Page 11 - Decembert 2014
P. 11

At around the same Ɵme my parents told       Numbers are limited to six, as we have six
me of the coming aucƟon of a small prinƟng   pairs of cases of 12pt Ehrhardt from which
business in Gloucestershire. We went down    the class set the chosen text. Wherever
and secured a magnificent royal Albion for    possible we like to find a manuscript (or
£30 – an incredible bargain even then. The   facsimile of a manuscript) to set from,
aucƟoneers had not publicized the sale       since seƫng from a printed text does not
widely, so no other printers were there      give our pupils the sort of problems that a
apart from James Mosley from St Bride’s.     compositor would have faced in the hand-
Most of the bidders were scrapmen aŌer       press period. Seven or eight sessions are
the metal type; we managed to pick up 20     taken up with seƫng, then we take proofs
or 30 trays of wood type in good condiƟon,   which everyone reads. (These are normally
and James secured the flat-bed Ingle          galley proofs, though we realize that this
machine which is now at St Bride’s.          is an anachronism for most prinƟng before
Since then we have had accessions from       the mid-19th century.) CorrecƟons and
various sources – a small Ullmer Columbian   imposiƟon are usually done by the tutors,
of 1862 and a rolling press from Dr Fred     and then the class prints the text in two
Ratcliffe, a lot of type from the University  sessions – we almost always print a single

Press (including William Morris’s surviving                                   sheet or half-
type), a Mono keyboard & caster from the                                      sheet, usually
same source, and a Nodis pivotal typecaster                                   octavo, although
from the Stourton Press, together with the                                    we’ve also done
matrices and type for Eric Gill’s Aries.                                      quartos and
Our prinƟng classes started in 1974, and                                      duodecimos.
have followed the same paƩern ever since.                                     The final session
                                                                              comprises
                                                                              folding, sewing
                                                                              and trimming
                                                                              the printed
                                                                              sheets; we
                                                                              usually print a
                                                                              cover as well.

                                                                              The classes
                                                                              conƟnue to be
                                                                              very successful,
                                                                              and we normally
                                                                              have a full
                                                                              waiƟng list at
                                                                              the start of each
                                             term. We also do one-off demonstraƟons in
                                             October for the public, as well as occasional
                                             visits from socieƟes or other groups. And of
                                             course we’re happy to show the Historical
                                             PrinƟng Room off to any individuals – but
                                             we do need advance noƟce!

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