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Author Topic: The East Kent Gazette  (Read 6318 times)

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Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 14:01:19 »
You`re absolutely right, Seb! In the `50s the Gazette reporters were all, more or less, local and reported all local events - W.I. meetings, village events, wills, magistrates court, parking offences, weddings (including the names of the Vicar, organist, bridesmaids, best man and even what flowers were carried by the bride and bridesmaids), etc. They also reported on cricket, football, table-tennis, etc. There was a lot more news in those day even though there were only eight pages, sometimes ten for special occasions. The odd two were printed earlier in the week and fed into the machine whilst printing the other eight. Not all the reporters were able to drive and were chauffered around the villages in the same vans that were used to deliver the Gazette and general printing orders. Come to think of it, I can`t remember any of them that drove, except the Editor. Some went on to much greater things and one was `honoured`. There were far fewer `typos` in those days as all the typesetting was `proof-read` which appears not to be the case today - probably `read` off the computer screen and we all know that`s not easy. I read my posts over and over and still find errors and spell checkers aren`t infallible.

Offline seb

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2011, 09:48:45 »
None of the local papers will be missed as none of them had any 'news' which we didn't already know.   When I started on a local newspaper my job was to go to the local fire brigade, police station etc and get a list of all incidents they had to attend since the last edition.  BMD's were better listed as well.  We also had wills of the week from solicitors.  The photographer took photo's of all weddings, funerals etc.   The paper was absolutely jammed packed. We encouraged people to come to the front desk with info that we could follow up.  Like scout and guide events etc.

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 14:21:27 »
Now the Gazette has gone, I thought that an account of how the paper was produced in the 1950s may be of interest. All the editorial and printing staff were based at W. J. Parrett Ltd., 21 High Street, Sittingbourne with the exception of the two printers who were at the Margate branch at Cecil Square, Margate. Of course, this was in the days of `hot metal` and `letterpress printing` and before the days of computerised phototypesetting. Work on the Gazette began on Monday and all composing room staff worked until 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday evening as the deadline was midday on Thursday. There was sometimes a bit of a panic and tempers a bit frayed by mid morning on Thursday if things got `behind`. At around 12.00 the eight pages of type, locked-up in `chaises` were then carried down a spiral staircase to the ground floor. The back page of the paper carried all the small ads., obits, etc. and was solid metal and weighed in the region of 1cwt. One false step spelled disaster as the `chaise` is nothing more than a steel frame, in which the type was wedged and without support from either top or bottom and relied totally on the skill of the compositor to remain in place. If accidentally dropped, or to use the printing term, `pied`, many hours of work would be lost and the publishing date would not be met. I was told that this only happened once in the Gazette`s 156 years. The pages were loaded on to Bedford van and transported to Margate to be printed on Web Flatbed machine called a `Cossar`. This was a spectacular machine to watch as it was a `hybrid`. Large national and provincial papers were printed on Rotary Presses fed by a `web`, reel of paper, and printed from curved plates attached to a cylinder. Other machines were known as `Flatbed` and fed by sheets of paper which were impressed on a flat bed of type. The Cossar was a mixture of both and required two man operation. The`run` in those days was, I think, around 10,000 and I was surprised to learn that the present circulation had only risen by 3 or 4 thousand. When the run was completed, the type was brought back to Sittingbourne along with the printed papers and deliveries made to various newsagents, etc. by around 8-9 p.m. On Friday morning the type was scrubbed clean and `broken-up` to be distributed into their designated cases, racks, etc. On Monday morning the whole process began again and, to my knowledge, the East Kent Gazette was always on time.

The Cossar
http://www.metaltype.co.uk/photos/photo68a.shtml

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 20:30:06 »

Some of the Composing Room Staff on the day the Sittingbourne Works closed in 1958/9.



Some of the staff in Boulogne on the annual Printer`s `Wayzgoose` around 1955/6.

Minsterboy

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 18:47:46 »
Well I for one won't miss the Sheppey Gazette, it was always mis-named. After the first couple of pages every week it simply became the Sittingbourne Gazette.

There's only one truly Sheppey paper wich manages to fill every page with Sheppey news and that's the Times Guardian.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 17:17:29 »
Back in the 1960's, just before me, my Mum worked in the Sittingbourne offices. I don't yet know what as yet (not answering her phone). I can remember being 'parked' outside the offices in my pushchair while she 'popped in' to see some of her friends. A few years ago I worked for Whitehorse Press at Whitstable this was also owned by the Parrett family being run by WJP's Great Grandson Mathew. Mr Graham Parrett would call in from time to time, a very nice Gentleman who always had time for all of the staff, including us delivery drivers. Sadly Mathew sold the press to concerntrate on another business thus ending the Parrett conection with printing in Kent. I left Whitehorse just about the same time so can add no more, until I speak to Mum and find out what she did at Sittingbourne. S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 16:51:31 »
Sheppey Gazette is closing down as is also a Medway title, see here...

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Closure-Gazette-marks-end-era/story-13997067-detail/story.html


Offline Bryn Clinch

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The East Kent Gazette
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 16:36:29 »
The front page of the Gazette today announced that the final issue of this 156 year old newspaper will be next Wednesday unless someone steps in at the last minute to `save it`. The Gazette was founded at 17 High Street, Sittingbourne in 1855 by William John Parrett the son of the Minister of Milton Congregational Church. WJP died in 1905 and following his death the firm became a limited company with his two sons, Frederick and George becoming directors along with Edwin Brigden and C. B. Harris. Fred. became editor, George managed the printing works and Edwin Brigden became the first company secretary. In 1909 the company bought the Isle of Thanet Gazette and George became the manager. 17 and 19 High Street were eventually demolished and a new office at 21 High Street was built with the printing works at the rear which were extended in the 1950s when Parretts bought the site of the Queens Laundry. During my time at the Gazette the editorial staff were based at 21 High Street and the Gazette was typeset on the premises. What may not be common knowledge is that at around midday on Thursdays the type was transported to Margate and printed on the same machine as its sister paper, The Isle of Thanet Gazette. The printed copies, about 10,000, were brought back to Sittingbourne during the evening and distributed. During the 1960s, the great grandson of WJP, Graham Parrett embraced the new technological advances in printing and moved the works to Crown Quay Lane where about ten tabloid newspapers were produced, including The Gazette. The company was sold to Emap in 1988 and again sold to Adscene in 1995. The demise of this historic newspaper must have come as a great shock to Sittingbourne residents, probably as great as the loss of the Paper Mill.


21 High Street - General Offices and Editorial.


The rear of the Office block which was once attached to the two storey Printing Works.


A car park where the Printing Works once stood.













 

 

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