A New Title for Wales | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 103,488 new pages to The Archive, and we are delighted to welcome two brand new titles to our collection.

Our brand new titles this week have a Celtic theme: with the first being the Leven Advertiser and Wemyss Gazette, a weekly title published in Leven, Fife, and the second being the South Wales Gazette. This latter title is another weekly publication, published out of Abertillery, and became known as the South Wales Gazette and Newport News from 1892.

South Wales Gazette | 7 February 1890

We also have extensive updates to our existing titles this week – with new pages added to thirteen titles in all. We have added a fascinating run of pages covering the late nineteenth century to the Rochdale Observer, Rochdale’s main newspaper since 1856. We have also added pages to the historic Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, which was founded in 1869 by Hugh Gilzean Read. With space dedicated to small advertisements and local news, the newspaper gained a circulation of 60,000 by 1894, surpassing other popular regional titles.

Other titles to be updated this week include the Surrey Advertiser and the Cheshire Observer – and we continue to augment our Scottish holdings, with updates to nine of our Scottish titles. One of the highlights of these updates includes the 10,000 pages we have added to the Stirling Observer, which was founded in 1836.

We at the BNA were curious to discover what Christmas 100 years ago was like, and using pages from our new title the South Wales Gazette we were able to do so.

On the one hand, Christmas in 1919 was not so different to Christmas today: with an emphasis on Christmas shopping and presents. T H Prichard, Cash Chemist, offers an array of ‘Useful and Acceptable Xmas Presents‘ including hair brushes, hot water bottles and ‘perfumes in endless variety.’ Meanwhile, the Victory Bazaar at Reynolds & Co in Newport gave children the opportunity to see ‘Father Christmas in his Snow Clad Mansion.’

South Wales Gazette | 5 December 1919

But the South Wales Gazette also reveals how Christmas in 1919 had quite a different poignancy, and a deeper meaning, than we generally ascribe to it today:

With the advent of the first real peace Christmas, and the return of most of our brave sailors and soldiers to the homes they left to defend, the season of goodwill will take on an increased aspect of festivity…It is natural at such a time that the Christmas rejoicing should be more sincere, and accompanied by more of that abandon which was seldom seen at war-time.

For this was the first real Christmas of peace time, the previous year’s Christmas occurring just over a month after the guns had fallen silent. But canny advertisers were keen to take advantage of such a spirit of celebration, for ‘Friends, at this Christmas of all Christmases, will wish to remember each other through the medium of those kindly gifts.’

Leeds Mercury | 19 November 1919

Listed are all the different purveyors of such gifts, such as the Pontlottyn Shop, where ‘Yuletide gifts’ are to be had in plenty, and Messrs Morgan and Francis, who had ‘recently obtained deliveries of the latest London goods.’ Consequently, despite the significance of this first real Christmas of peace time, it was still to be defined by the display of consumerism which has historically marked the festival.

Western Chronicle | 12 December 1919

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New Titles
Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette 1897-1924, 1928-1939
South Wales Gazette 1888, 1890-1893, 1895, 1899-1902, 1904-1960, 1962-1969
Updated Titles

This week we have updated thirteen 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.

Rochdale Observer 1871-1885, 1887-1894, 1896, 1898-1899, 1910
Ayrshire Post 1882-1889
Stirling Observer 1871, 1874-1877, 1879-1892
Hawick Express 1876, 1879-1884, 1886-1891
Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser 1882-1883, 1885-1889
Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs 1956-1959
Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 1908-1909, 1913, 1919
Irvine Herald 1881, 1883-1884, 1886, 1888-1889
Dundee Weekly News 1886
Surrey Advertiser 1873
Galloway News and Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser 1879-1886, 1889-1891
Highland News 1883, 1900-1902
Cheshire Observer 1950

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.



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