Saturday 27 June 2015

Linotype for Sale

With my dad working for a publishing house, I grew up with some of the language of publish and print. I remember the early rounds of a public speaking event at school, at which I attempted to brief my class on Monotype, on the basis of a visit to a printing works and its manager the previous month. The talk was a complete failure, but the fact that Monotype and Linotype were two competing printing technologies has stuck. So, as we came up through Sale this morning, this caught my eye.

Today it would be an advertising pun, but I’m not sure that such a thing would have been in the culture in 1897. Nor am I sure how the paint has survived – unlike yesterday’s Co-operative Society building, the legend is not in relief with the letters standing proud of the brickface. I don’t imagine that members of the Linotype Preservation Society come and freshen it once a year. Whoever they are, they’ll be positively ancient by now.

Sale, like other parts of the Manchester conurbation, is no doubt trying to refresh more than a defunct factory or two. On the waterside a different sort of architecture was making a different point.

On the water we came across Trafford Rowing Club…

and the Sea Cadets…

which is to stretch a boundary no more than the charity narrowboat we came across, part of the “Open Locks” Project. The Bridgewater Canal has no locks at all!

So we came through again to Castlefield, a renovated part of central Manchester where the Bridgewater meets the Rochdale, where the yuppie meets the boater, and where the heavier washable items from our cruising meet the launderette in the YHA. Tonight we shall smell sweet.


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