This week at The Archive we have been busy adding another 73,020 brand new pages to our collection. We’re delighted to welcome two brand new titles as well, which both hail from the county of Lancashire.
So read on to discover the latest from Lancashire, what pages we have added to our existing titles, and how baseball fever swept Britain in the 1890s.
First member of our Lancashire double act this week is the Haslingden Gazette. Established in 1863, this weekly newspaper appeared every Saturday, one of the town’s two market days. Priced at one penny, it had a Conservative viewpoint and covered the local news from Haslingden, as well as the town of Bacup and the Rossendale district.
Haslingden was an important industrial town during the Victorian era, famous for its manufacture of cotton, silk and wool, as well as its iron works, quarries and coal mines. Its newspaper, the Haslingden Gazette, was a localised version of the Accrington Gazette, and contained local news, especially focusing on local political campaigns, and short stories, such as one called A Daughter’s Sacrifice.
Our second brand new title from Lancashire is the Denton and Haughton Examiner. Published in the town of Denton, Tameside, which was historically part of Lancashire, it covered such places as Gorton, Audenshaw, Openshaw, Droylsden, Hooley Hill, Hyde, and Stockport, to name a few.
Established in 1871, it erred on the Liberal side of politics, and appeared every Saturday, the town’s market day. With a circulation of 8,000, it covered both local and national news, featuring a ‘London Correspondence’ column. It also contained serialized fiction, football news, and the latest fashions, even featuring illustrations of the latest designs.
As for our updated titles this week, we are delighted to welcome the year 1926 to our specialist cinema title the Kinematograph Weekly. A journal devoted to the cinema industry, it featured all the latest releases, tailored to its cinema-owning audience, as well as adverts for and reviews of the newest equipment.
We have also added a notable run of pages to the Middlesex Chronicle, numbering nearly 20,000 in all and spanning the years 1989 to 1999. Meanwhile, we have continued to add new pages to last week’s new title the Evening News (London).
Baseball in Gorton
We might think of baseball as a traditionally American sport, but it gained popularity in Britain after American baseball stars and teams toured the country throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Its popularity resulted in the eventual establishment of the National Baseball League of Great Britain in 1890.
And so, by 1890 there were an estimated 90 baseball clubs in Britain. It was in this year that the only British professional baseball championship was held. Remarkably, it was won by Aston Villa (perhaps now better known for another sport), who defeated Preston North End to take the title.
Two years later, the Denton and Haughton Examiner describes how baseball had come to Gorton, Manchester:
Baseball in Gorton – There was a large attendance at Belle Vue on Saturday to witness the England v. Preston North End match. North End were assisted by Gibbon, an American, whose ‘curve’ pitching proved very effective, whilst the hitting of the North End team was much safer than their opponents.
Indeed, during the early 1890s many American baseball players came to play their sport in Britain. Captain of the Preston North End side in 1890 was Leech Maskrey, who had himself played Major League Baseball.
But back to the game in Gorton! The Denton and Haughton Examiner reports how:
Sanders, Stewart, and Dobson each made two ‘base’ hits, and Bryan managed to score a ‘bagger.’ The fielding of the North End was also much cleaner than the England side, only four errors being recorded against them, whilst 12 were registered against their rivals. Bryan, who made some marvelous catches, was the best man on the English side.
Preston North End were ultimately victorious in this match, defeating the England side by four runs.
Remarkably, however, this was not the golden age of baseball in the United Kingdom. Its 1890s popularity enjoyed a rival in the late 1930s, which saw up to 10,000 spectators attending games. A highlight of this so-called golden age was Britain’s victory over the United States in the 1938 Amateur World Series, which was considered to be baseball’s first world cup. But with the outbreak of the Second World War, baseball’s popularity in Britain declined, resulting in its pervading association with the United States, when indeed it had been both widely played and enjoyed on British soil, at least in years gone by.
|Denton and Haughton Examiner||1890-1892|
This week we have updated nine 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.
|Liverpool Daily Post||1885|
|Bridgend Chronicle, Cowbridge, Llantrisant, and Maesteg Advertiser||1892|
|North Cumberland Reformer||1895|
|Liverpool Weekly Courier||1899|
|Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express||1918|
|Middlesex Chronicle||1989, 1991-1996, 1998-1999|
|Evening News (London)||1881-1886|
|Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald||1978|