One of my many birthday presents was a newspaper printed on the day I was born. It’s an actual authentic original not a recently printed one made to look old.
It’s an edition of ‘The Evening News’ published by Associated Newspapers which it boasts had ‘The World’s Largest Evening Sale’.
As it’s London’s evening paper the news is focused on the capital but there’s lots of national and international news too.
Looking over the stories on the broadsheet front page of thin columns, tiny 8 point fonts and all in black and yellowing the paper’s has a sepia tone which makes it look like it’s from an ancient world.
And here’s a couple of examples including one from the front page:
“A 6ft 5in police sergeant weighing 16 stone commandeered a passing baby car to chase two men who had just stolen his police car. .. two men jumped from the car and he was able to arrest one of them. He pleaded not guilty and said “I was waiting outside the hospital for a bus when a friend named Charlie offered me a lift home. I ran away because I didn’t know what it was all about when we were chased by the officer.” What a bizarre excuse!
And then on page 6..
“Do we realise the extent to which the women are taking over our pubs. Not so long ago it was possible to give the dog a walk or slip out for an urgently-needed stamp without the slightest fear of betrayal. Now with Mrs Smith, the next-door neighbour in the back bar treating Miss Tattle from across the way to a gin and tonic and old Mrs Sloggett, the daily help in the front bar sipping a nourishing stout the chances of getting away with a crafty pint are nil.!
How times have changed!
The Situations Vacant, long disappeared from modern newspapers, lists proper jobs such as clerks, typists, handymen, porters, carpenters, mechanics. The sexism of the above piece is evident here too with adverts for female clerks and male butchers.
Moving to houses for sales, there’s a three-bed house for sales in Bexleyheath for £3,400. It would be worth at least 100 times more today.
A good half of the paper including much of the front page is sports news including Wimbledon tennis, cricket at Lords, golf, athletics, cycling, rowing, horse racing. There’s even the water polo score, we lost 6-5 to Sweden in the Olympics qualifying.
Some things never change though. The headline ’14 years and still no decent door to Britain’. It’s about the quality and capacity of our airports – a debate that still rages today, 74 years on!