Spalding man’s career in newspaper print

Harry Roe using the guillotine at the old print works.
Harry Roe using the guillotine at the old print works.
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As the ‘new boy’ at the Lincolnshire Free Press print room in Hall Place in around 1912, Harry Roe was sent out to Bratleys to buy a ‘comma riddle’.

Harry’s son Maurice, who also worked in his younger days cleaning the machines on Saturday afternoons, said his father’s apprenticeship continued until the First World War when he signed up with the Royal Artillery and went to France.

After the war, Harry returned to the Free Press until his sudden death in 1962, aged 64.

During his time he became a book binder, poster printer, storeman and eventually a guillotine operator.

Maurice says that during the Second World War an incendiary bomb dropped near the guillotine in the print room and destroyed most of the works.

Harry, whose wife Grace also cleaned the front shop and offices, was presented with a gold watch for long service. When the print works closed in Gore Lane, Spalding, Harry transferred to Stamford.

He is pictured at the guillotine (left), with the poster printer and receiving his gold watch.