Yorkshire Evening Press, Christmas Eve

The Archbishop of York visits the Yorkshire Evening Press, Christmas Eve, 1978

This picture, taken on Christmas Eve 1978, shows (from left to right): The Archbishop of York, Stuart Yarworth Blanch; York & County Press Production Manager Raymond Heppell and David Hughes, Apprentice Compositor.

During my time at the Yorkshire Evening Press it was a tradition that the Archbishop of York visited the works every Christmas Eve to press a green button to start the presses rolling.

As you can see, we did our best to make the room look a little festive. I seem to recall one year we experimented with attaching the paper streamers to the second elevator arm on various machines, creating a random movement as lines were cast. The effect was short-lived as we were made to attach them elsewhere for safety reasons!

Christmas Eve afternoon was usually very hectic as we only produced the one edition on a "work and finish" basis.

The fact that we could go home as soon as we'd finished the paper, coupled with most members of the composing room staff enjoying a generous "liquid lunch" made the single-edition Christmas Eve paper a bit of a shoddy effort!

Only the most glaring of errors were corrected, the rest ignored in the interest of getting an early finish!

At the time the photo was taken, being only a first or second year apprentice, I was not actually trained on the linecasters. I think I was just placed there to make the photo look more interesting! I don't recall what weighty matters I was discussing with the Archbishop!


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