Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting promptly at 1030a.m. and advised two apologies had been offered. He gave an amusing anecdote about Lord Soper, the Methodist Minister, which was appreciated by the audience.

Under “Initial Notices” Terry Byrne advised members of a concert being held on behalf of the Friendship Group on Wednesday October 11th at 2 p.m. for 2.30 p.m. at the Green Hut with a cost of ¬£2 to help raise funds–as an additional delight Mr Byrne will be singing as part of the entertainment!!

Today’s Speaker Mr Charles Lubelski was in attendance to give a discourse on “The History of Printing and its Technology”, having been involved in the printing world for nearly seventy years.

His talk commenced with a few lines courtesy of William Wordsworth and members then received some technical instruction on three principles of printing to aid understanding namely Letterpress, Lithography and Intalagio. The history of printing was touched upon with reference to the Egyptians but with an initial focus on the age of the Scribes, an important part of printing history, who did all the medieval writing of books, bibles and indulgences using parchment and vellum to write on. Many of these products were highly decorated and colourful works as demanded by the Church or Princes who mainly had the wealth to make the purchases. These books were bound in leather by professional binders adding to their cost and quality. Word Block Printing had been available but a major step change took place in 1440 driven by Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith and goldsmith who invented the Movable-Type Printing Press regarded as a seminal event in the Second Milennium. His type method used a metal alloy of lead, tin and antimony and a hand mould for casting type.

William Caxton received a mention as the first Englishman to introduce, from Europe, printing into England at Westminster in 1476 and he used the English language in his printing and the first book known to have been produced was Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

The 15th–17 century time frame saw the eras of wooden printing presses and was also a time of exquisite bindings and the production of expensive and valuable works such as Bibles which were locked to Church pulpits because of their great value.

Through the 18th and 19th centuries we were advised about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on printing; Lord Stanhope’s building of the first Iron Press; the importance of Bradford in the printing world( Percy Lund Humphries & Co 1895 Print Company); the Wharfedale Machine produced in Otley from 1856 which revolutionised printing and saw thousands of machines made and exported. In a speedy conclusion matters pertaining to printing were brought up to date with emphasis on the enormous impact made by computers in and on the printing industry. A literary end saw Charles share a few lines from Charles Dickens’. Questions and comments were taken from the audience adding to the interest generated by the talk.

The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of the 37 attendees was given by Michael Cochrane.



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