Local Printer Helps Restore Piece of Little Shelford’s History

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Local Printer Helps Restore Piece of Little Shelford’s History

Local printer Victoire Press has helped restore a unique book about the history of Little Shelford, with help from Heritage Lottery Funding.

“A Record of Shelford Parva” by Fanny Wale was written and illustrated between 1908 and 1919 but was never officially published. Her only handmade copy is held in the Cambridgeshire archive.

A limited edition of the book was produced early in 2012 but these sold out within a matter of weeks, with remaining copies held at the Great Shelford Library, Great and Little Shelford School and the Cambridge Library. In what he describes as a “labour of love”, Victoire’s Managing Director Tony Elliott says the company has been able to piece together a beautiful replica of the original book.

Keen local historian David Martin, a Shelford resident for 12 years, has championed the project and is delighted at the support it is receiving. “The Heritage Lottery Funding has made it possible to reproduce this important piece of local history,” he said. “The people at Victoire have really taken it under their wing and their attention to detail has been incredible.

They seemed to understand straight away what I was trying to achieve and I think Fanny Wale would have been very proud of what they’ve achieved with her book.”

After a year of seeking permission to republish and hundreds of hours of painstaking restoration, layout and design, the book finally went to press back in November 2012 and sold out quickly. Victoire’s Tony Elliott said, “We’ve relished taking on such an interesting project.  The book was beautifully produced from start to finish and would make a lovely keepsake for anyone local to the area.”

Demand for the book exceeded all expectations and the funded print run ran out quickly. If anyone is interested in stocking it or purchasing a copy, please contact David Martin by email davidm1961@gmail.com for more information.

Listen to the interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with David Martin here.