A Half Century of Change and Innovation

Almost half a century has passed and we find ourselves in a very different world from the early 1970s, but interestingly very similar challenges. We see the future as an opportunity to re-invent and re-equip ourselves in order to offer better quality and better service to our customers, as well as expand the print and design we sell. Signage, Direct Mailing and Catalogues are now additional services we offer. As we look back to those early years, we are still driven by our total commitment to customer service and top quality in everything we do – and while our first ‘big’ customer, The Midland Hotel, is no more, we still thrive and are ready for what the next fifty years might bring.

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To learn more about our specialist decorating services in
the South, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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Our Timeline

1972 - We open in Norwich Avenue Bournemouth whilst the VW Beetle is the world’s best selling car.

1976 - Concorde takes flight, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak create The Apple Computer Company and we move to larger premises in Queens Road.

1977 - Elvis Presley ‘The King of Rock & Roll’ dies and we buy a state of the art Compugraphic Edit Writer 7500, Typesetter.

1983 - The year that we invest heavily in an Apple 2e with external 5¼" floppy disk drive of a cool £3,200, meanwhile the compact disk (CD) goes on sale in the UK.

1986 - Popular Game Show ‘Catchphrase’ begins on ITV and we buy a 3,200 square foot Freehold Industrial unit in Wharfdale Service Road.

1991 - We open a Copy Shop in Ashley Road, Parkstone during the same year that Bryan Adams releases his hit ‘Everything I Do, I Do It For You’.

1996 - The year that eBay started, and we open another two Print and Copy Shops in Romsey and Winton.

1998 - Google is born and we acquire Fir Tree Press in Wimborne.

1999 - We install our first Heidelberg 4 Colour press, during the same year that the Euro currency is born.

2009 - We install our first Wide Format Printer during the same year that Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 successfully, in the Hudson River, after being struck by a flock of Canada geese shortly after take off.

2016 - We install our biggest Digital Printer; a Xerox Versant with Booklet Maker and Trimmer, whilst Tim Peake does the first British space walk.

2019 - The year that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry introduce their son Archie to the world, we install Accura Print MIS System.


A Half Century of Change and Innovation

The Midland Hotel

"I could not have chosen a worst time to start a business, 1972 was beset by the Miners Strike, unemployment over a million and instability home and abroad. Still, I was keen and it made me focus on what I needed to survive - a large regular customer. The Midland Hotel was a busy 64 bedroom coaching hotel on my doorstep, the Manager was a nice chap called Alan Stacey and I plucked up the courage to approach him about getting his lucrative business. Mr Stacey had always dealt with Hillman Press; a long standing local company - ‘Martin I would like to give you the business but Hillman have never let me down’ - my pride slightly dented, I left but thanked him for his time and parted with the immortal words ‘Here is my card, you can contact me anytime, I’d love to help’. The bank holiday was just around the corner and in those days The Midland was awash with Coaches from the North bringing happy holidaymakers to Bournemouth. I did not have a telephone at work as my home number doubled up with business, so when I got home I could see a missed call on the answer machine. I played the message back; in fact I played it several times; ‘Alan Stacey here, we’ve run out of Tariffs and I‘ve rung Hillman Press but it’s a message saying they’re away for two weeks. If you can print something for me tomorrow (Saturday) you have got all my business’.”

The rest as they say is history

1972 Marquee Print History