We had equally marvellous support on the typesetting side, in the form of
Emma Glaisher, of a firm in Leeds which has had various names during the
last twelve years but has for us always been 'Emma'. Since Smith Settle are
in Otley, just a few miles north of Leeds, the team we were using was
geographically compact and well able to send proofs and camera-ready-copy to and fro at high speed. From 1983 to 1993 they did PPC and they
did all our books (the Oxford Symposium Documents, as always, being the
One thing we used to do was to send apprentices up to Leeds and Otley
to meet the production team, indeed to spend a couple of days with them,
seeing just how they worked. This was well worth while. Apart from
anything else, it gave apprentices confidence that, if they thought of a way
of doing something, it wouldn't be shot down because it was based on
misapprehensions about what went on on 'the shop floor' up in Leeds and
Otley. And this helped us, since we had many a bright idea and practical
suggestion from the apprentices - if what I have written in earlier paragraphs suggests that the learning was all by them and the teaching all by us, that
would be a skewed picture of the interchanges which went on all the time.
In sticking to these arrangements in Yorkshire, we transgressed the rule
that publishers should always obtain rival estimates for any job, and at least
consider taking the lowest. We knew that we ought to be doing this, but we
didn't. We found the established relationship with Emma and with the team
at Smith Settle of such value to us that we didn't want to face alternatives.
People have complimented us on the quality of the production of our
books, and of PPC, and of course we respond with pleased looks and do
indeed deserve some of the credit; but much of it is due to the people who
did the actual work.
Indeed, looking back on it all, what impresses me is what a large number
of people were involved in making this small enterprise work, and what a
happy atmosphere of cooperation invested all its activities.