Friday 3 February 2012

John Jarrold Printing Museum

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting the John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich. Spending a fascinating couple of hours there. The museum which has limited opening appears to be staffed mainly by retired folk. Nothing wrong with that I might add. Many of whom worked in the printing trade. I’ve been in love with printing since my first John Bull Printing Outfit as a kid.

The museum has a really good cross section of exhibits from early letterpress to latter-day offset-litho, as well as examples of ancillary equipment related to the printing and bookbinding world.

The print museum is housed in part of a very fine building, a former yarn mill. In many ways the museum undersells itself but that’s also part of its charm. Having said that they could tweak the presentation a bit to improve the experience and no doubt increase revenue.

In my early years as a buyer I worked for a firm of manufacturing stationers, Swallow Manufacturing Co Ltd, which did its own printing. I was charged with buying the printing supplies. I loved that bit of my job.

If you ever find yourself in Norwich on a Wednesday with an hour or two to spare you could do a lot worse than going to this fine establishment.

With twenty-six soldiers of lead I have conquered the world” – this saying has been attributed to a number of famous people over the years, including the great Karl Marx and it adorns the museum brochure.


  1. Hi, I teach in a school on the south coast. In your honest opinion, how would 45 female Graphics students aged 14 - 16 enjoy this museum? We live a long way away and not sure if it would go down well or not? Thanks and looking forward to your reply! :)

  2. Being honest, it could well be a challenge. From an historical perspective it is most interesting but unless you can combine it with something up here that is relevant to graphic arts today then your students might not be too happy about it.