Page 4 - January 2015
P. 4

Ac APorP cPAoceo rsovPP oiPrwneeovcsisvtii  nAhiwwnlc 1ic inti9tiAhAe1hlw5 l1   1n9ns91Pe51Aww5PssePrPAAPPereOccasionally, reports by the editor, Lionel
                                                              Valdar, give a fascinating insight into the
                                                              actual production of the newspaper. The
                                                              new year had started with a redesign for
                                                   the Gazette; this prompted several letters of

       T THE START Of 1915, the West Essex         praise “from leading men in West Essex”. It’s
         Gazette had been established for          quite clear from their comments, though, that
          fourteen years as a weekly newspaper     these were solicited by the sending out of free
          serving the Epping, Loughton, Ongar      copies with a request for feedback. A local
                                                   council chairman remarked that “The paper
and Harlow areas. Available on Saturdays at        is well-printed, well-arranged, and the news
a cover price of one halfpenny, the eight-         is reliable and intelligently written.” I can’t
page paper was printed and published by            disagree with this. The general appearance of
the Epping Printing Company at its Victoria        the paper gives the impression that care went
Buildings premises in Epping’s High Street.        into the production; the text is set in very
The printer and publisher was Alfred B Davis.      legible 10pt type, justified in four columns
The Victoria Buildings had been completed          separated by fine vertical rules; and I have yet
in 1899, overlooking the market place, and         to find a single typo.
housed a variety of businesses, including

Alfred Davis’s stationery shop. Constructed in

tudor-style brick and timber, with a balcony

at the front from which local dignitaries could

address the public (local MP Winston Churchill

even spoke there in later years), this attractive

building regrettably was swept away in the

early 1960s redevelopment of the High Street.

The Gazette offices were on the ground floor, Although published on a Saturday, the paper

with the presses housed (at least in later         was able to carry reports of livestock prices

years) in a separate single-storey building        from the regular Friday market outside (“fat

attached to the back. Alfred Davis also had        sows, £8 12s. 6d.”), although clearly the

a stationery shop in Loughton, published a         deadline could mean late working on the

range of local postcards, and offered a printing Friday evening: a spoof Reuters entry under

service. These were all advertised in the          ‘Stop Press News’ in January states: “The

classified section of the Gazette throughout Editor and Printing Office Staff are in a state

the year, with a larger display advertisement of collapse. The supply of wet towels and

in December offering Christmas cards, gift         black coffee is running short. Time, 1.5 a.m.

books, calendars and diaries.                      Saturday morning.”

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