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Tanfield Works, 1938 | Historical Notes

Tanfield Works, 1938

At a time when the future of the Standard Life Tanfield buildings is again under discussion, it is interesting to be reminded of Tanfield's heyday as the premises of one of Edinburgh's great printing firms

tanfieldby Andrew Fraser

(reprinted from The Inverleith News, Autumn 2005)

At a time when the future of the Standard Life Tanfield buildings is again under discussion, it is interesting to be reminded of Tanfield's heyday as the premises of one of Edinburgh's great printing firms. The picture below (original in colour) is from an advertisement for Morrison & Gibb in the Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory for 1938-39, which was in fact itself printed by that firm. The head office and works were at Tanfield, but there was also a London office at Tavistock Street, Covent Garden. The Tanfield office proudly boasted 'Telephone - 25184 - three lines'!

The accompanying text explains that it is 'an aerial view of our new works at Tanfield, Edinburgh, showing the large extension added to cope with our ever-expanding business' - the extension is shown in lighter colour at the rear of the older buildings. 'Covering almost two acres of manufacturing floor space, and laid out with a view to increased efficiency in all departments, these extensions have been equipped with special plant to meet the demands of Modern Publicity and mark the opening of our second century of Progressive Printing Practice. May we quote for your printing requirements?'