An occasional newsletter about forthcoming books and events

March 2017


progress on
Paper making by hand in 1953

Paper-making at Barcham Green mill in the 1950s

planned for 2017

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The type stands ready in galleys and a ream of the text paper, Barcham Green Finale, sits on the pallet. The pages are all made up and have been proofed and proof-read . . . and corrections made. (It's terrifying how errors get through no matter how many times you check.) I have some tests to do to get the measure of the paper with a sample forme and then the printing can start in earnest.

We had the 12pt Caslon cast for us by Harry Macintosh at Speedspools in Edinburgh. His Mactronic 3 system is amazingly versatile and because the text does not have to be rekeyed for the Monotype caster the whole process is speeded up and less error-prone. If you don't know about it, do have a look at his webpage.

The original booklet whose text we are reprinting contains sixteen photographs of the process as described, showing workers at the mill, poised at the various stages - at the vat, couching, drying, etc. With the kind help of Simon Barcham Green, we have been fortunate to have had access to large prints of the photographs, some of them originals, and these are being digitally scanned for printing here at The Old School Press. The original booklet was somewhat constrained by the amount of space available, so some photographs were severely cropped, thus losing interesting detail, and printed at a small scale. We shall be printing the entire photograph in each case, without cropping, on a sheet that is A5 in size (210x148mm).

The picture above shows the cover of my rather tattered copy of the original. Whilst we don't plan to produce an exact facsimile, we will be following the flavour of the original in structure and typography. So the cover will carry the title and the delightful silhouette of the vatman, and it will be made using the heavier Chatham Vellum paper from Barcham Green. (The coloured paper in the background is their Antique Rose paper which we shall be using for the binding of the case.)

We drove over to Kent to collect the paper, appropriate quantities of Finale, Chatham Vellum, and Antique Rose, now all safely here at the studio.

If you're interested in this title, do let us know if you haven't already. We expect the edition to be of 100 copies for sale and the price to be around 90 (euro115, US$130) plus shipping at cost.


news about
The Oxford Fine Press Book Fair

The Fair moving from the normal date!

24-25 March 2018

The usual venue of the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, arranged jointly by the PBFA and the FPBA, is the Headington Campus of Oxford Brookes University. Our normal month is November in odd-numbered years. However, the campus is being redeveloped and so it has been decided to postpone the Fair until March 2018 so that we can be confident that the redevelopment is complete. It's expected that the Fair following that one will resume the previous schedule and be in November 2019.


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Copyright Martyn Ould 2017