We read about this place briefly before heading to Peterborough from Adelaide (approx. 3 hr drive). We were only staying in town for one night and were keen to see as much as possible. We had a list of places to visit and the Print Shop was one of them but we left it till last. In a way that was a good thing because it was one of the most interesting places we saw.
Apparently in 2001 the Peterborough Print Shop closed its doors and the owner walked away from it all. Pretty much everything has been left as it was on that day - printers, templates, printing blocks, ink jars, etc. Most of the machines are still in working order.
The Peterborough History Group, supported by the local council, now has custodianship of the shop and has started cleaning and preserving the historical documents and objects. This, as you can imagine, is a mammoth task and not many people can appreciate the amount of work involved.
We were surprised to see the number of items left behind by the previous owner and the dedication of volunteers to bring life back to the print shop.
The Peterborough Times was printed here and the place still has that 'printer's ink' smell, you can almost visualise all the machines at work and being tended to by the (mostly male) staff.
The Print Shop played a large and very important part in the town's history, so it's good to see that it hasn't been demolished, but instead, is becoming a place of interest for locals, visitors and the younger generation.
As Mary, a volunteer who took us around, pointed out - this is not a museum, it's an actual workplace...or rather, was. Mary was very informative, pleasant and obviously dedicated to the restoration of the Print Shop.
We would highly recommend spending an hour or so doing a tour of this place, especially if you're interested in manually operated machines as opposed to the modern 'push-button' variety. They welcome individuals, groups and students.
Location: Jervois Street, Peterborough
Open: Wed, Thur & Fri 10am - 1pm or by appointment
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