Sunday 26th March; what a great day after 3 years of working on The Brunswick Prison camp Map Printers! Ken Burnley and I had booked the Sandon Room at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, home of Juniper Press, a while ago. I drove up from Cambridge via Shropshire on Friday, and we spend Saturday setting up and preparing the room. I am fortunate to have a considerable amount of original material relating to The Brunswick Printers – photographs, prison camp documents, letters, drawings, my father’s original articles, and we made an exhibition up from all that was relevant. This went from my father at London School Of Printing, WW2 in N Africa, his imprisonment in Oflag79, the press, and his years at Tinlings printers in Liverpool where Ken Burnley was an apprentice, and through to Ken’s Juniper Press.
Despite it being a bright and sunny Mother’s Day, a lot of people attended.; people associated with my father’s life, Ken Burnley’s and my own. It’s extraordinary how what has mostly lain in a cardboard box for 70 years, and what I’ve often considered to be “something my old man did in the war” is actually something so unique and fascinating when it is compiled, curated and exhibited.
One aspect of the day that was particularly interesting to me was meeting people connected to the Brunswick Youth & Community Centre in Bootle, that my father and fellow ex Brunswick POWs Mike Marshall and Harry Mounsey had set up as The Brunswick Boy’s Club on their return to Liverpool after the war; a thriving organisation celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It looks as though I will be back up in Liverpool with the map and POW display panels in April.
It was a day that was the culmination of 3 years of work, and 3 years of a labour of love by Ken Burnley. I’m not sure about the attention, but my father would have loved the aesthetic of the letterpress production and the care taken over every aspect…… papers, fonts, layouts, binding etc. A lot of talking, a lot of connections and re-connections, a lot of interest, and yes, some more books out into the world. Thanks to all for making the effort and being there.