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HERITAGE OPEN DAYS

We will once again be taking part in the Norfolk Heritage Open Days Event. On Thursday 11th September through to Saturday 13th September, 2014. Places can be booked at www.heritagecity.org/hods.

On arrival visitors will be given a talk on the history of the company using a static display of old photographs, printing from our past, hand written letter books and the history behind the veterinary medicines for horses which we still manufacture today.  Continue reading

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Little Ouse Headwaters Project Visit

We were approached by some members of the Little Ouse Headwaters Project connected with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts based at the U.E.A. in Norwich. They enquired whether it would be possible for a group from the organisation to come down to the printing works one Saturday to produce letterpress printing for sale and display materials for use at their Open Days at various village halls around the vicinity of the Ouse headwaters.

John and Richard welcomed eleven people to “The Wilderness” early one sunny autumnal Saturday morning. Following a brief Health and Safety talk and a demonstration of Hand Compositing the visitors were allowed to search through our varied cases of metal and wooden type, make their choices and report back to John or Richard who would advise them on their task ahead, before starting preparation for their personal printing. Continue reading

Heritage Open Days in Norfolk

For the past two years Francis Cupiss has been invited to take part in the Norfolk Section of  Heritage Open Days where historical buildings, premises or places of local interest voluntarily open their doors to visitors to see what goes on there during the rest of the year.  We open the company to visitors one Friday and Saturday morning during a week in September.

Bookings are taken by the Heritage Open Day organisers in Norwich and visitors arrive and are welcomed by John and Richard who take them through to our poster room where a display has been set up with photographs and literature from our formation in 1830 until today. The display gives details of our founder, Francis Cupiss, MRCVS a vet who decided to buy a printing press to print literature for his range of Horse Medicines. Richard or John will give a talk relating to this time moving onto the present day. Continue reading

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How letterpress printing has changed

When I started my apprenticeship in 1971 at City College Print Department, George Street, Norwich adjoining the Art School, letterpress printing was on the wain.

The curriculum for printing apprentices was wide and varied. I studied alongside apprentices from well known local large printing companies including Jarrolds, Clays, Cox and Wyman and Mansfields. Many of these companies had offset litho well established as the major part of their printing process. Film typesetting was also en-vogue. To me, from a small letterpress company in Diss, this was a different world.

Having started my career as a Saturday boy  working for my uncle and grandfather, I learnt the basics of letterpress printing and case layout by being given the job of cleaning and distributing poster type as the typefaces were larger and easier to see and handle.  By 1971 the company had purchased a Linotype hot metal machine for casting lines of 8pt text for fixture cards and draw tickets, greatly reducing the time spent standing in front of a typecase.

Continue reading