“The Dutchies.”

img_4504_zps783ba9cc1-scaled100021I felt very welcome at The Guv and made long friendships quickly. I had only had exposure to Miehle Vertical presses at Trade School.

The Vertical 6 was the newest press, Dennis Duthie ran “A Centurion” which was chucked out and two new Heidelberg platens took its space. I was really hanging out to be put back on one and charging 30 minutes for a wash-up that took less than 10 minutes.

Over the years, I spent some time out on the ITEK small offsets but they were tinny imitations of a press and I wanted to get back on the ‘proper’ machines.

There were suggestions that I should get ‘up to speed’ on the big Miehles but I had other ides.The one Miehle that had an auto feeder on it needed a tall dude like Laurie Hussin to carry whole reams up flights of steps with the ream folded over on his shoulder.

There was a vertical Miehle right up against the wall behind the wash-up sink and Max Andrews was on it. I was on the Heidelberg Cylinder next to Reg. Francis’ guillo.

Reg was a real character, lived by himself down Semaphore way and he had a lady living near him who made him big smelly stews.

Reg like nothing better than you to insult his ‘stinking old stew’ on the way past his guillo to the back door!. There was one gas outlet and burner behind his guillo. and the stew was heated up on overtime. Sliced and buttered bread was the instrument to eat it with (he called this ‘dipper inners’) and washed down with a few Cooper Sparkling Ales made for a very pleasant overtime.

Cohn Mohr was on the other more modern guillo. I have no idea what brand it was. Cohns’ idea of fun was to re-work out the paper cut- out from the planners and only cut what was enough for the job. Some paper cut-out plans were for 50% more than required.

Cohn kept the excess in a big pile, so when we had spoilage or press problems, we went (cap in hand) to Cohn and he invariably had a little stock of what we needed to get us out of the poo. Failing that, we went to Doug Laurie whose ‘spoilt work’ docket list often went onto the back of the job bag.

Cohn was Dutch but spoke very good English. When he wanted to blow off some steam, he would corner Jack van der Schaans (Jobbing) and they would rabbit on in Dutch for a few minutes.

Jacks’ English was largely undeveloped and everything he said sounded like, ‘is mish bish bosh’. We had Cohn translate for us on more than a few occasions. Even Jan Keizer couldn’t understand him.


The Photo above is of the “Barcoo” which broke anchor during a storm in 1947 or 1948 and was washed up onto West Beach.

This is the shipping accident that Frank (Nigger) Johnson and Reg (Father) Francis discussed endlessly.