The earliest weekly paper was “The Wednesbury Observer” published by T. Proverbs, High Street, the first edition came out on September 19th, 1857, and a later paper of the same name published by J. J. Hillier, in 1872.
“The Midland Examiner & Times” 1876, were printed in Wolverhampton but didn’t last long then… 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 & West Bromwich for that of South Staffordshire. and then quickly changed again to adopt “The Midlands” as part of its title. This paper was established in 1859.
“TheWednesbury Borough News” which appeared early in 1868 and ran about twelve months: was printed by C. and W. Britten, at Tipton
“The Weekly News” was printed at Oldbury, and 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) 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 & 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’.
(That must of been a gripping read?)
Then there were the “Parish Magazines”, of which they had several;
“St James Magazine” ran for many years – “The Old Parish Church Magazine” – And also one connected with St Pauls Parish.
There was the “Old Hymn Book” (E. Ellis and Co., Wednesbury, 1850), this was used for so many years at the Parish Church & “Questions for self-examination,” written by the Rev. Isaac Clarkson.
And then a really official-looking book came out, it was the “Wednesbury Blue Book”, issued by Messrs. Kirby and Bytheway 1879. But it was a little too posh for Wednesbury.
(Now, I didn’t say that!)
It was then, that a much more suitable year-book came out; “The Ryder’s Annual”, this went into print and appeared for several years. The vast amount of local information it contained was (and still is) amazing! And must have been well worth it’s price of a penny.
But also, if you were to pop into the library? There were lots of free Wednesbury stuff to read:
Wednesbury pamphlets, records, and documents.
Reports of Wednesbury clubs and societies.
Wednesbury almanacs 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? And more power to ya!
Like my Grandmother ‘Millie’ once said to me (many moons ago);
“If it aye in print, it aye wuff reading”.