Victoria Art Platen Parallel Press

I am very lucky to have this beautiful printing press, bought a couple of years ago from Chris Wakeling of Corvus Works near Durham, recognised as one of the most highly skilled letterpress printers in the UK. 

The German company, Rock­stroh-Werke AG of Hei­de­nau built these beautiful printing machines prior to WWII. Mine dates from 1932 and is in beautiful condition.

These presses are greatly sought after by fine printers due to the parallel action and superb inking, that produces even impression strength all over the type forme. 

Front view of the press from where the sheet to be printed is hard fed. There is no guard on my press and so each sheet is Individually fed onto the platen, before the handle is pulled to close and open the press, resulting in an impression.
This shows closer detail of the inking rollers and the linkage that works the parallel impression.

Below is a description of how the press was installed in July 2020

The Victoria Press is Installed!

So on Wednesday 8th July a large ten ton lorry forced its way up my long drive from the road, navigating some overhanging trees on the way. And then disgorged a pallet with the Victoria parallel motion press onto the tarmac, all well packed and shrink wrapped by Chris Wakeling, the previous owner in Consett.

Up comes the transporter lorry
My two helpers (brothers) infront of the press.

I had built a platform out side of the workshop door at workshop floor level. The plan was to lift the press with a fork lift truck and place the press onto this platform on steel rollers, and then push the press into position on these rollers.

The press is slung and is about to be lowered onto the platform.

Once we had managed the slinging, the lift all went well and soon we were rolling the press in through the doorway.

In through the door she comes.

And then round the corner and into the final position. What a marvellous piece of engineering. Now I have to learn how to use the press and get it printing. With its parallel motion, packing the platen should be a lot easier than on my Arab.

Then after fixing the motor to the concrete floor with some expansion bolts, and connecting up the drive pulls with a new shorter belt; a flick of a switch and the press was up and running. A long, but rewarding day, only possible with the kind help of good friends. Now to ink the press up and learn how to print with it!!

The two presses are now in ‘line abreast’.