Page 16 - April 2017
P. 16

|  It Began with an Adana |                        |  Tim Vernon (10772)  |


       I                                     petrol station and car repair business.
         have just reached the tender age of
         60 and have spent all my working life
                                             The greengrocers must have been going
         in the printing industry. I began a fi ve-
       year apprenticeship on 7th August 1972,   in 1948 as I had a couple of blocks with
                                             food depicted, which I used for the
       having left school in early July that year   menu. I was very proud of my work,
       at the age of 16.                     although I doubt it was that good.
         My love affair with the printing      As I grew more confi dent I began
       industry came about by chance the     printing cards for people at school with
       previous summer, when my grandfather   their name, address and telephone
       was clearing out one of his many      number (if they had one). I charged
       sheds full of junk that he had gathered   something like 25p for 50 cards, my
       over many years (he even had an old   fi rst taste of running my own business!
       railway carriage with a full size snooker   I ordered the card from Adana and I
       table in it). He handed me what I later   remember investing in a new font of
       discovered was an Adana High Speed    Spartan, which worked well on the
       No.2 printing press together with a   cards.
       quantity of type and accessories and     One of my friends had somehow
       said it might interest me – it did. The   acquired a signifi cant amount of small
       type was all mixed up and had to be   self-adhesive labels on a sheet that
       sorted:  fortunately I am blessed with   could be cut into strips of 12 labels. I
       patience. I quickly learnt to differentiate   bought the labels from him and had
       between the lowercase b, d, p and q and   the great idea of printing football team
       ended up with some Times Roman and    names on them, in the appropriate
       Times Bold.                           colour, and sell them as a new product
         I was keen to see if I could print   line to expand the printing empire. They
       something on my little press, and from   proved hugely successful until I was
       a catalogue dated 1948 that was with   stopped in my tracks by the Headteacher
       all the other paraphernalia I got in touch   of my school. He didn’t take kindly to
       with Adana and they sent me the latest   stickers being strategically placed all
       catalogues, which intrigued me greatly. It   over the school walls and furniture and
       amazed me that a lot of the items from   announced in assembly that it must stop
       the 1948 catalogue were still available   or the perpetrators would be punished.
       in the new one. After much deliberation   Fortunately my underground press
       and some saving of pocket money I     was not discovered and I escaped any
       bought a tube of black ink and some   reprisals from the Headteacher. I was left
       typecases and awaited their arrival with   with quite a few self-adhesive labels but
       anticipation.                         had still shown a profi t.
         A week or so later, I was attempting     I decided that I would like to be
       to produce my fi rst print. I don’t    a printer when I left school and the
       remember exactly what I printed but I   following summer I left just after my
       do remember the fi rst real effort was   16th birthday (which was on the 1st July
       a menu for our Christmas dinner at    1972. In the meantime my family had
       home! My grandfather had had several   moved from our village to Northampton
       businesses over the years including a   (my father moved his engineering
       fl orist, greengrocer and at that time a   business there) and it was there that
       88
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