E T Heron & Co Ltd

Click here to see photos of a Banging Out ceremony

Front page of leaflet to commerorate 75th Anniversary in 1960

Heron (Ardea cinera),long necked, long billed, wading bird of exceptional voracity. Herons are found all over Europe, also at Tottenham Street, London W.1 and Silver End Essex. Motto- Ardeae Ardua Quaerunt. (Herons seek hard work.)

Tottenham Court Road

Reproduction of a photograph taken at the end of the last century, looking down Tottenham Court Road, London,W.1

75 years

In June, 1885, EDWARD THOMAS HERON decided to extend his business activities into a new field. The premises, plant, and stock of a small printer and stationer, situated at the top of what was then an undistinguished side road off London's Oxford Street, had recently come onto the market. In those days of horse omnibuses and horse cabs, Tottenham Street, at the far end of Tottenham Court Road, where the printing works stood, was well 'off the map'. Today it is a site whose market value can only be guessed, in an area populated by famous stores such as Heals and Maples.

E. T. Heron's prescience was not remarkable merely in terms of site value, however great this may have proved as a future capital asset. The modest plant he acquired consisted of a crown folio platen printing machine, a proofing press, a guillotine, an imposing surface and type in cases. With it he could hope to carry on a small jobbing business in printing such work as bill heads, reports and programmes. From such small beginnings, however, has sprung the modern printing house of E.T.Heron & Co.Ltd., strategically situated right in the heart of London.

All the way from Italy- One of the new Saturnia machines arriving at Tottenham St.
At the present time, the London factory still exists, but rebuilt and extended out of all recognition. Business has grown so much, however, that space is now at a premium. The plant consists of the most modern fast-running machinery. Just recently, there have been installed two Saturnias. the largest letterpress printing machines by Nebiolo of Turin, a type hardly yet seen in this country. Not only are these machines advanced technically but they also conserve floor space. The type in case now supplements batteries of Monotype and slug casting machines. Modern high precision methods of imposition have been introduced. Herons in London are well known for their ability to tackle texts in foreign languages, technical publications involving complicated settings of mathematical and scientific symbols, besides full colour work for magazines, reports and catalogues.

Silver End Works 1928
It was apparent many years ago, however, that with the growth of the business, the London premises alone would not be adequate. As far back as 1928, the Company decided to open a factory in what was then a novelty, a small 'new town' being developed in Essex. This was at Silver End, where the late F.H.Crittall, the founder of the famous window business bearing his name, was building a completely integrated new village or township, in the neighbourhood of his works.

Herons had just then absorbed an old-established printing firm named Page and Company, of Foley St,W.1 and this was transferred to the new premises at Silver End, which is about half way between Witham and Braintree, about one hour's journey from Liverpool Street. The 'Country Factory' today prints magazines, publicity material, catalogues, reports, general office print and stationery. With the extensions and modernisation carried out since the war, it can be regarded as one of the most advanced letterpress printing works in East Anglia.

Silver End Works 1960
Thus the House of E.T.Heron and Company Limited has reached its three quarters of a century. The town works and the country works have become complementary to each other, the one offering all the advantages of being actually situated in Central London, the other possessing the advantages of space and low overheads which the country affords. Expansion is not being allowed to impair the high standard of work and reliability on which the success of the firm has been built. A 'log' can be shown of delivery dates promised and their actual fulfilment (on time). It is an impressive record.