Dornans so proud of its 170th birthday!

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 27 November 2018

After celebrating a wonderful 170th birthday recently, it’s little wonder all the staff at Hollinwood-based Thomas Dornan Printers Ltd are proud of the company’s long and illustrious history.

Hollinwood-based Thomas Dornan, or Dornans as they are widely known, specialise in litho, digital and large formatting printing and have been established longer than the light bulb, the automobile and the telephone.

The Oldham business has progressed with the times, from operating hand and foot powered presses, crafting print by candlelight in the 19th century, to working with the best, state-of-the-art equipment in the world today.

Current owner and Managing Director Ian Bryan is determined to stay true to that original, painstaking craftsmanship and attention to detail.  

Ian, who has owned the company for five-and-a-half years, said: “We have a reputation for being a respected high quality print company and we work closely with blue-chip customers from Regatta, Levi’s, Housing Units, P&O and Bet Fred to name a few.

"We are proud of our roots in Oldham and work closely with Oldham-based customers like Oasis Academy, Oldham Hulme Grammar, JW Lees and Pennine MSK.

Pictured at the Oldham Business Awards ceremony are Andy Midgely (Dornans' Production Manager), Gary Broadhead (Operations Manager) and Andrea Smith (General Manager)

"We have been supplying print to Oldham businesses for 170 years and last year we were runners up at The Oldham Business Awards.

“The majority of print companies these days are either a digital printers or litho print company or large format/screen printers that focus on supplying a targeted vertical market.

"However, we have invested heavily over the last five years, buying two new digital presses and large format flat bed UV presses and a CNC machine which has enabled us to supply our clients with all their print needs across all sectors.

“We have seen a rise in demand in the last few years for print techniques that are only found in specialised companies these days such as section sewing, case binding, paper over board work through to embossing and foiling or lay flat binding and thermographic print - all of which we can produce internally which has enabled us to win new clients and build a closer working relationship.

“It’s a huge achievement to have been in printing since 1848.

"This is due to the generations of the Dornan family who worked tirelessly through two world wars and the great depression to keep the company running, through to Bill Bescoby who became co-owner with Martin Dornan in the early 1990s.

"They were instrumental in transforming the business so that it continued to prosper."

Thomas Dornan (Printers) Ltd has marked the business’s 170th anniversary by producing a new leather bound company brochure.

The brochure has details of all current products and services on offer, as well as interesting looks back and pictures from Thomas Dornan down the years.

Thomas Dornan - the third oldest printing company in the country - has always been in Oldham, moving down to the current Mill Gate base from Union Street in the town centre in 1992.

Contact the Thomas Dornan office on 0161 624 4959 or via email at:

Check out the website at:

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.