This week we have added 128,578 new pages to The Archive. We are excited to welcome two brand new additions to our collection – the much requested Long Eton Advertiser and the Runcorn Guardian. We also have updates to six our existing titles, including three of our Irish publications, as well as the Middlesex County Times, the Manchester Evening News and the Lennox Herald.
This week sees substantial additions to our twentieth century holdings, including an extensive run of 1930s titles, featuring the Middlesex County Times and the Long Eaton Advertiser. 1933 saw the first modern sighting of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, which led to Loch Ness Monster mania in the ensuing years. Using these newspapers, it is possible to explore the cultural phenomenon that was the Loch Ness Monster, and how this part of Scottish folklore entered popular culture.
A 1934 article in the Long Eton Advertiser is highly doubtful as to whether the creature exists. It comments on the difficulties of proving the monster’s existence, since ‘it will not come out and bark or bite or otherwise give concrete evidence of its existence.’ It goes on to wryly comment ‘if only this amphibious beast would come out and chase a motorist into Fort Augustus the sceptics would be routed.’
The paper goes on to describe how at least 100 people have reported seeing the monster, and how ‘one can hardly suppose that all these eyewitnesses are victims of hallucination, but whenever public imagination is stirred by something unusual, there always are people who see things that are not real…Once hallucination gets a start it soon becomes epidemic.’
Epidemic indeed it became. Loch Ness fever was all pervasive, and didn’t stop with the various hoaxes and people trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive beast. The Middlesex County Times in January 1934 advertises a personal appearance of the monster at the Tricity Restaurant, Savoy Street, where Miss Jean Davies ‘will present the Loch Ness Monster in person.’
The same paper describes a ‘fancy dress designed to represent the Loch Ness monster’ worn by a guest at a charity ball in January 1934, and by December 1934 an Ealing-made film – Secret of the Loch – starring Seymour Hicks was released, the story centering on a London press reporter who goes to Scotland in search of the beast. The paper even advertises a trip for ‘the kiddies’ to see the ‘mysterious Monster at Loch Ness.’
This phenomenon of the Loch Ness monster still endures today, and the potency of the legend was surely established in the 1930s, as evidenced here by the newspapers in our archive.
|Runcorn Guardian||1875-1890, 1908, 1910, 1913-1919|
|Long Eaton Advertiser||1882-1883, 1887-1888, 1890, 1893-1896, 1899-1901, 1903, 1930-1942, 1955-1980|
This week we have updated six of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Sunday World (Dublin)||2003-2004, 2006|
|Middlesex County Times||1906, 1912-1917, 1920-1926, 1931-1936|
|Manchester Evening News||1947-1949|