Lord Sugar salutes Amstrad PC still printing Hitchin Festival tickets after 25 years

The Amstrad PCW8512 that still prints off Hitchin Festival's tickets. Picture: Tom Hardy

The Amstrad PCW8512 that still prints off Hitchin Festival's tickets. Picture: Tom Hardy - Credit: Archant

Billionaire business magnate Lord Sugar has saluted a dependable PC made by his Amstrad computer company decades ago, which still prints the tickets for Hitchin Festival.

Lord Sugar. Picture: Danny Loo

Lord Sugar. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Hitchin BID manager Tom Hardy tweeted Lord Sugar this lunchtime to say: “Your Amstrad computer has been printing our Hitchin Festival tickets for 25 years! Still going strong with 50,000 tickets printed over the years. Is this a record?”

In a post seen by 5.31 million Twitter followers, Lord Sugar replied: “I can’t comment on the record but it must be close. Great machine. 0.00798p per ticket.”

In a second tweet, he asked Tom where he got the print ribbons from – prompting Tom to name an online supplier, adding that they were “getting increasingly difficult to find!”

The Hitchin BID’s Amstrad computer is a PCW8512 machine – first introduced in 1985. Tom said Hitchin’s PC dates back to 1993.

Hitchin BID manager Tom Hardy. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Hitchin BID manager Tom Hardy. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant


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“It prints well,” he told the Comet. “It hasn’t broken down and it has printed more than 1,000 Hitchin Festival tickets this month alone.

“It’s only used for printing the tickets. Obviously we’ve got more updated technology elsewhere in the office.

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“We’ve put in the 120 events from Hitchin Festival, and people come in and get tickets printed out by the machine.

“It’s a good talking point as well. People see it and are surprised that it’s still making tickets today.”

Amstrad was founded in 1968 and took its name from Lord Sugar’s initials, plus the suffix ‘trad’ – short for ‘trading’. Lord Sugar sold his remaining interest in 2007 and stood down as chairman in 2008.

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