This may not interest some of you, but it did me … so there!
The earliest weekly paper was THE WEDNESBURY OBSERVER, published by T. Proverbs, High Street, the first edition came out on September 19th, 1857.
There was a later paper of the same name published by J. J. Hillier, in 1872.
THE MIDLAND EXAMINER AND TIMES (1876), was printed in Wolverhampton but didn’t last long then… There was a WEDNESBURY TIMES.
THE WEDNESBURY HERALD had a Conservative interest.
The former editor has contributed articles to Cassell’s “Great Industries of Great Britain.”
THE MIDLAND ADVERTISER was supposed to be of the Liberal Party.
At the onset of the paper they rejected the name WEDNESBURY AND WEST BROMWICH, for that of SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE, and then quickly changed, and adopted THE MIDLAND as part of its title : this paper was established in 1859
WEDNESBURY BORO NEWS which appeared early in 1868 and ran about twelve months : it was printed by C. and W. Britten, at Tipton
THE WEEKLY NEWS, printed at Oldbury, circulated to a small extent in this town.
But up to at least 1884, Wednesbury never had a daily paper, although THE WEDNESBURY HERALD did at times, in cases of local emergency, would issue a Special Edition.
A bad attempt was made to supply a daily though, on 21st May, 1883 a Wolverhampton “daily” pretended to issue a special edition as THE WALSALL AND WEDNESBURY EVENING STAR.
But it was only a Wolverhampton paper with a Wednesbury title, and after a few months the name of Wednesbury was again gone from the title.
From Newspapers to Magazines.
In 1858 there was a monthly magazine titled EXCELSIOR.
The June edition was advertised to contain a continuation of “The Murdered Maid,” by the Rev. J. T. Barr, Wesleyan Minister.
Their other attractions were; full reports of the transactions of the Mutual Improvement Societies of Wednesbury, Darlaston, Dudley, Hill Top and Coseley.
Then there were the Parish Magazines, of which they had several.
ST. JAMES’ MAGAZINE ran for many years.
And one called THE OLD PARISH CHURCH MAGAZINE.
And also one connected with ST.PAUL’S PARISH.
There was the old HYMN BOOK (E. Ellis and Co., Wednesbury, 1850), That was used for so many years at the Parish Church.
“Questions for self-examination,” written by the Rev. Isaac Clarkson.
Then a really official-looking book came out, it was the
WEDNESBURY BLUE BOOK and issued by Messrs. Kirby and Bytheway 1879
But it was a little too posh for Wednesbury.
Then a much more suitable year-book, RYDER’S ANNUAL went into print and appeared for several years.
And for the vast amount of local information it contained, it was well worth it’s price of a penny.
But also at the library there were lots of free Wednesbury stuff to read:
Wednesbury pamphlets, records, and documents.
Reports of Wednesbury clubs and societies.
Wednesbury almanacks and year-books.
Wednesbury printed books.
A Wednesbury burgess list, and a file of Wednesbury newspapers, periodicals, and parish magazines.
It seems to me that a lot of reading was going on for people who were said to be mostly illiterate in those days?