‘We ran for our lives if someone dropped some heavy type in case the ceiling came down’

Bucks Free Press: In 1934, when she was just 14-years-old, Marjorie Priest  joined the binding department of the BFP's printing works

4:19pm Tuesday 7th February 2006

Several former employees from the old High Street printing works have been speaking to reporter Clara Story with tales stretching back to before wartime, recalling a different era of the printed word.

Calling all ex-employees

Bucks Free Press: We are searching for old employees from all departments to get back in touch

4:13pm Wednesday 25th January 2006

THE Free Press is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and would like as many old employees to get back in touch as possible.

Celebrating 150 years of newspapers

Bucks Free Press: We have been looking for readers or old employees with memories of our history

5:08pm Monday 23rd January 2006

STORIES and memories of the Bucks Free Press are flowing in to commemorate our 150th anniversary this year.

2005 Bucks Free Press makes the move

Bucks Free Press: ...and into the new: The purpose-built offices at Loudwater Mill, Station Road

2:39pm Wednesday 18th January 2006

AN exciting new chapter in the history of the Bucks Free Press began in May 2005 after the paper moved from its old premises in Gomm Road to a new office in Station Road, Loudwater.

Printing took place in town centre

Bucks Free Press: Little Market House

2:37pm Wednesday 18th January 2006

THE BFP was first printed at the Little Market House, or Pepper Pot, as it is known locally.

Do you have Bucks Free Press memories?

Bucks Free Press:

11:21am Monday 16th January 2006

THE Free Press is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and is looking for readers with special memories of our history, including stories or pictures, that have made a difference to the public.

Thomas Butler became editor in 1885

Bucks Free Press: Thomas Harsant Butler

2:49pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1885, William Butler died following a seizure and his son, Thomas Harsant Butler, became the paper's second editor.

Paper changed name during First World War

2:45pm Monday 14th July 2003

IT was during the First World War that the title changed to the Bucks Free Press.

William Hollins became editor in 1919

Bucks Free Press: William Hollins

2:40pm Monday 14th July 2003

WILLIAM Hollins was appointed editor in 1919, when the business became a private company.

A rotary press was installed in 1924

2:33pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1924, a rotary printing press was installed, which was a considerable advance on the flatbed process and helped the paper steadily grow in size over the coming years.

Whittles and Baldwin

Bucks Free Press: W.H. Whittles - Fourth Editor

2:32pm Monday 14th July 2003

Mr. W. H. Whittles, fourth Editor from 1927 to 1932, had served on newspapers at Dewsbury, Batley, Hereford and Bournemouth.John T Baldwin became editor in 1933.

The BFP used to have a high street shop

Bucks Free Press: he front of the BFP's High Street offices in 1937

2:29pm Monday 14th July 2003

HERE are some pictures of the outside of our High Street offices in 1937 and the front office where customers came to submit advertising copy.

In 1938 a much faster press was installed

2:27pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1938, a much larger and more modern rotary press was installed which was able to print more than 30,000 copies per hour.

A Linotype machine enabled type to be set mechanically

Bucks Free Press: A worker using a Linotype machine in 1937

2:09pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE Bucks Free Press was printed in hot metal fashion until the early 1970s, using the Victorian invention of the Linotype machine, which enabled type to be set mechanically.

Typesetters retyped articles to create lines of metal lettering

Bucks Free Press: Typesetters at work

2:06pm Monday 14th July 2003

TYPESETTERS had to retype articles and adverts into huge mechanical typewriters, creating lines of type in metal.

Lines of metal type were placed in a frame

Bucks Free Press: A compositor makes an advert by placing lines of metal type in a frame, or chase.

2:04pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE lines of type were then put into a metal frame, or chase, by compositors and locked into place.

Compositors had a seven-year apprenticeship

Bucks Free Press: Compositor Frank Watson adds the final lines of type to a page

2:02pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE frames were all placed together to form a complete page.

The metal pages would be read using a wet piece of paper

Bucks Free Press: A proof is checked for corrections

2:00pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE completed page would then have ink rolled over it and a wet piece of paper placed on top to make a proof to be read for corrections.

Paper moulds were used in the production process

Bucks Free Press: On the left of the picture a flong is being placed in a casting box ready for moulding a metal plate. On the right, a moulded printing plate is inspected.

1:54pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE paper mould, or flong, would then be bent around a cylinder in a machine where hot metal flowed to produce printing plates.

Metal plates were made for the press

Bucks Free Press: A metal plate is prepared for the printing press

1:53pm Monday 14th July 2003

HERE a metal plate is prepared for the printing press.

Pages were paired up on the press

Bucks Free Press: The press is ready to roll in 1937

1:48pm Monday 14th July 2003

ON the press the plates would be put on in a sequence of pairs - the front and the back pages, page two and the inside back etc.

Ink rollers ran over the plates while the paper raced through

Bucks Free Press: Pages being cut on metal conveyor belts

1:44pm Monday 14th July 2003

INK rollers would run over the metal plates as the paper raced through the press and the pages would then be cut on metal conveyor belts.

Papers were snatched from the press mid-run for checking

Bucks Free Press:

1:42pm Monday 14th July 2003

A FEW papers were then taken off the press for checking.

The paper was modernised in the mid-1950s

1:40pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1954, the paper was sold to Merritt and Hatcher Ltd, who modernised the newspaper, introduced new typefaces and replaced the adverts on the front page with news items.

Gomm Road factory opened in 1956

Bucks Free Press: Our Gomm Road offices

1:39pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1956, the company opened new town centre offices in Castle Street and built spacious printing works and offices on its present eight-acre site at Gomm Road, High Wycombe.

Arthur Church became editor in 1956

Bucks Free Press: Arthur Church

1:37pm Monday 14th July 2003

A SIXTH editor, Arthur Church, was appointed in 1956, taking over from W H Whittles.

Midweek launched in 1968

Bucks Free Press: The press at Gomm Road in the 1970s

1:34pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1968, our sister paper Midweek was launched and in the 1970s, the company was bought by Westminster Press, part of Pearson.

Bill Tilley became editor in 1976

Bucks Free Press: Bill Tilley

1:32pm Monday 14th July 2003

In 1976, editor Arthur Church retired and was replaced by Bill Tilley.

By the 1980s type was set on screen

Bucks Free Press: A compositor sticks the separate stories, pictures and

1:29pm Monday 14th July 2003

BY the 1980s, on-line typesetters were used, enabling copy to be displayed on screens and viewed before being output onto special chemically-coated paper.

A process camera produced full-size negatives of the page

Bucks Free Press: A film negative of a page is inspected

1:27pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE completed page was then taken to a process camera, which made a film negative of the page.

The negatives were used to make metal plates for the press

Bucks Free Press: A metal plate in production

1:25pm Monday 14th July 2003

THIS was then placed on top of an aluminium plate coated with a light-sensitive resin and exposed to ultra-violet light, which burns a positive image onto the plate.

Paper runs over a reversed image on a rubber blanket

Bucks Free Press: The paper is folded on the press

1:21pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE plates were attached to big drums on the press and ink was added which only stuck to the light sensitive coating, ie the text and picture areas of the plate.

For colour pages, four plates were needed

Bucks Free Press: The paper is cut on the press

1:19pm Monday 14th July 2003

FOR colour pages, four plates needed to be made, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. All shades of colour were made by using these colours in different densities.

New editor Tim Blott takes over

Bucks Free Press: Tim Blott

1:17pm Monday 14th July 2003

In 1988, Bill Tilley retired and Tim Blott took over as editor.

Printing was contracted out in 1990

1:14pm Monday 14th July 2003

IN 1990, the press at the Bucks Free Press was decommissioned due to old age and advancing technology, the printing process was then contracted out.

The papers reach the newsagents early on Friday morning

Bucks Free Press: The BFP costs just 40p

1:12pm Monday 14th July 2003

AROUND midnight on Thursday, a procession of lorries collects bundles of the paper and takes them to distribution depots all over South Bucks ready for our readers to purchase at newsagents.

Current editor took over in 1994

Bucks Free Press: Editor Steve Cohen

1:07pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE present editor, Steve Cohen, took over from Tim Blott in 1994 and is the paper's ninth editor.

More than 100 staff work at our Gomm Road site

12:28pm Monday 14th July 2003

A TEAM of more than 100 staff currently work at the Gomm Road offices, producing ten publications in house, as well as our website.

Our reporters either cover a patch or specialise

Bucks Free Press: A reporter at work

12:25pm Monday 14th July 2003

WE have a team of reporters who are all trained in shorthand, newspaper law, journalism and local government.

Photographers mostly use digital cameras

Bucks Free Press: A photographer at work

12:20pm Monday 14th July 2003

WE also have our own team of photographers, as pictures are an important part of any newspaper.

How the news is treated is decided in daily editorial conferences

Bucks Free Press: An editorial conference

12:16pm Monday 14th July 2003

EVERY morning an editorial conference is held when heads of department get together to discuss what news is available and how it should be treated.

The newsroom works to daily deadlines

Bucks Free Press: The Bucks Free Press newsroom

12:10pm Monday 14th July 2003

THE reporters type their stories into computers and send them to the newsdesk's computer basket where the news editor allocates them to a page.

Sub-editors design and check the pages

Bucks Free Press: A sub-editor at work

12:09pm Monday 14th July 2003

ONCE the news editor has allocated the stories and pictures for a page, sub-editors then design the pages in an eye-catching manner, write the headlines and make the text fit.

Adverts are added to complete the paper

Bucks Free Press: A production employee merges the stories and adverts together on-screen to complete a page

11:58am Monday 14th July 2003

THE completed editorial pages are then printed out for proof reading, a final check by the editor and then they are sent via computer to the production department.

Paper was delivered by horse and cart in the 1860s

Bucks Free Press: A delivery of paper in the 1860s.

11:55am Monday 14th July 2003

In 1869, the offices moved to 20 High Street. Paper was delivered by horse-drawn carts at that time.

Single sheets were hand-fed into the printer in the 1850s

Bucks Free Press:

3:15pm Monday 14th July 2003

PRODUCING the paper was a laborious process.

William Butler founded BFP in 1856

Bucks Free Press: William Butler, founder of the Bucks Free Press

2:36pm Wednesday 18th January 2006

THE Bucks Free Press was first published on December 19, 1856, when it was known as the South Bucks Free Press.

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