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Visiting Linotype & Machinery, Altrincham, UK by Doug Wilson

Started by John Cornelisse, September 01, 2022, 02:06:21 PM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


Lovely building and nice link to an amazing article by Doug Wilson.....thanks.


Bruce Anderton

I have many happy memories of visiting the Linotype works at Broadheath and what a tragedy that so little now survives—but that's the way of the world today, alas! Wouldn't it be great to be able to afford to live in one of the apartments in the office building, especially if some of the type drawings were thrown in as a "sweetener" to take up residence. Hopefully some of this material has been saved by various people who were able to root round the place before redevelopment began, and interestingly a collection of specimens turned up on an edition of BBC-tv's Antiques Roadshow some years ago when it was broadcast from Cheshire.

Incidentally, when L&M went out of the manufacturing business they started using the empty factory and its grounds as an airport car parking location for nearby Manchester Airport, and I used the facility several times: it was especially useful in winter when they offered indoor parking, so one could return back from holiday with the hope that the car wasn't covered in snow and ice and could be driven off without delay.

Bruce Anderton

A further point to note in connection with the 1951 aerial view of the L&M works: the admin building faced on to what was known as the "new" factory which was built much later than the buildings which were behind the admin block (sorry I don't have a date for its construction). This building was constructed mainly for the manufacture of the L&M range of linecasters, whilst the older part of the plant undertook work on L&M's range of printing presses and stereotyping machinery. In the early days gravure and letterpress equipment was manufactured, then a range of Miehle presses, whilst in more recent times web-offset machines were built.

There was also a matrix manufacturing facility, and I think this may well have originally been located in the new building, but as the core business of hot metal machinery and matrix manufacturing declined in the late 1960s/early '70s all manufacturing operations were transferred into the older part of the factory and the later building was demolished—the first major contraction of the site.

In line with the traditions of the time, there was also a small "model village" with housing, welfare and sporting provision for employees, along the lines of Saltaire, Port Sunlight and Bournville, which were larger establishments set up by enlightened employers who were keen to look after their workpeople. How different from today!


Further to previous post mentioning - 'In the early days gravure and letterpress equipment was manufactured, then a range of Miehle presses, whilst in more recent times web-offset machines were built.'

In the seventies and very early eighties I was a minder on a Linotype-Hunter Cold-set web press at The Nuffield Press in Cowley, Oxford which at the time was part of the British Leyland empire.

I seem to remember that it was bought at one of the IPEX exhibitions. If I also remember rightly it had been bought with the intention of printing the 'Leyland News' which was distributed to the various Leyland factories but the format was changed and so would no longer be able to be printed on the press. It stood idle (with a full crew) for large periods of time. This must have been manufactured at the L&M factory.

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