Page 8 - March 2014
P. 8

LETTERPRESS                                      Alan Brignull (4800)

hƩp://st-botolphs.org/blog hƩps://www.facebook.com/WaiƟngRoomColchester  EVER since the construcƟon of Firstsite,         leƩerpress impedimenta. They had been
                                                                         Colchester's gold-plated temple to conceptual    donated the contents of a part-Ɵme printer's
                                                                         art, the building behind it which used to        workshop which had lain disused for many
                                                                         house the bus staƟon waiƟng room, cafe           years. As usual,
                                                                         and public toilets, has been leŌ empty and       everything was dusty and disordered, but the
                                                                         decaying. Now, as an interim measure, it has     intenƟon is to get it working as a workshop
                                                                         been taken on and refurbished by the CreaƟve     available for anyone who wants to learn
                                                                         Co-op and Colchester School of Art, and is       leƩerpress prinƟng.
                                                                         becoming a much more interesƟng place. The
                                                                         former newspaper kiosk has been turned into      Inevitably, there is a lot of standing type to
                                                                         a gallery and shop selling work by local arƟsts  be dissed but that evening's task was to sort
                                                                         and craŌspeople, and the waiƟng room hosts       out the cases of display type on the tables.
                                                                         a variety of events celebraƟng local 'makers'.   With the aid of a printed case-lay diagram,
                                                                                                                          the volunteers worked away, brushing out the
                                                                         One of these regular events is 'Maker            dead spiders, cleaning the type and puƫng it
                                                                         Wednesday'. Apparently I missed the              all in the right boxes. For some of them it was
                                                                         previous week's
                                                                         talk on gin-disƟlling                                                               evidently their
                                                                         and mixology,                                                                       first experience
                                                                         but heard about                                                                     of metal type
                                                                         the 'LeƩerpress                                                                     and it was easy
                                                                         Takeover' in February                                                               to sense the
                                                                         just in Ɵme and                                                                     same fascinated
                                                                         decided to go along                                                                 excitement which
                                                                         and see what was                                                                    many of us felt, all
                                                                         happening. When                                                                     those years ago. It
                                                                         I arrived the room                                                                  is reassuring to see
                                                                         was filled with                                                                      a new generaƟon
                                                                         typecases laid out on                                                               of leƩerpress
                                                                         trestle tables, and a                                                               Ɵnkerers being
                                                                         sizeable group of interesƟng-looking people                                         born, but
                                                                         chaƫng around the cafe counter which             experienced volunteers are also welcome.
                                                                         had been transformed into a Real Ale bar.
                                                                                                                          They plan to hold a leƩerpress evening every
                                                                         AŌer a bit of socialising we were shown into     two months on the last Wednesday of the
                                                                         the former gents toilet, now converted into      month. The next will be at 7.30pm on 26
                                                                         a workshop. In the Ɵled room which used          March when JusƟn Knopp of Typoretum
                                                                         to house the washbasins, they have a large       will be giving a talk. Further in the future it
                                                                         Cropper treadle platen surrounded by galley      is rumoured that our own Len Friend will
                                                                         racks, type cabinets and all the familiar        be entertaining the enthusiasƟc masses.
                                                                                                                          News and further informaƟon is to be
                                                                             8                                            found on their blog or Facebook page.
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