“A Wayz…what…?” is usually the response you get when you mention the word Wayzgoose, its such an unusual word to so many people, but if you were involved in the printing trade ‘in the olden days’ it would have been a familiar term. Over time the meaning has changed somewhat, but it has traditionally centred around St Batholomews Day (24 August), which marked the end of Summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight (ink, paper and fire…nothing can go wrong with that…right?).
A Wayzgoose was ‘an entertainment’ given by the master printer to his workmen, and this later came to mean an outing or annual holiday given by the print works owners to its staff. Not something you hear of much these days in any trade or business. It can also literally mean a ‘Printers Party’ – food, drinks and printing at a chosen press. Fast forward to the present day and a Wayzgoose for us here in Shipley is a gathering of printers from across the UK involved with letterpress printing. This type of printing has been in use for over 500 years, ever since some bright spark in Germany called Gutenberg invented movable type – individual letters cast from molten lead that could be assembled by hand into words, sentences, paragraphs, newspapers and…books. There is a rich and varied history of printing in and around Yorkshire and by 1911 it was the fourth largest employer in Leeds with over 8000 people in the trade. In Bradford in 1904 Lund Humphries installed the first Monotype casting machines to enable the composition of type for printing of the much lauded Penrose annual as well as books by leading artists Paul Nash & Henry Moore.
The Wharfedale Stop Cylinder press that dominated world markets was manufactured in Otley and up to 3000 people were employed by the company by 1911. In 1965 an order for 28 machines was placed to enable the printing of the Quran in Pakistan. DeLittle of York, well respected wood type manufacturers only ceased trading in the late 1990s and the daddy of them all was Stephenson Blake & Co who operated out of Sheffield for over 200 years. These companies operated in a time when things were built to last and thankfully, many of these companies legacies live on in print-shops across the UK (and world), enabling a generation of newcomers to get their hands dirty and get involved.
So it is the book that we aim to celebrate in our gathering of printers – the power of the written word, beautifully printed in small or large volumes encased in luxuriating bindings that will please and tantalise the eyes and the soul. Letterpress printing has seen something of a resurgence over the last 10 years with a surprising amount of printers now popping up all over the UK. It is in this context that we are bringing together some of the finest presses across the land for one day in the beautiful surroundings of Shipley’s one and only Kirkgate Centre to talk, breathe, and smell the printed goodness, and hopefully to tempt some hard earned cash from your pocket to purchase some finely printed works! We’ll also have two type foundries present on the day so there will be ample opportunity to stock up on some of the finest types that the UK has to offer. And if you’re looking to get into printing in your garage / shed / or on your kitchen table, Shipley’s Wayzgoose is an ideal opportunity to delve into the wild (and quite frankly, crazy) world of letterpress printing, so you could come along and quiz our stallholders and maybe go home with a printing press or two to start you off on your inky journey.
We’ll be joined by Gee Vaucher from Exitstencil Press whose image ‘Oh America’ (The Statue of Liberty with her head in her hands) went viral after the US elections, Nick Hand will be riding from Lands End to John O Groats (via Shipley) on his custom made printing bike, Dennis Gould the poet & printer will be on hand with his uplifting and exhilarating letterpress works (come and print one as he’ll have a press to hand). Stephen Conway Bookbinders will be hauling mighty tomes across from Halifax, Incline Press will be joining us from over the Pennines in Oldham, Effra Press re-located to North Yorkshire after having honed his Monotype casting operation in London at Hand & Eye Letterpress. In adiition, Print for the Love of Wood brings a barrel load of fun from over Blackburn way, Nomad Letterpress joins us from Cheltenham, Kitty Crossley joins us from Stroud, Penfold Press produce sublime artist edition prints for the likes of Mark Hearld & Angela Harding. The Reading Room Press joins us from Gloucestershire, Hestanisle Press joins us from Scotland, Jonathan Ashworth joins us from Brighton and a little closer to home Red Plate Press will saunter in from Todmorden, Bloomfield Square joins us from Otley, whilst Roger Grech & The Print Project will be representing Shipley! On sale will be posters, books, papers, chap books, postcards, cards, new & second hand metal (& wood) type, printing presses, type cases, ephemera, inks, prints and much more. Dennis Gould & Kitty Crossley have produced a special Bradford themed poster for the event that you can come and print for free.
3 June 2017
Cafe Open for food & refreshments.