Justified And (Relatively) Ancient

01Apr13

Unless you live within the confines of the city of Norwich you’re unlikely to come across the John Jarrold Printing Museum by accident – to begin with it’s pretty well hidden, in the depths of St James Mill a Grade 1 listed building originally built to contribute to Norwich’s textile trade in the 1830s, and in addition it’s only open Wednesday mornings between the hours of 9.30 – 12.30. That said the effort you’ll need to make in order to visit will be effort very much rewarded because it’s a fascinating place full of history and activity in equal measure.

As soon as you arrive you’ll realise it’s not the kind of museum where everything sits behind frustratingly placed red rope, which is particularly pleasing when you consider the volume of Heath Robinson inspired machinery at work. The other thing that becomes quickly apparent is the number of volunteers keen to show you around and share their accumulated knowledge of which there appears to be an abundance of.

To be honest though it’s the staggering complexity of it all that really hits you. From the, sadly dying, artistry involved in the setting of type by hand to the quite extraordinary mechanical intricacy of a Linotype machine from the 1880s – it’s difficult to take it all in.

So having taken so long to actually get to the museum I’ll be making sure that my next visit is much much sooner than later because whilst the world at large proclaims that print is dead it’s very much alive and well in a small corner of Norfolk.



2 Responses to “Justified And (Relatively) Ancient”

  1. Interesting – haven’t seen this before, thanks!


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