It’s our 140th anniversary this year! The photo shows Reeds founder, George Reed (seated centre), long-serving Print Foreman, Moses Wilson (seated on his right) and fellow staff outside Rowcliffe Lane Works, Penrith c. 1886.

1878


1878

George Reed, Printer and Stationer, establishes print shop in Langton Street, Penrith.

George Reed, c. 1886.


Founder George Reed (seated centre), long-serving Print Foreman Moses Wilson (seated on his right), and fellow staff outside Rowcliffe Lane Print Works, c. 1886.

1893


1893

Rented King Street shop to sell stationery, and, as a keen photographer, sold local postcards and guides printed by Reeds, using own photographs.

Reed’s King Street shop sign, which went up approx. 1893.


1900s

George Reed with his dog outside the King Street, Penrith, c. 1904. The year he became the second President of Penrith Chamber of Trade.


Mrs. Jane Reed (George’s wife) behind the counter on the left, Mrs. Tamar Valentine Rigg, their daughter, and long-serving shop manageress, Ruth Howe serving a customer, c. 1904.


In 1920, having leased the old Presbyterian Chapel for their print works, Reed’s Limited eventually purchased the premises for £400.

Dick Eastham framing in the Rowcliffe Lane Print Works, c. 1904.


In 1921, Richard Morton Rigg is appointed Managing Director after the death of his father-in-law, George Reed.

Card and sheet calendar printing, Rowcliffe Lane Print Works, c. 1904.


In 1931, Richard Morton Rigg retires and his son George Morton Rigg is appointed Managing Director. However, due to World War II, in 1940 George joins the RAF Police in India. His father, Richard comes out of retirement to return as Managing Director in his absence. In 1945, with the war over, George returns and is re-appointed Managing Director.

Reeds shop (on the left), 46 King Street, Penrith, c. 1930s.

1940s


1940s

In 1947, Moses Wilson, right-hand man to George Reed and his successors, is presented with a printed and framed testimonial, together with a wallet and cheque, in appreciation of his exceptional service to Reed’s as Print Works Manager and Director over a period of 65 years.

Compositor and Machine Minder preparing ‘formes’ for Heidelberg press; 1960s.


1950s

Print Works Manager, Edward Benson is appointed a Director of the Company in 1951. Reeds Limited also purchased ‘New Cylinder Printing Machine and Monotype Caster'.


In 1964, Sydney Thornton, who joined Reed’s just after World War II, is appointed Works Manager on the retirement of Edward Benson from that post. Print Compositor and Company Director, Reginald Wilson, son of Moses, retires after 51 years ‘loyal and skilful' service.

Syd Thornton discussing a job with Derrick Woods in the composition department; c. 1960s.


1960s


Future Print Manager, Malcolm Warwick, in his younger days tending to a Monotype Caster, c. 1960s.


Ian Cowper working a guillotine, c. 1960s.


1970s


Alan Stephenson at work with the ‘latest’ Heidelberg automatic cylinder press; c. 1960s.


In 1976 Sydney Thornton is appointed a Director and Gordon Rigg, son of George, joins Reed’s as Company Secretary.

Heidelberg printing presses and operators Jim Tyson, John McNaughton and David Chambers; 1978.


Period of steady growth culminating in the winning of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office contracts. Acquisition of seven tonnes Heidelberg SBD Cylinder Printing Presses with monotype hot metal composition provides the flexibility to produce multiple sorts of telephone dial code booklets for all over the United Kingdom.


In 1977, Gordon Morton Rigg becomes the fourth generation in his family to be appointed Managing Director after the death of his father George Morton Rigg.

Reed’s celebrates their centenary year in 1978 with an open evening at its Rowcliffe Lane Print Works and with features in print and television media.


Reed’s successfully targets the growing market for high-class colour printing by investing in state of the art Apple Mac based pre-press department created.

Andy Jackson, Printer, who is now our Managing Director, c. 1993.

1990s


1990s

Malcolm Warwick and Andy Jackson in front of the ‘new’ Heidelberg Speedmaster. Gareth Rylands, Printer, on the far right who is now Head of Printing and Finishing; c. 1999.


After several years of searching for new premises to accommodate their expanding operations, Reed’s final move from Rowcliffe Lane, to the 13,500 sq.ft. renovated premises at Southend Road, Penrith. Cranes are used to lift machinery out of the old Presbyterian chapel building which is sold to Mrs. Essenhigh who transforms it to a gallery, Bistro and Coffee House.


A succession of the world-renowned Heidelberg offset Printing Presses are installed, from single and two-colour GTOs to the iconic Speedmaster 5 colour B3 and B2 Presses placed on steel reinforced foundations at the new Southend Road Print Works.

Print Manager, Malcolm Warwick with Managing Director, Gordon Rigg c. 1999.


Printer, Andy Jackson who would go on to become Managing Director c. 1999.