Local Newspapers In Epsom And Ewell

Sources for Epsom and Ewell History
Sources for Epsom
and Ewell History

Advertiser Masthead

No less than eight local newspapers have circulated in our part of Surrey at different times since 1856.

The first was The Epsom Advocate and Advertiser. This was printed by C. Whiting of the Strand for Philip Alexander Prince of Hylands in Dorking Road, but it ran for only three issues - November and December 1856 and January 1857.

Prince was a publisher and author. Self-promotion was probably the motive for his short-lived publication as several of his works were prominently advertised on the front page of the paper. Other advertisements confidently recommended wines and spirits from Messrs. Page and Hunt, and Mme. Gautier's Paris fashions in bonnets, mantles and copes. Railway timetables on the inside pages revealed no less than ten trains a day to London then.

1871 saw the beginning of the Epsom Journal, another small and refined publication. As the local edition of the Sussex Express, the Journal never carried much news of Epsom. Perhaps this was simply because there wasn't much to report in those days - Dickens implies in his 1851 sketch of Epsom that it was a quiet place for 364 days of the year (the other being Derby Day). Or perhaps local journalists had not yet developed the art of making a lot out of a little! However the paper lasted until 1902.

Little is known about the next two publications: The Epsom and Ewell Weekly Post which ran from 1906 to 1908, and the Epsom District Times and County Post, 1901 to 1917.

The Epsom Observer, which ran from 1901 to 1908, was the first to be printed and published in the town. It also circulated in Ewell, Ashtead and the surrounding area. The printers were a Mr. Birch and a Mr. Whittington, who started up in small premises in Church Street after being suddenly sacked from their jobs in the City. They later moved to Station Road (now Upper High Street). Their old premises subsequently housed The Devonshire Dairy for many years and, more recently, a betting shop.

It is said that the Observer was inaugurated to promote Mr. A. W. Aston as Liberal MP. Aston was a prominent local figure and tenant of the former Liberal prime minister Lord Rosebery at Woodcote House, Epsom. The effort, however, was unsuccessful because Aston lost in the 1906 general election despite a Liberal landslide nationally, though he did reduce the Conservative vote by 2000.

The Observer was a beautifully printed paper which merged with the Advertiser group based in Croydon. The firm of Birch and Whittington continued in business printing the Council minutes, a task so important that during World War I their staff were exempt from being conscribed into the army. Later in 1937 they merged with the other great Epsom printing firm of Dorlings.

The longest-lived Epsom and Ewell local paper so far is the Epsom Advertiser. The Epsom Advertiser group began life in 1869. Its founder, Jesse Ward, announced at the time that "a good and unsullied name is a glorious heritage". It ceased printing in Epsom in 1988.

Less enduring was The Epsom and Ewell Times, later named the Epsom Courier and Ewell Times. Despite the name, it was mostly about Stoneleigh, and was backed by Mr. Howard Browne, a leading figure in the Stoneleigh Residents Association. It was a delightful paper - young, optimistic and cheerful in tone. Perhaps it reflected the great changes being made as Stoneleigh itself leaped ahead in the 1930s with the development of the new houses. The paper ceased publication the day before war broke out in 1939, however, when being young, lively and optimistic went out of fashion for a long time.

Rivalling the Advertiser for longevity, of course, is the Epsom Herald itself. The Wallington/Sutton series of newspapers began in 1878, Sir Cosmo Bonsor and Sir Thomas Bucknill having much to do with its foundation. Sir Thomas was local MP from 1892 to 1895.

But perhaps the best-known Herald figure was James Wall. He joined the Herald series in the early 1900's and was editor from 1937 until 1945. A man of great charm and ability, he was an Epsom resident and very much an Epsom man. Through his integrity and faithful reporting he became known as 'Mr. Epsom'.

Notes made by Trevor White in 1990.

Location of Newspapers
British Library
Library - Ewell (Bourne Hall) (Microfilm)
Museum - Bourne Hall
Sutton Archives and Local Studies Centre (Microfilm)

  Epsom & Ewell Advertiser Advocate Surrey Comet Epsom & Ewell Herald Epsom & Ewell Guardian Journal Journal Observer Sutton & Epsom Mail Epsom & Ewell Post Epsom & Leatherhead Independent
1871             B        
1872             B        
1873             B        
1874             B        
1875             B        
1876             B        
1877             B        
1878             B        
1879             B        
1880             B        
1881       B     B        
1882       B     B        
1883       M, B   B B        
1884       M, B   B B        
1885           B B        
1886           B B        
1887           B B        
1888       M   B B        
1889           B B        
1890           B B        
1891           B B        
1892           B B        
1893           B B        
1894       M   B B        
1895           B B        
1896           B B        
1897           B B        
1898           B B        
1899           B B        
1900             B        
1901             B B      
1902             B B      
1903               B      
1904               B      
1905               B      
1906               B      
1907               B      
1908               B      
1910 L                    
1911 L                    
1912 L     M              
1913 L                    
1914 L                    
1915 L                    
1916 L                    
1917 L                    
1918 L                    
1919 L                    
1920 L                    
1921 L                    
1922 L               B, S    
1923 L               B, S    
1924 L (Incomplete)               B, S    
1925 L     M         B, S    
1926 L     M         B, S    
1927 L               B, S    
1928 L               B, S    
1929 L     M         B, S    
1930 L     M         B, S    
1931 L                    
1932 L     M              
1933 L     M              
1934 L (Incomplete)                    
1935 L                    
1936 L     M              
1937 L     L (Incomplete)              
1938 L (Incomplete)     M              
1939 L (Incomplete)     M              
1940 L     M              
1941 L (Incomplete)     M              
1942 L     M              
1943 L     M              
1944 L     M, L (Incomplete)              
1945 L     M, L              
1946 L     M, L              
1947 L     M, L              
1948 L     M, L (Missing)              
1949 L     M, L (Missing)              
1950 L     M, L              
1951 L     M, L              
1952 L     M, L (Missing)              
1953 L (Incomplete)     M, L (Missing)              
1954 L     M, L (Missing)              
1955 L     M, L (Missing)              
1956 L     M, L (Missing)              
1957 L     M, L              
1958 L     M, L              
1959 L     M, L              
1960 L     M, L              
1961 L     M, L              
1962 L     M, L (Incomplete)              
1963 L     M, L              
1964 L     M, L              
1965 L     M, L              
1966 L     M, L              
1967 L     M, L              
1968 L     M, L              
1969 L     M, L              
1970 L     M, L              
1971 L     M, L              
1972 L (Incomplete)     M, L              
1973 L     M, L              
1974 L     M, L              
1975 L     M, L              
1976 L (Incomplete)     M, L              
1977 L     M, L              
1978 L (Incomplete)     M, L              
1979 L     M, L              
1980 L     M, L              
1981 L     M, L              
1982 L     M, L              
1983 L     M, L              
1984 L     M, L              
1985 L     M, L              
1986 L     M, L              
1987 L     M, L              
1988 L (Incomplete)     M, L           L (Incomplete)  
1989       M, L (Incomplete)           L  
1990       M, L           L  
1991       M, L           L  
1992       M           L  
1993       M           L  
1994       M           L  
1995       M           L  
1996       M           L  
1997       M           L  
1998       M           L  
1999     L (Incomplete) M, L (Incomplete)           L L (Incomplete)
2000     L M           L L
2001     L L (Incomplete)           L L (Incomplete)
2002     L             L  
2003     L             L  
2004     L (Incomplete)             L  
2005                   L  
2006                   L  
2007                   L  
2008         L (Incomplete)         L  
2009         L         L (Incomplete)  
2010         L (Incomplete)