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A Day at the Seaside.

Visit to the Sea Holly Press, Clacton-on-Sea

On Saturday 2nd June,the Essex Branch was invited to the opening of new premises for the Sea Holly ress of Sarah ans Russ Surrey in Clacton. 'Shed' seems an inadequate word for the substantial garden workshop which Russ has been busy constructing to replace their old garage. With a new concrete base, well insulated walls and a professional looking roof, it was regardeded admiringly and enviously by each printer as they arrived, even before they had seen the contents, yet Russ claims to be self taught as a builder.


About twenty people attended, members, neighbours, relations and friends from far and wide. Anyone with any mechanical expertise was soon put to work making final adjustments to the newly installed presses. Pride of place was given to the Essex Arab which had been left to Sarah by Chris. Brinson.

Somehow it looked smaller in its new home though I'm sure it felt anything but small while being transported across town. Next to it is the Vicobold which came from the workshop of the late Robert Atkins in Hornchurch, and at the other end a newly acquired Farley proof press which, I was pleased to hear, was bought before the recent eBay bubble. Sara is now very well equiped to produce her distinctive linocuts, but there was no sign (yet) of any type. This will surely follow and then all that free space will be used.


After a while, visitors were distracted from the presses by the smell of barbecued sausages from the other side of the garden. The weather being warm, even hot, the gazebo provided welcome shade as well as anxiety as it caught the Clacton sea breezes alarmingly.

It was a delightful day, meeting old friends and marking a new beginnig for the Sea Holly Press. We look forward to great things once the presses get into operation and hope that we will be invited again, in place of our annual visits to the Haven Press.


Many thanks indeed to to Sarah and Russ for their hospitality, and to all the voluinteer catering assistants and press engineers, and to the absent friends who have preseved these wonderful machines across the decades to begin their new life beside the seaside.

Report by Alan Brignull - Photography Ron Rookes