Return Of Print To Dumfries High Street

Documentary film project Imprints in Time will stage a brief return of printing to the former Robert Dinwiddies and Co. printworks. Short films, printing equipment and finished products from school jotters to books will be on display in Robert Dinwiddie’s “Clan Gift Shop” beside the Midsteeple, with more to see in the print sheds behind the High Street.

It’s a great chance to see around these historic properties before they undergo a period of conservation and repair for our new tenants”, says Scott Mackay of Midsteeple Quarter Project.
“As a project dedicated to the regeneration of this part of town, we really want people to be able to see what a busy, useful set of buildings these used to be, and will be again – it’s inspiration for the future.”

Artist and filmmaker John Wallace has been documenting areas of the site off limits to the public and delving into the history of printing in the town, including through print examples and 16mm footage of the High Street in the 1940s and 50s loaned by Robert Dinwiddie’s grandson and namesake Dr Robert Dinwiddie.

It’s not so long ago that, if you needed more than a carbon copy of a document, or an image, or an invoice pad, or a jotter, or a business card, or any kind of stationary, then there was no home printing, or online orders. You had to go to the printers,” says John.

“There were news presses at the Standard and Courier, machines being run and repaired, a workforce that did all that coming and going, all kinds of deliveries, customers – it was all going on in these few closes off the High Street.”

John has been working with Mac Creedon and John Ronnie at Solway Print to record how it used to be done using machines of the same era.  Both men served their apprenticeships at Dinwiddies and still work together today.

Imprints in Time will also see artist and master printmaker Cate Ross host a typesetting workshop in the Dinwiddies press room. A free drop-in session on Saturday 25th will allow the public to try out different letter-making techniques, while the Imprints in Time exhibition continues from Thursday 23rd – Thursday 30th September.

For more information, visit the Midsteeple Quarter website here: www.midsteeplequarter.org