The British Printing Society

So today I’ve completed my preparations for the print that I’ll be taking to the Craft Fair at Thaxted coming up on Saturday.
One of the sites that I take care to let know about Genepy events is the British Printing Society. They were formed in the 1940s when letterpress was going strong, both within the printing industry and as a hobby. They attract both enthusiasts and professionals to their ranks.
“Hobby” printing can be traced back to Georgian times with Sir Horace Walpole and his press at Strawberry Hill. It then became available to the middle classes in Victorian times, and in the 1920s the small hand press known as the “Adana” was introduced to the British market. They are well loved and still available in reconditioned form, the enthusiasm for letterpress being hit, but not destroyed even after the digital revolution. And now letterpress is experiencing a resurgence, as any trip into a card shop can tell you. The BPS have been a great source of support for me in my quest to build and run Press Genepy. From technical advice to sourcing hard-to-come-by equipment, from the interesting monthly magazine to the simple knowledge that others share your vision, membership has been invaluable. They also have several branches around the UK and abroad where members meet regularly. The London branch had been tottering, but has recently been re-invigorated by an influx of new members who have worked with the existing core to create a programme of events. Their inaugural meeting in their revived form was at St. Bride’s Foundation, a City institution from the days of Fleet Street and a treasure trove of printing wisdom.
BPS branch open days are certainly worth attending; the only danger is coming away with empty pockets as you find all the things for sale that you never knew you needed. As for St Bride’s , for anyone visiting London with a modicum of interest in the history of printing, a trip here is essential .

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