Billingham Express c1968

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I’ve just come across a copy of the Billingham Express from 1968. It was full of interesting stories from the area and there was even a photograph of a couple getting married. To my utter amazement I used to work with the chap at Harkers Engineering. How many other people can pick up a forty eight year old newspaper and know somebody inside? Does anyone remember how long this publication ran for?

Images and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

5 thoughts on “Billingham Express c1968

  1. If it happened in Billingham it was in the Express. At my school, Bede hall, we started a ten pin bowling league and sure enough our scores and averages were written up by the Express. Hardly the Superbowl I know but there it was in full details to about 3 decimal points.

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  2. I have a copy of the Billingham Express from 1956, with my wedding picture and story in it. I vaguely remember this publication starting after the World War Two ended but I left Haverton in 1957 so I don’t know when it shut down. During the 1950s a young fellow by the name of Hough was a reporter. His sister married my uncle Frank Dallison.

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  3. The Billingham Post was an Industrial newssheet printed for ICI. It was not circulated to the public. The Billingham Press was a commercial printer (still working today). The Billingham Express was printed at Hartlepool on the Hartlepool Mail presses which in turn eventually was owned by The Sunderland Echo. The Teesside Times was not a newspaper it was an advertising Freesheet. The Herald and Post is still in circulation but yet again, hardly qualifies for the title of newspaper. The 6pt font for lineage advertising was standard in the industry.

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  4. Billingham had three newspapers, the Billingham Post, the Billingham Press, and the Billingham Express. The newspaper purchasing and readership decline started in the UK when newspapers switched from broad sheet to tabloid, tabloid newspapers were smaller, easier to handle and contained double the number of pages. Some tabloids had over 90 pages, the snag was the public lost interest in reading a newspaper no matter how good it was after page 16, mostly because they wanted to watch TV, with newspapers being smaller you then had a 50% reduction in column width with compositors using an almost impossible to read 6 pt or 7 pt font, in the Classified Sections some pages contained as many as small 300 lineage adverts!, The newspaper group/s accountants were happy but the advertisers were not, there adverts could not be seen or read by people wearing glasses. In the 1970s news-agents paper sales were so poor that newspaper printing companies switched to printing free-newspapers, the snag with this was distribution and finding reliable door-to-door deliverers. By the 1980s newspapers stopped boasting about their actual circulation figures and relied instead on the over-inflated ‘readership figures’. They told advertisers that 3.5 readers read ever copy of the papers they printed, which was totally untrue.

    Advertising rates rose to incredible heights, papers that once charged £8.00 /£18.00 for a small single column advert started charging £80.00/ £180.00, even though their readers were deserting them nationwide. In 1952 the arrival of national TV, then the 1998 onwards P.C. and Google internet obsession killed the newspaper industry dead (if people are watching TV or operating home computers then they are not reading newspapers!) this explains in part why in London, Leeds & Manchester, once famous newpaper titles are being given away free on the streets.

    The most depressing newspaper casualty is the famous ‘Scots Sunday Post’ decline, with locally the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette being a shadow of its former proud Northcliffe Newspapers past. In this post there is an explanation of why Billingham once had 3 newspapers; there was once a Teesside Times and a Billingham Herald & Post also. All gone with the wind.

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