Graham Elphick visited the studios WOW FM Community radio to promote the virtues of our Museum. Graham was introduced on air by Isobelle Roustan and asked to give his story about the Museum. Graham told the story of the Nepean Times newspaper and the Colles family. The location in Penrith, where the Nepean Times was located, and about its’ closure and Alan Connell’s involvement with the newspaper. Also the closure of the paper, and Allan’s granddaughters’ sadness at the possible destruction of the printing machinery and the loss of local history. Graham explained about the generous offer of land at the Penrith Paceway and the wonderful grant from the Federal government, to build our Museum. He then told of the newspaper article telling of the planning of a Printing Museum, and asking for volunteers to join, and of Graham being one of the founding members. Then about our museums opening By Jackie Kelly MP, our local member at that time.
We talked about the machines from Nepean Times, and the gradual build-up of machinery and artefacts at the museum over time, and how Nepean Times was a steam-operated printery, as were most printery at that time.
New additions to the museum
The Columbian donated by Fairfax was repainted and positioned in a pride of place. The machine was invented in 1816 and considered a major breakthrough and in fact the SMH was printed on this type of press some 140 years ago. This particular model, number 937 was manufactured in England in 1841. Delivered by ship to Sydney then transported by Bullock cart across the Blue mountains in 1872 where it commenced printing the Carcoar Chronicle until 1939 when the publication ceased. It sat rusting in the backyard until bought by John Fairfax and Sons Ltd in 1973. The machine was restored by engineering apprentices of the company to perfect working order and on display at Fairfax HQ until recently. This press will now be the oldest piece of operating equipment in our fine museum. We will have it operating as part of our tours along side the Albion 1864 model.
We have also acquired an Intertype, a Pearl, a Heidelberg platen, which will all be taking key positions, Plus some racks of hand set in wooden cases which will add to our existing hand set type.
We plan to have the composing room redesigned to enable visitors to get up close and personal to this fine art and actually have a chance to learn a skill which will be terrific for the various classes the Museums runs.
This equipment came from Bexley, a Commercial printer which closed in 2005/6 and sat exactly as it was since, the machines were simply just turned off, we expect to have this kit running shortly.
There are many thanks to members who helped with the transition of this kit, and also the truck driver Peter and George who moved the equipment, it was quite a task. See the photos.
One point of note from Bexley was that a member of the Family donating the gear from the 1800’s worked for the Carcoar Chronicle which was where our Columbian Press came from originally!!