Echo columnist Mike Wilson celebrated his 83rd birthday in style with the release of his latest book “Farewell Etaoin” at a launch at Bridlington North Library.
Mike, of Burstall Hill, has trawled through his early memories of working with the Bridlington Chronicle between 1952 and 1954. He was the last apprentice at the newspaper and after the Chronicle closed he completed his training with the Driffield Times.
After learning how to sweep the floors and make the tea for the staff in the works on Manor Street, Mike eventually became a Linotype operator. Sixty-five years later, the few working machines remaining are now to be found only in print museums.
Mike has salvaged many items from his days in print and his new book takes the reader through their use in the creation of a small seaside newspaper. Later he conducts his readers on brief visits to Maidenhead and Aylesbury, where he extended his knowledge of the Linotype.
After these excursions, Mike returned to the Driffield Times. He was there when the production techniques changed to cut-and-paste after electronics had become part of pre-press procedures. In the book, Mike explains these methods and illustrates them with his own photographs.
He reveals some of the errors he has caused and those made by others. Many of his reflections of those times are humorous, with stories of ‘Boys’ summer shirts’ – or that’s what it should have read – and why his error in an advert for a restaurant led to its national exposure.
Mike reveals the meaning of Etaoin, and how he then met Qwerty. Knowledge of this technique gave Mike a lifetime in newspaper, magazine and book production. He later conquered Quark and Photoshop as he created his own books.
His history articles can be viewed at www.bridlington.net/bridlington-net-library.php.
Mike would like to thank the Blakemore Foundation for their financial support for his publications.
“Farewell Etaoin,” Mike’s 25th adventure into print, is now available. Please send your name, address and payment of £6.00 for each copy to “Farewell Etaoin,” 40 Burstall Hill, Bridlington YO16 7GA, or order via email@example.com, using this email address on PayPal for payment. Add £1.00 towards package and postage.