Thompson Autoplaten

Ink on paper

The British Printing Museum is a comprehensive private museum collection of letterpress printing equipment with working press exhibits dating from 1860 up to the 1960s.

Open to the public by prior arrangement and to industry and education groups for meetings, workshops and demonstrations, the museum collection is based upon some of the original presses, type, wood letter and printing blocks used by The Portland Press, Mablethorpe from the 1940s and added to significantly.


Printing Presses

  • Victorian iron hand presses – Columbian and Albion
  • Treadle platens – Golding Pearl and Harrild Harribold
  • Proofing presses – Farley Favorit galley press
  • Cylinder presses – Korrex Berlin
  • Automatic platens – Thompson and Heidelberg
  • Rotary letterpress continuous stationery press – Doverstar 201

Typesetting, type, blocks and clichés

  • Wood letter poster type – English, Italian, French, Chinese, Indian
  • Metal type – lead, brass – hand setting
  • IBM Selectric golfball composers
  • Extensive collection of clichés and blocks – inc. Italian, Chinese and Japanese
  • A growing printing library, including ephemera from 1494 to the present day

Binding and finishing equipment

  • Sewing frames and bookbinding presses
  • Guillotines, stitchers, perfect binders, folders and booklet-makers

Other processes

  • Agfa ChromaPress 32i 8 colour LED Digital Web Press (Xeikon engine)
  • Narrow web business forms presses
  • Sheet-fed Offset
  • Colour and monochrome digital presses


  • Letterpress workshops – on an ad hoc basis
  • Letterpress typesetting / printing courses – arranged for individuals or small groups
  • Educational tours, active, fun with small creative workshops
  • Activities for students of all ages and abilities – curriculum related
  • Disabled access and facilities with special guided tour for the visually impaired