1.8 Million New Pages | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week has been another mammoth week here at The Archive, as we have added 1,861,031 brand new pages, with 20 brand new titles joining us over the past seven days alone, from Ashby all the way to Wallasey. Meanwhile, we have updated 148 of our existing titles from across the United Kingdom, meaning that you have a feast of new pages to enjoy this week.

So read on to find out more about all of our new titles of the week, which include a duo of Nottingham titles, and one that hails from the north of Wales. We also travel back 182 years ago to May 1840, when the world’s first evepostage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued.

The ‘Letter-Woman,’ an 1840 print by Henry Morland | The Sphere | 6 December 1924

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Let’s begin our journey into this week’s new titles then in Wales, with the Prestatyn Weekly, which was first published in 1905. With the ‘largest Circulation in the district of any local paper,’ this newspaper’s full name ran to the Prestatyn Weekly and Ffynnongroew, Mostyn, Talacre, Gwespyr, Gronant, Gwaenysgoar, Newmarket, Meliden, and Dyserth News, and it cost just one halfpenny. Appearing every Saturday, the Prestatyn Weekly filled four pages, its main content being local news.

Prestatyn Weekly | 27 February 1909

Indeed, the Prestatyn Weekly is a wonderful record of all the happenings in the seaside town of Prestatyn, which became a popular resort in the nineteenth century thanks to the advent of the railways. For example, it included a ‘Record of Coming Events,’ a list of church services in the area, as well as news from the nearby Wesleyan Chapels. Furthermore, the Prestatyn Weekly contained notices of marriages and deaths, a look at the region’s weather and news from the nearby towns and villages of Gronant, Briwsion, Dyserth, Gwepsyr, Llanasa, Mostyn and Newmarket. The newspaper ceased publication in 1969, over sixty years after it was first launched.

We move now across the Welsh border to welcome our duo of Nottingham-based titles to The Archive, with includes a special religious one, the Nottingham and Midland Catholic News. Founded in 1907 as the Nottinghamshire Herald, this Saturday newspaper rebranded on 3 October 1908 to become the Nottingham and Midland Catholic News, offering a ‘comprehensive record of Catholic news and opinion from across the Midlands and beyond.’ Costing one penny, this newspaper circulated ‘throughout the Counties of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham,’ and contained news from the Roman Catholic dioceses across the country, from Westminster, Newcastle, Portsmouth and of course Nottingham.

Nottingham and Midland Catholic Herald | 12 December 1908

Meanwhile, the Nottingham and Midland Catholic News featured news from further afield, incorporating an ‘Irish’ and a ‘Scotch Letter,’ with Catholic related news from both countries, as well as looking at the Catholic clergy in farther flung places like Colombo, Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the newspaper looked at Catholicism in Russia, Germany, America and China, and in particular, missionary work in the latter country. In addition to this, the newspaper contained an illustrated section, which included portraits of deans and reverends from across the country, as well as of Catholic personalities, and drawings of Catholic churches.

At the heart of the Nottingham and Midland Catholic News were various thought pieces written by academics and members of the clergy, with articles such as ‘Can Catholics Be Socialists?’ and ‘Catholicity and Science.’ It also included a ‘Rome Letter,’ and a profile of the Pope. Finally, the Nottingham and Midland Catholic News included something ‘for the ladies,’ as well as serialised fiction with a Catholic theme, and ‘Parochial News.’

Our second new Nottingham title of the week is the historic Nottingham and Newark Mercury, which was established in the 1820s at the cost of 7 pence with the by-line ‘The Good of the People Is The Supreme Law.’ Appearing every Friday, by 1839 the newspaper had a yearly circulation of 68,500, with an average weekly distribution of 1,317 copies. In 1840 it reinstated its purpose as a Liberal newspaper, declaring how:

The Politics of this Paper advocates liberality without licentiousness – Reform in the Institutions of the Country wherever they be required – Truth, Law, and Justice, as the foundation of every Englishman’s political right.

Nottingham and Newark Mercury | 8 February 1850

The newspaper affirmed that its information was ‘collected from the best and most authentic sources,’ and that such news, from the locality and from the country as a whole, would be ‘imparted honestly, fairly, without fear or favour.’ But what sort of the information did the Nottingham and Newark Mercury contain? The newspaper went on to state how:

As one chief origin of England’s greatness, the details of COMMERCE find ample scope in the columns of the MERCURY; whilst TRADE and MANUFACTURES, the grand stimulus to Commerce, meet with every attention that anxious watchfulness can afford them. Looking at the true interest of the AGRICULTURIST, as bound up with the well being of the Community, no pains are spared to promote his advantage in connection with his fellow subjects. The SPORTSMEN will enjoy the History of the Chase, the Turf, and those athletic exercises which are peculiar to the land of their nativity.

Nothing if not thorough, the Nottingham and Newark Mercury filled 14 pages and was ‘extensively circulated…through all the Midland Counties,’ featuring news from the court, as well as notices of births, marriages and deaths.

Ashby Mail | 9 December 1993

Our next new title of the week also hails from the Midlands and is the Ashby Mail, which is a weekly freesheet that served Ashby-de-la-Zouche and the community of north west Leicestershire. A companion to the paid for daily Leicester Mercury, this newspaper was originally known as the Mail for Communities of Ashby and District.

Another free companion to the Leicester Mercury was the Oadby & Wigston Mail, which was founded in 1978. This weekly freesheet circulated in the Borough of Oadby in south east Leicestershire, and in 2010 it became the Oadby, Wigston & Blaby Mail. Publication of this title, which appeared every Thursday, came to an end in February 2013 with the launch of My Extra.

Remaining in the Midlands, we are delighted to welcome the Belper Express to The Archive. Another weekly freesheet, the Belper Express was launched in 1986, as part of the Derby Express series of freesheets, with its editorial offices in Derby. Appearing every Thursday, the Belper Express circulated in and around the market town of Belper and in the Amber Valley district of central Derbyshire, which incorporates Kilburn and other smaller villages. The Belper Express ceased publication in 2012.

Belper Express | 7 September 1989

Forming a trio of new Derbyshire papers this week are the Belper Express’s two sister papers, the Ilkeston Express and the Ripley Express. The Ilkeston Express was another weekly freesheet which appeared in the town of Ilkeston, in the Borough of Erewash, and its surrounding villages. Appearing every Thursday, it ceased publication in 2011 when it merged with the Ripley & Heanor Express to form the Ilkeston, Ripley & Heanor Express, the former title stemming from fellow Amber Valley publication the Ripley Express.

We move into Staffordshire for our next two new titles of the week, which are the Burntwood Post and the Burntwood Mercury. Covering the former mining town of Burntwood, Staffordshire, the Burntwood Post was a weekly freesheet tabloid newspaper, which was delivered to homes across southern Staffordshire, in Burntwood, Hammerwich and Chasetown. Appearing every Thursday, the Burntwood Post was established in 1989, with its editorial offices being located in Cannock. The final edition of the Burntwood Post appeared in 2011.

The Burntwood Mercury, meanwhile, was a free sub-edition of the historic Lichfield Mercury, which was founded in 1815. It remerged with its parent newspaper in 2013.

We travel to the south west of England for our next new title of the week, which is the Crediton Gazette. Established in the 1881 as a politically independent newspaper titled the Crediton & North Devon Chronicle and West of England Advertiser, ten years later it became the Crediton Chronicle & North Devon Gazette. This publication again changed its name in 1931 to become the Crediton Chronicle & Taw Vale Gazette, and once more in 1944 it altered its title to become the Crediton Gazette, East Devon Herald & County Press. It finally assumed the title of the Crediton Gazette in 1966.

Crediton Gazette | 6 March 1951

A weekly tabloid newspaper, the Crediton Gazette is sold in and around the market town of Crediton in mid Devon, and appears every Tuesday.

Our next new title of the week hails from west London, and is the Ealing & Southall Informer. Part of the Informer series, which covers West London and Surrey, this weekly freesheet covered the west London district of Ealing, alongside Southall, through which the Grand Union Canal passes.

From London now to England’s second largest city of Birmingham, and the Great Barr ObserverPublished in Tamworth, this newspaper covers the large area of north west Birmingham known as Great Barr, which also incorporates the Boroughs of Walsall and Sandwell, and was formerly a part of Staffordshire.

To England’s heartlands now and staying near Birmingham, we are delighted to welcome the Heartland Evening News to our collection. Founded in 1991 by former printer Peter Young and his business partner Tony Parratt, the first edition of the Heartland Evening News appeared on 16 March 1992. Published in the north Warwickshire market town of Nuneaton, this newspaper was founded after the Nuneaton Evening Tribune switched to a weekly publication schedule.

Heartland Evening News | 18 January 1993

Serving Nuneaton and other towns and villages of north Warwickshire, by 2007 the newspaper had nightly sales of 10,000 copies. Meanwhile, in 2009 the publication was renamed to the Nuneaton News, and in 2016 it became a weekly freesheet.

Moving to the north of England for our next new title, and we are delighted to welcome the Midweek Visiter (Southport) to our collection. A free sub-edition of the much beloved Southport Visiter, which was founded in 1844 as a single sheet that listed visitors to the Merseyside seaside town of Southport, the Midweek Visiter was launched in 1981 and appeared every Tuesday, before ceasing publication in 2017.

We travel to Cambridgeshire now to welcome our next new title of the week, which is the Peterborough Herald & Post, which was launched in 1989 as a replacement for the Peterborough StandardThe Peterborough Herald & Post was a weekly freesheet that was delivered to households across the cathedral city of Peterborough, which formerly was a part of Northamptonshire. It ceased publication in 2008.

Peterborough Herald & Post | 5 April 1990

Moving to Hertfordshire now, and we are excited to welcome the Royston and Buntingford Mercury to The Archive. A weekly tabloid newspaper that was launched in 1990 as a sub-edition of the Hertfordshire Mercury, the Royston and Buntingford Mercury is sold in and around the towns of Royston and Buntingford in north Hertfordshire. It appears every Thursday, and its title was reversed in 2006 to become the Buntingford and Royston Mercury.

We’re back up to Birmingham now to introduce our next new title of the week, which is the Solihull News. Founded in 1930 as the Warwickshire News, this newspaper served the large market town of Solihull. Delivering local news and sport to the Borough of Solihull and south Birmingham, this newspaper eventually became free, and ceased publication on 21 December 2018.

Our penultimate new title of the week is the Stockton & Billingham Herald & Post, a free newspaper that forms one of the six different editions of the Teesside-based Herald & Post series. Containing a mix of general, local and sporting news, as well as details of local events, this newspaper serves Stockton, a market town in County Durham, as well as the civil parish of Billingham, which lies within Stockton.

Stockton & Billingham Herald & Post | 23 December 1987

Our final new title of the week hails from Cheshire, and is the Wallasey News and Wirral General AdvertiserAppearing every Wednesday and Saturday, this newspaper served the town of Wallasey, which lies on the mouth of the River Mersey, and was historically a part of Cheshire.

That’s it from our 20 brand new titles of the week, but what about our updated ones? Well, with 148 newspaper titles all getting updates this week, it’s a struggle to pick some highlights, but picked we have! We’ve added over 11,000 pages to the Coventry Evening Telegraph, whilst over 10,000 new pages have joined the Pontypridd Observer. Meanwhile, we’ve augmented the Herts and Essex Observer by 9,000 pages, whilst over 8,000 pages have joined the Salford Advertiser and the Southport Visiter respectively.

The Penny Black – The World’s First Postage Stamp

On 10 January 1840 our new newspaper the Nottingham and Newark Mercury contained an advertisement for ‘STAMPS for the PENNY POSTAGE…as soon as ready, of which due notice would be given.’ The existing postal service in Britain, prior to 1840, was ambiguous, and one often had to pay for a letter upon its arrival, the cost calculated by the distance the letter had travelled. But the postage stamp would erase this, meaning that for the first time a flat rate for postage was introduced, irrespective of how far a letter had travelled.

Nottingham and Newark Mercury | 10 January 1840

And notice was given several months later, when the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, went on sale on 1 May 1840. On that historic day, the Nottingham and Newark Mercury contained a copy of the minutes from the Treasury, which were dated 22 April 1840, and ran as follows:

That the issue of Postage stamps for sale to the public be commenced as early as practicable; that such issue be, in the first instance, confined to London; and that it be extended first to Dublin and Edinburgh, and afterwards to other parts of the kingdom, in such order as the Commissioners of Stamps and Taxes may determine, and as rapidly as the necessary supply be obtained.

The Penny Black | The Sphere | 6 June 1924

But even though the new stamps were to be issued on 1 May, they would not valid for postage until several days later, 6 May 1840. The minutes further explained how:

That on and after the 6th of May next, letters written on stamped paper, or enclosed in stamped covers, or having a stamp or stamps affixed thereto (the stamp or stamps in every such case being of the same value or amount as the rates of postage now charged on such letters if pre-paid), shall pass by the post free of postage in whatever part of the kingdom they may be posted.

Illustrated London News | 9 March 1940

The Nottingham and Newark Mercury went on to explain how ‘Black will be the colour of the penny [stamp]; blue, of the two penny stamps,’ both stamps featuring a portrait of the young Queen Victoria.

The Tatler | 30 September 1964

Further clarification on the new postage system was also given by the newspaper on 1 May 1840, as it enclosed a command by W.L. Maberly, from the General Post Office, who explained how:

Stamps may also be used on Foreign, Colonial, and Ship Letters, &c., outwards. If any Letter, however, addressed to Places beyond Sea, shall bear an insufficient number of Stamps, it will be sent to the Dead Letter Office, to be returned in all practicable cases, to the writer. Stamps are not permitted to be used on Letters arriving in the United Kingdom from the Colonies or Foreign Countries.

Nottingham and Newark Mercury | 1 May 1840

A further ‘Notice to the Public’ from W.L. Maberly appeared in the Nottingham and Newark Mercury on 15 May 1840. One can imagine how revolutionary the system was, and how it would have taken some time to get used to. And one such teething problem was where to actually place the stamp, which Maberly addressed as below:

In those cases where Adhesive Stamps are used, it is requested that they may be placed on the Front of the Letter, and upon the right-hand corner on the upper side. Should this direction not be attended to, from the rapidity of which the duty must be performed, Letters which bear Stamps will frequently be taxed, while the Parties receiving them will be put to much trouble in obtaining a return of the Postage improperly charged.

‘Packing The Indian Mail’ | Illustrated London News | 22 June 1844

It is amazing to see the genesis of something we take for granted so much today in the pages of our newspapers – what stories can you uncover?

New Titles
Years Added
Ashby Mail 1993
Belper Express 1989-1990
Burntwood Mercury 1991-1992
Burntwood Post 1991
Crediton Gazette 1951
Ealing & Southall Informer 1992
Great Barr Observer 1991
Heartland Evening News 1993
Ilkeston Express 1990
Midweek Visiter (Southport) 1988, 1991
Nottingham and Midland Catholic News 1908-1911, 1913-1934
Nottingham and Newark Mercury 1827-1852
Oadby & Wigston Mail 1990-1991
Peterborough Herald & Post 1990
Prestatyn Weekly 1908-1933
Ripley Express 1989-1991
Royston and Buntingford Mercury 1991-1992
Solihull News 1990-1992
Stockton & Billingham Herald & Post 1988, 1990-1991
Wallasey News and Wirral General Advertiser 1910
Updated Titles

This week we have updated 148 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.

Years Added
Aberdare Leader 1950
Aberdeen Herald 1876
Abergele & Pensarn Visitor 1869, 1950, 1991
Accrington Observer and Times 1987
Acton Gazette 1951, 1981
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 1993
Alcester Chronicle 1912
Aldershot News 1950-1951, 1976
Ashbourne News Telegraph 1950, 1993-1994, 1996
Atherstone News and Herald 1984-1985
Bacup Times and Rossendale Advertiser 1876
Bedfordshire on Sunday 1980-1982
Bedworth Echo 1991, 1994, 1996
Beverley Guardian 1894
Billingham & Norton Advertiser 1990, 1992
Birkenhead & Cheshire Advertiser 1951
Birkenhead News 1950-1951, 1989-1990
Birmingham Daily Gazette 1874
Birmingham Daily Post 1950, 1952, 1993-1995
Birmingham Mail 1872, 1874, 1880, 1951, 1995
Birmingham Weekly Mercury 1897, 1950, 1988
Birmingham Weekly Post 1950
Bootle Times 1950
Bracknell Times 1994
Bradford Daily Telegraph 1910, 1912
Brentwood Gazette 1991-1992
Bristol Evening Post 1951
Bromley & District Times 1911
Buckinghamshire Examiner 1979
Burton Daily Mail 1898, 1976, 1993-1995
Burton Trader 1992
Bury Free Press 1972-1973
Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald 1990, 1992
Cambridge Daily News 1912, 1993
Cambridge Weekly News 1991-1992
Cannock Chase Post 1989-1991
Carmarthen Journal 1950-1951, 1995-1996
Caterham Mirror 1950-1951
Central Somerset Gazette 1991
Chatham News 1950-1951, 1990-1991
Chatham Standard 1950, 1989, 1992
Cheddar Valley Gazette 1991
Chelsea News and General Advertiser 1989-1990, 1992
Cheltenham News 1992
Chester Chronicle 1950-1951, 1994, 1996
Clevedon Mercury 1876-1877, 1951, 1990-1992
Cornish Guardian 1945, 1950
Coventry Evening Telegraph 1986
Crewe Chronicle 1978, 1987
Crosby Herald 1950-1951, 1991
Daily Herald 1919
Daily Record 1993
Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser 1989
Dover Express 1990-1992
East Grinstead Observer 1950, 1981, 1992
East Kent Gazette 1991
Ellesmere Port Pioneer 1950
Evening Despatch 1912
Express and Echo 1872, 1879
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal 1988-1990
Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser 1895-1896, 1899, 1902, 1914
Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 1992
Frome Journal 1990
Fulham Chronicle 1996
Glamorgan Gazette 1951-1953
Gloucester Journal 1990
Hamilton Advertiser 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885-1888, 1910-1913, 1919-1920
Harlow Star 1991
Harrow Gazette 1876
Harrow Informer 1990-1991
Herald Cymraeg 1935
Hertford Mercury and Reformer 1872, 1950, 1980
Herts and Essex Observer 1994-1995
Hinckley Herald & Journal 1990, 1992
Hounslow & Chiswick Informer 1989, 1992
Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner 1950, 1952
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 1877, 1898, 1950, 1952
Huntingdon Town Crier 1992, 1994
Kensington News and West London Times 1949, 1963
Kent & Sussex Courier 1980-1981
Leek Post & Times and Cheadle News & Times and Moorland Advertiser 1990-1992
Liverpool Daily Post 1880, 1898, 1950
Long Eaton Advertiser 1991, 1996
Loughborough Echo 1950, 1988
Marylebone Mercury 1993-1994
Middlesex County Times 1877, 1908-1909, 1938, 1945-1946, 1948, 1951, 1981
Nantwich Chronicle 1981
Newcastle Chronicle 1872, 1897
Newcastle Daily Chronicle 1862
Newcastle Journal 1897
North Star (Darlington) 1898-1899, 1911
North Wales Weekly News 1990
Northern Echo 1912
Nottingham Journal 1821, 1823, 1871
Nottingham Recorder 1984-1985, 1988
Ormskirk Advertiser 1987-1989, 1991
Paddington Mercury 1951
Peterborough Advertiser 1861
Plymouth Extra 1990-1991
Pontypridd Observer 1951-1958, 1963, 1991
Preston Herald 1861
Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times 1908, 1979, 1994, 1996
Richmond Informer 1993-1995
Rossendale Free Press 1990-1992
Ruislip & Northwood Gazette 1991-1992
Salford Advertiser 1989, 1991, 1993
Scarborough Mercury 1855, 1863
Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 1952
Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 1952
Sheerness Times Guardian 1896
Shepton Mallet Journal 1873, 1912
Somerset County Gazette 1889
Soulby’s Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer 1914
Southall Gazette 1996
Southport Visiter 1990, 1992
Staffordshire Newsletter 1989-1990, 1992, 1996
Staines Informer 1992
Stapleford & Sandiacre News 1988, 1992, 1995-1996
Stockport Advertiser and Guardian 1873, 1911
Stockport County Express 1925
Stockport Express Advertiser 1989
Strathearn Herald 1991
Sunbury & Shepperton Herald 1989-1990
Surrey Advertiser 1950
Surrey Comet 1877
Surrey Herald 1991
Surrey-Hants Star 1991
Sutton Coldfield News 1901, 1903, 1912, 1950, 1991
Tamworth Herald 1879, 1987, 1990-1991, 1993-1994
The People 1992-1995
Thetford & Watton Times 1893
Torbay Express and South Devon Echo 1952-1953
Uttoxeter New Era 1876
Uttoxeter Newsletter 1990-1991
Uxbridge Informer 1989-1991
Walsall Observer 1949
Walton & Weybridge Informer 1991
Wembley Leader 1989, 1991
West Lothian Courier 1873, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1888, 1891, 1986, 1990, 1992
West Surrey Times 1879, 1888, 1911
Western Gazette 1987
Westminster & Pimlico News 1993, 1996
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 1991
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard 1875
Winsford Chronicle 1987, 1992, 1994-1995
Wokingham Times 1991-1992
Worcester Journal 1871, 1893
Yorkshire Evening Press 1910

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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