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Northamptonshire Printing & Publishing Co.
Later part of East Midland Allied Press

1950 receipt

1950 receipt for printing prize draw tickets for Knotting & Souldrop Sports Club
The Northamptonshire Publishing and Printing Co. took on the printing of many county newspapers and in Rushden they started with the Rushden Argus in 1889. In 1891 the company had taken on a first lease from George Denton for the property at 30 High Street for 7 years, and remained there for several years.

The 'Echo & Free Press' (also covering Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough & Raunds villages) was founded in 1897 by Charles Cross, and in 1901 it was titled the 'Rushden Echo' when the other villages established their own newspapers. Charles Cross had his own printing works in Vicoria Road, and moved to 5 Park Road just before WWI. The Argus the Echo amalgamated in 1928, when the Echo was sold following the death of Charles Cross, and printing was then transferred to Kettering. Smaller printing jobs were still done at Park Road, until 1958 when they moved to the former Coxton Shoe Co. factory in Rectory Road.

Note: The 1892 lease is at Northamptonshire Record Office Ref: OR (M) 22

Touring Map c1900
map advert

An advert for tea is reflected in the middle window!

The Argus library and stationery was sold at 30 High Street.

This must have been the shop selling fancy goods that Mr Phillipson vacated in 1916.

Later it was Tomalin's before they moved to 109.

shop window
85 High Street
Photo by C Desborough c1912

Carnival "Echo" boy

A lad dressed for a carnival? The works would have printed the paper or cloth for his outfit.

A bow affixes his prize card but it is not clear what place he was awarded.

Postcard by Chettle c1910

Linotype machine
1911 Advert
a Linotype machine

First magazine
Splash: A quarterly news magazine of the East Midland Allied Press, printed by the NPP Co. Ltd, at Rushden, from blocks made by the 'Evening Telegraph' Engaving Department at Kettering.

On the cover is Fred Felce, who became a director, and had worked for 50 years in the printing trade.

Right: The first issue
Left: cover picture issue no 4 - at the back is Ray Bridgeford, front with the 50 sign is Frank Felce.
No 4
Splash Magazine started in 1950
Issue no. 4

Welcome Home 1946
Welcome Home 1946

Splash Magazine, Spring 1951

Prince Charming
Mavis Hood of the office staff of the Northants Printing and Publishing Co., Rushden, in her Prince Charming costume in which she took part in the Masqueraders pantomime at Higham Ferrers. Some of her lines contained a boost for the "Rushden Echo", but Mavis says she stuck closely to the script.
Marriage in 1953
Prince Charming

Splash Magazine, Summer 1953, p18

They Worked in Blue-Tinted Specs on 'Golden Edition'
ANYONE who knows India might have thought that they had wandered into the office of a Sikh paper and that Felce Singh, Cresswell Singh and their merry men were turning out a vernacular journal for dispatch by bullock cart. [Fred Felce and Harry Creswell]

But no—it was Rushden Park Road, even though everybody had suddenly taken to wearing blue turbans, and grimy faces looked like bearded ones. The strange headgear was a protection against blue ink, which filled the air like a mist.

The job on which the Phoenix was puffing and rumbling away was the special E.M.A.P. blue and gold Coronation issue—twenty pages of art paper, over 60 pictures in royal blue, all the text in gold, interleave dwith tissue paper, tied with a silken cord, and between gold-printed covers of cartridge paper.

Rushden has never been prouder of a printing job—nor with better cause. The issue was out by the Monday morning after the Coronation, and was very soon snapped up.

Then Park Road went on with a reprint. The job was one that required meticulous accuracy, and a good deal of overtime had to be worked, but the staff managed without outside assistance.

The blue and gold edition grew naturally from a sixteen-page pre-Coronation supplement issued to cover all Group areas.

It was first planned by Group directors and representatives under Mr. Winfrey, and delegated to R. Parkin, L. J. Bartley, and T. Ireson to thrash out editorial details, while W. H. Lumby took overall charge of advertising.

The supplement was printed at Kettering and Peterborough, but was produced mainly at Kettering, which received advertisement type from the other Group offices.

This consisted of "prestige" advertising, obtained through special efforts by advertisement staffs throughout the Group and set at the offices concerned. Those responsible were specially concerned to see that displays were artistic and dignified, in keeping with editorial matter about the Queen and the Royal Family.

So many galleys had to be handled that they overflowed from the case room and were stacked temporarily in the corridor joining editorial departments.

The whole of the work was put through without interrupting the normal timetable of departments. Arthur Jaggs did most of the precise page make-up, assisted in the later stages by Sydney Smith.

Pressure was particularly heavy on the stereo departments, where Dan Clarke and his team cast altogether 230 plates. All blocks were made by process manager George Howell, and pressroom teams at Kettering and Peterborough co-operated in solving difficulties connected with printing such a many-pictured issue.

After this pre-Coronation issue was printed, all type and blocks were sent to Rushden, where they were "split-up" into two colours for use in the blue and gold post-Coronation issue, plus pictures of the Coronation.

On Coronation night, to make blocks of the Coronation scenes in the Abbey and the procession, George Howell, though facing a full programme of Coronation work next day, worked al! night, assisted from the early hours by. Gordon Rose.

The Jaggs-Smith combine, with Dan Clarke, were also in from an early hour so that all additional pases for the blue and gold edition were cleared to Rushden during the morning without impeding the normal day's work. Thanks for magnificent co-operation all round come from T. Ireson, who did editorial and layout.

Why 'Splash' is Late - 1953
RUSHDEN Park Road has been rather busy lately! First the Coronation Souvenir (two editions), Warwick County Records, and then amongst other things Peterborough Show Catalogue—320 pages with 4 pp. map and 4 pp. cover; 40 galleys of entries. All this has been done on the premises with our own staff. Of course, we had some shifts and some overtime, but that had to be. The point is, however, only team-work can achieve such results. And it is! F.G.F.

Ray Bridgeford Arthur Desborough Linotype machine
Arthur Desborough at Park Road, making up pages from the lines of type
cast by a Linotype machine similar to the one shown

John Collins left school and was taken on as an apprentice compositor at the NPP Co., in 1955. Ray Bridgeford and Arthur Desborough were already working there as compositors. All went with the company when it moved in 1959, and took over the old Coxton Shoe Co. premises in Rectory Road. At that time the Bedfordshire Register of Electors was one of the regular 'big' jobs, and it was published twice a year.

John Collins was sent on a course to learn how to operate the intertype machines.

John Collins at the bench in 1959

John Collins

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