Friday, 30 January 2009

Tom Paine's Birthday; ringing the Lewes town bell

Tom Paine's birthday was 29th January 1737. This year is the bicentenary of his death (8th June 1809). John Crawford, the chief executive of Lewes District Council, agreed to have the town bell rung on 29th January 2009 to commemorate both Tom Paine's birthday and the bicentenniel year. The Tom Paine and Lewes Festival will take place in the town between 4th and 14th July.
This is probably the first time the bell has been rung for Paine's birthday!
Andy Gammon, watched by Mike Chartier, the Mayor of Lewes, rings Gabriel, the medieval town bell in the Market Tower, Lewes

The Market Tower (dating from the 1790s) during the bell-ringing

Andy Gammon preparing Gabriel to be rung

Monday, 26 January 2009

Phil Abel and Hand & Eye Press

Last Friday (23rd January) I visited Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Press under an old railway arch at Pincin Street, just north of Cable Street, in London's East End. His Heidelberg letterpress machines are very different from most of the presses featured on this site, although the principle remains the same.

Hand & Eye Press letterpress publicity poster

Phil Abel operating the larger of his two Heidelberg letterpress machines