A spe­cial mu­seum and shar­ing mem­o­ries of the type­writer

Let's Talk - - Contents - Derek James

opens the door to a mag­nif­i­cent build­ing in Nor­wich and steps back in time to the glory days of print... where the “inkies” still ply their trade. But only on a Wed­nes­day morn­ing that is.

The old world of print is a lost one, taken over by new tech­nol­ogy. But there was a time when Nor­folk and Suf­folk had sev­eral com­pa­nies print­ing news­pa­pers, books, and lit­er­a­ture of all kinds.

The peo­ple in the trade were crafts­men, even artists, who of­ten worked along­side huge ma­chines. They had done long ap­pren­tice­ships and once a printer, al­ways a printer.

Dur­ing my 50 years as a jour­nal­ist work­ing on var­i­ous news­pa­pers around the coun­try I have al­ways had the great­est re­spect for them and have ap­pre­ci­ated their help and ad­vice. They could be quite scary.

“Did you re­ally mean to say that, lad­die?” they would ask – read­ing my sto­ries on the ‘stone’. Many mis­takes were cor­rected thanks to them.

So it was a joy to visit the John Jar­rold Print­ing Mu­seum at the St James Mill site, tow­er­ing

above White­fri­ars Bridge in Nor­wich. This is not a com­mer­cial or­gan­i­sa­tion – it is only open on a Wed­nes­day morn­ing and is op­er­ated by ded­i­cated vol­un­teers.

And it was a treat to see young peo­ple and stu­dents work­ing along­side the for­mer print­ers in this work­ing mu­seum, which is home to some fan­tas­tic and rare ma­chines. There are no dis­plays be­hind glass cab­i­nets; th­ese are work­ing ma­chines which are there to be used - and they are. A book­let telling the story of St James Mill has been writ­ten by Nick Wil­liams and is on sale at ... where else but the Jar­rold de­part­ment store in the city.

The typ­ing class at Nor­wich City Col­lege in Ip­swich Road, in March, 1953. .

Get­ting to grips with type­writ­ers dur­ing a adult typ­ing course.

Com­pos­i­tor’s tools laid out at the mu­seum.

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