50 years of friendship and printing

Danny Hampton and Stuart Bailey are pictured with a Heidelberg GTO which they use at Ron Howard Printing Company in Casino, Northern NSW.

You know you’ve got a mate when he keeps your job warm while you recover from a serious illness

Story by Media Super member Clare Kennedy.

Danny Hampton and Stuart Bailey, both proud members of Media Super, have a few stories to tell about the dramatic changes in the printing industry. The mates, who met at Ultimo Tech in 1964 as 15-year-olds, are this year celebrating 50 years of working in the industry.

I am chatting to Danny on the phone from his hometown of Kyogle, tucked on the northern New South Wales border on the edge of the world heritage-listed Border Ranges National Park.

He talks passionately about the dramatic changes in printing, seeing the change from letterpress printing to lithography and into today’s digital printing world.

Danny and Stuart lost contact over the years but bumped into each other at Kyogle where Stuart had started Kyogle Printery. Stuart and Danny also worked together for a time at Form Print in Lismore and more recently at Ron Howard Printery in Casino, where they work on a four colour Gronhi and a Heidleberg GTO.

Stuart has had a hard time of late, recovering from throat cancer, and is hoping to return soon to printing part-time, so Danny has stepped into the breach until his mate is ready to return.

Proprietor Col Ward, Janelle McLeod and Walter Juozapaitis make up the highly qualified team at Ron Howard Printers offering single colour to full colour offset printing, with digital printing completing the mix.

“We are actually all good friends; in these country towns you get to know people well,” Danny says.

Danny says that he and Stuart, both “ten pound poms”, have followed each other’s progress since meeting at the Tech in the 1960s. Danny was apprenticed at Bloxham & Chambers in Harrington Street near Circular Quay, and Stuart was apprenticed at GW Graham & Son on the corner of Goulburn and Pitt Streets in Sydney.

Danny worked at Ambassador Press, Mastercraft and various other printers and was self-employed at Blacktown Business Service. Later, he and his family moved up to the northern rivers and he worked night shift with the Northern Star, printing newspapers. Stuart also worked in newspapers; at Cumberland News he produced the very first four-colour full page advertisement. Later, he moved on to Pratten Brothers and did a stint at Hanna Match in Richmond.

“A good sense of humour was a must to keeping one’s cool in the printing industry,” he says.

Danny is relieved to hear the news last week that his printing mate, Stuart, is in remission.

“We went into this industry with our fingers crossed. We’ve had wonderful careers and been very lucky. I hear that people now have up to four or five careers in a lifetime; we were lucky to have one career in printing for the whole 50 years,” he says.

“Stuart and I have been with Media Super for many years; firstly with Print Super and now Media Super and we recommend our dealings with the company.”

Stuart commends Media Super’s Income Protection insurance, which he says “took away the money worries during a difficult time”.

Photo supplied by Danny Hampton and Stuart Bailey.