A trio of trainees at Oxford University Press marked the end of an era in true VIP style.

Traditionally, apprentices were ‘banged out’ at the end of their training – fellow employees would bang anything nearby and create a din to mark their success.

Usually, the ceremony took place in the apprentices’ own department, but this time, everyone in the printing works was involved.

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The trainees – Martin Honey, Stewart Glenister and Ken McMahon – collected their indentures and were then ‘banged’ through every department, not once but twice – once by their workmates and then for the TV cameras.

You can see them above being wheeled through the OUP buildings in Walton Street in 1984 on a trolley specially decorated for the occasion.

The reason for the ceremonial ride was that the OUP apprenticeship scheme was ending.

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New technology was being introduced in the printing industry, calling for different types of training.

Mr Honey, who had completed a four-year training period with his fellow apprentices, said as he stepped off the trolley: “We expected something, but nothing like this. It was great fun.”

It was, as the Oxford Mail reported at the time, “the biggest bang in the OUP’s 400-year history”.

Oxford University Press is the home of the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary Online.

Its shop in High Street closed during the pandemic and did not reopen and some of its books are now sold in Blackwell’s instead.

The former bookstore is about to open as a wine shop run by chain Amathus which has shops across London.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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