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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.

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