Peter Jarrold 20 April 1933 – 3 November 2019
Peter Jarrold was born on 20th April 1933, the eldest son of Herbert John Jarrold and Catherine Grace. He grew up in Norwich with his two younger brothers Richard and Antony.
Peter attended Town Close School, Norwich, but was evacuated to Barbon in Cumbria, during the war. Despite being only 6 years old he He loved the experience and was enchanted by the landscape and wildlife of the Lake District.
After Oundle school he went straight into his National Service, gaining a Commission in the Royal Engineers and a posting to the Suez Canal zone in Egypt.
With his military service completed Peter went up to Queens’ College Cambridge, where he read Economics.
Whilst considering his next move, which, with typically disarming candour, he would later describe as ‘possibly sailing around the world or something’ Peter received a pointed directive from his father, the legendary printer John Jarrold. The message was quite clear. ‘Peter, it’s about time you started working. I’ve arranged with a printer in Bern, Switzerland, to take you on for six months.’
Peter’s time in Switzerland would prove fortuitous; The country was the home of the highest world quality colour reproduction and printing equipment and it kindled a lifelong passion for print. On a skiing Holiday in Engleberg he met Juliet Pollard – One year later, they were married.
Peter returned to Norwich to the long-established family print business. His father John was a pioneer of new technology and had gained the company a reputation as the leading UK colour printer, but its expansion required additional management skills. Peter soon increased what, by his own admission, was limited experience, and provided drive and enthusiasm for an expanding and prosperous business. With the help of committed staff, he began to build the next generation of Jarrold Printing.
Over the next four decades Peter was to become the leader of the team that established Jarrold as a printer with a worldwide reputation for developments in complex binding, colour reproduction and high-quality offset lithography printing at its factory in Cowgate (now Whitefriars) Norwich. The printing business expanded to in excess of 1,000 employees. Modernising the factory he managed the move out of letterpress, with raised type and blocks, into the photo processes of lithography printing, and the associated pre-press photo-stages and plate-making.
The Jarrold bindery was amongst the largest in the UK; The nature of the equipment and the skills of the staff gained the Company recognition for production of the highest quality publications, including Thames and Hudson art books for the UK and overseas markets. Jarrold also did the photography, design and print for brochures for every major holiday resort in the UK.
Over the next decade, as markets changed, Jarrold successfully moved into web offset printing of industrial catalogues, part-works and magazines such as Good Housekeeping and later Vogue, with print runs between 100,000 and 1 million copies.
John Jarrold died in 1979 and Peter became Chairman of Jarrold; with the four divisions of Printing, under a new Managing Director, Retail and Office Equipment run by his brother Richard, and Publishing by his brother Antony.
Between then and his retirement in 1999, Peter headed up the Company; with six generations of history in printing and retail, through a time of rapid expansion and significant industry and market changes.
Like his father before him, Peter, was President of both the British Printing Industries Federation, and the Institute of Printing. In 1997 he was made Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.
Peter was actively involved in the Norwich community. He was Vice President of Age Concern, a Trustee of the Great Hospital and Trustee of Norfolk Historic Churches. He was also a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Norfolk. In the year of his retirement,1999 – 2000 he would serve as Sheriff of Norwich.
Peter was a Trustee of the John Jarrold Trust for over 50 years and continuing a long tradition of Jarrold philanthropy, he campaigned for, among other things, better provision for people with learning difficulties; a cause close to his heart.
He founded the John Jarrold Print Museum in memory of his father in 1982.
In 2012 The Jarrold Bridge was officially opened. Its beautiful award- winning design, sweeping in the shape of a ‘J’ across the River Wensum, is a much-loved contribution to the city. It was a project that Peter had been considering for over twenty years and it now provides a pedestrian and cycle link between the north of the city, the cathedral and the city centre.
A great enthusiast and always active, Peter was an avid and creative gardener, keen traveller, golfer and sailor. He enjoyed many sea adventures with family and friends including the odd skirmish with the sandbanks along the Suffolk coast. In 1991 he fulfilled his ambition to cross the Atlantic. Sailing from the river Alde in Suffolk to Antigua in the Caribbean in his boat the Camilla J.
He was a champion of contemporary art and passionate about the preservation of round towered Norfolk churches. In retirement, he enjoyed his frequent visits and friendships made through membership of Brancaster Golf Club and the Garrick Club.
He remained a staunch supporter of the Company throughout his retirement. David Hill, Chairman of Jarrold, said ‘Peter was devoted to the Company and everyone involved with it. He was held in the highest esteem by all who knew and worked with him. His passing leaves a gap in the commercial, civic and charitable life of Norwich and beyond’.
Councillor Alan Waters, Leader, Norwich City Council said “Peter cared deeply about this city, he took great pride in being Sheriff and worked tirelessly in his civic year. He was passionate about the history and tradition of Norwich, which his family played an important role in shaping. He will be sorely missed.
Peter Jarrold will be much missed by his wife Juliet, his son Julian, his daughters Susie and Millie, and his five grandchildren.
The picture above shows Peter with his father John in 1970 when John was presented with a watch marking the fact that he had worked for the company since 1927