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The family business

The Wimbledon Print Company is a family-owned business established over 60 years ago. Now run by Michael Woolsey, it owes a great deal to the determination and character of Elsie Woolsey, Michael’s grandmother who is now 93 and lives on the South coast. After the end of World War II, Elsie began to offer typing services to boost the family income. From this modest beginning the family business was born.

Elsie originally named her business Duplitype and ran it with husband Alec from premises above a shop in Morden. She also spotted the potential for document copying and in 1946 procured a duplicating machine to expand the typing business. Elsie continued with typing and duplicating throughout the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s.

During the early 60’s, on leaving school her son Ian decided to follow the same entrepreneurial path and started his first company. This company offered bookbinding in a unique way not seen before or since due to its unusual premises; the back of a van! Despite these humble beginnings, the bookbinding business grew and eventually listed the House of Commons amongst its clients.

The early 1970’s saw Elsie take a step back as Ian took over the running of Duplitype, merging it with his own bookbinding business to form Rushmere Printers Ltd. With the document printing and copying market growing rapidly, Ian and his business partner Roland moved to a premises in Merton Road and added the first litho print presses to the typing and bookbinding services. When demand outgrew this ground floor shop, another move was planned, this time to a larger factory in Quicks Road, Wimbledon. At the same time the company opened two copy shops in Haydons Road, Wimbledon & in Epsom, operating in a hub and spoke fashion served by Litho printing from the Quicks Road factory.

Rushmere Printers Ltd. continued to grow during the 1970’s and early 80’s adding another copy shop to the portfolio, however the 80s proved more difficult; the recession had a marked impact on the business and along with changing technology the business started to wind down gradually from its peak. The business was eventually consolidated under one roof in Haydons Road, Wimbledon; the premises of The Wimbledon Copy Bureau.

The turn of the century marked the arrival of the next generation of Woolseys into printing; Michael Woolsey. Having worked in the family business during his teenage years, Michael spotted the need for high quality full colour printing and graphic design and in typical fashion started his own company, Creovation. Creovation offered a consultative, problem-solving approach to print management, producing staples such as business cards and leaflets.

Following Ian’s retirement in 2012, the decision was made to merge all the companies under one roof and in 2013 they were collectively re-branded as The Wimbledon Print Company.

Please contact us to see how The Wimbledon Print Company can work with you to help solve your print and design problems.