Balshaw and Sons, established 1822.


Higher Town, Altrincham in 1821.

Well Lane, Altrincham in 1832.

Market St, Altrincham.

32 Church St by1855 when run by Thomas Balshaw. See extract from The Story of Timperley Methodism.

7 George St when run by John Riddiough Balshaw . See extract from Town and Trade of Altrincham.

Final address 18-22 Kingsway and 1 Post Office St. Entry was gained from No.1 Post Office Street, (but the post office was not in Post Office St). Run at this site by Henry Howard Balshaw, Edward Pearson Balshaw, and Reginald Balshaw.

Plant list

5 printing machines in all, including:

Columbian press

There was also a 1790s Columbian Press. It was all black, with a large eagle on the top. It had a slide in table with handle action. Latterly it was used solely as a proofing press. The type was inked with a gelatin roller about 10" wide. When the business closed this press went to a museum, probably in Manchester.

There is a similar machine in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, but it came from somewhere near Newcastle upon Tyne. MHB says that it looks the same, but adds that it is nearly 50 years since he last saw it.

Gas engine

The machines were belt driven by a "National" gas engine until WW2. This engine was bought in the late 1920s to replace an older gas engine. All the machines were in a cellar, with the gas engine in another, deeper cellar. Previously they had been upstairs, (until it was found that the vibration was damaging the building). During or after WW2 the Heidelberg press was fitted with an electric motor and the gas engine continued to be used when other machines were needed. Reginald had terrible trouble starting the gas engine and Edward looked after it most of the time.

The engine and line shafting was used until the business closed, as needed.

Office and store

On the ground floor there was an office, store room and stationer's shop. The shop was closed after Henry Howard Balshaw died (1924) and let to Patti Wilkinson as a hat shop. On the first floor there was an office, typesetting room, book binding room and washroom.


From the 1930s onwards the following people worked for Balshaws:

When the business closed ,the building and all the machines except the Columbian press were bought by a company called Lang. Two 'young fellows' took over the business and plant. Apparently they did not know much about printing and EPB used to help them out ocassionally.  The building eventually demolished and a new shopping centre was built there.

Information from MHB, collated by NHB.