This week at The Archive we are bringing you a duo of new London newspapers, from both north and south of the River Thames. Meanwhile, we’ve also added 156,854 brand new pages to our collection over the past seven days, with 23 of our existing titles being updated, from Coventry to Croydon, from Huddersfield to Hull, from Newcastle to Nottingham.
So read on to discover more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, as well as to find out more about the recovery efforts following the North Sea flood of 1953 in the badly hit Lincolnshire towns of Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea.
But we begin today in London with our first new title of the week, which is the Comet for Hornsey, Crouch End and Highgate. This short-lived title was established in 1888 and served, as its title suggests, the North London areas of Hornsey, Crouch End, Highgate and Wood Green. Offering local news, with a particular emphasis on the latest from the police courts of Edmonton, Highgate, Edgware and Dalston, the Comet also took a look at national and international news.
This came to an end on 2 January 1889, however, when the newspaper announced how it ‘come into the proximity of the sun, and therefore meets the fate of other comets that have done the same before.’ The article continued:
It is just about to be absorbed by the luminary, which, being done into the vernacular, means this, that the Comet is about to be amalgamated with that most successful of County papers which is known as ‘The Courier and London and Middlesex Counties Gazette.’ The Courier has a future before it. It is now the only Middlesex county paper. There are plenty of other Middlesex papers. There is no other paper that circulates throughout Middlesex.
The last issue, therefore, ended with a ringing endorsement of the ‘only Middlesex county paper,’ the Courier and London and Middlesex Counties Gazette.
The second of our duo of new London newspapers is the Wandsworth Borough News, which was founded in 1900, but traces its origins back to 1884 with the Putney and South-Western Chronicle. Incorporating the Wandsworth and Battersea District Times and the Clapham District Gazette, this newspaper title circulated throughout south-west London, incorporating Balham, Battersea, Clapham, Earlsfield, Merton, Mitcham, Putney, Roehampton, Southfields, Streatham, Tooting and Wandsworth.
Appearing every Friday, by 1914 this newspaper filled an impressive twenty pages, at the cost of just one penny. Conservative in its politics, the Wandsworth Borough News was dedicated to reporting the news from London’s south west, with sections devoted to the news from Balham, Tooting, Streatham and Putney. Such reports detailed the latest church news from the area, as well as detailing social gatherings, school news, and public meetings.
The newspaper, meanwhile, reported on police news from across the area, as well as featuring a special sports section. The Wandsworth Borough News detailed the latest from the Wandsworth and Battersea football leagues, whilst also taking a look at cycling, athletics, rifle shooting, and ‘roller racing.’ Furthermore, this robust local newspaper published descriptions of local weddings, notices of births, marriages and deaths, and extensive advertisements for apartments to let and vacant situations.
That’s it from our duo of new London newspapers, but we also have a wonderful selection of 23 updated titles for you this week. Leading the charge is the Surrey Advertiser with over 47,000 brand new pages added this week, spanning the years 1904 to 1973. Meanwhile, we’ve also added over 17,000 brand new pages to fellow county paper the Lincolnshire Echo.
Our updates this week span the ancient and the modern, with eighteenth century pages being added to the Bath Journal (1762) and to the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette (1770 and 1792), with the most modern pages this week being from 1999 (Esher News and Mail). Representing Wales, meanwhile, are the new pages that we’ve added to the Welsh edition of the Liverpool Daily Post.
After the Flood – Reconstructing Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea
Seventy years ago this week, the east coast of England and Scotland was struck by a devastating flood, which took the lives of an estimated 326 people. Known as the North Sea flood, this heavy storm surge also hit the Netherlands and Belgium, with existing sea defences being overwhelmed by the high waters, which were caused by a combination of a high spring tide and a severe windstorm.
In Lincolnshire, the town of Mablethorpe and the village of Sutton-on-Sea were particularly badly hit. In Mablethorpe, 42 people were killed, with Sutton-on-Sea seeing multiple fatalities too. Seawater, sand, and mud flowed through both settlements, with newspapers of the day printing photographs of the destruction.
This week, we have added new pages from the year 1954 to the Lincolnshire Echo, which enable us to take a look at how recovery efforts unfolded on the east coast of Lincolnshire following the North Sea flood.
On 24 April 1954, some fifteen months after the tragic flood, the Lincolnshire Echo reported how former Lord Mayor of London Sir Rupert de la Bere was set to ‘open the new sea defences at Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea.’ Sir Rupert had ‘launched the Lord Mayor’s Flood Relief Fund within a few days of the disaster,’ and was set to arrive by helicopter at Sutton-on-Sea, to open the new sea defences on 3 May 1954.
And on 4 May 1954 the Lincolnshire Echo wrote how, ‘at a ceremony marking a triumph over the waves, Sir Rupert de la Bere declared the Mablethorpe and Sutton area secure against the sea.’ The article described how:
Fifteen months ago, on a bitterly cold night, and with a gale sweeping across the coastline, the sea cut through the defences and flooded the two towns and many acres of land behind them. Yesterday, with a biting wind blowing again, and rain falling, Sir Rupert, using a souvenir pair of scissors, suitably inscribed, cut through tapes stretched across the new defences, at Sutton and Mablethorpe.
Sir Rupert told onlookers, ‘most of whom rely on the summer holiday trade for their livelihood,’ how ‘Visitors can now come here again and feel they are secure and safe.’ As part of his speech, the former Lord Mayor also recalled how upon the setting up of the flood relief fund, £5.13 million was raised, with Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea receiving £650,000 from this fund and from the Treasury, ‘the biggest single payment to any town.’
The flood had a devastating impact on both places: the Lincolnshire Echo writing how ’95 per cent of the population [were] forced to leave their homes for three weeks’ following the disaster. Local councillor, W. Jackson, related how the local flood relief committee had been giving out £70 ‘every hour of the day and night’ to families in need, but he also described how the recovery and reconstruction efforts were well underway:
At this moment the council have 30 different contracts in progress. I estimate that, generally speaking, we are trying to do 20 or 30 years’ work in one – and we are doing it.
Meanwhile, chairman of the River Board Sir Robert Pattinson related how ‘2,500 lorries were in use, between 600,000 and 700,000 tons of slag and clay were put into the breached seabanks, [and] 5,000 tons of steel were used’ in the emergency works on the sea defences, which cost some £1.05 million. Another £4 million was spend on improving the sea defences, Pattinson commenting how ‘No other authority in this county has ever spent £5,000,000 in 12 months.’
It was a remarkable effort, after a horrifying disaster, the worst flooding Britain would see in the twentieth century, told through the pages of our newspapers.
This week we have updated 23 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.
|Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette||1770, 1792|
|Birmingham Daily Post||1901, 1912|
|Coventry Evening Telegraph||1980|
|Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter||1956|
|Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough||1881|
|Esher News and Mail||1970-1971, 1974, 1999|
|Huddersfield Daily Examiner||1997|
|Hull Daily Mail||1987|
|Kensington News and West London Times||1911|
|Lincolnshire Echo||1952, 1954-1955, 1965-1966, 1987|
|Liverpool Daily Post||1916|
|Liverpool Daily Post (Welsh Edition)||1962, 1965|
|Newcastle Daily Chronicle||1923|
|Newcastle Evening Chronicle||1938|
|Nottingham Evening Post||1967|
|Sunbury & Shepperton Herald||1994|
|Sunday Sun (Newcastle)||1993, 1995|
|Surrey Advertiser||1904-1908, 1910, 1921, 1924-1926, 1928, 1930, 1934-1938, 1946, 1948-1949, 1951, 1953-1954, 1956-1958, 1962, 1965-1966, 1968-1973|