Posters designed to protest threats to village school

Save our School posters that have been produced on the 1876 Improved Albion Press.
Save our School posters that have been produced on the 1876 Improved Albion Press.

A Wooler artist has joined the battle to save the village’s middle school, by using a Victorian printing press to run off protest posters.

Then 19th-century Improved Albion Press, part of the village’s St Leonard’s Press collection, is more than twice the age of the buildings at Glendale Middle School, but it has been put to work producing posters.

Designed by Jonathan Lloyd, whose son Silas is in the first year at Glendale, they warn that Wooler could become a town solely comprised of pensioners if budget cuts following changes to the funding formula force school closures.

“The graphic approach is designed to draw attention to the consequences of ignoring the situation, and bolster the petition numbers,” he said.

As reported in the Gazette, the petition was launched after the school’s headteacher Ruth Bull warned it could close within five years in the face of budgets cuts of up to £120,000.

Jonathan said: “The Albion is the press I use most for printing multiple colours, due primarily to the accuracy of registration.”

He has recently established workshop premises for his printing presses in Ramsey’s Lane and the poster was the first product from the St Leonard’s Press in its new home.

“The proof pinned to the door quickly started pulling signatures in, so we put them out around Wooler,” said Jonathan. “I haven’t had any offended pensioners yet!

“There’s been loads of goodwill about the St Leonard’s Press venture. It’s amazing how fast the word has travelled.”

l Jonathan’s latest art exhibition opens at the Berwick Watchtower in April.