The Albion Hand Printing Press
The Printing Press
This is a small hand press from the era of local printer William Davison, which had been lying in the old premises of Thorpe's Solicitors in Narrowgate, Alnwick. The printing press hadn’t been used for some time and was in poor condition.
This piece of local history was tucked away in a corner of a store room and barely given a second glance, until it was suggested that the press be restored.
If the press was returned to working order it could be the centrepiece of an exhibition about local printers.
Upon talking to local groups it was discovered that many had no idea how a printing press worked. Younger people couldn’t grasp that something other than a computer printer could produce a printed page. It was decided that it would be a good idea to run some workshops and activities based around the printing press.
Some of Alnwick’s older residents had been employed by the local printing firms before they closed and were enthusiastic about seeing a press working again. Many had reminiscences and stories they wanted to tell.
A quick calculation was done, and it was soon evident that it would take many many Coffee Mornings and raffles before the “Printing Press Project” could go ahead.
An approach was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In March 2009 the first approaches were made to the HLF, and they agreed that the restoration of the printing press would fit their criteria.
In October 2009 the wonderful news came through that the application had been successful.
Thanks to the generosity of the HLF, the press was restored, workshops organised and the a whole generation of local youngsters shown the basics of real printing, in all its glory !