go round to see them all. Today we’re working on encapsulated maps for Ordnance Survey and paper maps for Lily Publications. Yesterday, I prepared a production list for this morning, giving everyone an allocated job and machine to work on. Preparing a daily production list is a key part of my role.


I spend about an hour answering emails. I’ll check them throughout the day as well.


I answer some queries from colleagues.


An engineer and an electrician arrive at the factory to carry out our annual printing press maintenance, a two-day job. I greet them and make sure they’re happy with what they’re doing.


I raid the biscuit tin for lunch. I have a sweet tooth! Today I go for chocolate digestives and hobnobs.


I check my to-do list and then do a stock check, making sure we have everything we need for different print jobs.


I speak to a customer to clarify how they would like their maps folding. You can fold a map many ways, so I make sure we’re folding it correctly. Then I let the staff working on the job know.


Most people in the factory work from 6am-2pm. As they start to leave for the day, I begin thinking about what needs working on tomorrow. I make a start on the next day’s production plans.


I look at customer quotes my colleague Mark has produced. I always check quotes and give them final sign off.


It’s time to test the fire alarms. I test them every week at different points in the building.


Before the end of the day, I issue all the production plans to the relevant work areas ready for the morning. I also check all the systems are running in the Custom Made area.


I finish work after last the factory shift ends. I’m the last one to leave so I check everything is locked up before I go.


I drive home. It’s just me as my wife walked home a bit earlier.


Arrive home. It’s a quick turnaround when I get home as tonight is rugby training for my daughter’s team. My youngest daughter plays under-18 rugby and I coach her team. I’m also a Fixtures Secretary at my local rugby club and a Referee. Training for my daughter’s team is held every Tuesday evening and we play fixtures on a Sunday too.


We leave the house to collect some of my daughter’s friends and take everyone to training.


We get to the rugby pitch in Bath. It’s the last session of the season so it’s pretty light-hearted and fun.


Rugby finishes and I drop everyone off at their houses.


We have a late dinner – pasta bake that my eldest daughter has made. I keep some leftovers to take to work for lunch tomorrow. I feed Pippa and Squirrel as well.


We watch some TV, usually a crime drama or a food programme.



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