Thursday 26 July 2012

Typewriters of Britain, unite!

Another week has nearly flown by; what a busy month this has been!  Summer has finally arrived too, although I read that it will be going away again come the weekend.

Anyway, I had intended to do a post today about a player piano and a bicycle.  There's a novel combination, eh?  It sounds like something from a Laurel & Hardy film, doesn't it?  I bet you're wondering now just what it'll all be about, aren't you?  A bicycle-powered player piano, perhaps?  Some chap cycling across America with a player piano in tow, maybe?  Well, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer to find out I'm afraid.

A type-in is essentially people meeting up, usually in a public place - a park, a café, a town square (other suggestions welcome!) - and typing!  Whether it be a letter, a poem, a short story or just some faint random lines mixed with expletives it's just an excuse to socialise with folks who share an interest and give these old typers a new lease of life.  You don't even have to have a [portable] typewriter yourself as there are always collectors and multiple-typewriter owners willing to lend machines for the purpose.

Type-ins (or type-outs, depending on the weather!) have been a great success in the States - as well as the above video see Life In A Typewriter Shop and Writing Ball amongst others - so why shouldn't they be in the UK too?  Don't we have the name of British manufacturer Imperial (maker of my own Model 66) to uphold?  Haven't we got antiques stores, car boot sales, lofts and the like where typewriters may be hiding?  Didn't we invent the blessed thing?!  Surely the time has come for us Brits to take a hand?  The world of the vintage and typewriter enthusiast is ripe for a crossover - I can't be the only retro-minded chap to enjoy the clacking of keys on paper?

What has been suggested is still only in the early planning stages (and may not come off if there is no interest) but the crux of it is simple - a type-in somewhere in the British Isles.  With that in mind and assuming the availability of typewriters and a suitable (central) location the question as it stands is this:

Would you be interested in a UK-based type-in?

Feel free to vote and/or comment below and - depending on how it goes - I'll be back with the results next week.  In the meantime, don't forget to stay tuned for that bike-piano combo!


  1. I have never heard of such a thing! How interesting. I would love to read more about it if you go ahead with this idea. I did use a typewriter early on, but have always preferred the quill pen and a bottle of ink myself. For me it is far more elegant.

    I look forward to your post about the bicycle and the player piano!

  2. Bruce, typospherian Rob Bowker is UK-based.

    Perhaps connecting with him would be a good idea:

    Sorry for the Stateside intervention. ( :
    Hope to hear about the UK type-in coming to fruition!


Don't just sit there, type something! I enjoy reading all friendly and positive comments.


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