The Deveron Press is back in business.
Founded in Turriff, in 1916 by James Leatham, only his death in December 1945 could put a stop to this unique and original publishing enterprise.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of his death and the 150th anniversary of his birth (in December 1865), and to mark 100 years since the original publishing venture was established, Turriff based husband and wife team George and Cally Wight have brought The Deveron Press back to life.
Of course some things have changed. The digital revolution in publishing means that Deveron Press now focusses on Print on Demand and digital publishing formats, while The Gateway Journal, founded by Leatham in 1912, finds new life as on online free monthly magazine The ‘New’ Gateway.
But the spirit of Leatham underpins both The Deveron Press and the ‘New’ Gateway, namely
To get your own business into your own hands, this and nothing else and nothing less is the true line of social progress.
The Deveron Press has been revived to republish public domain and lost works by forgotten and overlooked Scots writers, and to inspire and encourage a new generation of Scots writers to embark on their own publishing adventure. It doesn’t offer a challenge to the mainstream, but a welcome alternative.
Born in Aberdeen in 1865 and apprenticed to a printer aged 13 ½, Leatham began a life as printer/publisher and socialist pioneer. He set up his own print shop aged 24.
During his long life he saw, and wrote about, many changes. He was at the forefront of social reform; with two of his more notable contributions being the initiation of a 48 hour working week for print and allied trade workers, and the championing of municipal housing; not least in Turriff, where he served on the local council from the 1920’s becoming Provost in 1933, a position he held till his death.
He was awarded an MBE in 1942. He is buried at St Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen. The Deveron Press is re-launching at an event at Turriff Town House on Saturday 19th December 2015. There will be a chance to find out more about James Leatham and his work – and if you’re lucky, you may get a piece of birthday cake!
A new edition of Leatham’s biography ‘Daavit’ has been published to commemorate his 150th anniversary and Deveron Press has also re-published a work by North East writer William Alexander; ‘Sketches of Life Among My Ain Folk’ in its first catalogue.
Both books will be available for purchase on the day.
You can find out more about the Deveron Press, the New Gateway and James Leatham on their website http://www.thedeveronpress.scot/