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The Brooks Press, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK

Started by Dave Hughes, June 26, 2016, 04:16:00 PM

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Dave Hughes

I recently received this appeal for help from Chris Brooks, about his family's old letterpress business:

"I am currently undertaking a photo project about a family printing business my great grandfather started in the late 1800's that ran until around the mid 1970's and was hoping you may be able to offer some advice in my search. I see on your site you offer classifieds but I am unsure if this request fits the criteria so I thought I would email first.

The press was called 'The Brooks Press' and was based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, being run by a Frank, William Brooks, also of Wirksworth. They used to print material for the locality, as well as hand printing and making a number of books on poetry, and various ideas and ideals of the time. I have managed to track down a few of the books already and am regularly in Wirksworth trying to find more info, but I would really like to see if anyone from the fine printing community had experienced anything of the press and (rather ambitiously) if anyone had any Information as to the whereabouts of the machinery that was used at the shop - if it still exists. Below is a list of the machines they had from an inventory I found from around 1932...

1 x F' Cap Folio Platen Machine
1 x Demy Folio 'Jobber' Platen Machine
1 x Auto. Heidelberg Platen Machine

The lady who bought the building from my family in the late 1970's (around 78...) got rid of everything that was left and can't remember where exactly the machinery went which is a shame - and there's a chance it was scrapped of course, but I am hoping it still exists and is working somewhere so I can see it and perhaps even commission work to be made on these machines.

Any advice you could offer would be really appreciated. I am trying to learn as much as possible about fine printing and letterpress but I am very much out of touch with this subject, and unfortunately there is no one left in my family to ask."

Can anyone help Chris?
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