There was a superb film on BBC2, The Wipers Times? We thought it was fantastic, and obviously it really struck a chord with us because it involved print! The film is now on YouTube and the link is included below
Written by Ian Hislop (Have I Got News For You, editor of Private Eye) and long-term writing partner Nick Newman, the film is about a battalion of WW1 soldiers who discover a printing press while stationed at Ypres and use it to create a satirical newspaper to cheer the troops up while serving in France.
We were quite taken by the story, which is based on real events. The two creators, Captain Fred Roberts and his sub-editor Lieutenant Jack Pearson, wrote and produced the paper right there on the front line, and it remains today their legacy to the world, both a unique perspective on life in the trenches, and a wonderful piece of comic satire, demonstrating the British sense of humour in the face of adversity.
The name “The Wipers Times” was taken from the troops’ inability to pronounce “Ypres” where they were based, and the film also mentions a few interesting facts too – did you know, for example, that getting “the wrong end of the stick” was a printing term, coined for picking up the wrong end of the ink stick and ending up with ink all over your fingers?
We might live now in the age of digital, but the printed word remains to this day an incredibly powerful medium. Do take a look at the film – it’s well worth your time, and perhaps may make you reconsider just how powerful print can be.
Here’s the link – enjoy!