Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 14, 2019
Webpage updated: September 14, 2019




Mr Isaac Latimer and his son, Mr Alfred Latimer, were owners of Plymouth's "Western Daily Mercury" newspaper and when they decided to sell the general printing side of the business in late 1889 or early 1890 (it had happened by February 1890), they sold it to the man who had been the day overseer at the newspaper, Mr John Trouern Trend.  He set up business at 163 Union Street, Plymouth.

To say that they "sold" it to him may be inaccurate.  He traded as Messrs Trend and Company and this may have been because Mr Alfred Latimer actually funded the transaction.  There is no evidence to support this theory at the moment other than the fact that when John's daughter, Miss Ethel May Trend, started working for her father at the age of 14, her boss in the accounts' department was none other than Mr Alfred Latimer.

Mr John Trouern Trend was born in 1846 in the parish of Stoke Damerel, the fourth child and second son of Mr George and Mrs Jane Trend, of 9 Georges Lane, Devonport.  His father was a Journeyman Boot and Shoe Maker.

In 1873 Mr John Trouern Trend married Miss Emily Kitto in Stoke Damerel.

At the time of the 1881 census Mr John Trouern Trend was a printer living at The School House, Plymstock.  His wife was a school mistress.  At that time they had two children, Miss Emily Kitto Trend, age 5, and Miss Jessie Trend, age 4, both born at Devonport.  The family quickly grew, of course, with Harold Trouern Trend being born at Oreston in 1883 and Ethel May Trend following in 1887.

By 1890 the family were once again living in Plymouth, where John was now a printer's overseer.  Emily ran her own girls' school from their home at 32 Ilbert Street.

While all that had been going on, Mr Alfred Latimer, had been born in Plymouth in 1850 to London-born Mr Isaac Latimer, the newspaper proprietor, and his wife, Mary Ann.  On August 27th 1878 he had married Miss Edith Florence Gameson at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth, and four children quickly followed: Hugh, Courtenay, Geoffrey and Walter.   Their home in 1891 was at 9 Portland Square, where Alfred was listed as a painter and store merchant, the family having sold the "Western Daily Mercury" newspaper the previous year.

The name of the business remained as Messrs Trend and Company until about 1930-31, when it became Messrs Latimer, Trend and Company.  Exactly why Mr Latimer's name suddenly took prominence is not known.  It may have had something to do with the fact that Mr John Trouern Trend died on Tuesday November 25th 1924 and Mrs Emily Trend died on February 11th 1927 at the age of 78 years.  They lived at number 106 Trelawney Road, Peverell.  One of those at John's funeral at Saint Gabriel's Church was Mr Alfred Latimer.   He died soon afterwards, on April 26th 1935, in his eighties.

On May 2nd 1946 the Company was incorporated as Messrs Latimer, Trend and Company Limited.

Miss Ethel May Trend -- she preferred being called May -- rose to become chief accountant and retired on November 1st 1957, after 56 years service.   Sadly, she was not to enjoy a very long retirement and died at her home in Torquay on June 5th 1963.  Her funeral was at Efford Cemetery on June 8th 1963.

That left only one member of the family, Mr Harold Trouern Trend, who died at his home in Stuart Road on February 13th 1966.

Since then the business has suffered several changes of ownership.  Firstly Messrs Faber and Faber, the London publishing house, purchased it and as a result the amount of book printing increased dramatically.

Then, on Wednesday June 28th 1972, another publisher, Messrs David and Charles Limited, of Newton Abbot, Devon, bought the controlling interest off Faber for an undisclosed sum.  Shortly after this the managing director, Mr Lawrence Williams, retired and was succeeded by the former works manager, Mr David Woods.  The business was employing 64 people at that time.

Finally, in 1981 there was a management buy-out, led by Mr John Turner, since when the Company has gone from strength to strength despite many changes in the world of printing.  They also took over Messrs Hitchings and Mason Limited.

Mr Turner sold the business in 2004 and retired to Portugal, where, sadly, he was murdered on April 27th 2005.