HISTORICAL: The original Chandler and Price printer which printed the Collinsville Star.
HISTORICAL: The original Chandler and Price printer which printed the Collinsville Star. Jordan Gilliland

Historic print press set to find a new home

AN ORIGINAL printing press that was once used to print the Collinsville Star will find its way back to the town once again.

The Collinsville Star was a local newspaper which was first published in 1928 before closing in 1953.

Over the 65 years since its closure, the original printing press has found its way to Bowen, where it currently resides in the Bowen Independent office.

A historical piece of machine, the design was originally created in 1914 and was regarded as a 'necessity' for many regional newspaper printing presses.

The original printing press will now find a home back in Collinsville, after being donated to the Collinsville, Scottville and District Historical Society.

Dan Van Blarcom of the Collinsville, Scottville and District Historical Society said there would be big plans for printing machine.

Having spent 25 years on similar machines, he said he remembers fondly being an apprentice and working with the printer.

"We were at the 100 years of mining celebration and the Bowen Independent general manager Stephen Darwen said they had this old printing machine that he wanted to donate," he said.

"I thought, well between the two of us I'm sure we could get it working again. So we've been working on it and I reckon we definitely would be able to.

"There was a time where these kind of machines were in every printer, in every small town, and they have important historical relevance because of that."

He said they were currently looking for a location to keep the machine at the society, but with the recent reopening of the No. 1 mine there was the potential to 'incorporate it in some big plans'.

"If you go to locations like Ballarat where they have mining exhibitions, they will have printers like this," Mr Van Blarcom said.

"They'll make up a newspaper with your name on it and it's something long lasting that you can take home with you.

"Due to logistics it's unlikely we would be able to use the actual printer, but it could be part of a bigger plan."

Mr Van Blarcom said the Collinsville, Scottville and District Historical Society had fully digitised copies of the Collinsville Star that could be used in conjunction with the printer.

Mr Darwen said he was "very proud" to be able to return the press to Collinsville.

"I can't wait for the press to be able to go back to its roots," he said.

"I've spoken to all of the descendants of Victor Darwen, who begun the Star, and they're all as excited as I am to see it return home." 


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