Vintage Heidelberg prints Glastonbury newspaper

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Thursday 26 June 2014

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A 1957 Heidelberg OHZ-S cylinder letterpress is being used to print Glastonbury festival’s free newspaper, The Glastonbury Free Press, for the second year running.

glastofreepress

The press is also used to produce posters when not being used to print the Glastonbury Free Press

Festival organisers acquired the press, which uses hot metal typesetting, last year and used it to produce 2013’s inaugural editions of the paper.

The press, which was stored in the Wagon Shed at the site’s Worthy Farm during the winter, has now been moved into the Theatre Fields area of the festival grounds to go back into operation.

There will be two issues of the Glastonbury Free Press, the first of which is available today (26 June), the first day of the festival. The second issue will come out on Sunday.

“We print two issues of the paper which features content from a range of writers, copywriters and illustrators,” said project manager Aidan Meighan.

“The first issue is the larger of the two while the Sunday issue covers what’s happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

A 20-strong team, on a rota system, operates the press which prints 15,000 sheets during the night at a rate of 3,000 copies per hour.

The finished pages are sent for folding in the early hours of the morning and around 20,000 copies are ready for festival-goers to pick up from 10am on the days of publication.

The press gives music fans the chance to see how printing by hand is done. Visitors also have the chance to ink and print their own posters using the press, when it's not being used to print newspapers.

“People love it. It’s great to have something that’s actually printed on-site and it’s a form of memorabilia,” said Meighan.

A concrete base for the steup will prevent the 4,500kg press from sinking into the soft and often muddy grounds.

(photo credit: Casey Purkiss)

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