2020 Paul Chapman sent me details of the Clocktower Press which was set
up in 1966 by Paul and his friend David Rees. This was an initiative by
Paul and David with the help of Peter Jolly, one of the Staff.
Originally they used an old hand platten press, then a treddle press
before a firm in London, Heidleberg Press, donated one of their
automatic machines to the School. The picures below illustrate a little
of the set ups.
The Clocktower Press Team using the original pedal press.
manufacturer's donated Heidelberg press.
Peter Jolly at the Heidleberg facory in W. London.
Paul Chapman using a
treddle press before the
Heidleberg Automatic was donated.
Discussion on the School message board in April 2020 suggested that the
original press had been donated by Paul Dowsett's uncle and
had been used by his uncle and father to produce their cricket club's
fixture lists, contact cards, etc.Peter Jolly picked it up from Paul's
John Mason found the folowing aricle in the Esthameian:
"Think big and your deeds will grow, think small and you'll
fall behind." It all started quite by accident. The Sixth Form Society
had rudiments of a printery installed in several 'cubby-holes' in the
Biology stock-room.On occasions it came out from behind the mounted
dogfish and sheep brains to produce play-tickets and several items,
such as Sixth Form Society membership cards, which, considering the
facilities available, were quite incredible. In comparing our work with
that of outsiders you have to remember that he might be working with
equipment, modern, efficient, costing about £100,000 in all. Our press
was bought for £5 and is now 66 years old. We cannot hope to compete.We
have found what I believe is known as an 'untapped market', in this
case it is 80% those who love to see their name in print. The other 20%
is the School - diaries, play programmes and tickets, beat-groups,
youth-clubs, churches, members of the School (both sides of the
master's desk) in short anyone who wants our sort of printing. We don't
couldn't and won't print for companies, political organisations and
anyone whocould turn our printing into their own profits.
not take a 'cut of the profits’. It's a funny thing but everyone either
thinks we are either embezzlers or mad for not being embezzlers. Our
accounts are open for inspection by anyone that is suspicious. All
excesses are ploughed back.
We are supposed to say thank you to
those masters and boys who have helped us over the past year. It's
rather difficult to say as much to most of the school; we have indeed
been deluged by helpand support from the most unexpected quarters and
this has in no small measure contributed to the success of the Press
which has been beyond our wildest dreams. However, Mr. P. J. Jolly, who
has for for a number of years been working voluntarily at the Gospel
Printing Mission, the evangelical organisation attached to Ilford
Baptist Church, has given up a lot of his time helping enormously in
composing type. We have three ’devils’ [printers jargon -
apprentice, descriptive of printers attitude towards the
uninitiatelearners gaily sprinkling type far and wide]. Mr. S.
Forrester has been exceptionally influential in the staff-room and due
largely to his efforts we are able to record the fact that we are in
the process of acquiring two new presses and a quantity of printing
equipment from a school in the western half of our noble Borough.
Without his continued support and encouragement the Press would not
have got as far as it has and we respectfully hope he will continue his
interest in the Press by the renewed application of his wide knowledge
of calligraphy and typography.
Dunstan, 1957-65, sent the following information which appears to
relate to the Press obtained from "a school in the western half of our
My father, Jack Dunstan, spent some time in the art department during
an open evening discussing printing of various kinds. He was
a director of the Curwen Press in Plaistow and ran a printing press
when he was a pupil at Central Park School. He arranged for a
letterpress printing press to go to EHGS on permanent loan from the
Curwen Press. It was one that was largely redundant at the
time. When I left in 1965 it was at the back of the Art Room,
I can't remember the number, A13? It was used to print the
termly school calendar and may have been used for the programmes for
school productions. Sadly the Curwen Press is no more but two
of its offshoots, the Curwen Gallery and Curwen Prints both involved
with fine art lithographs survive.
Raver, 1961-68, wrote:
I was involved in the Clocktower
Press and along with John Turner we were taught the various skills
required. After Paul Chapman and Dave Rees (the original managers) left
EHGS John and I became the co-managers. The next generation of
“recruits” were George Bye and John Calcutt. Paul and Dave also
recruited their contemporaries Geoff Lockwood and Mick Robinson. Two
masters were involved – Messrs Forrester and Jolley.
As previously stated notepaper and school diaries were produced. Also
visiting cards and programmes for school plays. The printing process
was accelerated at some point by the acquisition on permanent loan of a
Heidelberg 15 x 10 auto platen printer – an exhibition model capable of
up to 90 impressions per minute.
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