Following our feature on the former Hastings Observer building last week one of the men who worked there at the heart of newspaper production got in touch to provide some fascinating insights.
Ian Shiner was Newspaper Production Manager at the Observer building from 1961 - 1985.
Ian said: “The printing machine illustrated in the article is not of the type used for printing newspapers, it is a sheet-fed flat-bed magazine or book press.
“It was not capable of the pagination or speed required to produce newspapers.
“The Observer and other papers in the Parsons stable were printed in the old building at 14 Claremont until printing moved to the Ponswood estate in 1985.
“The newspaper presses were rotary machines, the last one being a Goss Headliner, installed in 1951, two stories high and run by a crew of five who are still living in Hastings.
“The Observer Building was not completed and occupied until the mid-twenties.”
If local people are interested in the history of the Observer Buildings and the people who worked there, Ian recommends seeking out “One Hundred Years of Printing” published by the company, F. J. Parsons Limited, in 1954.
The old Observer building, in Cambridge Road, has been preserved for future generations after being purchased for £1.15 million by White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures.
A ten year plan for the building includes new work and arts spaces and leisure facilities.
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