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The Long Eaton Advertiser has been the weekly newspaper for the town since it was first published in 1882 by Messrs. Bewley & Roe of Derby. The original Long Eaton office was near the Old Bell public house in the Market Place. Ten years later, Messrs. Gallimore & Hooton bought the newspaper and formed the Long Eaton Advertiser Company Ltd., with five others as directors. Mr Gallimore was Long Eaton Branch Manager of the Derby & Derbyshire Bank and Mr Hooton was a lace manufacturer. For the next 20 years the newspaper was printed by Frederick Willman of Mansfield, with the editorial work carried out from various premises in both the High Street and Main Street. In 1928 the company moved to premises in West Gate (since closed) where both composing and printing machinery was installed for the production of the Advertiser. In the 1990s the newspaper was bought by the Loughborough Echo group of newspapers. It is currently printed at Coventry Newspapers Ltd., Corporation Street, Coventry using over 55% of recycled paper in its production. The local office for the Long Eaton Advertiser/Stapleford & Sandiacre News, is now at 13 Derby Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 1LU. The average weekly sale between January - June 2001 was 4,911 copies. A link to its website, Hold The Front Page, can be found on our links page.
The first issue of the Long Eaton Advertiser on Saturday August 5th 1882 said in its opening article:
"Newspapers can speak for themselves. The Long Eaton Advertiser, whose first number we beg to introduce today with a few words, will soon appeal upon its own merits to the public for support, or fail through its demerits to propitiate popular favour. All that we have to say in its behalf is to ask for a fair field and the exercise of an honest judgement. There is undoubtedly an opening for a local paper in the town and district, and we can see no reason why the requirements of the place should not be specifically supplied at the same time that the wants of the other flourishing communities in the Erewash Valley are attended to. As the demands of Long Eaton increase, we shall endeavour to find means to meet them. Without further preface we leave our readers to form their own opinion of the new venture."The newspaper has always spoken out on important issues such as local health matters. As the town grew it was in need of a better water supply and sewage system but it wasn't until 1885 when the town pump became contaminated and a drain emptying into it was promptly stopped up. The Long Eaton Advertiser stated:
"The health of the district ought to be considered before £.s.d. A supply of pure wholesome water in Long Eaton would be a blessing....."In 1912 the Long Eaton Advertiser suggested that the town needed more industries. The lace trade was suffering from one of its periodic depressions. Again in 1919 the paper made a similar observation, but noted that during the First World War one or two new industries had appeared.
Over one hundred years later, the newspaper is still concerned with public health matters. The October 18th 2001 issue states:
"Long Eaton's public toilets are to be given priority in an upgrade despite calls for more money to be spent in the villages...... A senior council officer said there were 23 public conveniences in the borough...... But one woman told the forum 'We all pay our rates. Why is it just Ilkeston and Long Eaton? Everyone wants it.' Another councillor said 'Out in the sticks we don't matter. Labour doesn't think the villages are worth bothering about.'"The Advertiser also reported that Erewash Borough Council were considering getting rid of the Romorantin Fountain as it was being used as a public toilet and a rubbish bin and they consider it a health hazard. We shall have to wait and see...
The following is taken from the Jubilee Supplement of the Long Eaton Advertiser in 1933 of J. B. Maskell's recollections.
"From 1865, when I commenced my duties at Messrs S. J. Claye's Works, where I continued for 48 years, in that year the works were being considerably extended, and were finding employment for a large number of men. Starting from the railway crossing we should first notice the iron gates leading to Manor House, in which Mr and Mrs Claye and their family then resided. Across the brook were two farmhouses, Bramley's and Edward White's, on the site of which now stands Claye's Erecting Shops. The Homes Closes of these two farms are now built on: Acton Road, Nathaniel Road, Oaklee Mills. The cattle pound and pinfold was hereabouts.There have been other local papers circulating the town over the years. The Long Eaton Pioneer (a local edition of the Ilkeston Pioneer) was produced between the 1890s and the first few years of the 20th century. Two other papers, The Long Eaton Reporter and The Long Eaton Star, were around between 1913 and 1920.
You can email the Long Eaton Advertiser at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the above information was taken from The Book Of Long Eaton by Keith Reedman.
The Long Eaton Advertiser in the "Swinging Sixties"
Newspapers may traditionally have been delivered to the doorstep, along with the milk, bread and groceries. They are not, however, just another commodity. They are designed to inform, to (hopefully) entertain and, without sounding too pious, they are a vital part of the national and local democratic process. Despite all the ombudsmen and the `standards boards' scattered across public life today, the best safeguard against corruption and official misbehaviour in general is the newspaper. Although the very existence of the medium may be threatened by much faster, electronic, means of communication, newsprint arguably still provides the most effective means of dealing with news and comment in depth.
Having said all that, it has to be admitted that newspapers, with a few exceptions (generally of a political nature) have always existed to make a profit for their owners. Even such rare examples as The Guardian and The Observer, owned by a trust, have to raise the capital for the investment needed to keep up with their more blatantly commercial rivals in what used to be called Fleet Street. The community in Long Eaton, Stapleford and Sandiacre, Castle Donington and Kegworth, and the surrounding villages will, in general, have been saddened by the news that the Trinity Mirror Group no longer believes there is an economic future for the Long Eaton Advertiser, Stapleford and Sandiacre News, and the NuNews. The Advertiser, after a century and a quarter of service to the town, and the later S&S News, will follow into oblivion their former stable-mates in the form of The Beeston Gazette & Echo, the South Notts Advertiser, and the splendidly-named Nottingham Advertiser and Arnold News and Echo.
This little group of family-owned titles was intact and, to all intents and purposes flourishing, when I first stepped through the doors of the Westgate premises as a 17-year-old junior reporter, in September 1964. I had lived in Long Eaton all my life, and for a couple of years before landing the job had delivered the Advertiser on Thursday evenings in the Meadow Lane area of the town. The Westgate premises housed the editorial and advertising departments for the Advertiser and the S&S News, and printed all five titles. Editorial and advertising for the other titles was in Victoria Street in Nottingham city centre, quite close to the Old Market Square and the Council House.
The year of my entry in to journalism may well now be remembered as the `Swinging Sixties', but in many respects weekly newspapers had changed little for several decades. Many weeklies in the 1960s, the Advertiser group included, were real survivals from an earlier age, almost Dickensian in some aspects. A few miles up the Erewash Valley in Ilkeston, the elderly lady who owned the Ilkeston Advertiser was reported to the National Union of Journalists for making the junior reporters sweep the office chimney and take her dogs for daily walks. The Advertiser was pretty advanced in comparison, and had fairly up-to-date printing equipment - the Ilkeston equivalent had no print works, and was produced by `jobbing' printers in Ripley. The Westgate newsroom, however, was far from modern. The editorial engine room of any newspaper, the Advertiser reporter's base was lined with shelving containing bound copies of every issue of the paper back to its birth in 1882.
Newsprint is not the most enduring product, and both the pages of the files, and the red material in which the papers were bound, was slowly disintegrating, dripping constantly on to the floor. The chief reporter had a desk of a sort, but the pair of junior reporters who made up the rest of the staff shared a solid old kitchen table. Each week, usually on a Thursday morning after the titles had all been printed, this would be covered afresh with`reel ends' - clean newsprint from the end of the huge reels used to print the papers. As the days went by, notes and doodles would be scribbled on the paper, so that by the end of the week the table would be covered and the process would be repeated. The newspaper group's `executives' did not share the newsroom at Westgate. The two companies which formed the group, the Long Eaton Advertiser Co and Kirk Publishing, were owned by family shareholders, mostly from Lancashire, who once a year met in what was still, in 1964, called the boardroom, at the end of the editorial corridor.
The managing director was J W `Jack' Malkinson, a First World War veteran with an imposing presence, normally based in Nottingham. On Wednesdays, when the three Nottingham area titles were printed, he would occupy the boardroom and awe the younger members of staff into silence. The editor of the Long Eaton Advertiser/S&S News was his son, Bernard, who had been at the helm at Westgate since 1959. When I first started work at the paper, the assistant editor was an experienced journalist called Chris Jones, already in his sixties in 1964, but who would nevertheless go on working at Westgate until the early 1980s. His younger son Chris was the next most experienced reporter, and initially there was just one other junior. The first eighteen months or so of my time at the Advertiser, seen with the benefit of hindsight, represented the end of an era. There was certainly plenty of work to do, with 12-16 and occasionally more broadsheet pages to fill for both the Advertiser and the S&S News.
There was also fairly keen competition in the Stapleford, Sandiacre and Risley areas with a rival newspaper, the S&S edition of the Ilkeston Pioneer, whose main editorial provider was the legendary blind journalist George Miller of Stapleford, who used a brail shorthand machine to takes notes at meetings. I can remember some uncomfortable waits to see if the Pioneer had beaten the S&S News on a news story, an occurrence which would earn a rebuke for the reporter responsible. Beating the Pioneer to a story, a fairly rare occurrence given George Miller's knowledge of the area and contacts, was the occasion for considerable jubilation. Despite this, the pace was not too rushed, except perhaps on Wednesday afternoons, when the final copy was being written and sub-edited. It was certainly not uncommon for the entire editorial staff to walk across the road to the Co-op Café in Station Street for afternoon tea.
Another huge advantage of the Westgate location was the fact that, in bad weather, it was possible to rush across the road from the side door of the Advertiser into the side door of the then Royal Hotel without really getting wet. Chris Cameron-Jones eventually moved on, like many of his predecessors and some of his successors, to the `big city' in the shape of the Nottingham Evening Post. The effect of this was the appointment in 1965 of David Cullimore, a journalist who although only in his mid-20s had plenty of daily newspaper experience, and a determination to make the Advertiser more professional from an editorial point of view.
My early months at the Advertiser had seen a gentle introduction to journalism, weddings, funerals, doing `the calls' - every day to the police, fire and ambulance - weekend sport, and making visits on Monday and Tuesday afternoons to various news providers - councillors, club secretaries etc - in Stapleford and Sandiacre. There was still a passenger service on the Erewash Valley railway line and I often caught a train from the nearby Long Eaton station to Stapleford and Sandiacre - on expenses, of course. After working my way northwards on foot through Stapleford, the return journey was sometimes made from the next station along the line, Stanton Gate. It all seems quite incredible in 2008.
David Cullimore suggested not too gently that it was time I was introduced to the delights of court and council reporting. Magistrates courts, with the local police inspector prosecuting, were held in the Trinity Methodist Sunday school rooms, and we also ventured to Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursdays, to report the misdeeds of the criminal fraternity from Sandiacre and Stanton-by-Dale. A great advance was to be allowed to report cases at Quarter Sessions and Assizes (now replaced by Crown Courts), in St Mary's Gate, Derby. During the six years I spent at the Advertiser, earth-shattering stories were few and far between. I do not remember a single murder taking place in our circulation area during my spell on the paper and, shamefully, in my early days at Westgate, I can remember at least one occasion when the front page `lead story' was a wedding!
I enjoyed my time at the Advertiser, but everyone needs to move on in life. In the spring of 1970 I successfully applied for a job at an evening paper, the South Wales Argus in Newport, Monmouthshire, where Chris Jones senior had started his career. I later moved on to evening papers on Humberside and then moved into press and public relations, with first British Steel and then the Government information service. In 1983 I joined The University of Nottingham, creating its first press and PR office, and stayed for 22 very happy years. Since retiring from the University and moving to North Devon, I have been fortunate to be able to return to my roots - working part time for a weekly newspaper. Former colleagues at the Advertiser have gone on to make their name in various fields, notably David Mannion, who has enjoyed a hugely successful and distinguished television news career with first ATV and then ITN. Certainly in my day the Advertiser was very often the butt of local humour. Nevertheless, I am certain that it will be sadly missed, even by its critics.
With kind permission of Philip Dalling - former journalist for the Long Eaton Advertiser.
Long Eaton Advertiser Ceases Publication