Saturday, 2 August 2014

Happy 150th Birthday Hexham Courant

2/8/1864 edition reprinted this week and it makes brilliant reading:
- 2 pages of local news and adverts, wrapped around 6 pages of London / British news

I have read it cover to cover and it is pure entertainment, full of colourful court reports, a parliamentary report that is robust in its criticism, but full of local interest on the governments purchase of Armstrong guns, 
It opens with a very entertaining "Town Talk" that acts as an editorial / main article to the national coverage in a style that is part Victorian Quentin Letts (of the modern day Daily Mail) and part The Spectator. 

- of the local adverts I liked:
- Robsons of Hexham prized Yellow Bullock Turnips
- Ridleys Non poisonous sheep dip - by royal letters patent
And Dr Alexander's Turkish, Galvavic and Medicated baths - all to be found at his premises in Orchard House, Corbridge.
The back page features an old style version of the Village Notes we all like so much to this day, and a brilliant report of the unexpected acquittal and sudden marriage of Mr Bewicke of Threepwood. It also makes the point that the first editor, Mr J Catherall published his paper back then on a Tuesday not as we do today. 

The paper is full of news, reports from parliament, endless court cases described in gory and pretty salacious detail, and special sections on the arts, farming, gardening and the like.
Well done to the courant for reprinting their first edition. It is a collectors item and well worth a read.