My collecting story… J.R. in Ipswich (UK)…

April 7, 2020 by  
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Below we continue our series in which we post the “stories” graciously submitted by our collecting friends during the pandemic of 2020.

In 1945 at the end of the war I was eight and saw my father save the Daily Telegraph proclaiming VE (victory in Europe) Day. I was already an avid newspaper reader (no television then) and decided to add newspapers I found interesting – VJ Day, Nuremberg Trials, Princess Elizabeth wedding, Dakota plane lost in the Alps etc. Soon people gave me old newspapers they had – an aunt gave me Edward/ Mrs Simpson abdication papers and my grandparents two 18th century ones.

This slow rate of collecting continued until the mid 1980s when my income allowed me to spend on myself as well as a wife and the children. I found book shops in London, where we lived at the time, where I could fill the gaps in years which were blank and have reference to most historical events, particularly those relating to improvements in social well-being. By this time I had all years from 1661 and references to most riots, bread marches, demonstrations for improved parliamentary representation, and suffragettes.

The children having long departed and my wife having died I found I had more time (and money) and now am collecting titles as my main interest. This means I am acquiring and understanding how newspapers were able to develop and change their format and means of attracting customers.The growth of size, number of pages, type change, introduction of illustrations and then photographs. Also the relationships of one newspaper to another and the takeovers, combinations and title changes. Now of course I am monitoring their decline.

By collecting different titles I have been able to acquire many short lived extreme left and right wing newspapers and also Irish Republican ones.

After 75 years collecting I now have over 3600 newspapers going back to 1642 and 1900 different titles. What am I going to do with them? None of my family wants them although I am still working on one son-in-law, so they are being offered to my local museum in Ipswich- after many more years of my collecting!

As additional “stories” are posted they will be available at: MY COLLECTING STORY. We did this many years ago as well – and their posts are also included.


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