We work under the same roof as The Whittington Press which, since 1971, has been printing books by letterpress, from type (‘as God intended’, as the Revd. Bernard Roberts once remarked), in the Gloucestershire village of Whittington, from where it has now published over 200 titles. It also publishes the annual journal Matrix (‘by far the finest priodical of the book arts of the twentieth century’), and has one of the widest ranges of Monotype matrices anywhere, from which it casts type for itself and others.
During the 1970’s computer typesetting put an end to the commercial use of hot-metal and finally finished off letterpress printing. Many printers began the last great disposal of Monotype and letterpress printing machinery and others became its fortunate recipients. The Press acquired a huge collection of Monotype matrices, as well as some excellent letterpress equipment including two precision proof presses, a Heidelberg SBB (22 x 32 ins) cylinder press, a Heidelberg Superspeed platen (10 x 15 ins) and other ancillary equipment such as Funditor and Rouse saws. Even a decade earlier such equipment would have cost a fortune. With the exception of the Heidelberg cylinder everything was brought for little more than scrap value, the Heidelberg retaining its value because of its popularity in the trade for cutting and creasing.