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In the seventies there was much squatting in Stepney (as in other parts of London - does anyone know of a similar resource as this for the squatting movement?). A group of squatters in Stepney set up Stepney Community Print Workshop in Adelina Grove, which itself was squatted, in the mid-seventies. I can not remember when it closed - possibly in the early eighties - or the circumstances of it's closure. I'd probably moved on by then.

We had one room. This was a low budget place. I remember a grant being applied for to the Gulbenkian Foundation, which paid for basic equipment and materials. The Print Workshop was always run voluntarily. Facilities were basic - silk screen using paper stencils. I remember building a light box so that we could us to photostencils. We were all self taught.

The intention was for local and people and groups to learn and do the printing themselves but the collective did from time to time do the printing for other local organisations and groups.

A local community newspaper East London Link (named after Annie Besant's The Link) produced, I think monthly, ran to 18 or so editions. East London Link was intended to be reader written - there was a minimal editorial policy.

We had links especially with Community Press in Islington. I (and Julia Mainwaring) travelled up to Islington for a day a week for about a year to be trained in offset litho. The hope was that we would develop offset litho facilities in Stepney but this never happened. It did lead though in my case to a five year “career” in London printshops.

Chris Todd


stepney_community_print_workshop.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/22 11:09 by