Rural life – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Discovering Agricultural, Country and Rural Pursuits Titles on The Archive

Here on The Archive we have a special collection of country and rural pursuits titles, numbering over 400,000 pages and covering the years 1849 to 1970. These titles range from the specialist – for example the wonderful Fishing Gazette, which focuses, rather unsurprisingly, on fishing in all its forms – to the more general, such as the ‘Country Gentleman’s Newspaper’ Field, which reports on a range of different country pursuits such as farming, shooting and fishing. We have a strong

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‘A Panorama Equal to that of Fairyland’ – Remembering the Orchards of Old

‘Apple orchards have been a familiar characteristic of the European countryside for thousands of years,’ writes Edward Hyams in a 1974 article for the Illustrated London News. Indeed, he claims they have been in existence for 6,000 years, as an integral part of rural life and a mainstay of the rural economy. But by the late twentieth century, many orchards were beginning to disappear from the landscape, and with them, another way of rural life faded into memory. In this

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A Poacher’s Progress – Attitudes to Poaching in Rural Britain

Historically poachers have often been ascribed ‘a good deal of romance’ – but are they deserving of such a description? In this special blog post, using articles and illustrations from the British Newspaper Archive, we will investigate this notion, as well as looking at the crueler side of this antiquated countryside pursuit. Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News | 31 October 1908 An article in a July 1917 edition of the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News does much to propagate this romanticised

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‘A Hard Lot to Labour’ – A Look at the History of Straw Plaiting in Rural Britain

If you’ve got an agricultural labourer in your family tree, chances are you’ll have an ancestor who practiced straw plaiting. Straw plaiting was a cottage industry that saw its heyday in eighteenth and nineteenth century rural Britain, and was in the main part practiced by women and children. In this special blog, using articles and pictures from The Archive, we’ll take a look at the history of this discipline, from its heyday to its eventual decline. An article in the

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 95,674 pages to The Archive – meaning that we now have over 32,000,000 pages available to search. We are delighted to have two brand new titles joining us this week – West Midlands title the Sandwell Evening Mail and Field, which describes itself as ‘the country gentleman’s newspaper.’ We are also pleased to welcome updates to eleven of our existing titles, with updates to five of our Irish titles, as well as titles from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire

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