Crest Press was borne out of Notting Hill Press which had started in 1968 as a printshop for local community activism. It would later become part of Community Action Centre (CAC). The entry for Crest Press in the 1975 edition of Alternative London (Saunders): “Crest Press, 154 Ladbroke Grove, W10 have meetings anyone can attend on Fridays at 3.30 to decide what to allocate their printing time to the following week – they only print what they like and give preference to political pamphlets and posters. they will teach you how to print and expect you to help. You pay cost price. A similar set up is at 11 Hemingford Road, N1. their meetings are on Wednesdays at 5.” (JB)
Crest Press was in Ladbroke Grove, London W11 3-4 workers, unpaid. Equipment: Offset Litho, A3 Rotaprint R30/90; CT plate-making; occasional screen printing too.
Crest Press had been a commercial company that went bankrupt. However, all the equipment legally belonged to local community groups such as The Mangrove Restaurant (the local focus for police oppression and black people’s resistance), thus Crest Press was able to rise from the ashes as a phoenix for the people and the community. There was no commercial work – all its printing was community, leftwing political or progressive/artistic. It was all priced strictly by cost. Crest Press was in the basement of a terrace building. There were flats above, a shop on the ground floor and a corridor from the street led through to stairs down to Crest. Paper deliveries were by handing the reams over a garden wall at the back!
It allowed – even encouraged – customers to use the facilities and help out with their publications; if they wanted, they could learn how to make plates and run the press. There was just a single colour press, and the plate-making and printing was pretty basic: mainly black, with some spot colour work. All had to be hand collated (usually by the customers).
Sarah Grimes (Trained and worked at Crest Press 1971-74)