In this video, veteran printer and newspaper man Joe Barry tells of his long career at the Dimboola Banner and demonstrates some of the print machines still in full working condition at what is now the Dimboola Newspaper and Letterpress Print Museum.
[Dimboola Banner Office]
Joe Barry: I was going to high school in 1948, and came to November and me mother said, 'What are you gonna do? Get a job or go back to school and learn nothing?' So, this job was advertised and I came here a fortnight before Christmas, and I've been here ever since.
[Newspapers roll off press]
Joe Barry: When I started here, there were 16 people working here. We printed a number of papers from different towns. We used to print the Dimboola Banner twice a week. We used to print the Birchip Guardian, the Beulah Star, the Minyip Guardian, the Murtoa Dunmunkle Standard, Jeparit paper.
[The "Dimboola Banner" Jobbing General Printing Office]
Joe Barry: We printed a Rainbow paper for about 25 years. But besides the paper, we printed all the other job printing you can name, you know. Pamphlets, history books, cookery books, raffle books, account books, docket books, all that sort of stuff.
[Joe sits at machine]
Joe Barry: I can remember when I first started here.
Joe Barry: It was... a lot of it was hand-set. The paper was hand-set. The ads were all hand-set out of a single type. And my old boss, he used to put all the spacing between each letter in his mouth, and when he finished the word, he'd pick out a bit of face and drop it in.
Joe Barry: The linotype takes a bit of maintenance, but the big printing press down the back, it used to print about 5 to 10,000 copies a week, and hardly ever had a breakdown. The machines were well here before I started.
[Original Heidelberg press]
Joe Barry: And some of them machines in there are over a hundred years old at least, and they're still operating. My old boss used to tell me, 'Keep the oil up to them. That's cheaper than spare parts.' And that's what we did.
[Machines at work]
Raymond King: We can actually start the machines up and demonstrate how they actually work. There's nothing like seeing something actually working. I've sort of taken upon meself to get really involved, try and learn as much as possible, hand it on to somebody else one day, we hope, because we were very lucky to have Joe here for all this time, and he still takes an interest in it and still wants to come and do our demonstrations and pass on his knowledge. It's fantastic. There's not many places you could be lucky enough to have that.
Joe Barry: All the machines are still working. We could still print a paper here today. I think it's a wonderful thing that we could keep these things in a small town like Dimboola, and show people what was done here, and still to be done here.