Belfast Banner Printing

ine Banners

At Kaizen Print, we offer you our valued customer, cheap banner printing and sign printing right here in Belfast City Centre. The options are almost limitless when it comes to sizes and finishes on your banners, so we have created this guide for you to make the right informed decision.

Banner Materials

We at Kaizen Print provide the following options for your print. Mesh, PVC and vinyl banners. The right type of banner is 100% dependent on the use of your banner. Before we go any further, take a few minutes to consider the following options.

  1. Will the banner be for indoor or outdoor use? Or possibly both?
  2. How long will you need it for?
  3. Where will it be positioned or affixed to?

Having a fair i
dea of the above questions will help us tailor your product specifically to your needs. By tailoring the banner printing specifically to you, this will ultimately result in a better fit and of course reduced costs.

Belfast Banner Printing

In the past twelve months, we have purchased two new banner printers for our Belfast office to keep up with the extremely high demand of our products. On an weekly basis we print over 1000 metres of pvc, mesh or polypropylene, proving we are one of the busiest banner printing belfast companies.

Sizes of Banners

Our outdoor banners are printed on a highly durable pvc and are fully water and weather resistant. They can be printed up to 1300 mm width and by any length. As standard all our banners are taped and eyelets are provided though out, ensure the longevity of your banners in outdoor areas.

If you wish to discuss your banner printing requirements, we have some of the very finest sales team, who can come and discuss your banner printing options.

We also offer ROLLER BANNERS (known also as Pop-Up, Roll-Up, Penguin stands or banners). Our roll up banners are also printed in full colour with our eco-solvent inks. This ensures longevity and also that the inks don’t scratch as easily as standard digital printers. Our Peng
uin Stands are 2 m high and 850 mm wide and have two sing-out feet for extra stability. Each Roller banner comes in a high quality leather padded bag. This is not the same as the cheap canvas bags some other suppliers use. these bags offer little to no protection, whereas ours should (without abuse) last the text of time. Standard lead time for our roller banners is 48 hours, but if you have an urgent requirement, next day should also be possible.

Absolute Marketing Limited, Belfast in Police Probe

Customers of a Belfast marketing company now at the centre of a police probe have reacted with fury after hundreds of pounds were taken from their accounts without permission – and not paid back.


Absolute Marketing Limited is now under investigation after the company shut its doors without notice in May, leaving customers in the dark and out of pocket.


The company operated discounted hotel deals across Britain and Ireland through annual membership schemes, with customers spending around £200 a year.


Now several of its former customers have said money was taken from their accounts without their permission and has never been repaid.


Those affected include Julie and Nigel Harris from Greenisland.


The pair said they were hundreds of pounds out of pocket after two unauthorised withdrawals from their account by Absolute Marketing – which had operated out of two offices on the Ormeau Road in Belfast.


“We had £199 taken back in April 28. Then £244 was taken in May,” Julie said. “We received an email from the company telling us there had been an error, but it had been corrected – however, we haven’t been paid back.


“We contacted them multiple times but have heard nothing. I’ve already told them we would contact the police and credit card company. I feel like I’ve been taken for a ride.”


The director and proprietor of the firm is listed online as Gareth Campbell, who is aged in his mid-40s. Despite attempts to reach Mr Campbell at several addresses, he has been unavailable for comment.


One former salesman at the firm told the Belfast Telegraph how more than a dozen staff – many of them long-term employees – were told to leave the Ormeau Road offices for good at the end of last month.


He says he has been left in employment limbo after working for the company for a decade. The employee, who did not wish to be identified, said he hadn’t heard from Mr Campbell, who is listed as company director of Absolute Marketing Limited, in around a fortnight.


He said he was now unable to find work elsewhere after the revelations came to light.


“We are trying to clear our names,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “We are now out of work and the name has now been blackened.


“On Friday, May 30, we turned up for work but were told that was it, we had to be out by 11am.


“I’ve been left in shock. I don’t know how I feel. I want to get a job, I want to get back to work, but I’ve applied for around 50 and have heard nothing back.


“We feel we have been very hard done by.


“It was a long-standing company. We sold our products well and it seemed all above board.”


The company operated out of two properties on the Ormeau Road over the past 10 years.


Yesterday the shutters were down on its most recent office, from where the company had operated since last spring.


Now a host of customers have told this paper of unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts, with many of them still left out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of pounds.


Others who had paid the membership fee have now been left with vouchers they are unable to use.


Earlier this week Trading Standards launched an investigation following the complaints.


Police have also said they are investigating.


“Officers are currently making a number of inquiries and are liaising with colleagues from Trading Standards,” a PSNI spokeswoman said.


‘They never repaid the money, we’re still waiting’


Case study: Philip Donnan (36), accountant, Warrenpoint


“Four or five years ago we had spent roughly £195 a year. We got around three hotel stays and some discounts off food.


“But I then got an email from them in May 2014, saying that they had taken £195 from an account by mistake — the name said Gareth Campbell at the bottom.


“They told me they had taken money from my account, in error, and I would be immediately refunded.


“It wasn’t even taken from my account, it was taken from my wife’s account — they had taken it for security reasons at some stage.


“I was told a reservation was mistakenly booked in my name, and a charge may have come out of my account, but that it was ‘of course immediately rectified once the error was detected’.


“Our bank repaid us the money, but we were never repaid by the company. We are still waiting.”


‘A friend said the phone line was dead, and it didn’t surprise me’


Case study: Gary Briers (54), owner of Ski and Sports, Belfast


“I have been a member for a couple of years. We had been spending about £400 a year and at the time it was a good idea. You got discounted rates at the start — it was all very good. But as time went past, you couldn’t get weekends very often.


“I noticed about four months ago it was getting very difficult to book. A friend then said it was a dead phone line at the office, and it didn’t surprise me.


“I’m now out about £400-500 — we had used the service as a corporate incentive for the staff. It seems the whole thing was dealt with very poorly. I really mind the loss of the incentive to the staff. I’ve previously recommended the company to others, and now I feel guilty because of that.”


‘I asked for a refund, but there is still nothing’


Case study: Woman aged 64, Dungannon


“The company made contact through a cold call and I took the package. Everything came through, but I found it wasn’t suitable.


“I called to ask for a refund — which I was told would happen.


“One man told me the money, £199, was back in my account.


“I was told it would be paid into my bank account but there is still nothing.


“After about a fortnight, when nothing happened, I called back a number of times — I wasn’t able to get through.


“That had been happening for a long time.


“I’m very angry with the whole thing — to be promised I would be refunded and never receiving the money. They have all my debit card details and I’m going to have to make sure that no more money is taken out.”


‘I’m out a total of £450 and I’m very angry about all of this’


Case study: Business owner from Cookstown


“I’ve been dealing with with the company over the last four or five years and everything had been fine. Then, around April, I started receiving phone calls from them, asking about renewing my membership.


“I told them I had already renewed in November. Then got my credit card statement in May and £250 had been taken out. I tried ringing but the phone number was engaged the whole time. Then one day a young girl answered and said someone would call me — but I never heard back.


“The credit card company have now asked me to send the information to them. I’m out a total of £450 including the membership fee I paid. While I understand companies often go through trouble, I’m very angry about all of this.”

Get More Business with Flyer Printing

As a small business owner, I can 100% tell you, being in business is tough. Over the past month or so, it has become more apparent that our clients look to use for guidance, advice and general discussion on how to best grown their business. All of which has been part of our service since Kaizen’s inception. If even just a coffee and a chat about the next few months activities, the more I know about your business, the better advice I can give. Yet, I am definitely no expert in the field of marketing. make mistakes and gain knowledge. From this knowledge you’ll be able to come along for the ride and implement the tools we have to grow our businesses together.


We’re very fortunate that as businesses in the 21st Century, we have tools our older counterparts couldn’t dream of. Can you imagine sending a letter and waiting 3 days for a response? For every transaction? Me neither. We live in a world where email makes us accessible 24/7, everyday of the year. The internet makes us mobile too. I’m writing this post from the hills of Co.Donegal and while I have no phone line, little mobile signal and am generally cut off from civilisation, with a quick trip into the village for a coffee, I’ll be able to upload the content an publish it live.


Our customers can now choose to interact with our businesses through the magical world of social media and by doing so they give us information about their purchasing habits, their demographic and their favour or not with the brand at that current time. We live in a world where information is at our finger tips, yet for the most part we choose to ignore what is right in front of us.


Today we’re going to get new business by answering four simple questions. Questions you already know the answer to.


[b]Who are our customers?[/b]

Broadly speaking, my customers are business people, entrepreneurs, marketers, students, office admins and pretty much anyone who needs print for business, education or personal use. Who are yours? Ask yourself that and write out a little list of those who shopped /worked with you in the last month.


[b]How did they find your business?[/b]

Referrals, repeat custom, ‘the internet’, flyer printing, TV advertising, social media tenders or any other sales channel. Write them down again. Easy isn’t it?


[b]What did they buy?[/b]

Products or services, write them down. Even if its a broad area of many things, take a creative licence here and pick an area for development. For Kaizen it includes: design services, website creation, flyer printing, roller banners, taxi wraps, posters, social media graphics. Many things across the month.


[b]Why did they buy it from you?[/b]

We sell posters to conference attendees last minute due to our convenient location near Queens Medical building. Our design services are sold, because we have some of the most talented designers in Belfast, our roller banners are of a better quality than the industry standard. Our marketing engaged a client via social media, they liked us and bought from us. These are real world examples from Kaizen Print


Run through the questions a handful of times and come up with a list of answers to the questions. Give, say 10 examples of the answers a review and ask yourself this question. If I was to only look after 2 of these clients and their projects for the rest of my working life, which would they be?


For example, do you have a particular product or service with greater profit margins, that interests you more. The type of client is easy to work with, due to efficiency, creativity or doesn’t question price when quality is required?


Essentially what we are trying to do here is find your ideal client, ideal job and focus on attaining more of them.


[b]A Kaizen Example[/b]

Over the past while, we have achieved a great reputation for launching and relaunching brands within the food service industry. In the past year we have branded 18 restaurants around Ireland and 1 in China. The clients love our style and the majority of them have been referred to us by other members of the trade. The restauranteurs when creating their brand with Kaizen, look to us for advice on many other facets of their business and as such we reintegrated throughout their marketing from the very inception of the brand.


From this information how do we get more business?


Great service sells. First and foremost our work would have to be good to get referrals. But we can capitalise on this by asking our clients to recommend us to others. I do this on a daily basis and ask if we have done a good turn for you, or our work has went beyond your expectations that you tell someone else. It works!


If I wanted to aggressively market this trade, I would speak to the trade associations, the magazines within it and publish press releases to market my customers rebrands and our work. As a reader of this blog, you will be familiar with my cross promotion strategy. I feature our client work on a regular basis. Not only does it give new ideas to businesses, but helps generate aware for our customers None of us have infinite marketing budgets, so working together we are in a great opportunity to combine our strengths.


I would tell social media of the work we have done. As your online presence grows so does the opportunity to capitalise on your marketing. Write a blog post like this, share it online and ask your friends, family and customers to do the same. Each action you take mounts up.


Run through the questions and answer each in a scenario type process like I have done above. it makes it 100% easier to visualise the steps of generating another sale. Once you do this a couple of times, it becomes second natures and you do the process on autopilot.


If you want to chat through any ideas or run through the scenarios with me, post a message below and we can chat through this as a group. Over the next little while we’re going to run a Google Hangout to chat through some ideas and generate some new ones for each other.


Free breakfast for Belfast cyclists

The Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon, met hundreds of cyclists participating in one of the highlights of Bike Week which began last Saturday.

Breakfast was available between 7.30am to 9.30am for cyclists who registered on arrival at City Hall.

Participants could eat in the Bobbin cafe or, if they were short of time, had the option just grab a complimentary coffee from a van on the front lawn.

“We are encouraging everyone to get on their bikes and ride to work, college or the shops,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Besides the treat at the end of the ride, it is an easy way to keep fit, reduce carbon emissions, and save money on petrol or bus fares,” she added.

“With the thousands of people enthused by the Giro D’Italia we are hoping that even greater numbers than usual will take to two wheels for the day.”

Belfast City Council is promoting the ‘Bike to Work Breakfast’ as a part of Active Belfast and in partnership with the Department for Regional Development.

Free advice from the PSNI on anti-theft and bike marking was also available at City Hall.

Speaking to UTV about Bike Week, Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said that, in light of recent accidents, safety remains of paramount concern.

“All efforts have to be continued to be made to make cycling safer and the overall infrastructure easier for people to travel in,” he commented.

He said that cycling proficiency is “important” and added there are strong arguments to take it further than the school setting.

Mr Kennedy said his ambition was for Belfast to become the ‘Copenhagen’ of western Europe.

“It will take time to achieve that, it will be a cycling revolution that will take time,” he added.

“I think it’s important to stress that we have momentum, Giro d’Italia helped that, but I think more generally people increasingly are using cycling as a sustainable mode of transport – [there is] 20% extra in terms of cycling in Belfast itself.”

Gordon Clarke, director of Sustrans NI said that he would like to see every child in Northern Ireland trained in cycling proficiency.

“Ultimately, if they don’t become a cyclist in later life, they’re a car driver, and that training will have helped them significantly so it’s an investment in both the appreciation of the driver and the cyclist so we’re very supportive of that.”

He stressed that more infrastructure and improvements to the “disjointed” network need addressed.

“Where there’s good infrastructure, more people cycle and that’s important but equally important is behavioural change – and that [means] working with drivers but also school children.

On Thursday night, the mayor also held an event honouring the volunteers who helped make sure the Giro d’Italia spun through Northern Ireland smoothly.

Graphic Packaging Printer Catches Fire, No Injuries Reported

The Fort Smith Fire Department responded to an early morning fire Monday at Graphic Packaging at Chaffee Crossing.

No injuries were reported following the evacuation of the building at 10300 Roberts Blvd., which experienced smoke from fire in a large printer. Graphic Packaging Corp., based in Atlanta, produces cardboard containers for a variety of food and beverage companies.

“These are not normal size printers,” Fort Smith Fire Department Battalion Chief Boyd Waters said. “They’re about the size of a pumper truck.”

About 20 fire crews responded to the call at 5:15 a.m. with three pumper trucks, two ladder trucks, one rescue truck and two battalion chiefs. There was no structural damage to the building.

It is thought that cardboard in the printer belfast caught fire, Waters added. Employees attempted to extinguish the flames unsuccessfully before calling the fire department. The building was ventilated, Waters said.

Graphic Packaging did not respond to a media inquiry by press time. The Fort Smith location was the first industrial manufacturer to locate its business to Chaffee Crossing in 2005, a collaborative effort between the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the city of Fort Smith, and now employs more than 350 people.

The Fort Smith Board of Directors on May 6 supported the issuance of $7 million worth of industrial revenue bonds to Graphic Packaging for new machinery and equipment at the Chaffee Crossing facility. The company indicated at that time it planned to add about 25 full-time jobs.

£25 million printing decision delayed

SOLON– It’s official.
As expected, the Solon school board has decided to place a $25.5 million bond referendum for a new middle school and performing arts center before district voters.
At a June 26 meeting, school board members accepted a 220-signature petition signed by residents of the district, and passed a resolution calling for a Tuesday, Sept. 9, special election.
It was an action the district had been working toward for months.
In 2013, Struxture Architects of Waterloo conducted a facilities study for the district which highlighted the need for improvements at the middle school. In February, board members approved a $450,000 purchase agreement for approximately 11 acres of land owned by Don and Yvonne Epley west of the high school.
Since then, the board and district staff have continued to work with architects from Struxture to develop and fine-tune conceptual designs for both a new middle school and an auditorium addition to the high school.
The district intends to construct an approximately 75,000 square foot, two-story middle school on the recently-purchased 11 acres on Racine Avenue immediately west of the high school; a 810-seat performing arts center attached to the east side of the high school; and added classroom space for visual arts at the high school (part of the auditorium structure).
In addition, the school system will be seeking a 10-year renewal of its $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL), which was set to expire in July 2016.
The motion to accept the petition, which required 209 signatures, and the resolution for the special election both passed unanimously with little discussion. Board member Rick Jedlicka was absent from the meeting, but joined the conversation via cell phone to cast his vote.
And while the action by the board officially launched the referendum, there are still a lot of related details to iron out, and the school board continued those discussions at last week’s special session.
Board members interviewed two potential construction management firms at a June 2 meeting and discussed the companies in advance of a decision in July; and informational materials regarding the bond issue and potential satellite voting opportunities were also considered.

Superintendent Sam Miller has been working with Grant Wood Area Education Agency to design an informational brochure outlining the bond issue proposal, and he presented it to the board members for review.
It’s expected the brochure will be emailed and mailed to residents of the district, with excerpts appearing in the district newsletter mailed monthly through the North Johnson County newspaper.
“We want to have a consistent message and one thing we really tried to do with this flyer is not make it a vote-yes campaign,” Miller told board members. “Hopefully nowhere on here do you see leading information. It’s supposed to be fact-driven.”
The printing of the brochure will be delayed, Miller added, while the City of Solon and the Johnson County Auditor’s office determine whether the polling place will be located at the fire station or at the new city hall.
“I would encourage us to have multiple locations for people to make it easy for them to participate,” Miller said, noting satellite voting could begin as early as 40 days before the election.
District staff would be back in their buildings Monday, Aug. 11, for workshops and welcome-back activities with parents and students, Miller said, but the date is nearly a full month before the election.
Board members also discussed hosting a satellite voting site at Spartan Stadium in connection with the fall sports kickoff Friday, Aug. 22, or a home football game against Iowa City Regina Friday, Aug. 29.
“My concern goes back to our timing,” board member Tim Brown said. “While we’re sitting here, there’s been no outreach.” While he supported satellite voting, he felt the Aug. 11 date would give little time for the district to educate voters.
“This is a very important vote, not only for the district for the facilities, but it’s also the opportunity for us to really find out what the taxpayers of the district want and feel,” board member Dean Martin added. “I’m for making it as accessible as possible.”
Martin said it didn’t sound as if satellite voting would be too much of an expense, but he felt it should be closer to the election date. “I think people won’t pay attention earlier,” he said.
Board members generally supported having satellite voting at one football game (Aug. 29), and perhaps another event that would target more middle school or elementary parents.
The informational flyer does not mention the alternate projects the school system could undertake if bids come in below budget– a new weight room for the high school, for example, or an underpass/overpass connection between the middle and high school.
Brown questioned whether it should be included.
Miller suggested the ballot language, which is included in the flyer, is general enough that those ancillary projects could be included under general improvements.
But Martin warned against making promises the district couldn’t keep.
“I’d be concerned if we put something in here that we thought we might not be able to do,” Martin said. “I’d rather not be in the position we’re not delivering on something we say.”
In addition, Miller suggested the district host a public meeting in August where architects would be present to answer questions from residents.

Queen Visits Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived at Crumlin Road Gaol in north Belfast on the second day of their Northern Ireland visit.

It is the first in a series of engagements they will attend on Tuesday.

The Royal couple are on a three-day visit.

It is the Queen’s first visit to Northern Ireland since 2012, when she came as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Members of the public waving Union flags gathered outside the jail.


Andy Martin BBC Ireland correspondent

It is not just the fact that the Queen will be shown around Crumlin Road Gaol by former inmates, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, that makes this yet another symbolic stop.

It is her willingness and determination to visit one of the toughest parts of town, a stone’s throw from Ardoyne, and the Shankill, areas which have had to endure much of the residual violence of the troubles.

In previous years such a tour would have presented a logistical and security headache, but there is now evident confidence on the part of the PSNI.

Crumlin Road Gaol and its underground tunnel through which tens of thousands of republican and loyalist prisoners were marched between the Crown Court and their cells, is a harsh reminder of the conflict.

However, its transformation into one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city, shows that there are now fewer areas out-of-bounds, even to the Queen.

Inside, the Royal couple were met by a number of dignitaries, including Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

They will accompany the Queen on a tour of the former prison, where both politicians were held during the Troubles.

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, a former former IRA commander, was held in the prison for more than a month in 1976 on a charge of IRA membership – a charge that was later dropped in court.

Democratic Unionist Party leader and First Minister Peter Robinson was detained on a number of occasions in the prison during the 1980s for his involvement in protests against the controversial Anglo Irish Agreement.

The jail is now a popular visitor attraction in Northern Ireland.

After leaving the jail, they will travel to the city’s Titanic Quarter for a tour of the Paint Hall Studios.

The popular US television series Game of Thrones is partly filmed there, and it is a focal point for the burgeoning film industry in Northern Ireland.

Page Size for Printed Leaflets and Flyers

Leaflets and flyers are a popular promotional tool for businesses of all sizes, but for SMEs, they are often a core part of how they promote their products and services.  With the cost of print often putting smaller companies off using larger formats, it’s important that they decide on the right size of page for the job.  Below, I take a look at some of the most popular page sizes for printed leaflets and flyers, and when these tend to be used.

Popular page sizes to use when printing leaflets and flyers


A4 (297mm x 210mm) is the largest I would recommend going when printing a leaflet or flyer.  While you can print a leaflet onto A3 paper, this tends to be used more for small print runs and can often resemble posters.  A4 is a popular page size for leaflets and flyers as you have lots of room to promote your offering.  It’s also a size that many of us are familiar with, and if you are printing internally to save costs, you will likely have a decent of A4 paper.  A4 leaflets and flyers are popular for trade shows and conferences, and can also be used in your shop or place of business to highlight the features and benefits of your product.


A5 paper is half the size of A4 and perhaps the most popular size when it comes to printed flyers.  A5 is a popular choice because it is small enough to fit into your customers pocket, and large enough to get the detail you require on to it.  Remember though that your space is less than that of an A4 page, so be sure to use your space well.  A5 flyers are a popular choice for direct mail campaigns and can also be used to provide additional information on your product or services at a trade show or conference.


A similar size to postcards, A6 flyers are becoming more and more popular as the digital age continues to impact on the retail industry.  A6 flyers are a popular size for flyers that are inserted into packages to help promote additional products or services from an online supplier.  The size and weight of A6 pages also make them an affordable way of printing large amounts of flyers, but just remember the size in which you have to work with is starting to become less and less.  A6 flyers are best used as an insert or ‘filler’ to try and push an upcoming sale or event, and have proved to be successful in the retail industry.


DL flyers are 1/3 A4 page (210mm x 99mm) and this means they fit perfectly into DL envelopes.  This has made them a popular flyer size for direct mail campaigns.  They are also a popular size for the food industry, with many eateries using a DL layout for their menu.  DL flyers still give you enough room to get creative, while also giving you a flyer that fits perfectly into your customers pocket or bag.  DL flyers are popular at trade shows, and as they are 1/3 of A4 page, they can also be a cost effective way for producing multiple flyers for your customers.

Which size is right for you?

Deciding on the paper size of your flyer will really come down to what you plan to use it for.  If you need to get lots of information onto your flyer then you will need an A4 or A5 flyer.  If you want something cheap that your customers can take with them on the go, consider smaller flyer sizes like A6, A7 or DL.

Whatever size you decide on, ensure that your message is clear and easy to read.  Don’t try to put too much information on to your flyer.  Make it something that your customers will want to pick up or want to read, should it land on their door mat.

Ode to Printing

A printer man is a hardworking man; he toils from dawn to dusk,

He can guide you and teach you and be someone in whom you trust.

Your marketing needs will be easily met with a smile or rakish grin,

So you can hurry home to your wife and dog and partake in a drop of gin.


‘Flyers’ you cry as you drift off to sleep waking your wife and dog,

Then in morning time, a light comes on guiding you through mental fog.

Those flyers you need to publicise are only a phone call away,

A few spoken words, an exchange of ideas then your flyers are on their way.


Letterhead and envelopes as plain as plain can be,

Will bring you no business as far as the eye can see.

Bold designs with colour and flair is what you really need,

So get on that phone again and get dialling with great speed.


Socialise and capitalise to bring new customers through the door,

Exhibition stands and snazzy banners will have them begging for more.

Once they’re hooked reel them in and feed them what they need,

Business cards and leaflets are welcome info indeed.


As business grows you think you can rest, happy with your lot,

But now is the time to get up again and not sit around on your bot.

Digitalise and reach out to the world, your business can be global,

Once you’re online and trading you will feel quite noble.


Noble because you’re doing good deeds and selling what people want,

You’ve taken your printers advice and gone with the recommended font!

Time to sit back and relax? There is no time I fear,

As there’s always someone in the background coming up from the rear.


Print and be damned or print if you dare but do it right first time,

No resting here just more deep breaths as more comes off the printing line.

Flash your wares show what you’ve got and reap the resulting reward,

Think ahead plan for the future and get your printer right on board.


Thrifty aristocrats give money-saving tips for householders

You could be forgiven then for assuming that the baroness lives the sort of lifestyle that involves being waited on by an array of butlers and footmen and is never far away from a silver salver piled with Beluga caviar.

Nothing could be further from the truth, according to her ladyship. Far from leading a life that could double as an episode of Downton Abbey she has to scrimp and save in ever more ingenious ways to make ends meet.

In an interview in the latest issue of society magazine Tatler she has shared her top tips for saving money in an age of austerity. They are naturally highly idiosyncratic.

To save the cost of hiring a marquee when she has a garden party, for example, she has invested in 200 Panama hats. Guests can borrow them as sunhats and if it rains she simply calls them all inside. Inspired!

Food waste is another scandalous modern trend that the baroness aims to stamp out. “I love Melba toast,” she says, “but it does mean cutting off the crusts. We have it with dinner on Friday and Saturday but keep the crusts. These can be fried and served as soldiers with boiled eggs for Sunday breakfast.

Very simple and people love them.” There’s more: “Never serve plated food. It’s a waste. Let guests help themselves. That way they can take exactly the amount they want and no more. They can always have seconds but you won’t be left scraping luscious lobster into the bin. Supermarket waste is minor compared with plate waste. I feel strongly about this – it’s an unmentioned disgrace.”

The former House of Lords front bencher is still a fan of electric blankets

While she confesses to having bought a dinner gong on eBay because the one she spotted in the hall of a house for sale in Country Life was too expensive, in general she thinks investing in cheap products is a false economy. Superior products last longer and their lives can be extended by mending.

With this in mind she recommends the Pope’s tailors Ditta Annibale Gamarrelli when it comes to hosiery. They sell “beautiful thin socks” for, ahem, £16-25 a pair. Neither does she scrimp on soap for house guests. Nothing but a fresh bar of Lebanese soap from the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove shop will do and it’s “not expensive” at £8.50.

But she does collect the barely used bars and use them herself afterwards. And when they are almost finished she puts them in cupboards and drawers to deter moths.

The baroness has lots of priceless tips when it comes to heating. The former House of Lords front bencher is still a fan of electric blankets despite attracting a storm of criticism last December for recommending them as an economical way to keep warm in winter.

She is also in favour of open fires, hot water bottles, sausage-dog draught excluders and if possible an Aga. But her most eccentric tip is to leave hot water in the bath after you have completed your ablutions to allow it to carry on warming the room.

And Baroness Rawlings is not the only member of the landed gentry to come up with imaginative ways of trimming the household budget. Sir Richard FitzHerbert, ninth baronet and owner of the 48-chimney Tissington Hall in Derbyshire, may live in a stately home with 61 rooms but it costs £150,000 a year to run and he employs seven full-time staff. As a result he must be one of the few people in the country to be grateful for junk mail. He reuses leaflets and flyer printing as printing paper to save the cost of fresh reams.

When he walks his dog each morning he keeps an eye out for promising pieces of stray timber and uses a handsaw to cut them into logs for the fire. He has even taken to pocketing free pens whenever he visits a hotel. As he says: “All these little things help.” Not that it stops him making a weekly pilgrimage to the newsagents to buy a lottery ticket.

One benefit of owning a lovely country pile of course is that you can hire it out for wedding receptions. The downside is that it means dealing with one of the most fearsome entities known to man: the mother of the bride in full spate.

Cash-strapped Caroline Lowsley-Williams of Chavenage House, an Elizabethan manor in the Cotswolds, is only too familiar with this phenomenon. “I wouldn’t wish the wedding trade on anyone,” she said this week. “We peaked one year at 37. It helped the cash flow but that meant 37 mothers-ofthe-bride to deal with. I’m keener on funerals. They have a shorter run-in time.”

Lowsley-Williams does note there can be consolations. She pronounces herself “pathetically grateful” if guests bring candles to dress their wedding tables. “I collect the ends feverishly once they’ve gone because they make such good firelighters.”

Sir Benjamin Slade is another pocketpadding toff who is grateful for a wedding dividend. The squire of his family’s 13thcentury manor Maunsel House in Belfast, he says: “I live off scraps from weddings here. I go and loiter after 10 o’clock and they buy me drinks so that’s quite good.”

In daily life he is frugal in the extreme: “I use tea bags twice. The fridges are full but if by mid-week they run out I just eat porridge made with water so I don’t spend too much. Our wage bill is £500,000 a year.”