Page 9 - October 2014
P. 9

before, and had the remains of an aƩempt            Civil War Society who were also members of

at a guessed design in their basement. We           BPS: Tony Mugridge and Robert Prothero-

bought it from them and then realised it was Jones, who is the owner of the "Free Press"

useless. Proper research was needed!                that was my original inspiraƟon in the 1990s.

We got hold of a copy of the above book,                      The press came out for the first Ɵme at a

as well as a copy of Moxon’s “Mechanick             re-enactment event at the Royal Gunpowder

Exercises on the Whole Art of PrinƟng”. We Mills in 2009. However, it is only this year that

travelled to Antwerp to look at the wooden I have been able to use the press at home;

presses at the PlanƟn-Moretus                                            our old shed was in disrepair and

Museum. Then that                                                               my husband built a new

same friend in Leeds                                                                     workshop for me on

directed us to                                                                           the spot, aŌer

another friend,                                                                          pulling down

in Norfolk. A                                                                            the old

carpenter by                                                                             shed and

trade, Paddy                                                                             evicƟng

MurfiƩ                                                                                    the giant

was able                                                                                 frog who

not only to                                                                              was living

build the                                                                                under the

wooden parts                                                                             floor. At

of the press,                                                                            the Ɵme of

but adapted it so                                                                        wriƟng I am

that it would come         㫛                                                           preparing to take

apart for travelling. A         ăÛ  Ê¥  ò®‘ãÊÙ®ƒ                   ®Ý  ÖٛÝÝ  ¦›Ä›Öù   part in Herƞordshire
blacksmith made the large                                                                Studios, an annual
                                                    ƒÙãÊÄ'Ý  ÖٛÝÝ                Open

iron handle; the screw was adapted from a                     event where local arƟsts can showcase

Norton flypress by another re-enactor who            their work in their own homes. In order to

had access to a machine shop - he bartered prepare for this, we took the year off from

the work for a second world war tent that           historical re-enacƟng in 2014, but will return

we happened to have. A chap interested in           to Civil War 'baƩling' next year, when we hope

leather working constructed the straps that to have the press working, someƟmes under

aƩach to the rounce, and the marble that lies canvas, at Forty Hall in Enfield , Chippenham

in the part of the press known as the 'coffin' , in Wiltshire, and Aardvark Books at Brampton

was, appropriately, a rejected gravestone.          Bryan, Herefordshire. If any BPS members

All the while that this was going on, I was encounter our display, please don't hesitate

also collecƟng trays, boxes, tools and above all to bring out your criƟcisms, as it's sƟll a work

type. By a lucky chance for me, Caslon's have in progress, and I think I will carry on learning

their premises only a couple of miles from          about prinƟng unƟl the end of my life. Special

my house and Roy Caslon was very helpful in thanks to my helpers John Land at Amberley,

furnishing type, sundries and valuable advice. who was very encouraging.

I also applied for help to Small Printer and        www.pressgenepy.com
I was given a large chase which came from
Devon but had originated in South Africa.           I will have the press at the parish church at Thaxted
Many others have helped and encouraged me,
including two former members of the English         (Essex) for their Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday

                                                    18th October. Hours 10-4.

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