Friday, August 20, 2010

The last remnant of Tonbridge's thriving printing industry closes....

The Whitefriars Press was founded in Tonbridge in the 1820's on Medway Wharf Road. It printed Punch for many years and by 1950 was printing around 2 million Penguin paperbacks a year. When I moved to Tonbridge I remember seeing the derelict buildings nesr the lock gates which once housed the great presses and where around 350 Tonbridge folk made their livings. Always sad but, I guess a necessary part of progress. The Whitefriars Social club on Avebury Avenue was the only thing left and at least kept the memory alive for past workers and their families. Now, so I hear, due to ever dwindling members, sadly even that has closed it's doors for the last time and is to become, wait for it, a Chinese restaurant! Soon only records kept in local history books and at the library will keep account of the fact that there was once a thriving printing industry in the town....

1 comment:

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