We’re welcoming the New Year at the British Newspaper Archive with a swathe of brand new titles, eight in all, as the presses have continued to whirr over the Christmas period. Over the past fortnight we have added 180,462 brand new pages, with new titles spanning England, Scotland, Wales and beyond.
So read on to find out about the 115 years’ worth of headlines we have added, as well as to discover which new titles have joined our Archive, and how the New Year was greeted a hundred years ago.
Kicking off our new titles this week is the Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser. This one penny newspaper was published every Friday at noon by The Lancaster Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, as an eight page publication ‘with all the latest improvements.’ Known for being ‘The only recognised organ of the Conservative Unionists in Lancaster and the District thereof,’ it circulated ‘throughout Lancaster and all the adjoining districts.’
Next up is the Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger. Starting life as the Bromsgrove, Droitwich & Redditch Weekly News, this Worcestershire title was established in 1860 as a neutral publication.
Our final new English title of the week is the Colne Valley Guardian. First published on 13 November 1896 in the West Yorkshire village of Slaithwaite, this publication aimed to provide the parliamentary constituency of Colne Valley with its first ever newspaper. Originally titled the Slaithwaite Guardian and Colne Valley News, the publishers aimed to fill its pages with ‘all the news of the district, together with reports of District Councils and School Boards and other administrative bodies.’
We move now to Scotland for our next new title – the Irvine Express. One of three newspapers to be published in the Ayrshire town of Irvine, the Irvine Express appeared every Friday priced at one penny. Liberal in its politics, it described itself as ‘A journal of Social, Political, Literary and Local Intelligence.’ The Irvine Express, with its motto of ‘Tandem bona causa triumphat’ (finally a good reason to triumph), claimed to be ‘One of the Largest Newspapers in the County, and the most widely circulated in Irvine, Troon and district.’
We also have new titles from Wales this week, both hailing from Swansea. We’re delighted to introduce the Swansea and Glamorgan Herald to our collection, which was established in 1847 as a Liberal Conservative publication. Circulating ‘in Swansea and generally throughout the Principality,’ it had a circulation of 2,000 and appeared every Wednesday priced at one penny.
The Swansea and Glamorgan Herald was published by Samuel Daniel, who also published the Herald of Wales. This Swansea based title was established in 1882, independent of any political ties. Appearing every Saturday, the Herald was a ‘national paper’ and contained ‘a great deal of original matter.’ Indeed, it describes itself as being ‘a good general newspaper,’ which circulated throughout Wales, reaching 7,000 people every week.
We move further afield for our next two newspapers. Continuing our commitment to publish newspapers representative of the British Commonwealth and the disturbing legacy of British colonialism, we are introducing two new Indian titles to our collection. The first is the Voice of India, which was established in 1883 in Bombay, now Mumbai. It was founded by none other than Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Asian MP to sit in Parliament, and a renowned scholar.
Dadabhai Naoroji sat as a Liberal MP from 1892 to 1895, and his Voice of India contained news from across the country of India, featuring a collection of snippets from other Indian newspapers, as well as offering a ‘Native Opinion’ section. The Voice of India was later incorporated with the Indian Spectator.
Our final new title of the week is the Madras Weekly Mail. Published in what was then the Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu), this was the weekly offshoot of India’s first evening paper the Madras Mail. The Madras Mail was founded by journalists Henry Cornish and Charles Lawson as a rival to the Madras Times, where they previously worked. The two titles later merged, and the Madras Mail became simply the The Mail in 1928, before eventually ceasing publication in 1981.
After these eight new titles, we are delighted to highlight the updates to our existing titles. Of particular note are the long run of pages that we have added to London newspapers the South London Press and the Chelsea News and General Advertiser, numbering over 45,000 pages combined. We have updated pages to our newspapers from Northern Ireland (the Newry Telegraph), from Scotland (the Nairnshire Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Northern Counties), and also from Wales (the North Wales Weekly News). You’ll also find updates to some of our Indian titles, namely the Indian Statesman, the Bangalore Spectator and finally the Indian Daily News.
Here at The Archive we thought we’d take a look at how Britain welcomed the New Year a hundred years ago, in 1921. Looking at the new pages we have added to the Chelsea News and General Advertiser, we can get a sense of how the New Year was celebrated a century ago.
The Chelsea News and General Advertiser describes a ‘New Year Dance’ held at Francis House by the Victoria Amateur Athletic Association, where ‘Some 350 started the dancing to the excellent music of the staff band.’ An interesting feature of this New Year’s celebration was its homage to mummers’ tradition, with chaos overtaking the dance as ‘Mr. Casemore, grotesquely attired as ‘Pussy-foot,’ followed by Mr. Brown as Mephistopheles’ interrupted proceedings.
‘The pair capered about and were finally arrested by ‘P.C’ Banbury,’ but the ‘event of the evening was the passing of the old year.’ This was marked by one Mr. Moore representing Father Time, who entered the dance and ‘chanted in feeble tones:’
I am old Father Time
Ringing 1920 chimes,
What a funny year we’ve had
Part was good, part was bad,
Good-bye to 1920,
Enter in the year of prosperity.
Following him, ‘admist the ringing of bells,’ was Joan Edis as 1921, who greeted the crowd:
I am the New Year, and bring you all good cheer.
Joan then distributed gifts ‘to the lucky individuals who were included in the long honours list left by Father Time.’ Finally the party attendees sang Auld Lang Syne, before the festivities ended.
Elsewhere, crowds gathered from as early as 10.30pm outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The Graphic pictures the expectant gathering, who had brought with them mouth-organs, bugles and accordions to mark the passing of the old year. The crowd was also treated to the bagpipes of the London Scottish, and Auld Lang Syne was again sung.
And after the New Year had been celebrated, a very familiar tradition was in full swing. Crowds took to ‘The Old Sales of the New Year,’ as the winter sales got underway. The Graphic again pictures the crowds, this time in the West End, eager to get a few January bargains.
All that remains is for us to wish our subscribers, friends and followers a Happy New Year from us here at The Archive. Be sure to look out for more new titles as 2021 gets underway.
|Voice of India||1885, 1887, 1889, 1902-1909, 1911-1913|
|Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger||1860-1913|
|Madras Weekly Mail||1876, 1882, 1885, 1888, 1891-1892, 1894-1895, 1898, 1901-1906, 1908|
|Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser||1894-1896, 1899, 1904-1906|
|Colne Valley Guardian||1896-1897|
|Swansea and Glamorgan Herald||1889|
|Herald of Wales||1883-1886|
This week we have updated twelve 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.
|Nairnshire Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Northern Counties||1874-1901, 1903-1916, 1918-1927, 1929, 1931-1934, 1936-1939|
|South London Press||1870, 1872-1877, 1910-1913|
|Chelsea News and General Advertiser||1871, 1876-1913, 1919-1938, 1948-1962, 1964-1972, 1975|
|Newry Telegraph||1877, 1882-1900, 1902|
|Indian Statesman||1874, 1884-1885|
|Bangalore Spectator||1884-1885, 1887, 1893, 1895|
|Brighouse & Rastrick Gazette||1898-1899|
|Kenilworth Advertiser||1881-1885, 1890-1895, 1897-1899|
|Northern Weekly Gazette||1881-1882|
|Indian Daily News||1881-1885, 1894-1897, 1899|
|St. Helens Examiner||1888, 1896, 1899, 1901-1908, 1910, 1912-1920|
|North Wales Weekly News||1896-1898, 1902, 1911, 1923, 1940, 1943-1952, 1954|