Page 18 - February 2015
P. 18

Holy Writ! by Philip Barnett (6714)

   WELL REMEMBER, as a boy in the                lift. What ignorance! The machine weighed
   1950s and 60s with a keen interest in the     over a ton and one of the men from Luton
   Classified Ads, seeing advertisements in      said he'd already had one hernia, there was
that wonderful publication Exchange and          no way he was going to have another and he
Mart for Adana printing machines. I had no       went home. So, I had to leave it behind but, at
idea what they were nor, at that time, did I     a later date, found a firm with a tail lift truck
have any interest whatsoever in finding out.     who would transport it for me.

Years later, when Minister at the Methodist      Two other things happened which really
Church in Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales, I met        moved me forward. I knew someone in Rhos-
up with a retired Minister by the name of        on-Sea who was director of a stamp factory.
Kenneth MacKenzie. Kenneth had suffered a        This was a firm which supplied collectors'
heart attack so I visited him quite frequently   stamps worldwide and, at its zenith in the 50s,
and he told me that his hobby was printing       employed around a hundred people. By the
and that in the garage was an Adana 8 x 5        1980s the trade had almost completely fizzled
machine and several fonts of type. "When I'm     out and only three people still kept the firm
better" he said "I'll show it to you".           going. But they had a print shop where they
Sadly Kenneth didn't get better and at Easter    used to produce stamp albums and all kinds
1983, I conducted his funeral service.           of other materials for their trade and they
                                                 were closing it down! For a very reasonable
Some weeks later the family asked me if I        sum of money I acquired three composing
would like Kenneth's printing press and all the
bits and pieces which he had collected in tins
and boxes in his garage. Never one to turn
down an offer I accepted with alacrity only
to be slightly daunted when his wife asked
me if I would print a note to send to friends
and family. The "note" turned out to be half
a side of (then) quarto paper. I had no idea
how to begin but, by dint of experimentation,
eventually something reasonably presentable
was achieved.

Things moved on from there as, by now, I
had really caught the bug! I joined the BPS
and in one of the monthly magazines, saw
an advert for a 15 x 10 treadle art platen. It
was in Luton so I borrowed a trailer to put
behind my car, persuaded a friend to come
with me and contacted the local Methodist
Minister in Luton asking him if he might bring
one or two people to meet us and give us a

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