Our Story

Hello!

Why Printing for Pleasure? Because for the past sixty five years it has been our pleasure to work for some exceptional clients.

We pride ourselves on enjoying the process of taking your pile of papers, emails and ideas and transforming them into a book, newsletter or magazine. We enjoy working with you and realising your vision in print.

We can offer you the following services:

Design and artworkDigital printingLitho printingColour copying, PhotocopyingBinding, Business cards, Menus, Compliment slips, Labels, Greeting Cards, Personal Stationery, Wedding stationery, Flyers, Leaflets, Letterheads, Poster Printing, Booklets, Books, Magazines

 

 

How we began

Director Pat writes:

My wartime memories were of a happy life in the Essex countryside of Havering-atte-Bower where everyone in the village had joined to “dig for Victory”.

My mum – Doris Kilby – had volunteered to become the Secretary of the newly formed Havering VPA. (Village Produce Associations were established at the beginning of World War 11 as part of a “Dig for Victory” campaign to encourage gardening and livestock keeping.)

Mum’s first challenge was to find someone to print 750 VPA newsletters, but as the local printer had been conscripted she decided to do the job herself, investing in a long carriage typewriter and a Roneo duplicator.

Mum’s first newsletter was so admired that she was producing work for other VPA’s, women’s institutes, rabbit, cycling and other hobbyist clubs.

Soon so many orders were arriving at her bungalow that dad took early retirement from his job managing a grocery shop to employ his signwriting skills to add designs and logos to the stencils. Then a typist joined them and they began work as “Kilby Duplicating Service”.

In the nineteen fifties with the aid of a Ronetronic stencil-cutter, Letraset, Varityper and two Roneo 750s they achieved such remarkable results that samples of their colour printing appeared in an issue of Small Printer magazine.

The Editor wrote: “Mrs Kilby strikes a welcome blow for this oft despised method. Like offset litho it gets a bad reputation because it is so often done badly…. I have never seen humble duplicating taken to this degree of sophistication, and it demands heartiest congratulations.”

Meanwhile I had left the village to marry and work in London but often spent holidays and spare weekends typing rush jobs for mum and dad.

 

We are family

Moving to the Suffolk village of Chattisham to settle down as a housewife/mum I had more time to help them and became a junior partner in 1967. The next decade saw further expansion with additional staff using the latest electronic typewriters.

Then the heartbreak years, when following a long battle with cancer mum died in 1980, dad three years later.

It was never my intention to take over his business but returning to dad’s bungalow the day after his death I met a man at the front door who asked anxiously: “Have you got my job ready?” No, we hadn’t, and on entering the bungalow I discovered several other items of unfinished duplicating.

I knew that dad had never let a customer down, so all intentions to close down the business flew out of the window. I promised the customer that his job would be delivered to him the next day and my husband and I moved KDS lock stock and barrel to a spare room at Elder House, Chattisham where the work was completed.

The customers were pleased and asked me to carry on printing for them. My husband Eric’s comment was: “Well, it will keep you out of mischief, and as I’m retiring soon I’ll lend a hand.”

And so began a new era of KDS in Suffolk, with we print rookies learning typesetting and printing skills at the nearby Colchester Institute while continuing to work with old, then gradually, new customers.

Permission was granted to run KDS in the former (and once derelict) blacksmiths shop adjoining our house – and as by then we had swopped the Roneo 750 duplicators for offset litho machines the next step was to find an apprentice to take mum and dad’s homespun business into the commercial world of offset and digital printing.

That apprentice was Jason Holder, a school friend of my youngest daughter, who spent his Saturdays and school holidays at Elder House learning the ropes.

I quickly realised that Jason would be a natural when it came to ink and operating the offset litho machines, quite a relief as I proved to be the worst student in the print department as I wrestled with the big litho machines and ended up putting more ink on myself than the paper. My job would be to concentrate on the typesetting side of the business and as a former journalist to assist with proof reading, etc.

Following a family conference the decision was made: while his 16 year old twin brother would go to university and into education Jason would enrol part time at Colchester Institute and join KDS as a printer and junior partner.

We invested in our first Heidelberg and began mono, then colour printing. The barn was soon filling up with collators, stitching and typesetting machines as we recruited the first members of an amazing team that remains with us today.

In 1992 Eric, Jason and I formed a limited company – Printing for Pleasure – to handle the publishing side of the business. Three years after my husband’s death in 2010 both businesses merged to become Printing for Pleasure.

To discuss your next print job with Printing for Pleasure, please ring Jason or Lester on 01473652789 or email Jason@printingforpleasure.co.uk

 

Fur and Feather Magazine

Since 1992 Printing for Pleasure has been publishing the BRC official Journal ‘Fur and Feather’ – a monthly rabbit magazine. This entails taking the rough hard copy – editing, design, print, finishing and then mailing to a national and international readership.

Visit our website: furandfeather.co.uk