Appletye have recently been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for Print Works; a project that brings people together to find new and exciting ways to learn about the heritage recorded in archives and collections relating to the historic print industry on the Isle of Thanet, taking inspiration from two former companies and the heritage of the sites they occupied at Thanet Press, Union Crescent, Margate and Martell Press, Northdown Road, Cliftonville.
The grant will enable Appletye to catalogue and digitise archives from the two Margate firms, and record the stories of the people who worked there. The project focuses not just on the work of the industry, but also the clubs, social societies and life of the families involved in the firms.
Founded over a hundred years ago as part of the Bobby & Co group, The Thanet Press was taken over by Eyre & Spottiswoode when their London factory was destroyed in the Second World War. It became a nationally-important printer with clients including the Royal Family, national galleries & museums, and Government. The Thanet Press site is currently being redeveloped, as Tracey Emin’s new studio, an artist print studio, and gallery space.
Martell Press, founded by brothers Charles and Henry, was a commercial printer active during the heyday of the Isle’s tourism industry and serving many tourism-related businesses. In the later years of the business, Martell Press was based on Northdown Road, Cliftonville. That building is now a coffee shop.