Oxford Guild of Printers

News 2015

New Members Record Book

John Jameson has provided the Guild with a new Meeting Book which is kept as a record of attendance at meetings. This is a magnificent production - you will all want to come to meetings just to sign it - for which the Guild is immensely grateful. Here are his preliminary comments about the project:

“When Miles suggested that I might bind a new Member’s Book, I was more than pleased to be asked. After giving the matter some thought I came up with the idea of carrying out the project in the style of a Springback Binding…………..or Ledger. This almost obsolete form of binding was conceived at the very end of the 18th Century as a large, robust book which opened flat for ease of making manuscript entries. What could be better?

Right through until the 1960’s or 1970’s, before of the advance of computers, there was a small army of binders engaged in this branch of the trade known as Stationery Binding but this is now almost forgotten. Whilst the techniques used are fairly traditional, I have deliberately designed the covers so they don’t look too old-fashioned. For the benefit of any bookbinding students I have attempted to make a filmed record of the entire process”.

Richard Russell ~ 2nd February 2015

At the end of Simon Lawrence’s talk in February he presented a further keepsake: a reprint of ‘Speke Parrot!’ from Edward Walters, printer and engraver, [Fleece Press 2013] which Richard had first printed in 1945 as a schoolboy, under the tutelage of Edward Walters, at the Marlborough College Press. He had inveigled Richard to sign these as Guild ephemera but then tipped them onto card over-printed: “70 years ago Richard Russell printed this. We salute you!”

It was with great pleasure that I was then able to announce the Committee’s decision to confer Honorary Membership on Richard.

Oxford Guild of Printers – AGM 1 December 2014

Apologies for absence received from: Peter Wilson, Veronica Watts, Paul & Jill Davies, Adrian Lack, Andrew Judd, Philip Sharp, Christabel Hardacre, Paul Nash and Richard Russell.

Chairman’s Report

Membership numbers steady at over 100; visit to Madresfield appreciated though disappointment that so little of the library was seen; Wayzgoose broadly enjoyed: plans to repeat in 2016 with better promotion; ‘Ephemera on Show’ successful and to be repeated: Peter White to organize again.

Treasurer’s Report

See attached sheets. Funds healthy. Subscription to remain unchanged.

It was agreed that funds were sufficiently substantial to merit a proportional and appropriate disbursement; see ‘Any Other Business’

Election of Officers

The committee were re-elected unanimously – Proposed, Gabrielle Falkiner, seconded Jane Russ. The Chairman made his usual plea for members to step forward to provide some change to the Guild’s management which he persists in believing would be healthy and, as usual, saw little spark of interest amongst those assembled.

  • Chairman – Miles Wigfield
  • Vice-Chairman – Richard Lawrence
  • Treasurer – Michael Daniell
  • Newsletter Editor – Liz Adams
  • Membership Secretary – Christabel Hardacre
  • Events Secretary – Miles Wigfield
  • Website Manager – Phil Treble
  • Ex-officio – Paul Nash

Any Other Business

  1. Social Media: Liz Adams and Victoria Stevens – the principle having already been agreed by the committee – proposed setting up a “twitter feed” which will provide information about the Guild and its activities in a far more effective way than at present. The Chairman admitted that there was a large reactionary element of the committee which nevertheless would support this venture wholeheartedly.
  2. Ephemera on Show: Peter White is again organizing this. He received the first two submissions during the course of the evening.
  3. Guild Picnic: this had again been enjoyed – no one said it hadn’t – and it was proposed to hold it again. Date to be decided (many pleas for particular dates to be avoided) and a host.
  4. Guild Visit: venue yet to be decided. Again, there were pleas for a date later in the year.
  5. O.G.P. Private Press Prize. It was intended to offer this again at the forthcoming Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in November 2015. It was agreed that the prize could be larger, that there could be more than one and that there should be some sort of exhibition of the entries. Graham Moss (Incline Press) had already agreed to lead the judges. Details will be established by the committee.
  6. Bursaries: These were suggested as a further way of distributing some of the Guild’s funds. It was pointed out that this had been identically proposed in 2010 but that, in spite of good intentions, the Guild’s generosity had come to naught. It was nevertheless accepted that the scheme, such as it was, had never been effectively promoted and it was agreed to have another ‘go’.

After the meeting, Liz Adams and Jane Russ put themselves forward as the ‘Bursary Sub-committee’ and will consider this further.

Similarly Jane Russ agreed to ‘mastermind’ the promotion and exhibition of the ‘Private Press Prize’.

The meeting closed in eager anticipation of Dr Chip Coakley’s talk on his Jericho Press.