Retired printers and apprentices share printing industry experiences

The Printing Charity’s sheltered home for people who have retired from the printing industry, Beaverbrook House in Bletchley, recently hosted a very successful joint event with the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) for residents and apprentices.

The interactive session presented by Howie Blanks, the BPIF’s South-East Training Co-ordinator and BPIF Training Co-ordinator, John Campey, centred on the transformation of the printing industry over 50 years.

Residents shared their experiences of changes in the printing industry during their own working lives with apprentices in today’s print sector: Gareth McCorkell from Snap Products Ltd in Aldershot, James Burton from Optichrome in Woking, and Aaron Toombs and Jack Carter from BCQ Group Ltd in Buckingham.

The apprentices were shown how an Adana letterpress worked by a resident and items were printed on a 3D printer during the event, which intrigued residents and apprentices alike. A quiz on printing techniques such as gravure, screen-printing, and flexography used on a range of printed samples rounded off the event.

While some terminology has changed, for example, today’s digital pre-press incorporates what used to be a separate photographic department, residents and apprentices agreed printing still requires specialised skills. Some things have changed for the better, too, such as heath and safety, and apprentices’ terms of employment.

Neil Lovell, The Printing Charity’s Chief Executive, says: “Our residents have a wealth of knowledge and experience and it was great to see them share this with the new apprentices, as well as gain insight into what’s happening in the sector today. The event was a terrific success and showed the power of different generations learning from each other.”

Ursula Daly, BPIF Programme Director, says: “It was fantastic to see our apprentices interacting with the residents and bonding over a mutual love of print. They have come away with even more enthusiasm for the industry after hearing about its rich history from the residents.”

Winner of Golden Ticket design competition announced

Keir Mucklestone-Barnett has struck gold with his design for a Golden Ticket in the recent competition we ran in partnership with this year’s Print Show and Print Monthly.

Daniel Weatheritt, a freelance creative, was a highly commended runner-up, while Paula Caffrey’s design was judged runner-up.

Keir’s winning design will be used for a special print run of 3,000 Golden Tickets printed live at the show by GMP, which is running the Special FX Station zone on Stand 101 in The Printers’ Bazaar. Visitors can use their Golden Tickets to enter a prize draw for a luxury hamper and vouchers on Print Monthly’s stand.

“Winning the competition feels great,” says Keir. “I entered last year and was a runner-up, so this year I was determined to give it another shot. I decided to take reference from old theatre and circus show typography, very traditionally British – to match the show’s line of ‘Print is Great Britain’. I always try and enter the competitions run by the Printing Charity when they come up, it’s good experience working to a tight brief and the prizes are a bonus.”

Neil Lovell, our Chief Executive, says:  “This is the second year we’ve run the competition with a live brief for winners of our Print Futures Awards. We’d like to thank The Print Show and Print Monthly for giving young talent in the industry the opportunity to gain practical experience. Congratulations to Keir, Daniel, and Paula.”

The Print Show runs from 11 to 13 October at The International Centre, Telford. For details and to register, see