Page 20 - February 2018
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OBITUARY ALAN BRIGNULL 4800


       Chris Brinson (BPS: 10631)            acquired an old Golding treadle platen and
                                             spent time restoring it, replacing missing
           hristopher Brinson, who died in   parts, repairing damage and cleaning it till
           December aged 70, joined the BPS   it worked as new.
       Cin 2011 and within a short time had   The refurbishment of old machines was
       become such a familiar and valued part of   to be a speciality of his; in the corner we
       the Essex Branch that it is hard to imagine   saw his next project, a neglected Model
       a future without him.                 platen which was swathed in vinegar-
         My first encounter with Chris was at a   soaked rags as part of the initial de-rusting.
       branch meeting soon after he joined, when   True to his librarian’s training, he had
       I was initially struck by his amiability,   researched the previous ownership of this
       enthusiasm and easy conversation on a   press and the books which had been print-
       wide-ranging variety of subjects. He was   ed on it. When he acquired a Krisson type
       soon reliably supporting every branch   cabinet the following year he even found
       event he could and at outings of the Essex   details of the designer and could point out
       Roadshow could be heard conversing with   the influence of aerospace manufacturing
       members of the public on every topic   techniques in its construction.
       under the sun while handing out his souve-  Chris’s next new machine was even
       nir bookmarks and bunnycopters (a die-cut   larger, an Arab press which we were
       cartoon rabbit which would fly like a heli-  amazed could be squeezed into the con-
       copter if you bent its ears the right way).  servatory workshop, which was getting
         Chris had been a librarian by profession,   increasingly full. He unveiled it at a branch
       working in Chelmsford and Harlow before   meeting, calling it ‘The Essex Arab’ and
       moving to Holland on Sea upon retirement,   with characteristic generosity offered it
       with his wife Jenny. In literature he had a   for use by any member who needed the use
       particular interest in writers of the early   of a powerful press. Oddly, the goody bag
       20th century and I never found an author   which he handed out at this meeting con-
       too obscure for him to know all about   tained some printing on surgical gloves,
       their work. The history of stage magic was   the significance of which would become
       another longstanding interest and he had a   clear with time.
       large collection of literature and memora-  He had been undergoing treatment for
       bilia. Fellow entertainer and BPS member   melanoma, though you would not know it
       John Alexander introduced him to printing   from his manner. He remained his genial
       as a hobby and he took to it straight away;   self right to the very end, which came
       the collecting activities soon extended   mercifully suddenly. Once he knew the
       to Adana literature, type and presses.   end was near he took care to dispose of all
       He published some books of his own in   the Haven Press equipment and several
       collaboration with John, well-researched   members now have one of his meticulously
       biographies of theatrical magicians.  restored presses which they will use in
         The following year he hosted a branch   Chris’s memory with pleasure. He was the
       meeting and did it in typically theatrical   very definition of the words ‘congenial’ and
       style. We all received printed cards with   ‘gentleman’, just the sort of character who
       round corners and gilt edges, inviting us   makes our BPS a Society of Friends, and we
       to the opening of the Haven Press. He had   will all miss him.
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