The British Newspaper Archive Blog – Amazing finds and news from over 300 years of historical newspapers

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‘A Panorama Equal to that of Fairyland’ – Remembering the Orchards of Old

‘Apple orchards have been a familiar characteristic of the European countryside for thousands of years,’ writes Edward Hyams in a 1974 article for the Illustrated London News. Indeed, he claims they have been in existence for 6,000 years, as an integral part of rural life and a mainstay of the rural economy. But by the late twentieth century, many orchards were beginning to disappear from the landscape, and with them, another way of rural life faded into memory. In this

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we are delighted to welcome a bumper crop of new and updated titles to The Archive, with 163,404 new pages added. We have seven brand new titles added this week, covering both England and Scotland. We have three new London publications joining us – the Harrow Midweek, the Middlesex Gazette and the Middlesex Independent – as well as one Scottish title (the Northern Ensign & Weekly Gazette) and one new Essex title (the Essex Guardian). We are also delighted to welcome two specialist sporting titles

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A Poacher’s Progress – Attitudes to Poaching in Rural Britain

Historically poachers have often been ascribed ‘a good deal of romance’ – but are they deserving of such a description? In this special blog post, using articles and illustrations from the British Newspaper Archive, we will investigate this notion, as well as looking at the crueler side of this antiquated countryside pursuit. Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News | 31 October 1908 An article in a July 1917 edition of the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News does much to propagate this romanticised

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 48,988 pages to The Archive, with new pages covering both England and Scotland. We’re delighted to have updated four of our Scottish titles, with additions spanning the years between 1879 to 1981. We’ve also updated the Newcastle Journal, the Manchester Evening News, the Lichfield Mercury, the Wells Journal, and finally the Reading Evening Post. One of our Scottish titles to be updated this week is the Aberdeen Evening Express, to which we have added the years 1939-1945 and 1980-1981. Eighty years ago

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‘A Hard Lot to Labour’ – A Look at the History of Straw Plaiting in Rural Britain

If you’ve got an agricultural labourer in your family tree, chances are you’ll have an ancestor who practiced straw plaiting. Straw plaiting was a cottage industry that saw its heyday in eighteenth and nineteenth century rural Britain, and was in the main part practiced by women and children. In this special blog, using articles and pictures from The Archive, we’ll take a look at the history of this discipline, from its heyday to its eventual decline. An article in the

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 86,414 new pages to The Archive, with updates to six of our existing titles. We have updates to two of our new titles – specialist countryman’s newspaper Field and West Midlands title the Sandwell Evening Mail – as well as updates to four of our other titles. We have added a long run of late nineteenth century pages to the Acton Gazette, and there are also updates to the Reading Evening Post, the Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald, and finally the Mansfield & Sutton Recorder.

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The Hop-Pickers’ Holiday – A Collision of City and Rural Life

At the beginning of September 1936 the Nottingham Evening Post describes ‘an invasion’ taking place in Kent. But this wasn’t an invasion of a military kind. It was in fact an invasion of hop-pickers, arriving in the county for the hop-picking season. The annual trek of 40,000 hop-pickers to the green fields of Kent has begun, with an invasion of caravans, horse drawn lorries, cars, covered wagons, perambulators and even London taxis. Our photo shows hop-pickers at work at Paddock

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 95,674 pages to The Archive – meaning that we now have over 32,000,000 pages available to search. We are delighted to have two brand new titles joining us this week – West Midlands title the Sandwell Evening Mail and Field, which describes itself as ‘the country gentleman’s newspaper.’ We are also pleased to welcome updates to eleven of our existing titles, with updates to five of our Irish titles, as well as titles from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 57,277 new pages to The Archive. We are excited to welcome specialist sporting title – the Football Post (Nottingham) – to our collection, with 1069 issues added so far. We now have thirteen specialist sporting newspapers available to search – you can find a comprehensive list of sporting newspapers here, as well as hints and tips for using The Archive for sporting research here. We have also updated five of our existing titles, including three of our

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 96,930 new pages to The Archive. We are delighted to welcome a brand new Somerset title to our collection this week – the Cheddar Valley Gazette. We also have extensive updates to five of our London titles, and updates to the Reading Evening Post and the Amersham Advertiser. The village of Cheddar in Somerset is famous for an array of reasons, primarily because of the cheese that is named for it, and also because it lends its name to

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