Page 9 - December 2016
P. 9

downstairs whilst I fi nished printing   was his shop. He said that he had
       the job. It was then that the printing   got interested in printing somewhere
       ink entered my veins and the rich smell   along the line and he had started to
       of the ink fi rst intoxicated my head. To   sell Adana goods on the side. However,
       cut a long story short he helped me to   just like in one of those mystery stories
       box the machine and gave me some      of Roald Dahl, both he and the shop
       furniture and some ink and explained   gradually metamorphosed into what
       about wiping it all down with white spirit   I could see before my eyes – a hobby
       when I had fi nished messing about with   printer’s paradise. He told me he had
       it at home. I honestly can’t remember   often visited the Adana headquarters
       whether I got the bus or the train home   in Twickenham and had got acquainted
       to Rush, 20 miles north of Dublin, or   with the staff as well as the famous
       whether I fl oated home in a haze of   Leslie G. Luker who apparently wrote
       intoxicating fumes.                   a substantial portion of his book
        Suffi ce to say that I got my fi rst   Beginning Guide to Design in Printing
       printing job the next weekend. It was   on the premises. Mr Dunne used to
       150 invitations to a Cheese & Wine    hold the shiny bits of lead blocks in his
       Party. Ned told me that I could get all   hand when he removed them from the
       I needed in order to print at a shop in   drawers as though they were sacred
       Harcourt Street in Dublin called the   offerings to be placed in the tomb of
       Adana shop. Over the next few years   some long-gone Egyptian pharaoh.
       I got to know the proprietor well. His     I had arrived on the printing scene just
       shop had been a pharmacy; one of      as the sun was beginning to set on 500
       those with funny coloured Victorian   years of the Gutenberg era of lead type
       bottles in the window and with        and craftsmanship and Rupert Murdoch
       mahogany drawers along the rear of    and his acolytes were fashioning the
       the counter with Latin names on them.   digital weapons that would sweep
       These drawers, which had glass handles,   away forever the magic and mystery of
       held a thousand delights, from fancy   Mr Dunne’s imaginative world of shiny
       cards to every conceivable sort of Adana   alphabetical lead soldiers and pretty
       block. These blocks were illustrated in   scenes of an Adana yesteryear.
       the catalogues which were printed on   Ninety-nine per cent of what I print
       smooth glossy paper and a photograph   now is done on a HP Laserjet 1005, as
       on the inside front page showed the   my Adana 8x5s and 5x3s stop far short
       Adana premises, which took up almost   of managing to produce a 20-page
       the whole of one side of Church Street   Overseas Newsletter every four months,
       in Twickenham.  I visited it in later years   not to mention a few other publications
       – but that’s another story.           of a historical kind. This portion of my
         The proprietor of the Adana shop    printing, writing and editing experiences
       in Dublin was Mr Dunne.  He dressed   covers just a fraction of the exciting
       like a banker, in a striped suit, and his   journey that has taken me to some
       shoes were always shiny. I asked him   strange places and even stranger people
       about the shop and why it was decked   since I got my fi rst intoxicating whiff of
       out like a Victorian pharmacy. He told   Hostmann Steinberg, vintage 1977.
       me that he was a pharmacist and this
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