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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wayzgoose 2011

The Community Mini-bus bears no resemblance to a traditional charabanc which would have been the vehicle of choice for a Wayzgoose in Smai'ls heyday and was an eminently practical mode of transport for our "works outing" yesterday.  During the summer the staff from the Printing Works at Beamish Museum had visited Smail's to see what we do and of course pick up tips and ideas for their own display. Yesterday was the return visit and 11 of us headed down to County Durham to see what we could learn and if there were any ideas we could adopt or adapt.

It had been an early start for some so a coffee stop on the way south was essential - we went to Kirkharle Courtyard, home of Capability Brown and purveyors and excellent coffee, scones and tea cakes.   The sat-nav decided that a cross-country route from the A! to the museum was shorter than the main road - well it was more interesting at least.
We were greeted on arrival by Celyn Williams and Emma Pargeter who escorted us passed the waiting queque and onto a tram. (The museum is spread over 300 acres and vintage trams and replica buses are used to move people about the museum). The town section of the museum is set just befroe the World War 1 and like most of Beamish comprises buildings which have been collected from all across the north-east of England. Prominent in the town centre is a newspaper office which originated in Hartlepool. The ground floor is the newspaper office whilst the newsapaper and jobbing work was printed upstairs. A very substantial floor was required. This Phil's domain (that's him in the photographh at the head of this post) and he spent a fascinating 45 minutes showing us what he did and talking aboyut his equipment and answering questions and dealing good naturedly with the comments of the printers - Phil was a compositor and typesetter. There ware Arab, Columbian and Wharfedale presses and as you see the photograph above the Columbian is a little larger than ours. 

Time for lunch and we opted for coal fired fish and chips - fried in beef dripping - not the healthy option. The queue was long and the wait lengthy but all worth it in the end. An hour or so to explere the other bits of the museum individually before it was time to set off back to Innerleithen. The rear of the bus was very quiet on the way home - I think a good time was had by all

The Wayzgoose was the distinctive name given to the annual outings or dinners for printers. Nobody knows where the word came from; a meal was traditionally given to print employees on St Bartholomew’s Eve, which marked the end of summer, where goose may have been served, but this is unconfirmed.

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