Our History

Davenport Printers was founded by John Henry Davenport in 1888, originally as a manufacturer of accounting ledger books. The original site was in the Meanwood area of Leeds, but relocated to the Columbian Printing Works around 1912.


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In the 1960’s, Philip Davenport’s father, Bryan, had a chance meeting with Wilkinson’s Confectionery of Pontefract. This proved a hugely positive move. As a result, the Company started to move away from the production of ledgers, which were decreasing in use due to the advent of early computers and in to the production of labels.


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With that, the Company grew. Davenport’s gained big customers, such as John Smiths and Samuel Smith’s Breweries, and Bryan invested in a large-format printing press which was dedicated to printing labels, non-stop, five days a week.


 

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In 1993, Philip joined the business, and as printed gummed labels began to give way to self-adhesive labels, a decision was taken to install the companies first flexographic roll label press. This proved something of a watershed for Davenport’s.

 

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In those early days, Davenport’s had the distinction of supplying ledgers to the Royal Household and payment was received in the form of a cheque, personally signed by Queen Mary herself!


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