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Rolling out a new era

PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

THE Evening Star press will soon be running smoother and sweeter thanks to a £1.5 million up-grading programme.

So as the day draws even closer to us being able to bring you all even more colour pages every day, business editor LYNN ABBOTT takes a look back at the way it used to be and how the Star has progressed since 1885.

THE Evening Star press will soon be running smoother and sweeter thanks to a £1.5 million up-grading programme.

So as the day draws even closer to us being able to bring you all even more colour pages every day, business editor LYNN ABBOTT takes a look back at the way it used to be and how the Star has progressed since 1885.

THERE was a time when each and every letter and number printed in The Evening Star was put in place separately, by hand.

Dozens of compositors, who made up the columns of print, beavered away to set 40 lines of type in one hour – an achievement which was quite rightly boasted of at the time.

Almost laughable in today's really high technological times when a whole edition can be put together in less and that includes the taking of and scanning in of photographs.

In those far off days of Tuesday February 17, 1885, when the first edition of The Star of the East, as it was known then, was published, no-one would have thought copies of the newspaper might one day contain colour photographs.

In the early days, drawings were used to illustrate advertisements and interesting news items. It was as recent as the early 1960's when the Evening Star was printed on a "new" 100-ton Crabtree Viscount press and we had the technology to print in colour.

For the last 20 years we have been increasing the number of pages that can be printed in colour and during the next year work being carried out will double that amount from 16 to 32 pages each day.

By bearing in mind the old adage that every picture tells a story, it is a foregone conclusion that our newsgathering service will continue to sparkle and keep you even better informed when the work is completed next September.

The additional colour will also give advertisers better scope to promote their products and services too, so the new look to come will have all round benefit.

The £1.5 million capital investment will upgrade the colour printing units plus it will also improve the way supplements and leaflets are inserted into the system.

Peter Dodds, managing director of printing for Eastern Counties Newspaper Group, which publishes the Evening Star, said: "The Ipswich press development programme is customer driven.

"The work will result in a general improvement in print quality, together with a significantly wider range of colour page options being made available to our print customers".

The Tribune web offset press which is being upgraded is French. It was made by Creusot Loire and installed at our Lower Brook Street offices in 1982 and improvements to extend its capabilities were made seven years later.

Market leaders, Goss Graphics of Preston has now acquired Creusot Loire and will be supplying and fitting the new printing equipment.

At the Ipswich Print Centre 27 newspapers are produced each week including the Evening Star, the West Suffolk Mercury and the Lowestoft Journal.

In fact it is rarely silent.

SOME PRESSING FACTS:

n The Star of the East became the sister paper to the East Anglian Daily Times which first hit the streets in October 1874. Printed in rented offices in Upper Brook Street, the twin papers moved to premises in Carr Street by the turn of the decade.

n By 1887, continued success meant larger accommodation for the increased staff numbers so the Carr Street building was extended.

With the improvements, in came the best machinery in the land and a new rotary method of printing was brought in to replace the flatbed equipment.

Depending on page sizes, between 12,000 and 20,000 copies could now be printed in one hour.

The automatic process of hand setting the type was replaced by stereotyping and new linotype operators could cast up to 200 lines of type an hour.

n When we bought the Crabtree Viscount press in the early 1960's a move was on the cards for the company to relocate to Lower Brook Street.

Always a company to stick with the pledge to bring the news at the first possible moment, our company became a news item itself on national television on the day after the move.

On the Saturday the valued Crabtree printed the Green `Un and less than 24 hours later it had been dismantled and put together again in its new room and ready to roll with the Star's sister morning paper.

That night with uninterrupted service to readers we brought out the Star and also made it onto the television news for our slick move.

n In the beginning it was a delicate start with opposition from local businessmen who were dead set against change in the area.

But we have not only survived but have moved with the times – and beaten some of the rest – to be a Star shining brightly both in the traditional printed form and now on the web where breaking news is updated constantly.

The upgraded press will make sure that this tradition of service continues.

Weblinks:

www.eveningstar.co.uk

www.gossgraphic.com

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