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Steam, Printing, And Friendship.

8th April 2012

Museum of Power, Langford

On Easter Sunday 8th April the intrepid members of the Essex Branch of the B.P.S again attended the Museum Of Power at Langford, near Maldon in Essex, for a full day’s letterpress printing at their Easter Steam Gala.
Printing in the fresh air in our British climate can be a shade hazardous, but our leader, Len Friend had thoughtfully supplied two gaily striped gazebo tents to keep off the rain.
We had a small team of enthusiasts consisting of Alan Brignull with his Adana Hand Quarto Flatbed Press, Len Friend with his massive Farley proofing press, also an Adana 5x3 set up to do blind impressions and embossing, ( For those who thought you need massive pressure for embossing work, think again), the little Adana coped admirably.
Chris Brinson with the ubiquitous Adana 8x5 kept going with demand for the personalised copies of “The Essex Press” which had been beautifully printed and prepared by John Alexander and his Arcady Press. Copies of this can be used throughout the year wherever we attend an event.

Museum of Power, Langford

Finally our Branch Secretary Gwen Harper, who was in charge of our sales and “giveaways “ proved to be excellent company, and a fund of printing knowledge during the day. Well done Gwen !
Alan was printing personalised keepsakes, and did a steady trade with his perfectly printed examples. The children particularly appreciated having a go at using a composing stick and actually printing their own material. They could get no better instruction than the patient yet enthusiastic Mr Brignull. A small girl was heard to remark when leaving the stand clutching her handiwork
“I think I would like one of those” Meaning Alan’s intriguing Adana HQ.
The name” Adana” evoked much nostalgia among our older visitors to the stand.
They remembered seeing advertisement in the “Boy’s Own Paper” and “Meccano Magazine” from years gone by. Several people reminisced about their “John Bull” printing outfits, and a surprising amount of people had received printing lessons at school. Of course we also encountered people who had been in the letterpress printing trade, and I think it safe to say that we learned more from listening to them, than they gained from listening to us!

Museum of Power, Langford

One of the lovely things about belonging to the B.P.S. is the camaraderie that exists between members, and we were not short of support from our members.
We welcomed Margaret Rookes, our new membership Secretary, and her husband Ron ( who never goes anywhere without his camera) Ron is also our hard working mailer for the B.P.S.  Hopefully some of Ron’s great pictures should enhance this little article.
Ken Wright and his charming Wife Mary also made the effort to support us, as did John Alexander and Julie, who have not been too well of late, but managed to arrive with what John described as half a ton of paper! This is lifeblood to the printer, so we were really pleased to receive such a generous donation. Another gift came from our friend Mike Perry, who kindly gave me a type case he had going spare. Thanks Mike, I appreciate it.
Throughout the day we could hear the steady breathing of the mighty steam “Marshall” a huge three-storey Lilleshall triple expansion steam engine. Originally used as a water pumping station it makes the perfect building for a Museum.
The weather could have been warmer,and drier but we enjoyed a great day printing, and making many more friends for the B.P.S, which, when all is said and done is “a society of friends”.

Report by Chris Brinson - Photography Ron Rookes

Museum of Power, Langford