'The EAGLE  DESCENDS, Printing in Leominster'

Leominster History Study Group announce their twelfthhand printing press with an Eagle above
book of local and historical interest. In the title of this new book, ’The Eagle Descends,’ The Eagle refers to an iron press dated 1848 that was in constant use at the Leominster Printing Company until 1968. In later years it was used for proofing the pages of the Leominster News; this newspaper eventually being taken over by Berrows Newspapers.
Three of the contributors compiled, produced and edited the book.   Anthony Malpas begins this interesting story, by explaining how Johann Gutenberg’s invention of printing with movable type caused a revolution in the production of written and illustrated texts which lasted up until our own times

Ann Malpas presents the history of printers and printing in Leominster from the late 18th century, when printers became established in the town, up to the early years of the 20th century. By this time Leominster had its own newspaper, The Leominster News, printed and published in the town by the Leominster Printing Company. The Orphans press was set up by a Quaker in 1873 to employ boys from the Orphans Home; it became a limited company in 1919, and was sold into private ownership in 1935.

Arthur Davis takes over the story with a hands on experience in the early days of the letterpress trade. He has many stories to relate from a ‘printers devil’ to becoming a compositor on the four weekly newspapers printed and published by Leominster Printing Company. All this before establishing Davis Brothers, a printing and publishing business with his brother, also a printer.

Orphans Print shop;ten men and boys
The Orphans Press eventually came into private ownership in the thirties. From there it has grown into a company that now includes the latest Web production.
Barrington Print also produces Web pages as well as print. This is a family firm with a long experience in the printing industry covering most aspects of digital printing on modern equipment and machinery.

Leominster Print, printed and published the popular Leominster Post. The printing plant eventually moved out of town and re-established the firm under a new name, Whitley Press.
Centre Print was the first to launch the newspaper Leominster Post. This business was conveniently situated in the centre of town at a time when printing while you wait had arrived.
One Stop Print Shop, is also in the centre of the town and covered window and vehicle graphics, banners, posters, T-shirt printing and garment printing.

The current Leominster News started out as a small news-sheet for shopkeepers in High Street, Leominster; it quickly developed into a monthly newspaper covering news, entertainment and adverts within the town and district, due to an enthusiastic editor Alice Oxenham.
A Heidelberg press

 The Foreword is written by Joe Hillaby, the well known local historian, who was a contributor to The Early Church in Herefordshire, a book published for Leominster Historical Society by Leominster History Study Group.

 With over 200 pages, the book is fully illustrated throughout, many in colour and published in hard back, fully bound with dust jacket and printed end papers. It is printed at the Orphans Press, Leominster.

The launch took place in the John Abel Room, Grange Court, Leominster,  25th April 2018.

Books can be ordered by post from:
Janet Butler, The Hollies, Monkland, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9DB
at £15 each (add postage £3 per copy), cheques payable to ‘Leominster History Study Group’. (An order form is provided here)

Also, the book can be bought in Leominster from the Tourist Information Centre, Corn Square; and from Grange Court.a large Wharfedale Cylinder Press.


Over the past thirty-eight years the Leominster History Study Group have prepared several exhibitions, and assisted with two Summer Schools. We have published  twelve works on Industrial, Social, and Architectural History.

The Eagle Descends: Printing in Leominster, -published April 2018
Hymns Ancient & Modern and Henry Williams Baker, 2013
The Lion Hotel and Ballroom (1997)
French Barns, Cambridge Rolls and Register Grates 1999
The Early Church in Herefordshire 2001
facsimile: Price's History of Leominster 1793
Castle Moat, Leominster archaeology
Kimbolton with Hamnish 1986
Kimbolton with Hamnish into the New Millennium 2001
The Buttercross, 1993  (Leominster crossroads)
An index to accompany 'Leominster in the Great War.'
CD of Photographs Leominster Grammar Sch 2010

Leominster's legend from HARLEY 2253 can be found on the British Library site.
On our study group site here, find a TRANSLATION of the Legend of Saint Etfrid;
And the EDFRIDE Poem by John Hackluyt of Eaton (1603)
Ye Olde Fashioned Version of the Story in 37 verses.