New Premises


Sydney Walk
October 29th 1852

I visited the new Press this afternoon – Boo and Mrs Doughty have done tremendous work. They wanted to surprise me so they asked me to take a carriage to an address in Bayswater, where they would meet me and then walk me to the premises nearby. When I alighted, they were giddy as kittens and rushed up with a pretty scarf to cover my eyes in order to prolong the suspense. They chattered over each other in such excitement that I could not work out the route they were guiding me along, and when I told them they should slow down for fear I would never be able to find the place on my own they laughed aloud at my silliness. I have never known them in such a playful mood – it was such fun to be with them again!

The Press is now housed in a most impressive building. It is much larger than the Highgate factory, with a sprawling open ground floor where all the machinery is situated. There were more girls than I could count, all rushing around looking very busy and chattering away as they worked. It is a very happy workplace, for sure.

I wanted to be shown all the upstairs offices – I could see a lot of doors leading off the upper landing – but Boo needed to get back to LB, who has a touch of the croup she said. I do not know what croup is but apparently he needs regular steam baths and Boo was concerned that the maid would not hold his head correctly, or something. So after a whirlwind tour of the shop floor I was put straight into a carriage Mrs Doughty had arranged for me and I came back to Sydney Walk. I did not mind so much because Dauncey was waiting for me in the window and I had to write to Papa’s bank to authorise a withdrawal of funds to give to Boo for the Press. I can see now why they needed such a large amount! I shall go back soon and see the rest of it at my leisure – if I can recall how to get there.

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