A LARGS family printing firm is making its own front page news after celebrating a landmark anniversary.

Largs Printing Company has reached 50 years in business and owner Scott McGregor told the News how they reached the milestone by 'moving with the times' - after his dad spotted an opportunity to make his mark.

Scott, who took over the running of the business from father Allister, says that that the industry has changed 'beyond all recognition' since the firm opened its doors in Main Street back in 1969.

Scott believes it is unique for a small town to have a long established printing company serving the needs of the town providing posters, programmes, flyers and business cards, as well as calendars, magazines and books.

Scott said: "My dad started as a compositor when it was metal and monotype "The text was picked from a number of drawers with capitals, cases, and you would pick the letters out and form the letters together.

"You were working in reverse so you have to keep your wits about you!

"Printing has advanced more than any other mainstream industry over the last 50 years and we are now thoroughly up-to-date with digital printing.

"Everything is printed to a point of a millimetre accuracy.

"There are a lot of jobs that can go in and out more quickly and efficiently."

Products have had to be expanded outside of the printing sphere, and with the rise of the internet, the company formed SurfPrint in 2002, which offers web-based solutions for print professionals, designers, schools, organisations, charities and corporate businesses.

The company was formed as a result of the Largs and Millport Weekly News closing its production plant at 120 Main Street and moving to the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald's new presses in Herald Street in 1969.

Two employees saw the opportunity to continue the printing business in Largs and, in late 1969, Tom McCaw and Allister formed the partnership.

The duo re-opened the newspaper's former premises and set about sourcing typesetting and printing machinery from various suppliers in Glasgow.

In those early days all printing was done by the traditional Letterpress system and in 1974 the company bought its first Offset Litho machine.

This proved to be a timely purchase as, in that year, not one but two General Elections were held, and the new machine was put to full use in producing thousands of leaflets for all the candidates.

The 1980s saw the start of the digital revolution in printing and Largs Printing Company introduced its first computer-controlled typesetting machine in 1981, allowing larger and more complicated colour work to be produced.

Tom McCaw and Billy Winning retired as partners in the early 1990s, and Allister and his wife Kate ran the business until they were joined in the late 1990s by their eldest son Scott, and more recently, by Scott's brother Stuart, who carry on the family tradition.