Printing business has been anything but stationery!

John and Victoria Broadbent of the James Jackson stationery company
John and Victoria Broadbent of the James Jackson stationery company

The owner of what is believed to be the last remaining independent legal stationers in the country says the printing industry has changed beyond recognition in the last 20 years.

John Broadbent owns James Jackson, who produce legal and professional stationery, bespoke printing and office stationery and consumables.

They employ seven staff, including Mr Broadbent’s daughter Victoria, who is the company secretary and has worked there for 14 years.

They recently moved from Shay Lane, where they were based for nearly 30 years, to Ladyship Business Park, which offers better transport access for deliveries.

Mr Broadbent, 62, who was born in Shibden, said: “It’s an ever-changing environment, moving towards more digital printing.

“Printing has probably changed more in the last 20 years than it ever has before.

“Thirty years ago 99 per cent of our customers were solicitors, accountants and architects, whereas now they’re probably 70 per cent.

“We’re doing a lot more commercial work.

“Things have changed a lot though. The internet has affected us.

“I think loyalty has disappeared now. We have certain accounts we have held for 200 years, but there was a time when if you got an account, you’d keep it forever.

“Nowadays people are a bit more fickle.”

Mr Broadbent worked for Rowntree Mackintosh in Halifax before joining James Jackson as a salesman, then took over the firm in 1992.

“The company was formed in 1885 in Halifax by James Jackson,” he explained.

“He was a tutor in shorthand and typing, but the solicitors and architects he worked in would never have any notebooks or pens.

“He realised he was making more money selling notebooks and pens than he was tutoring so he set-up the business.

“It was incorporated in 1928, around which time he died.

“It then became a part of Stott Brothers, who were a big printers in Halifax, until the 1960’s and then reverted to being independent.

:”It’s always been a bit of a niche market.

“About 20 years ago we had an association with 15 of us, although there were probably more across the country.

“But we’ve been stubborn and refused to give in.

“Nationwide stationery company Oh Yay have bought a lot smaller firms out but we’ve stayed as we are.”