Troubador The House of Waterlow

Released: 01/08/2013

ISBN: 9781783060160

Format: Hardback

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The House of Waterlow

A Printer's Tale


The House Of Waterlow – A Printer’s Tale is the true story of the rise and fall of one of the printing industry’s greatest family dynasties. Starting from humble beginnings as descendants of immigrant Huguenot silk weavers, members of the Waterlow family went on to establish a stationery and printing business which quickly expanded to become one of the biggest and most famous printing dynasties of the last 200 years.

The book follows the life of the family firm, which starts out providing printing and stationery for the legal profession and the expansion of the railways in the 1850s, to numerous prestigious security jobs for governments at home and abroad, and half a century of printing the media listings magazine, the Radio Times. However, in the late 1920s, Waterlow & Sons became an unwitting victim in one of the biggest fraud and forgery cases in British legal history. The firm was never really the same again and, like so many of its contemporaries, fell victim to the industry’s upheavals of the 1970s and 80s.

This fascinating story will take you through the Waterlow family’s origins, including great industrial expansion and the coming to prominence of one of the Victorian era’s great philanthropists, to ending up in the highest court in the land and eventually to the sad demise and obscurity of the company.

Ham and High

An absolutely fascinating and compelling read, not only from an historical point of view for anyone researching the printing industry, for there is little doubt Waterlow was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, but from the philanthropy and sociology administered by Sir Sydney.
Personally, it answered so many questions. What was the Portuguese Bank Note fiasco? Why my father, who came from a poor family living in Hoxton and went to Pitfield Street School, had the opportunity to join Waterlow's as an office boy at the age of 14 years in 1925, and stayed with the company for the whole of his working life; as did many of his colleagues.
My thanks to the author for bringing `The House of Waterlow` to fruition, and rekindling the many happy memories we had of a childhood within the extended family of Waterlow & Sons Limited.

by Sylvia Belcher nee Lane

Chris Waterlow

Chris was born in London in August 1959 and was educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. On leaving school he went to work for the civilian staff of the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard for eleven years, before discovering the heady world of video production. In 1997 he became a mature student at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, obtaining an HND in Broadcast Technical Operations and being headhunted by QVC, the shopping channel, in 1999, where he continues to work as a Camera Supervisor.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys making short films, playing the bass guitar, listening to music (usually of the ‘rock’ variety), and following his rugby team, London Wasps. He lives in Sussex with his wife, Shirley, and has three step children, Jonathan, Oliver and Laurel.

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