Fifty years ago a Beaminster bookseller was looking for a printer. Mrs Forbes of the Eype’s Mouth Hotel recommended John Creed of Broadoak. And in due course the bookseller – the late James Stevens Cox (1910-1997) - had a pamphlet printed by Mr Creed. It was the beginning of a long and happy relationship. Over the last half century Creeds have printed hundreds of titles for Cox’s Toucan Press.
The first pamphlet was just four pages long – ‘Places of interest to visit in and around Eype’. One of the latest titles is ‘The Guernsey Merchants and their world in the Georgian era’, a book written by James’ son Gregory, and running to nearly 300 pages.
Creeds and the Toucan Press
Many of the titles printed by Creeds and published by the Toucan Press have been about Thomas Hardy. There was a series of 72 monographs on the life, times and works of Thomas Hardy, printed in the 1960s. In 1970 the Toucan Press founded ‘The Thomas Hardy Yearbook’ and it is now entering its fifth decade. It is an academic journal and copies are distributed to leading university libraries throughout Europe and North America. Every issue has been printed by Creeds.
John Creed, founder of Creeds the Printers, is, coincidentally, related to the Hardy family. His great-grandmother was Matilda Hardy of Puddletown.
John Creed, Audrey Creed, Andrew ‘Harry’ Harrison, Marilyn Harrison and Gregory Stevens Cox celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Cox – Creed relationship on Wednesday evening at ‘The Ilchester Arms’ in Symondsbury. They enjoyed a very Dorset menu.