Ipswich: David Routh, 84, to retire as owner of Bayley’s Printing Company

David Routh of Ipswich who has retired after more than 60 years with the same printing company

David Routh of Ipswich who has retired after more than 60 years with the same printing company - Credit: Archant

AN OCTOGENARIAN businessman is preparing for his retirement and the closure of one of Ipswich’s oldest companies.

David Routh, 84, proprietor of Bayley’s Printing Company, joined the 145-year-old firm, which he ended up owning, as a 16-year-old in 1945.

Established in 1868, Bayley’s was based in Ipswich’s Falcon Street where the company had a warehouse and printing presses.

Mr Routh took control of the firm in 1985 after it had been placed in administration.

“I joined the company in April 1945 when I answered an advert in the Evening Star which asked for a young man to learn the printing and stationery trade with a view to becoming a representative,” he said.


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“I used to bike around Ipswich drumming up trade – not many people had vehicles in those days.”

In the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s the company employed around 30 people and supplied office stationery to companies across the region.

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But the development of office computers and desktop publishing meant orders became increasingly sparse in the 1980s.

Mr Routh bought the name, goodwill and office contents when the company that then owned Bayley’s went into administration.

Mr Routh, of High Street, Ipswich, still uses the office desk he was first allocated in 1945. “I’ll be sad to see it go.” he said.

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