Peter Plowman and I have returned from yet another visit to the Printing Works at Peterborough.
After that visit it is worth making some observations and constructive suggestions about this valuable resource in the historic town of Peterborough..
There are a few things that still mystify me about the Compliance Rules that cover the running of the Museum Project.
The first is that nothing in the production area should be touched and be left exactly as it was on the day that the owner left in circa 2000.
Considering that the gentleman who owned the Print Shop was not well at the time and just shut the doors and walked away from his business suggests that the plant was not properly operating when he left.
When you take a hard look at the composing room it all becomes obvious.
There are galley racks full of ‘standing matter’ in an appalling state.
But in the midst of the dust and scattered pieces of lead and wood there is a treasure and it’s the high quality Foundry Type that in the normal course of events would have been ‘dissed’ (distributed) back into their wooden typecases.
This was a normal procedure in the housekeeping of the Composing Room.
Likewise, Peter Plowman has spent many hours cleaning the guillotine and removing 17 years of grime, oil and dust. Peter has also attempted to bring the Heidelberg Letterpress Cylinder up to scratch.
Seriously, the policy of “Hands Off” does not make any sense at all and in the long run will damage the site’s tourist potential for Peterborough.
Both Peter and I hope the Management Committee will review their “hands off” policy and come up with a more practical and workable management plan.
Rod Parham, former State Secretary of the Printing Union in South Australia.