Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century

Celebrating 50 years of Business

Sherwin Rivers Ltd can trace its design and print expertise back over a century, originally starting out as Sherwin & Co back in 1911. Even back then it acquired
the former staff of Harry Lockett’s New Press Printing Co from Hanley, setting up base in Foundry Street.

The company ran for nearly 60 years printing the majority of its work for North Staffordshire Railways, advertising as ‘Official Printers to the L.M. & S.R Co’ (London Midland & Scottish Railway Company).

Sherwin Rivers Ltd – Incorporated 4th February 1969.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley - Heidelberg Cylinder

Sherwin Rivers Ltd

In 1969, The Sentinel entered negotiations to buy Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street printing works – Mr. Sherwin decided to take a step back from the company.

At the time Mr. Arthur Gordon Rivers held the appointment of the company secretary and alongside Sherwin & Co’s Master Printer, Mr. Alan Stanley invested shares into a new printing company; Sherwin Rivers Ltd.

The Remer Printing Works

The new company moved up to Waterloo Road, Cobridge taking over from Fred Bevington’s workshop adding a new first floor. The company took advantage of the newly introduced printing process lithographic print and invested heavily in new printing equipment, installing Kodak’s first darkroom in the United Kingdom.

Today the company produces conventional full colour print work in house alongside an ever expanding plant of Xerox digital presses, Roland large format machinery, signmaking equipment and in summer 2018 installed a fully-automated horizon booklet maker.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Mr Gordon Rivers (left), Mr Richard Sherwin & Mr Alan Stanley (behind) present Tom Holloway (white apron) with a retirement gifts at Sherwin Rivers Ltd, Cobridge.

Articles taken from
‘A History of Printing in North Staffordshire’ – 1975

Sherwin & Co Ltd

In 1911 the printing business of Harry Lockett in Foundry Street, and which before Harry Lockett had been the New Press Printing Co, was acquired by a Limited Company of which Mr A. C. J. Sherwin was the managing director.

The equipment at this time consisted of an Arab platen, two Wharfedeales, three other cylinder machines, and some form of mechanical composing machine. Whatever it was it had to be returned because the new form of Sherwin & Co did not wish to pay the re-payments on it, so all type was hand-set until 1922.

The firm also printed commercial lithographic work directly from stone and had the usual bookbinding equipment for the period – a hand-operated guillotine and female staff for stitching booklets etc. They also had a bronzing machine and were continuing the work of the previous owner who had listed himself in the 1907 Potteries, Newcastle & District Directory as ‘lithographic, letterpress, bookbinding, and three-colour specialist’.

In October of 1922 a ‘Monotype’ composing system was installed; lithography was closed down as being uneconomic and the equipment disposed of in 1933. They were then printing on a royal-sized Wharfedale, a quad-crown Wharfedale, and platens. Gradually, as new machines became available, they were installed: a Vertical Miehle, two Titan cylinder machines, a Thomson platen, a Heidelberg platen, a new guillotine, and other bindery equipment such as wire stitchers, a folding machine, a new pen ruling machine, and new punching equipment.

As well as general commercial printing the firm was doing a quantity of work for the North Staffordshire Railways. About 1966 a small offset department was started with a camera, a Rotaprint, and a printing down frame.

The Sentinel wanted the premises in Foundry Street for further expansion and Mr Sherwin, who was no longer a young man, decided to let them have it, so in April 1969 a new company started trading as Sherwin Rivers Ltd was formed and the premises of Fred Bevington in Waterloo Road, Cobridge was purchased. Some of the plant at Foundry Street was disposed of, the rest was brought by the new company.

Sherwin Rivers Ltd

On the close of Sherwin & Co (Hanley) Ltd a new company, Sherwin Rivers Ltd was formed by the executive of the previous company. The Directors of the new company are Mr W. L. Sherwin, Mr A. G. Rivers, Mr A. Stanley and Mrs D. Sherwin.

This new company occupied the premises at Cobridge acted by Mr Fred Bevington on his retirement, the building being extended with the addition of a new first floor. Sherwin Rivers Ltd brought the bulk of the previous company’s equipment and have recently added to this a new Heidelberg 10 inch by 15 inch sheet size platen and a new IBM typesetting system.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Letterpress Calendar from 1948Surviving example of a Letterpress printed Sherwin & Co Ltd Calendar from 1948.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Advert from Picturesque StaffordshirePicturesque Staffordshire, printed in 1925 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway by Sherwin & Co, Hanley. (Advert in back of book).

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co Packaging from the turn of the centurySherwin & Co Packaging from the turn of the century.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co Packaging from the turn of the 19th century

Sherwin & Co Packaging from the turn of the 19th century.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - North Staffordshire Railway Posters

North Staffordshire Railway Posters printed by Harry Lockett’s New Press Printing Co & Sherwin & Co, Hanley.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers’ Remer Printing Works, Cobridge

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers’ Remer Printing Works, Cobridge

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Picturesque Staffordshire, printed in 1925 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway by Sherwin & Co, Hanley. (Advert in back of book).

Picturesque Staffordshire, printed in 1925 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway by Sherwin & Co, Hanley. (Advert in back of book).

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin & Co's Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin & Co’s Foundry Street Printing Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers’ Remer Printing Works, Cobridge

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers’ Remer Printing Works, Cobridge

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Sherwin Rivers' Remer Printing Works, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

Sherwin Rivers’ Remer Printing Works, Cobridge

Sherwin Rivers Printers Ltd - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Family run printing company for over a century - Alan Stanley
Mr Alan Stanley

Managing Director & Founding Member of Sherwin Rivers Ltd, 1939 – 2015

Alan started an apprenticeship as a book binder at J. Hitchings & Son printers in Hanley prior to national service, after completing basic training he served as a motorcycle messenger in West Germany for almost all of his term, whilst away his apprenticeship was transferred over to Sherwin & Co of Foundry Street Hanley.

After becoming a journeyman Alan trained as a master printer on Heidelberg Cylinders & Patterns eventually becoming the workshop manager as Sherwin & Co came to a close in 1969.

Alan and Gordon Rivers invested shares to create a new company retaining the staff as Sherwin Rivers Ltd in February of the same year, with Alan working to become the majority share holder of the business over his career.

Work, for Alan was very much a family affair bringing his wife Jean and sister-in-law Linda to the business as print finishers up until their retirement – Alan’s son Steven came into the company from school and trained in all aspects of the business, from origination, print and finishing, gaining a wealth of knowledge to oversee and develop the business further. Steven is the current Managing Director of Sherwin Rivers and over the last 10 years has moved the business in to new fields, combining the latest machinery and technology, introducing signage, digital print and large format print and vehicle wrapping to the expanding range of services.

Digital, Large Format, Litho Printers & Signage Company – Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

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