The original Westmorland Gazette negatives
It took several several months to find all the original Wainwright printing materials at Titus Wilson in Kendal. No one really knew how much existed, or the precise location of it all. You must remember, much of this stuff had not been used for a long time and was forgotten about. Titus Wilson were having a huge clear out and lots of redundant printing materials were being disposed of, so time was of the essence. The Wainwright negatives were mixed with other book printing material that had stored for decades. I had to go through it all with a fine-tooth comb, or it would have been lost forever. The first thing found was the original Westmorland Gazette negatives for the The Outlying Fells of Lakeland guide.
The negatives were photographed directly from Wainwright’s original pages and are first generation negatives from the 1970s. They were produced using the offset litho process. There are 19 sheets in total with 16 pages per sheet. They were used to produce printing plates in Kendal for the Westmorland Gazette, Michael Joseph and Frances Lincoln.
In 1992 Michael Joseph became the new guidebook publisher. The new publication date was spring 1992. In preparation for the launch, Titus Wilson produced new prelims for the negatives. The Westmorland Gazette name was removed and replaced with Michael Joseph’s. The cuts can be clearly seen on the relevant sheets. A decade later Frances Lincoln took over as the new publisher. Their name too was inserted into the prelims ready for the spring 2003 launch. The original The Outlying Fells of Lakeland negatives have not been used since. They remained in storage at Titus Wilson until they were uncovered in 2019.
A large amount of material was discovered for this guide including, blocking, dust jackets negatives, printed sheets and documentation. These items will be revealed later. The guides are currently printed digitally, and the negatives are now redundant. They are still an important part of the Wainwright’s printing history and were responsible for printing thousands of guides. The quality of the print from older guides, have also been superior to their recent digital counterparts. The original printing materials for all the guidebooks and more have been saved and preserved. It is a part of Cumbrian printing history and will all eventually go on display.