A Printer With Heritage – James A Bruce

By bellmannews / June 10, 2024
A selection of heritage booklets printed by Mr Bruce

By Gordon Ritchie MVO DL

I was very sorry to hear recently of the death of James Bruce, retired Printer and Stationer, Stonehaven.

Anyone who was in business in Stonehaven over the past 50 years, or run a local Club or Society or Charity during that time, will always remember the ever helpful Jimmy Bruce when they needed printing work done, whether it was letterheads, posters, syllabus cards, or his speciality, raffle tickets. Nothing was too much trouble, even when you left it to the last minute.

When I formed the Heritage Society in 1987, Jimmy Bruce printed the first book of photographs, ‘Stonehaven of Old’ and over the next 30 years, several more books, one of the last being George Swapp’s book on Stonehaven Street Names. From 2000, he also printed the quarterly Stanehyve magazine, and his helpfulness even extended to pointing out errors which I had missed in the text.

It was always a pleasure to visit his printing works in Cameron Street, entering by the main door, with the staircase piled high with printing orders ready to go out. I always sneeked a look to see what was there, raffle tickets for the WRI, invoices for a local garage, or at election time, piles of posters and flyers. Although he still had what looked to be old fashioned machines, he was also up to date with computers, which has obviously changed the printing industry. He was sadly missed when he retired 5 years ago.

Our condolences go to his wife Thora and family at this sad time. He will always be remembered when you look at one of the Heritage books, with his name at the end. ‘Printed by James A. Bruce, Stonehaven.’

Jean Riach/Dodds - June 16, 2024

In the late 1970s early 1980s I was a teacher at Mill O’ Forest school. As part of a project we were doing I took my class of P7 pupils down to see Mr Bruce’s printing works. This was before computers changed the industry and he still used the “Caxton” printing method. We had an amazing visit. Mr Bruce patiently showed the pupils how the process worked and how he totally got used to putting the type in back to front. He was a lovely man .

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