Annual summer outing July 2018

The Bibliographical Group’s annual outing was a trip to Monmouthshire on Friday 6th July.  After an excellent lunch at the Wye Valley Hotel in Tintern, we travelled to nearby Llandogo where our bus driver successfully negotiated the narrow drive to Catchmays Court, home of the Old Stile Press.  Founded in London in 1979, the press moved to Catchmays Court in 1986.  It is the most active private press in Wales, producing two or three books a year in beautiful limited editions.  The owners, Frances and Nicolas McDowall, state that they “look back to the great private presses of the past with respect and for inspiration, and try to carry their standards and their creative spirit forward into this new century”.

Following an introductory talk, Nicolas McDowall showed us the workshop where he prints the books and explained the techniques in more detail.  We were then free to explore the house, which is full of art work and books, including many publications of the Old Stile Press, as well as the sculpture garden.  Tea was provided on the terrace overlooking the River Wye, where our hosts showed us some of their books in more detail.  On departure we stopped briefly for a look at the ruins of Tintern Abbey.