From Victoria to 2014...
FOUNDED on June 4 1892 with Queen Victoria still on the throne, the Surrey Herald was printed by J Rawlings of Chertsey, and as housing increased in the town, so did the sales. The large broadsheet front was adorned with advertisements and reporters documented news from the courts, including the sad story of a failed Chertsey businessman, Mr A.E. Grimes, who was discovered in the Thames at Walton after a string of county court appearances for debt. Local elections in March 1899 proved to be a quiet affair in Egham, with the paper predicting little change between Moderates and Progressives on the parish council. Signs of a political agenda were more apparent however, with the insertion that any change of councillors in Virginia Water would be ‘clearly for the worse’. Our colleagues in the late 1800s were digging for information behind strange goings on in Addlestone, with a report of an ‘ingenious but unsuccessful fraud’ penned by the paper’s special enquiry agent. The newspaper followed an unusual case of Meshach Child, from Victoria Road, who was admitted to St Thomas’s Hospital after being kicked by another boy. Following an investigation, the paper reported that Meshach had been discharged fit and well from hospital, yet returned home swathed in bandages being carried in his mother’s arms from Addlestone station to his home, causing ‘quite a stir’. Public officials were said to have visited the house and tempted the boy out of bed with a penny to walk across the room, downstairs and eventually to run up and down six times, proving he was a ‘cunning little imposter’. Tragic tales from the Boer War made the pages of early 20th century editions as Chertsey volunteers were sent to the front. But morale was kept high by the Herald in 1914 when river excursions, cinema listings and regattas made the front pages as war beckoned. By 1917 the price increased from a halfpenny to a penny and two years later A T ‘Tommy’ Ledger became editor. The paper’s home in Windsor Street, Chertsey, was demolished in 1934 and rebuilt as an Art Deco office block. In May 1945, readers were invited to the Red Cross Victory Fete in Ottershaw and a grand dance in Walton. Printed alongside was a column containing the names of those most recently lost in service. Advertisements shamelessly used the victory in Europe to boost brands, including OXO. Prices rose once again in 1957, to threepence (3d) and the following year news replaced adverts on the front for the first time. By 1975 our offices expanded under editor WJG ‘Bob’ Cherry and in 1985 the Herald converted to tabloid and three years later moved to Eastworth Road in Chertsey. In 1994 Richard Parsons became editor and during his eight years in the seat, the paper took over the Informer series in 1998 and reduced in size again in 2001. In 2008 reporter Russell Butt joined. He will have covered Egham, Staines, Woking and Chertsey by the time he departs at the end of this year. That year was also the launch of Get Surrey, a website which now attracts around 2.2 million page views a month, publishing stories from the Herald to a growing online audience. The Herald joined sister papers in Stoke Mill in Guildford last year under news editor Amy Taylor.
After 122 years, this is the last edition of the Herald, bringing you news from court, local politics, community news and entertainment. The first edition of the Runnymede & Spelthorne Surrey Advertiser will be on sale on Boxing Day. We will see you then.
News? What news? front pages were all about
advertisements in 1899
Forward 46 years to 1945, but note the lack of
photographs and lurid headlines.
21st century life: It is 2010 and gangs are causing trouble in
It’s 1990 and Princess Anne is pictured at the