Royal visit to see the best of British printing at Barnard & Westwood

Barnard & Westwood played host to HRH The Duke of York, KG today on his visit to the central London based craft printer. At a time when many traditional print companies are coming under increasing pressure The Duke was interested to explore Barnard & Westwood’s unique mix of cutting edge technology and traditional craft skills.

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MD of Barnard & Westwood, Austen Kopley showing HRH The Duke of York some of the company’s work

Founded some 90 years ago by WWI veteran Albert Reginald Barnard, Barnard & Westwood has held a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen since 1986, and from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales since January 2012. The company also supplies The Duke of York’s office and other members of his family with printing and bookbinding.

During the royal visit HRH was keen to learn about the variety of craft skills still employed by the company, and what it was doing to train a new generation of craftsmen. Barnard & Westwood is in the process of taking on three new craft apprentices, who will learn a variety of skills including hand case binding, book restoration and, bespoke presentation cases as well as using processes such as die stamping, letterpress and foil blocking.

HRH The Duke Of York, KG's visit to Barnard & Westwood

One of the Barnard & Westwood team talking HRH The Duke of York through the process of letterpress printing

“It is important for us to invest in these skills if we hope to have experienced craftsmen for our company in the years to come,” explained Austen Kopley, Barnard & Westwood’s Managing Director. “There is also something quite special about being in a position to see that these crafts are passed on to the next generation.”

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Charlotte, one of our newest bookbinding apprentices showing HRH The Duke of York how to hot foil and personalise a notebook

In addition to traditional craft skills, The Duke was offered an insight into the latest printing technology. Barnard & Westwood has recently installed an S200 photonic printer, made by British company LumeJet. A long-standing supporter of UK engineering, HRH discussed the new technology with Dr Trevor Elworthy, the inventor of the system, and Paul Anson, LumeJet’s Chief Executive Officer.

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CEO of Lumejet, Paul Anson explaining to HRH The Duke of York how the new LumeJet S200 works

As he left, The Duke of York was kind enough to unveil a plaque commemorating his visit, and was presented with a hand finished book about Barnard & Westwood.

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HRH The Duke of York unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark his visit to Barnard & Westwood

(Photographs courtesy of Andrew Dunsmore from Picture Partnership http://www.picturepartnership.co.uk/)