Feeding a Master In
Wednesday morning and the presses are rolling in the press room of the Gairloch Times above Gairloch’s Recreation Centre. The masters have been prepared by the traditional cut and paste method and the pressmen are now tending the operation of the two Alcatel automatic duplicating machines. They carefully place a master into the input slot and gently guide it in and it is scanned to produce a cut stencil, in a single operation.
Nearing a Print Run end
The stencil film is automatically fed from a roll inside the machine, where it is automatically cut to length and then attached to the screening drum. The next step is the preparation of a proof copy to check the quality of the stencil and density of ink pick-up from the screening drum. Finally when proofs are deemed satisfactory, the machines are set into high gear and the paper literally flies through at a rate of 2 pages per second.
Tending the duplicating machine
This is a far cry from the days of the early Gestetner duplicators, when the stencil was cut in a typewriter with the ribbon parked out of the way and then manually fastened to the inking drum, which was then rotated by hand. By far the worst aspect of this job in the old days, was the effort required to try and remove the ink from one’s hands and sometimes one’s clothing.
Ed White, Gairloch.
Wednesday, December 09, 1998