Below is the full text of an article published yesterday in The Westmorland Gazette
“AN ENTREPRENEUR is celebrating a bumper set of contracts for his fledgling slide scanning business.
Kendal boss Mark Syred is currently wading his way through thousands of slides after his unusual enterprise idea took off.
The 35-year-old said he launched Piciscan, which scans slides, photos and negatives for individuals and businesses, after reading an article in The Westmorland Gazette.
The former primary school teacher was inspired two years ago by an article highlighting the work of the Cumbria Industrial History Society, which had been bequeathed several thousand slides and negatives by a local historian.
Helen Caldwell, of the society, requested help to catalogue the slides and later tasked Mr Syred with converting 1,500 of their negatives for a digital archive.
His firm, which is based at Lake District Business Park, has also scooped a contract to scan 15,000 images for a Northampton photographer.
In a further coup for the company, Mr Syred has been tasked to scan 5,000 slides for North Somerset Council.
Mr Syred, who is originally from Southampton but moved to Kendal five years ago, was a teacher at Dean Gibson Primary School before launching his innovative business idea.
He said: “I had done scanning before but only for my own photos. I hadn’t had any experience but I’ve certainly have experience in scanning now.
“I’m busier every month and hope to take on new recruits this year to help with the administrative side of the business and the scanning. It’s a fairly labour intensive business. Slides are scanned in 12 at a time and there are currently boxes of them everywhere.
“It’s strange to see so many slides from other people. In some cases there are whole family archives, which show people right from their birth to their marriages.
“I always treat these confidentially — but I feel like I know them at the end of the scanning process.”
The article was written by, Helen Perkins, business reporter at the Gazette.