The Wipers Times

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Glad to see BBC2 is showing a drama based on the story of The Wipers Times.

For those who haven’t heard about it – it was a trench-based newspaper, started after a couple of infantry soldiers found a treddle-platten in war-torn Ypres. Go check it out (or “The Best Bits” book, from Ian Hislop and Malcolm Brown) – dark humour that’s exceptionally funny.

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The ability of the printing press to bring some happiness to people in such dire circumstances, almost brings a tear to the eye. A friend told me a similar, but more recent story; during the Sri-lankan civil war, the northern town of Jaffna was cut off by the government.. but a local paper (Uthayan) was able to continue by rediscovering letterpress printing and get information to its readership, in a country synonymous with state-censorship and misinformation.

The above work, uses Stephenson Blake 10 line Johnston woodtype circa 1916 (as used on the tube); in honour of underground presses!

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Homage to the HoP

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A long search for chromatic woodtype came up trumps, with several new founts acquired this week.

Give Me Hops celebrates this wonderful herbaceous perennial and the upsurge in independent craft brewers creating hoppy IPA’s and Stouts.

The word HOPS was printed with shaded type, chosen as its ornamentation beers an uncanny resemblance to hop cone scales and the young leaves of the plant.

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There is no makers name on this Victorian 30-Line shaded type, though it is likely to be UK made – Ideas anyone?

Shaded Wood Type

Registering the second colour went fairly well though there was some variation due to the handmade nature and age of the type, as well as the intricacies of hand feeding for second passing on the press – though imperfection is good right?

Hooksmith Press London

Cheers and Good Health!

Late night printing.

 

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A productive evening with my daughter; took her to swimming class, got a little tree, and printed my Christmas cards. She’s loving Christmas in London. Now it just needs to snow.

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Hooksmith in London

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

After 15 months printing in Hamilton NZ, Hooksmith Press relocates to East London UK.  3 months at sea, and a few issues getting everything into our mid terrace, Leytonstone rental.. most things are unpacked and setting the first form can … Continue reading

Replacing the trip springs on the Vandercook SP15

My search for a Vandercook SP15  began roughly one and a half years before locating one, in the deep south of New Zealand.  I’d used one once (during a night course at St Martins in London), but never got to appreciate its intricacies  I’m mechanically-minded but not aware of what to check for, when it came to going over the press I was going to buy.

 As it transpired, there would have been give away signs that the trip springs were broken – ie a lot of inked impression on the cylinder blanket.  Anyhow it was during cleaning once the press arrived that it finally dawned; as the toothbrush knocked the remains of the broken spring out.  Not to worry,though, Fritz at NA graphics soon had my order for new parts as well as a manual.  I had read many articles on Paul Moxon’s Vanderblog concerning the replacement procedure and I was relieved to read read that the springs could be replaced with out the need to remove the cylinder carriage plates. http://vandercookpress.info/vanderblog/?s=replacing+trip+spring

When the parts arrived I made myself a tool (see bottom picture) and set about replacing the springs.

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