Regarding the report in the Watford Observer that relates to a printing company that once occupied a position in Whippendell Road, West Watford, the information supplied by Watford Museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard is not entirely accurate.

As someone who worked for Sun Printers, and also having family that worked for Andre Sleigh of Bushey, I will put a bit more meat on the bone regarding the history of this famous printing company.

In the report, Christine Orchard said a new printing company was built in Whippendell Road for GW Jones Ltd around 1906, at a cost of £14,000. However, by 1906, GW Jones Ltd were no longer the owners of the printing company in Whippendell Road.

Read more: The factory that became the home of a famous employer

In 1904 GW Jones Ltd had been acquired by Debenhams, the London department store. Before the printing company arrived in Whippendell Road the business was already operational in Farringdon Avenue, London. In 1898 Archie Hughes and Edward Hunter formed the Anglo Engraving Company at 14 Farringdon Avenue, London.

In 1906 Debenhams (and not GW Jones Ltd) invested £14,000 in a new purpose-designed modern factory in Whippendell Road and moved the printing operations there, along with 300 employees.

In 1908, Mortimer Menpes took over the running of the company, renaming it Menpes Printing and Engraving and, in 1914, Anglo Engraving Company acquired Andre Sleigh of Bushey, becoming Andre Sleigh and Anglo. This company then negotiated with Debenhams chairman Sir Frank Richmond in 1918 for the purchase of the Menpes Printing and Engraving company in Whippendell Road.

Staff from Menpes and staff from Andre Sleigh and Anglo then consolidated under one roof and one name in Whippendell Road, The Sun Engraving Company had now arrived.

Ernie MacKenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford