1 PRINT IN THANET - COVER & BACK COVER & TEXT - FLIPBOOK v26 ZZZ - FAW - Flipbook - Page 16
fourteen † fifteen
THIS FIRST ACT DESCRIBES THE STORIES OF THE GROWTH
of an important two-hundred-year-old printing industry in Thanet
focusing on three examples of at least one hundred printing
businesses: The Thanet Press, The Martell Press and Magic Ink.
These three businesses illustrate the range and adaptability of the
island’s business owners and their highly skilled local workforce.
All the stories in this act are told using material from the archive,
oral histories, photographs, newspaper cuttings and images of
the printed material.
The Thanet Press traded for just over one hundred years
from the late eighteenth, into the twenty-first century. Grown
by acquisition, it traded, mainly in Margate, using a variety of
business names and premises. At the height of its business, it
produced high quality print which attracted royal and government
clients as well as global business names, and popular music
bands. The business was finally acquired by another Margate firm
in 2009 but sadly it was forced into liquidation in 2011.
The Martell Press was started by two schoolboys in the
early 1960s. Encouraged by the opportunities of a school press
and support from a printer father, the boys built a business that
served the local hospitality and small business sector for more
than fifty years. The Martell Press name remained part of the
Thanet print story until around 2018.
The first act ends with the story of a small and short-lived
alternative printing business, Magic Ink, that typically started with
a modest single printing press and yet produced highly influential
The growth of the print industry in Thanet developed through
the investment of both the business owners and their highly
skilled workforce. Together they served a wide range of clients,
from the local to the international. The second act develops these
stories further by understanding what it meant to work in the print
in Thanet and more about the tools of the trade, some of which
are still used in Thanet by printers today.