This week you might just be able to witness steam coming off our presses, as we have added an impressive 343,381 brand new pages to The Archive, with 22 brand new titles joining us this week alone. Comprising of special interest titles devoted to music and the cinema, as well as to different spheres of employment, from postal work to pawnbroking, our new titles this week are an eclectic mix, comprising also the regional and the international, covering the latest from both China and Glasgow.
So read on to discover more about all 22 of our new titles this week, as well as to find out which of our 34 existing titles we have updated over the past seven days. Meanwhile, you can also learn more about the life of a film’s leading lady, one hundred years ago.
And it is with a trip to the pictures that we start our journey into this week’s new titles, as we dive into the pages of the Picturegoer. A time capsule of vintage film nostalgia, this film fan magazine traces its origins to The Pictures, which was first published in 1911. In 1914, the title was renamed to The Pictures and The Picturegoer, before becoming simply the Picturegoer in January 1921.
Published every month, the Picturegoer featured a rich mix of photographs and illustrations, its front cover always graced with a portrait of the era’s leading film stars. Costing one shilling, and filling 64 pages, the Picturegoer featured interviews with actors, as well as biographical portraits, featuring, for example, such studies as ‘The Real Nazimova,’ by Herbert Howe, which looked at Russian star Alla Nazimova. A highlight of the publication was the full-page portraits of film stars, which often took up four or five pages of the monthly title.
Meanwhile, the Picturegoer often went behind the scenes, detailing the processes that went into making movies, with features on producers like David W. Griffiths, which looked at ‘The Man and His Methods.’ Meanwhile, the publication also included short stories, correspondence, and a look at fashion and beauty.
Stocked by all cinemas, in 1931 the Picturegoer went weekly and by the mid 1940s it had an impressive circulation of 325,000 copies. However, after this point, different cinemas began to publish their own rival titles, and Picturegoer was eventually merged with pop music magazine Disc Date. Its final edition appeared on 23 April 1960.
From the pictures to music, and our next new title of the week, which is the Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News. ‘A Musical Paper for All,’ this monthly publication traced its origins to the Talking Machine News, which was founded in 1908, before becoming in 1923 the Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News. As signalled by its title, this publication was dedicated to all things music and radio, and it could be enjoyed for just three pence every month.
Spanning 44 pages, the Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News looked at the latest gramophone records and models of gramophones, reviewing all the latest releases from different genres of music, from orchestras to comedy songs, from Christmas carols to dance music, from ballads to instrumental music. It also took a look at the ‘Stars of the Record World,’ detailing where and when such artists could be heard live.
An important part of the Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News was its community. Within its pages could be found correspondence, whereby readers provided ‘helps and hints’ to each other. The publication also detailed society news from ‘Gramophone and Phonograph’ societies across the country. There was also a ‘Wireless’ section of the publication, which included photographs of new wireless models, as well as special features like ‘Wireless in the Artic.’ The Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News was published until 1931.
We move onto now our three special employment titles of the week, beginning with the Pawnbrokers’ Gazette. Established in 1839, the Pawnbrokers’ Gazette advocated the interests of pawnbrokers across the country, looking at ‘the complications of law affecting them,’ as well as ‘accidents and robberies’ concerning the trade.
Published in London every Saturday at the cost of two pence by Jackson, Ruston and Keegan, who also printed pawnbrokers’ account books, the Pawnbrokers’ Gazette spanned eight pages and contained a detailed record of police intelligence from across London, often detailing robberies and burglaries which pawnbrokers suffered. It also detailed court cases from across the country which involved pawnbrokers, including one such case from the Portsmouth County Court, where a pawnbroker had engaged an auctioneer to sell their goods, but the auctioneer had failed to do so, and was taken to court.
The Pawnbrokers’ Gazette also contained correspondence, ‘Some Statistics on Pawnbroking,’ as well as adverts for auction houses, and jobs in the industry.
From pawnbroking now to banking, and the Bankers’ Circular, which was first published in London on 25 July 1828 by Henry Burgess. The object of this newspaper was to ‘diffuse information, respecting the general state of the banking interest; to give extracts from acts of parliament and parliamentary proceedings; and to be a general record of all public matters touching the concerns of Bankers.’
Subscribers to this title, moreover, had the luxury of access to a room at 81, Lombard Street, where ‘facilities will be afforded them for doing any business of the ordinary routine of their affairs.’ Meanwhile, the newspaper itself contained accounts of meetings of bankers, as well as any new acts of parliament regarding banking. A few months after the title was launched, it became The Circular to Bankers, becoming in 1854 the Bankers’ Circular before changing its name again in 1858 to the Monetary Times and Bankers’ Circular. Its final incarnation, from 1860, was under the title the Bankers’ Circular and Monetary Times.
Our final employment title of the week was founded almost a century later in 1918, and it is the Temporary Postal Workers’ Gazette, which was the monthly journal of the Temporary Postal Workers’ Association. Published in London on the first of the month, and filling 14 pages, this title represented the ‘Interests of London and Provincial Temporary Postal Employees.’
This journal contained accounts of the doings of the Temporary Postal Workers’ Association, detailing its AGM and annual report. It meanwhile took a look at its position with the regard to the Union of Post Office Workers, also containing correspondence and reports from various branches across the country. The journal lasted for a couple of years, surviving into the 1920s.
Before moving on to look at our myriad of new local and regional titles this week, we will stop off at China and then the Commonwealth, with a look at our new China-focussed title, the London and China Telegraph. First published in London on 30 November 1858, this newspaper contained ‘a digest of the news from China, Japan, and Singapore, and other parts of the East of India.’ Covering 24 pages, and costing nine pence, its first edition reported how:
The want of a Newspaper more fully chronicling events in connection with China, the countries beyond India, having been suggested, it is determined to publish a paper which shall be more exclusively devoted to the commercial interests of that part of the world. There is also an absence of local knowledge for those Eastern parts which promoters of the China Telegraph hope to supply.
The China Telegraph, therefore, was born, becoming in 1859 the London and China Telegraph. It promised to contain ‘market reports, import and export tables, shipping intelligence, &c., from China, Japan, Singapore, and all parts of east India,’ all overseen ‘by a gentleman who has for many years resided in China.’ Moreover, the publication also contained lists of passengers both travelling to and from the Far East, whilst featuring a ‘Summary of News from the East,’ a look at the ‘Spirit of the Press in China,’ as well as reports from the British and American press.
The London and China Telegraph furthermore contained detailed ‘Leading Articles,’ with looks at a ‘New Route to China’ and the ‘Population of China,’ as well as more general interest topics such as the arts, science, amusements, and legal news. The publication also contained notices of births, marriages and deaths, naval and military news, ecclesiastical intelligence and shipping intelligence.
It’s to the Commonwealth (Glasgow) that we look now, which was first published by Robert Rae in Glasgow on 1 October 1853, at the cost of 4 and a half pence. Spanning 24 pages, and appearing every Saturday, Commonwealth promised that its principles would be of ‘equity and common sense.’ It would be a ‘thoroughly Independent Newspaper, designed to circulate throughout the United Kingdom, and devoted to the consideration of those Social and Political Questions which affect the public well-being.’
To that end, the newspaper supported the causes of temperance and the ‘education of the people,’ hoping to present a ‘healthy tone of original writing.’ Commonwealth, meanwhile, looked at news from both home and abroad, whilst containing ‘Original Contributions’ focussed on education and ‘Selected Articles’ that addressed topics like ‘The Provision Question in France’ and ‘The Cloud in the East.’ The newspaper had a particularly religious focus too, covering subjects like ‘Million New Testaments For China’ and ‘Religious Persecution in Turkey.’
We now move on to look at our new local titles of the week, all the way from Andover to Walthamstow and everywhere in between. And so we start with the Andover Chronicle, a thorough local newspaper which appeared every Friday in the Hampshire market town of Andover. Circulating in Andover, Basingstoke, Stockbridge, Whitchurch and the ‘neighbouring villages,’ the Conservative Andover Chronicle was first published in 1858 and also covered Romsey, Alton and the ‘northern division’ of Hampshire.
The next of our new titles of the week is the Bracknell Times, which was described in the 1980s as the ‘number one newspaper in the area.’ Published in the large Berkshire town of Bracknell, the Bracknell Times appeared every Thursday and cost eight pence.
From Bracknell now to Burton-upon-Trent, and the Burton & Derby Gazette. Established in the Staffordshire market town of Burton-upon-Trent, which lies close to the Derbyshire border, in 1880, the Burton & Derby Gazette cost just halfpence, and appeared every day. The ‘only daily paper published in the town,’ with a large circulation, the newspaper was Liberal in its politics and was published by J.N. Tresise from Station Street.
Moving back down south for our next new title of the week, before we return to the Derby area, and we are delighted to welcome the Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury to our collection. A local edition of the Hertfordshire Mercury, this newspaper is published in the Hertfordshire town of Cheshunt, which is in the borough of Broxbourne. Appearing every Friday, the Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury covers the news from the southern part of the Broxbourne borough, as well as Waltham Cross, and Waltham Abbey in Essex.
And we’re back to Derby now with the Derby Express, a weekly freesheet tabloid that was founded in 1986 and was distributed to homes in and around Derby, and also to the neighbouring small towns and villages of south Derbyshire. Running until March 2012, the Derby Express also circulated in Mikleover, Ockbrook and Borrowash.
Joining us this week too is the Frome Journal, which hails from the Somerset town of Frome. The town, which lies south of Bath, was named in 2014 the ‘sixth coolest town in Great Britain’ by The Times, and its newspaper appeared every Saturday.
Next up is the Gateshead Post, which was launched in the large town of Gateshead, on the south bank of the River Tyne, as the Gateshead Times. The inaugural edition of this title led with the headline ‘Gateshead Wants Its Rate Burden Lifting,’ and it soon became the town’s most successful newspaper. Founded by and edited Harry Irving, who passed away in March 1996 just 24 hours before the Gateshead Post was named ‘North Eastern Weekly Newspaper of the Year,’ the title became free in 1998.
We have two new London titles joining us this week, the first of which is the Harrow Gazette. The Harrow Gazette was first published on 1 April 1855 by William Winchley Junior, from a small shop on the high street. Costing one penny, the newspaper became a success, circulating ‘in Harrow and neighbourhood.’ Appearing every Saturday, the Harrow Gazette was neutral in its politics.
However, 40 years after the title was founded, it had a rival when the Wealdstone, Harrow and Wembley Observer was launched. In 1921 the then Harrow M.P., Oswald Mosley, took over the rival title, and under his leadership, the two titles were merged. The Harrow newspaper would last for nearly one hundred years after this, before finally closing in 2014.
From Harrow to Hinckley now, and the Hinckley Times, which was founded by Thomas Baxter, son of John Baxter, a newspaper printer and publisher, in the Leicestershire market town of Hinckley in January 1889. In 1922 the Hinckley Times merged, under Thomas Baxter, with rival newspaper the Hinckley Times & Guardian, Bosworth Herald & South Leicestershire Advertiser, which was run by Arthur Pickering. The two titles formed the Hinckley Times and Guardian, before becoming in 1962 simply the Hinckley Times. In 1996 the newspaper made history by launching one of the first ever local newspaper websites, and the title continues to be published to this day.
Our next new title of the week is Surrey’s Leatherhead Advertiser, which was founded in 1898 as the Leatherhead Advertiser and Epsom District Times, a sister title to the Dorking Advertiser. Just four years later in 1902 the newspaper became known as the Leatherhead Advertiser and County Post, continuing with that name until 1970, when it became simply the Leatherhead Advertiser. By this point in time, the newspaper claimed to have the ‘largest local circulation’ of any publication in the area, also covering Cobham, Bookham, Fetcham and Ashtead.
We now travel to Devon to introduce our next new title of the week, which is the North Devon Herald. Published in the north Devon town of Barnstaple, this newspaper was established in 1870 as the North Devon Herald and General Advertiser for Devonshire, East Cornwall and West Somerset. Conservative in its politics, the North Devon Herald cost one penny and spanned eight pages.
We’re back up north now to welcome the Oldham Advertiser to our collection. Established in 1982 in the large Greater Manchester town of Oldham, the Oldham Advertiser appeared every Thursday and was sent, free of charge, to homes across Oldham, Chadderton, Failsworth, Lees, Royton, Shaw and Saddleworth. Indeed, the newspaper, which appeared every Thursday, claimed to go ‘into more homes in Oldham than any evening paper in the area.’
And it’s back down south we go for our next new title of the week, which is the Surrey-Hants Star. Founded in 1977 in the Hampshire town of Aldershot, which is famed for its connection with the British Army, and is indeed known as the ‘home of the British Army,’ the Surrey-Hants Star appeared every Thursday.
Former editor of the newspaper, Alan Franklin, described the Surrey-Hants Star as being a ‘forceful local voice, full of great stories, pictures and comment.’ Indeed, he labelled it a ‘freebie with attitude,’ and there was a time that people would queue to collect it from its Aldershot offices. At its peak, the Surrey-Hants Star had a circulation of 80,000, before it merged in 2008 with other local freesheets from the area, which included the Aldershot and Farnborough Courier, the Camberley and Yateley Courier and the Fleet and Hart Courier. This amalgamation of titles became known as the Surrey & Hants Star Courier, which was published from offices in Guildford.
Our penultimate new title of the week is the wonderfully named Uttoxeter New Era, which was established in the Staffordshire market town of Uttoxeter in 1855. Costing just one penny, this title was neutral in it politics and consisted of eight pages, circulating in ‘Uttoxeter and its agricultural district.’
We arrive finally at our last new title of the week, which is our second London title of the past seven days, and is the Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian. First published on 6 May 1876, this East London newspaper came before its public ‘with no battle cry, being bound to no class.’ To this end, the Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian was neutral in its politics, costing just one halfpenny and appearing every Saturday.
Spanning four pages, this newspaper featured news from the area’s local churches and chapels, as well as the latest from the parish of Leyton, the Ilford Petty Sessions and societies from across the area. Meanwhile, the Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian circulated across Leytonstone, Wanstead, Woodford, Chingford, Tottenham, Clapton, Hackney and Stratford. It is published today as Your Local Guardian, which was previously known as the Waltham Forest Guardian, every Thursday.
We have not neglected our existing this this week either. Highlights of the week include the over 46,000 pages we have added to the Saffron Walden Weekly News, whilst we have also added over 8,000 pages to the Cheshire Observer and the Nottingham Evening Post respectively. Other highlights include the new pages we have added to Welsh language title Herald Cymraeg, and those which we have added to Scottish publication the Edinburgh Evening News.
A Leading Lady of One Hundred Years Ago
One hundred years ago, in 1922, our new title the Picturegoer published a ‘series of Behind the Scenes articles,’ which were positioned as ‘being intimate glimpses into the work and personality of all those connected with the making of a picture-play.’ Authored by Gertrude M. Allen, the second of these studies dealt with ‘The Leading Lady,’ and detailed what a ‘typical day’ in the career of an unnamed ‘Queen of the Screen’ entailed.
Allen begins her article posing the below series of questions, in relation to the leading lady of 1922:
Does she sleep on a bed of pale pink roses, quaff champagne from golden goblets, dance to sweet symphonies, and roll over life’s roadways in a luxurious limousine?
And although the answer to these questions is ‘maybe,’ she certainly ‘does none of these things all of the time.’ For an actress of 1922, as Allen writes, ‘Life’s alphabet spells much the same thing for her as it does for her sister in the factory, the workshop, the store, the office, or the home.’
So how would her day begin? It begins early, ‘with the lark,’ and she is at the film studios by 9 am. There she is greeted by the ‘usual motley correspondence,’ letters from ‘four corners of the word.’ Here are some samples of the typical fan letters received by actors of the era, as described by Allen:
‘You are my favourite actress. I think you are beautiful. I should love a photograph of you. Will you send me an autographed one?’ And the pathetic little note, on greasy paper, which begs for ‘any of the old clothes you won’t want any more. My mother is an invalid, my father is in prison, and I have a crippled brother and blind grandmother to support.’
She might also receive correspondence from a ‘girl who is dying act for the films:’
‘I have fair curls (like Mary Pickford), blue eyes, and am sure I should make a good screen actress. I like your work very much, but I think I could do just as well as you, if somebody would just give me the chance. Will you please do your best to get me on the screen?’
After reading through this epistles, it is time for the real work of the day to begin. Our actress must be on set for 9.30, and has to still dress and have her make-up done for her role. With the help of her dresser, she is transformed, today into Lady Angelina, daughter of the Duke of Doddington, ‘clad in…priceless silks and velvet.’
After filming all morning, she is then allowed a break of half an hour, in which she consumes tea and sandwiches, and changes her dress for another role. Her role this time is of ‘Jane Jones, friendless, workless and desperate,’ in which she wears a dark costume and ‘shabby little hat.’
After working all afternoon, and perhaps into the evening, she returns to her ‘dressing-room, tired, hungry and ready for home and bed,’ although she will probably find more work to do. Her dresser would like to consult her on a future costume, and perhaps she might answer some of correspondence. There might be time for her to catch up with her family.
And then her day is over, with Allen evocatively describing how:
Her shadow self is so much bigger than her real one – her work-time so much more plentiful than her playtime. She will be glad to nestle in the soft sheets of her bed, and leave the ‘bed-of-pale-pink-roses’ for her declining years. When they come, she may have time to lead a lady’s life, but pour le moment she is a film actress, and her life spells WORK!
|Andover Chronicle||1870-1895, 1898-1914|
|Bracknell Times||1978, 1981|
|Burton & Derby Gazette||1881-1887|
|Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury||1988|
|Commonwealth (Glasgow)||1853-1860, 1880|
|Gramophone, Wireless and Talking Machine News||1924|
|London and China Telegraph||1858-1891, 1901-1921|
|North Devon Herald||1892|
|Temporary Postal Workers’ Gazette||1920|
|Uttoxeter New Era||1889|
|Walthamstow and Leyton Guardian||1876-1914|
This week we have updated 34 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.