When, in 1750 Henry Besley started his small family print company in South Street, Exeter. Little did he know that 260 years later, the business would still be evolving and continuing its journey.



The Route Book Of Devon, was first published c.1845 with a Second Edition appearing approximately a year later.

Move to Guinea Street


moved in 1901 from 89 South Street into premises in Guinea Street.

The Blitz


The building and press in Guinea Street was bombed during the 1942 blitz and after the firm spent several years in temporary premises.

Move to Courtenay Road


opened in new buildings outside the city centre in Courtenay Road in 1946, one of the first firms to move to the Marsh Barton area, now the largest trading estate in Exeter.

New Machinery


After the war John Copp ordered the printing equipment manufacturers Timson Rotary “Make me a machine to replace the one that was destroyed in the blitz”. In 1969 an extension costing £15,000 was opened with rotary machines able to handle 30,000 metres of paper an hour. There was a store for 100 tonnes of paper; at that time the firm used 350 tonnes a year, mainly for commercial printing. Beside continuous stationery this included brochures, price lists, business cards and catalogues.



besley & copp took advantage of the computer’s great hunger for paper by starting to print computer stationery, taking delivery of 1,000,000 sheets of computer paper in February 1981 to print special forms and in April the same year opening a new division named Technaprint to market computer stationery.


South West Business Expo


South West Business Expo

Showcasing our new exhibition items.