Robert Smail’s Printing Works is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, who’s 2008 video podcast introduces us to a range of unusual locally-made equipment while taking us on a tour of the plant illustrated by a series of photos.

The occasion prompting this post is Keith Houston’s visit reported on in his Shady Characters blog. Robert Smail’s was a jobbing printer, though they did print, and subsequently own a little local paper called The St. Ronan’s Standard and Effective Advertiser.

The jobbing printer I had vacation jobs at in Galashiels was a bit less picturesque than this one. McQueen’s printing works was behind their shop front in Channel Street. Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 1.21.34 PM

McQueen’s big speciality was targets for rifle shooting of which they printed (and still do as a division of Sykes Enterprises Inc.) masses and masses. Their history is shown here. When I was a lad the business was run by Dot McQueen, and when she retired it was taken on by the Gray’s who had been working there for years. They developed it massively to print and package computer software in the days when that was such a big business. It’s good to see they survive yet.