Page 12 - May 2015
P. 12



                y introducƟon to prinƟng happened     sions it has produced. I also became quite familiar
                 when I was at school, in the early   with the journey to Adana, in Church Street—train
                 1960s. Rather to my dismay, the      to Twickenham (with one change on the way) then
Ɵmetable included a double period of Art each         a short walk.
week; this rather worried me, because I have trou-
ble drawing anything at all, even a straight line.       My HS2 really came into its own when I started at
However, aŌer only a couple of weeks I discovered     university. For beƩer or for worse, for the first year I
that just behind the Art Room was another room        lived at home. This had disƟnct disadvantages from
that was taken up with prinƟng equipment.             the social point of view but it did mean that I had ac-
   There was nothing elaborate here—a treadle         cess to all my prinƟng equipment. I soon lost count
press (I have long since forgoƩen which, if indeed I  of the number of clubs and socieƟes at university
ever knew), a guilloƟne, a few dozen trays of type    that needed Ɵckets, membership cards, invitaƟons
and that was about it. But I started spending my      and all sorts of other ephemera! It seemed that I
Art lessons there, as well as several other occa-     had a monopoly and it certainly kept me busy. A
sions during the week, and began to learn about       regular job was Ɵckets for the DramaƟc Society
prinƟng.                                              producƟons—from memory I would print 250 ‘large’
   ‘Learn’ is perhaps too strong a word. There        Ɵckets for a charge of £1.
were no formal lessons and the Art Master only
rarely put in an appearance; the whole operaƟon          All good things come to an end, and when I leŌ
was run by a small group of boys, most of them        university and, aŌer a short break, started at the Col-
rather older than I was. It was very much a case of   lege of Air Training in Hamble (near Southampton),
picking it up as I went along, and because of this    there was no Ɵme or opportunity for prinƟng.
I developed what I later learned to be bad habits.
For example, I don’t remember ever seeing a              Several years later, when I had become estab-
sƟck—all the type was set straight into the chase.    lished in my career, I was flying charter work. This
Even now I have occasional problems with seƫng        involved a lot of work during the summer (I once
into a sƟck, but I usually put this down to being     recorded flying eight days in a row, of which three
leŌ-handed.                                           were over 12 hours) and correspondingly liƩle in
   I caught the bug, though, and found a very         the winter. With a lot of spare Ɵme (and a disƟnct
useful book in the local Library that taught me       shortage of income) I put some cards in local
the basics of leƩerpress prinƟng. It inspired me to   newsagents adverƟsing my prinƟng services, such
build my own wooden press (note the absence of        as they were. One evening, just before 7:00pm, I
capitals—this was decidedly not a Wooden Press!)      received a telephone call, although the caller had
and my parents were persuaded to give me some         no need of any prinƟng but was enquiring why I was
type and some spacing materials for my birthday.      encroaching on his 'patch'! He turned out to be Tony
   I sƟll have some samples of my first prinƟng        Hanscomb (at the Ɵme Deputy President of the BPS),
jobs—the first ever was headed notepaper for           who had his own prinƟng business just across the
my brother. As he was about 11 at the Ɵme there       road from where I was living. We had a brief chat,
were no repeat orders forthcoming, but I became       and he invited me over to see his empire; the next
quite busy producing notepaper (usually Croxley       Ɵme I looked at my watch I discovered that it was
Script Duke size) for relaƟves and friends.           past midnight!
   AŌer a while I bought my first Adana, an HS2.
This served me for many years, evidenced by the          That was the start of a wonderful friendship. Tony
fact that the red paint on the operaƟng handle has    introduced me to the BPS (although I had seen ad-
been worn away with the thousands of impres-          verƟsements in Exchange & Mart from Ɵme to Ɵme I
                                                      had never considered becoming a member) and very
                                                      soon told me that the then Membership Secretary,
                                                      Jack DuƩon, wished to reƟre.

                                                         The rest, as they say, is history!
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