Former workers in the city's printing industry are urged to share their memories for a forthcoming exhibition.

Researchers from St Albans Museums are now trying to contact people who worked in the once-thriving sector for an exhibition at the new Museum and Art Gallery.

They want to hear about their experiences as they compile the story of the printing companies that once operated in the City.

The city’s coat of arms shows the importance of printing to St Albans.

It features, on the right side, a drawing of John the Schoolmaster Printer holding an Ink-ball. He operated one of the country’s first printing presses from the Abbey Gateway from around 1479.

Among the printers that operated in the City was the Gibbs family.

They printed the first edition of The St Albans Times & Herts Advertiser from a hand-held press at the Clock Tower in 1855. It continued to be printed in the city up until the late 1960s, dropping the first part of its title.

The Salvation Army ran Campfield Press in St Albans from 1901 to 1991. For a time, it had its own halt on the rail line between St Albans and Hatfield, now the Alban Way.

It printed the Salvation Army newspaper the War Cry as well as bibles and prayer books, employing 350 people at its peak.

Another company, Eversheds, was based on the site of a new housing development, Gabriel Square, off Alma Road.

The firm moved there after their London factory was damaged during the Blitz in the Second World War. It continued printing until its closure in the late 1990s.

Eversheds also signed up to Labour Minister Ernest Bevin’s National Scheme for the Employment of Disabled Ex-Servicemen after the war.

Anyone who worked in the city’s print trade and has a story to tell is urged to contact museum curator Sarah Keeling at

St Albans City and District Council is converting the town hall into a new £7.75 million Museum and Art Gallery that will transform the District’s cultural life. It is due to open in May next year.

Cllr Annie Brewster, who is responsible for sports and culture, said: “The print industry was vital to the prosperity and growth of St Albans.

“This project is a fantastic chance to celebrate that history and record the memories of residents who worked in that industry.

“I am sure there will be many people out there with vivid memories and mementoes of the print companies and I encourage them to contact the museums service.

“As we move towards the opening or our new museum and gallery, we are very keen to connect with our local history and get residents involved with our work.”