Print Works explores the history of the print industry on the Isle of Thanet, taking inspiration from two former companies and the heritage of the print works they occupied at Thanet Press, Union Crescent, Margate and Martell Press, Northdown Road, Cliftonville.

At the heart of the project are archives from the two Margate firms, recording the stories of the people who worked there and the work they did.

The Print Works archives include hundreds of examples of material printed in a pre-digital age, including much related to Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate. It includes print for seaside hotels, entertainment venues, and tourism businesses.

The archive also includes documents relating to working in the print industry in the 20th century, from apprenticeship indentures to certificates from a print factory’s Horticultural Club. There are documents relating to design, typography, and the move from analogue processes like typography to digital design and print.

Find more about the Print Works Archive here

Supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Appletye have been able to conserve and start cataloguing this archive. In addition, Appletye have worked with a group of young people from Jo Jo’s School of Dance and Performing Arts to explore the heritage of the industry, captured the oral histories of former workers at the two sites, and held an exhibition at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library (March 2020).