As a former employee of Sun Printers and having members of my family working for Andre & Sleigh of Bushey, I feel it puts me in the perfect position to provide a bit more meat on the bone regarding a report in the Watford Observer (“Remembering Sun Engraving and Sun Printers”, March 26).

This report says Watford owes its position as a printing town to a pioneer named George Jones’s decision to locate a large print works in Whippendell Road in 1906. That is not entirely accurate because George W. Jones Ltd had been acquired by Debenhams, the London department store, two years earlier in 1904. In 1906 the owners (and not George W. Jones Ltd) invested £14,000 in a new purpose designed modern factory in Watford and moved the printing operations there, along with 300 employees. At this time in 1906 Mortimer Menpes became the firm’s art director. In 1908 Menpes took over the running of the company, renaming it Menpes Printing and Engraving.

When the Watford Observer report says Menpes Press was sold to Edward Hunter’s Andre Sleigh and Anglo in 1918 that it is not entirely accurate. In 1898 a gentleman by the name of Archie Hughes formed a company with Edwards Hunter that became Anglo Engraving Company. Hunter and Hughes then acquired Andre and Sleigh in 1914 thus becoming Andre Sleigh and Anglo in 1914. In 1918 Hunter and Hughes negotiated with Debenhams’s chairman, Sir Frank Richmond, for the purchase of Menpes. Staff from Menpes and staff from Hunters and Hughes Company then consolidated all under one roof and one name: The Sun Engraving Company had now arrived.

Ernie MacKenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford