Newspapers from Wiltshire | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have added brand new newspapers from Wiltshire, as well as one very special new Scottish title, as we have added 221,850 brand new pages in all to our collection. Meanwhile, from Hammersmith to Haverhill, from South Wales to Southall, from Newmarket to Newquay, we’ve added new pages to our existing titles from across the British Isles.

So read on to discover more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, and also to learn how the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated seventy years ago.

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The first of our new newspapers from Wiltshire is the Devizes and Wilts Advertiser, which was first published in the market town of Devizes on 25 March 1858 as the Devizes Advertiser. A ‘General Weekly Newspaper,’ the title circulated extensively in ‘Devizes, Marlborough, Avebury, Calne, Lavington, Shrewton, the entire Pewsey Vale, and all the surrounding districts.’

Printed and published by Charles Gillman, the Devizes and Wilts Advertiser cost only one penny, and indeed, it dubbed itself as a ‘Cheap Weekly Newspaper.’ Its inaugural editorial eschewed ‘high-sounding professions and promises,’ instead proclaiming:

Let the ‘talkers of society’ talk; let the querulous quarrel; let the politicians and theologians dispute: we go upon a different plan – that of setting to work to supply the public with a really good and useful publication, at the lowest possible price. In carrying out this work, the only ‘principles’ that will be acknowledged are the those of truth and justice, while all subjects will be looked at in the light of utility and common sense.

Appearing every Thursday, the Devizes and Wilts Advertiser filled four pages and had a particular focus on international news, publishing ‘Telegrams from India’ and a ‘Review of Foreign Affairs.’ Liberal in its politics, the Wiltshire title also featured local intelligence, correspondence from London, ‘Remarks on Passing Events,’ and notices of births, marriages and deaths.

The second of our newspapers from Wiltshire is the Marlborough Times, or to give it its full title, the Marlborough Times, and Wilts and Berks County Paper, which was first published in the market town of Marlborough on 24 September 1859 by Charles Perkins. Like the Devizes and Wilts Advertiser, the Marlborough Times cost just one penny and filled four pages, although it circulated beyond Wiltshire, with its remit extending to both Berkshire and Hampshire.

What else did the Marlborough Times contain? Well, its debut editorial declared how the paper:

…will not contain angry and prejudiced ebullitions of party strife, but a faithful record of such occurrences in the town and neighbourhood, or in the more distant parts of the kingdom, as may deserve publicity, or tend to stimulate or warn its readers. Correct records of judicial proceedings, and of meetings, scientific, political or religious – that may be held in the neighbourhood, will appear in its pages; accurate and early returns of the local and more distant markets will be obtained, especially those which are important to our agricultural friends. Parliamentary and political intelligence, as well as domestic and foreign, will be collected from the most reliable sources, and impartial surveys of passing events.

The Marlborough Times was, therefore, politically neutral. Appearing every Saturday, the newspaper was true to its word and contained details of local meetings, detailing the latest from such societies and organisations as the Wiltshire Archaeological Society and the Marlborough Archery Club. A thorough newspaper, it printed international news, as well as sections dedicated to the court, naval and military matters, science and horticulture.

By the late 1880s the Marlborough Times had a guaranteed circulation of 7,000 copies, and was ‘published simultaneously in Marlborough, Newbury, Hungerford, Swindon, Devizes, Calne, Pewsey and other towns.’

Our final new title of the week hails from Scotland, and it is the Campbeltown Courier. This newspaper, which is still running to this day, was first published in the former royal burgh of Campbeltown, in Argyll and Bute, in 1873. Campbeltown is an important centre for Scotch whisky, being one of the five areas in Scotland categorised as a distinct malt whisky producing region, as well as being a busy fishing port.

Initially Conservative in its politics, the title appeared every week on a Saturday at the cost of one penny, circulating in Campbeltown and the surrounding district. A robust local newspaper, the Campbeltown Courier filled eight pages with international and national news, with sections devoted to parliament, ‘Town Talk,’ and the happenings at the local Sheriff’s Court.

The Campbeltown Courier remains in print today, and is the ‘weekly newspaper for Campbeltown and Kintyre.’

That’s it from our new newspapers of the week, but we have some excellent additions to our existing titles too for you to enjoy. There are over 41,000 brand new pages joining another of our Scottish titles this week, namely the Oban Times and Argyllshire Advertiser, whilst we’ve added over 64,000 brand new pages to Huddersfield titles the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner and the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

We’ve not neglected our Welsh titles this week either, with updates to the South Wales Daily Post, the South Wales Echo and the North Wales Weekly News over the past seven days.

Celebrating the Coronation 70 Years Ago

With the coronation of King Charles III taking place this week, we thought we’d look back at how the last coronation was celebrated back in 1953, using the new pages that we have added to our Archive. And the new pages that have joined the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner this week shone a fantastic light on the celebrations that greeted the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II some seventy years ago.

The golden archway along the Mall | The Sphere | 13 June 1953

Reports on the type of coronation celebrations to be held in the Huddersfield area began to feature in local newspaper the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner early in 1953. An article published on 24 January 1953 reported how ‘a barbecue of 500 fowls, lamb-roasting, ox-roasting, a mammoth pie, firework displays, ‘beacon’ fires, pageants and carnivals are among the many forms of Coronation celebrations suggested in Huddersfield and district.’

Other celebrations slated for the royal event included a garden party for children at the Holmfirth Cricket Field, a pageant put on by the villagers of Emley in homage to the grant given by Henry III for an annual fair and weekly market to be held in the village, and fireworks and a bonfire in Denby Dale. Denby Dale’s ‘oldest inhabitant,’ 96-year-old Mrs. Mary Ann Kenyon, was set to light the bonfire.

Coronation celebrations at the village of Tideswell, Derbyshire | The Sphere | 13 June 1953

Meanwhile, other articles in the lead up to the coronation focussed on the extension of ‘drinking hours’ in the area. On 28 March 1953 the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner reported how ‘Brighouse magistrates are to receive an application from licensees and clubs in the borough to remain open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Coronation day,’ providing inhabitants with the opportunity to enjoy ’12 hours of drinking’ to mark the coronation.

Some weeks later on 16 May 1953 the same newspaper reported how drinking hours would be ‘extended for coronation day,’ detailing how ‘there will be two extra hours on June 2 – 10.30 to 11.30 in the morning and 10 to 11 at night at public-houses, and 11 a.m. to 12 noon and 10 to 11 p.m. at registered clubs.’

With just a few weeks to go to the historic event, the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner reported how ‘coronation colour’ was transforming the town of Huddersfield, with ‘splashes of red, white and blue’ colouring, ‘in the form of bunting,’ appearing in the town centre. The town too was set to be illuminated by the coronation beacon at Castle Hill, as well as by rockets ‘blazing across the night sky’ at Greenhead Park, where ‘fairylights will twinkle among the trees.’

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II also represented a milestone in terms of technology. For the first time, audiences could watch the event live on television, something which the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner emphasised. Indeed, on 16 May 1953 it reported how ‘those people unfortunate enough to spend this memorable day in hospital have not been forgotten,’ as ‘each hospital in the Huddersfield district has a TV set and will be available for walking patients and the staff.’

On 30 May 1953 the newspaper reported how the people of ‘Huddersfield should be sure of good reception,’ describing how:

For the first time in history, Huddersfield people will be able to sit in their own homes or public halls and see on television screens the majesty, the splendour and the awe-inspiring ceremony of the Coronation when Queen Elizabeth II is crowned in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday. Because Huddersfield is so near to the TV transmitting station at Home Moss reception in this area of the historic scenes should be as good as in any part of the British Isles.

Meanwhile, ‘about 175 of Huddersfield’s old people’ were in for a treat, as they were set ‘to have one of the best views of the Coronation that television can provide.’ Nearly 200 pensioners over the age of seventy were invited to the Town Hall at the behest of the Welfare Services Department, where ‘a large screen projector-type receiver – giving a picture of five feet by four – is to be erected.’

These new pages that we have added to the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner shine a wonderful light on the coronation celebrations enacted in Huddersfield and district over seventy years ago. Our other newspaper pages from the time too illustrated coronation celebrations across the country, enabling you to find out how your town, city or even your street marked the historic ocassion.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Campbeltown Courier1875, 1881-1892
Devizes and Wilts Advertiser1858-1871, 1873-1916
Marlborough Times1859-1860, 1877-1878, 1880-1899
Updated Titles

This week we have updated 27 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.

TitleYears Added
Birmingham Weekly Mercury1969
Bristol Evening Post1978
Buckinghamshire Advertiser1950-1951
Bury Free Press1978
Egham & Staines News1897
Gloucester Citizen1876
Grimsby & County Times and Lincolnshire Advertiser1908-1909
Hammersmith & Fulham Independent1989
Haverhill Echo1890-1896, 1898-1940, 1944-1946, 1971-1975, 1981
Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner1857-1860, 1873, 1886, 1889, 1891, 1893, 1897, 1899, 1901-1908, 1910, 1913-1924, 1926-1932, 1934-1937, 1953, 1955-1957, 1959, 1962, 1965, 1970-1972, 1974-1976, 1981
Huddersfield Daily Examiner1927, 1971, 1975, 1984-1985
Liverpool Evening Express1905
Liverpool Weekly Mercury1912
Middlesex County Times1927-1930
Newmarket Journal1918-1920
Newquay Express and Cornwall County Chronicle1905-1922
North Wales Weekly News1987
Nottingham Evening News1897
Oban Times and Argyllshire Advertiser1876, 1880-1960, 1987-1988, 1990-1994
South Wales Daily Post1912
South Wales Echo1992
Southall Gazette1981
Stratford-upon-Avon Herald1919, 1923
Sunday Sun (Newcastle)1924, 1927, 1929, 1989
Surrey Mirror1986
Torbay Express and South Devon Echo1925
Western Daily Press1991

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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