National Trust print manager Graham Prichard will retire this week after more than 40 years in the industry.
His career began in 1977 as a jobbing clerk at HE Warne in Cornwall, one of a group of companies owned by Max Harvey, who went on to set up Chase Web.
Harvey’s business was subsequently acquired by St Ives, with Prichard moving from estimating and costing into production, and working at a variety of group plants, including spending a year working in the USA for the PLC.
He worked at Redwood Press and Argent Colour, and then took his know-how into publishing production at Paragon Publishing, Quantum Business Media and Merricks Media.
Prichard joined the National Trust in 2007. The charity’s magazine is the UK’s highest circulating title, with a print run of more than 2.4m.
“I’m particularly proud of my time here at the Trust, and what we have achieved as a team,” Prichard said.
“The handbook was on 70gsm when I started, and it’s now 40gsm. We’ve made savings even as the run length has gone up by a third as membership has increased and we moved from recycled papers to a mixed policy on paper as paper technology improved for virgin fibre paper.
“Over the last couple of years there have been so many environmental things driving the agenda and it’s been very exciting. The move to starch wrap was my last big project, and it is something I’m hugely proud of.”
Prichard said he had experienced highs and lows during his career, notably at Chase Web.
“My time at Chase was both the hardest and the best. We lost three people in the fire there in the 1980s and it was devastating. The fire happened on a Saturday morning. On the Monday morning we had every controller sitting on the floor with phones. We pulled out all the stops and hit every publishing deadline. It was a massive honour to lead that,” he recalled.
“However, it’s important to say that none of the achievements in my career would have happened without the good people and suppliers that were around me at the time. We do make our own luck in life but we all also need the support of others to achieve our goals.”
Prichard signs off on 21 December, when he will be press passing at Wyndeham Roche. He said it seemed apt: “My first working day was in Cornwall and my last working day will be in Cornwall for the National Trust.”
His retirement plans include spending more time with his family as well as “a bit of golf and learning to play my three guitars properly”. He also has a small consultancy business.
The National Trust is in the process of appointing a successor, with Prichard’s replacement expected to be confirmed soon.