Stop the press: old newspaper lacks lead letters

THE heavy old printing presses have been restored and the volunteers are ready.

There’s just one problem. They need lead typeset to function fully.

After it was destroyed in a blaze last year, Flagstaff Hill’s Examiner newspaper office has reopened to very little fanfare.

Flagstaff Hill manager Peter Abbott said the heavy cast iron presses were salvaged from the ruins and sent to a Melbourne specialist to be restored. The $80,000 project was covered by insurance.

“They’ve done a beautiful job and they’re better than new,” Mr Abbott said.

He said the lead typeset had melted in the fire so a call went out to replace it last year.

The Mallee Heritage Centre in Pinaroo, South Australia, donated a “ute load” which was excess to requirements at its letter-press printing museum and there were several other smaller donations. But Mr Abbott said the Examiner office was still restricted in what it could produce.

“We’re looking for complete sets of different typesets,” he said.

“Then we can wind it up again. 

“They used to do lots of printing for other shops around the village and posters and things.”

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