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Langford Museum of Power.

20th April 2014

Easter Sunday at the Museum of Power at Langford is an established fixture in the Essex Branch calendar and over the last few years we have experienced a variety of weather. This year the forecast a few days before was for heavy rain all day but by Saturday it had improved to just occasional showers. Still, our usual outdoor location seemed somewhat exposed and we gratefully accepted the offer of a new position inside a marquee which the model engineers were unable to fill.
Langford Museum of Power
Len Friend had somehow transported his Pearl treadle platen in the boot of a normal saloon car, John Alexander had brought a more manageable Adana 5-3 and Julie was showing people how to fold printers' hats (which might have been more useful if it had been waterproof paper). Alan Brignull had the usual Horizontal Quarto and others were on hand to help out — thank you to Mike Perry, Ron and Margaret Rookes. Chris Brinson was recovering after an operation and unable to be there, but had sent a supply of printed souvenirs to be handed out. With other curios and displays we easily filled five trestle tables and stood back to await the crowds, worrying whether they would find us now we were not visible from the tea shop or the toilets.
We needn't have worried; as soon as the promised rain arrived everyone rushed into the marquee for shelter and all three presses were busy printing keepsakes. The children in particular were interested to set their name and print something. As the outdoor attractions gradually gave up in the rain we began to wonder whether we were the only people left, but an occasional blast from the rooftop exhaust vent reminded us that the big Lilleshall beam engine was still operating in the main building and thankfully the tea shop was open all day.
Langford Museum of Power
At the end of the afternoon we packed up feeling that we had not had a wasted day. A good number of leaflets and magazines had been handed out and forty or fifty people had had a brief taste of letterpress printing. Then just as we were loading up the cars the really heavy rain arrived. Let's hope for a drier Easter next year!

Report by Alan Brignull - Photography Ron Rookes