Newspapers – The things you used to find in them

Today I have spent a few hours looking at old newspapers in an archive. It is the sort of activity I can really loose myself in and it often feels like travelling back in time.

I think of all types of media, newspapers can give us a most revealing insight into the happenings and social values of their publication dates.

From the early Victorian era, to the late twentieth century, you can get a feel for how life was.

During my latest dip into an archive I was looking for usual subjects, but flipping through the pages and was suddenly hit by a childhood memory. The TV listings page.

Back in the day, if you didn’t get a newspaper or a copy of the Radio Times you didn’t have a clue about what was going to be broadcast in TV, or when. This was long before the days of video recorders, which today, seem so out of date in themselves in a world streaming services. So if you didn’t know what time and channel your favourite programme was on, you missed it. No chance of catching another time. It had been and gone, unless the broadcaster decided to repeat it at a later date.

In our house it was always a battle to get control of the TV Listings page and many a row happened because someone had disembowelled the newspaper by removing the pages. The listing were pawed over, favourite programmes had their times ringed in blue ink and the ruckus that would occur if two programmes clashed in our one TV household was often quite lively.

It’s funny, the odd memories that are triggered by the daftest things when you start looking back in time.

As a kid, what was your favourite TV show?

I think mine was “The Tomorrow People“, the original TV series from the 1970s, with Doctor Who coming in a close second place.





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