A Manchester Medley | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have added three brand new titles from the Manchester area, with another brand new title joining us from Lincolnshire, as we have added 63,325 brand new pages to our collection over the last seven days alone. Meanwhile, from Chester to Dover, from Denbigh to Grimsby, we’ve updated nine of our existing titles.

So read on to find out more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, and also to learn about the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in May 1894.

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We begin this week with the Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian, which was established in the market town of Altrincham, which was historically a part of Cheshire, in 1862. ‘Neutral in all matters political and religious,’ it was part of the Warrington Guardian series of newspapers, with sister papers including the Crewe Guardian, the Northwich Guardian and the Runcorn Guardian.

Appearing every Tuesday and Friday at the cost of one penny, and filling eight pages, the Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian focused mainly on reporting local news, covering, for example, the Altrincham Police Court, the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School at Bowdon, the Daresbury Highway Board and freemasonry at Runcorn. Alongside this robust local focus, the newspaper also detailed international news, and featured correspondence, a law summary, and a lengthy column devoted to ‘papers on history.’

From Altrincham to Ashton-under-Lyne now, as we welcome our next new title of the week, the Ashton Standard. A localised edition of the Oldham Standard, the Ashton Standard was first published on 2 January 1858, and its sister papers included the Stalybridge and Dukinfield Standard and the Saddleworth and Mossley Standard.

The Ashton Standard, which cost three halfpence and appeared every Saturday, was a Conservative title, and indeed, it proclaimed itself to be the ‘only Conservative organ in this large and important manufacturing district.’ Serving the market town of Ashton-under-Lyne, which historically was a part of Lancashire, the Ashton Standard gave ‘special attention to all matters relating to the staple industry of the district, together with short quotations, reports of limited liability companies, and commercial notes.’

Filling four pages, the title published national and international news, as well as more local news from Ashton, Droylsden and Stalybridge. The publication also featured poetry, correspondence, railway timetables and notices of births, marriages and deaths.

The final of our trio of new newspapers from the Manchester area is the Bolton Journal & Guardian, which was established in 1871 as the Bolton Weekly Journal and District News. This Liberal newspaper appeared every Saturday at the cost of one penny, and circulated in the town of Bolton, as well as ‘in all the 26 townships of the Bolton Union, and adjacent districts.’ It was a famously literary newspaper, an advert for the paper in the late 1880s declaring:

The Bolton Journal is probably the English newspaper distinctively wedded to the publication of fiction, as a feature of a family newspaper. Among its contributors may be found Wilkie Colllins, William Black, James Payne, B.L. Farjeon, Mrs. Oliphant, Miss Braddon, W. Clark Russell, and other distinguished novelists. Its Ladies’ Column, Children’s Hour, London Letter, and other special articles give it a front place in enterprising journalism. The usual features of a newspaper are not allowed to suffer; indeed the Bolton Journal deservedly ranks among the first weekly newspapers.

Indeed, Malcolm Hardman in his 2017 work Global Dilemmas – Imperial Bolton-le-Moors from the Hungry Forties to the Death of Leverhulme describes the Bolton Journal & Guardian as a newspaper dedicated to the ‘aspirational reader,’ with its ‘Demos’ column providing information about working class concerns and its ‘Knowledge is Power’ column promoting education among the working classes.

But what else did the Bolton Journal & Guardian contain? Its twelve pages were filled with local news from the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Aspull, Chorley and Horwich, with issues addressed including ‘Insufficient Supply of Water at Little Lever.’ The newspaper reported on the latest from such organisations as the Atherton Local Board, the Bolton Benevolent Society and the Bolton Board of Guardians, as well as publishing international and national news and poetry.

We leave the north west now and travel to Lincolnshire to welcome our fourth and final new title of the week, which is the Saturday Telegraph (Grimsby). This title was first published on 3 September 1898 as the Football Telegraph, and was part of the Grimsby Daily Telegraph, which had been founded in 1897 as the Eastern Daily Telegraph.

This football-focussed newspaper appeared every Saturday at the cost of one halfpenny, and was circulated in the town of Grimsby in north east Lincolnshire, as well as in the surrounding towns of Market Rasen and Louth. It was initially the fourth and final page of this publication that was devoted to the beautiful game, with a look at the day’s football matches, the First Division league table, and the Midland League. A special column entitled ‘Sport & Play,’ penned by ‘Referee,’ was included, alongside details of the ‘day’s racing’ at the likes of Manchester, Wolverhampton, Gosforth Park and Birmingham.

The other three pages of the Saturday Telegraph were focused on more general news, with a look at ‘contemporary opinion,’ as well as columns devoted to ‘To-Day’s Gossip,’ ‘Club and Society,’ and ‘Grimsby and District Day by Day.’ The title also detailed the ‘amusements’ that were on offer in Grimsby, as well as describing the arrivals at and sailings from the fish docks.

That’s it from our four wonderful new titles of the week. Meanwhile, we’ve added over 17,000 brand new pages to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, and new pages join one of our Welsh titles this week, the Denbigh-based Vale Advertiser.

The Opening of the Manchester Ship Canal – May 1894

On 21 May 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal, which linked the previously landlocked Manchester to the Irish Sea, was officially opened by Queen Victoria. Our new newspaper the Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian marked the occasion only a few days later, with the headline ‘The Queen at Manchester.’

It was a great day for the city, the newspaper detailing how:

Manchester, usually a somewhat sombre city, was in the gayest of garb on Monday, decked out in brave array to give welcome to her Royal visitor. It was wonderful how attractive the streets and public buildings had been made to look. There were triumphal arches at convenient points, the thoroughfares were festooned with flowers and ribbons and banners, flags fluttered in the breeze, and there was quite a bewilderment of colour.

The day finally came, the city being ‘thronged with an immense concourse of people.’ The Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian estimated that most of the ‘three-quarters of a million’ people from Manchester and Salford ‘were out and about to enjoy the sites,’ chief of which was the arrival of Queen Victoria at the London Road station at 4.30pm.

From London Road station the Queen was taken to the Town Hall for an address, both venues being suitably decorated, and the route lined with well-wishers. From the Town Hall Queen Victoria went in procession to Trafford Wharf, from where she was set to officially open the Manchester Ship Canal. The procession caused something of a traffic jam in the city, the Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian describing how ‘a continuous line of ‘buses, waggonettes, and vehicles of all kinds, crowded with passengers, joined the procession.’

Finally, Queen Victoria and the procession arrived at Trafford Dock, whereupon she boarded her royal yacht, the Enchantress. Here various presentations were made, and officials from the Manchester Ship Canal Company were passed this note from their sovereign:

It is with great pleasure that I receive your address, and that I am able to be present at the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal. I recognise in this great and important undertaking, and the admirable engineering skill with which it has been constructed, further evidence of the increasing energy and enterprise of my subjects. I trust that the increased facilities to be afforded by it for direct commercial intercourse may be such that the trade of the world will not fail to be of the greatest advantage to the port and industrial population of Manchester and the neighbouring district. I earnestly pray that by God’s blessing this work may contribute to the welfare and happiness of all classes of my subjects in the United Kingdom.

After this, the Enchantress sailed to the Mode Wheel locks. Whilst there, the Queen ‘touched a button which, acting electronically, caused the hydraulic machinery to start, and the large gates of the lock open.’ Her Majesty then declared:

‘I have now great pleasure in declaring the Manchester Ship Canal open.’

The Enchantress then returned to the wharf, and Queen Victoria disembarked, processing through Salford to leave the city from the Exchange station. The day was deemed a success, and the 36-mile-long canal was now open.

Find out more about Manchester, Queen Victoria and much more in the pages of our newspapers today.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Altrincham, Bowdon & Hale Guardian1871, 1874-1887, 1893-1894, 1898
Ashton Standard1858-1861, 1865, 1877, 1879, 1889, 1896-1897
Bolton Journal & Guardian1876-1877, 1879-1880, 1889, 1897, 1899, 1916-1918
Saturday Telegraph (Grimsby)1902-1904, 1906-1907, 1910, 1914-1916
Updated Titles

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.

TitleYears Added
Chester Chronicle1958, 1961
Crewe Chronicle1989
Dover Express1876-1887
Grimsby & County Times1901-1902, 1906, 1910, 1914-1916
Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner1874, 1894, 1896, 1938, 1954
Huddersfield Daily Examiner1928, 1945, 1949, 1955, 1957, 1961, 1982
South London Observer1881-1888
Surrey Mirror1986
Vale Advertiser1995

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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