The Presses and Workshop

Here are some pictures of my workshop and my presses

This is my wonderful ‘Victoria” press, made in Leipzig in 1932 and called a ‘Parallel Art Platen” It provides an absolute parallel motion between the inked type forme and the paper to be printed, so that impression is evenly distributed. It is probably the best letterpress printing press for jobbing printing ever made. Called ‘Victoria’ after the grand-daughter of the Kaiser, it is also called an ‘Auto Vic.
Workshop showing my Arab Press, made in 1900 in Halifax, Yorkshire. The press is treadled and has a near parallel motion, and a ‘dwell’ to help save one from ‘catching a cropper’ – the ‘Cropper’ being a generic term for this type of press. Here my young grandson is turning his hand – and eye – to printing.
This picture shows more of the workings of the ‘Arab’ and the treadle that is foot operated – seven times for each print. But once the large flywheel has been run up, only a little foot pressure is needed. This press was continuously used for over eighty years in Kingussie, Scotland and was beautifully maintained. The press is still in her original colours and starred in the BBC production of ‘The Wipers Times’.

Poster Press for wooden type posters
(A sturdy little press made by Stephenson Blake of Sheffield)
My Adana 8×5 Hand Press
A surprisingly useful press for small jobs and the press I started Piccolo Press with some 37 years ago. This press is very useful for workshops and demonstrations, where people can print their own stationery.

This picture shows a general view of my workshop, including the two main presses, the larger Fairy 24 proofing press and the ‘stone’ for setting the composed type within the chase.
Here shown are some of the framed prints I have produced. The hand guillotine on the right, is the only ‘modern’ piece of equipment that I have!
I am very lucky to have some fonts of ‘Cloister Initials’. These ones were cast by American Typefounders, possibly over fifty years ago and are now almost unobtainable.
This is 24pt Verona type ‘in case’ – to show that all printing here is done with individual type letters. Below is a picture of some wood type

This is my Farley proofing press and a fairly recent acquisition. As you can see it is currently used as a extra surface – but I hope to get it into use soon.
The top board is from my previous ‘Piccolo Press’ which I founded in 1985 and sold on in 2012. The new owner did not like my logo, which is of a ‘Washington Hand Press’, so I took the board and have used the logo for my ‘Periscope Press’. Below is a board I made to display a a local show, from printing letters with wooden type. Unfortunately, as you can see, I do not have the correct ‘O’ in the font! And I can never get too far from my past in submarines. The top photo shows HMS SUPERB, then the latest of our nuclear submarines, passing the Royal Yacht, at the 1977 Queen’s Jubilee Review of the Fleet at Spithead. The bottom photo shows HMS ANDREW, my first command, pounding up the channel, probably doing some seventeen knots!