It Takes You Back #newspapers

Do you still read paper copies of newspapers or are you all online-ish with them? I still enjoy the real thing, to be honest but I wonder for how much longer.

Back in the dim and distant, newspapers didn’t just serve as purveyors of news and views. They wrapped fish and chips for a start, even though the amount of ink that came off them and onto your hands must make one wonder at the chemicals we ingested with our haddock and chips.

One use that I used to enjoy was the underlay substitute. I think I first came across this at my Gran’s when the Archaeologist and I lifted up a carpet or rug to find an ancient sepia tinted page from twenty years before to read. It took us to a different world, maybe even back to the war years. It was rather magical.

Nowadays, of course we have proper underlay that cushions and insulates and all that sensible guff. But it doesn’t capture a moment. It doesn’t tell you what paper people read, what scribbles in the margin might be revealed. It’s all a bit dull; like growing up.

Then the other day…

You see, my son and his wife have bought a house. Sold through probate as the elderly couple who lived there for sixty years have died and it’s now theirs.

It’s in need of a lot of love and attention which excites them. They’ve organised a builder to do a strip out and using the services of Let That Man, viz me, the builders started on Thursday. I went round on Thursday evening to check how things were going. They’d clearly had a fine old time.

But best of all, they revealed the old school underlay…

The pages were variously between 1959 and 1964, which left the slightly disturbing thought that the carpets and vinyl had been there for sixty years; I wonder what tonnage of human skin flakes accumulated in the pile in that time?

But I did get to read some really old print… and, frankly, that’s lost none of its magic.

Did you ever have this much fun?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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40 Responses to It Takes You Back #newspapers

  1. trifflepudling says:

    How brilliant, reading those! Looks like ancient history (I suppose it is). Like the cricket reference for Nuttall’s Mintoes ( 1/- ) !
    Looks like a bear’s visited that shed!
    And why is there a portrait of Vladimir Putin on the floor?!
    Hope they’ll be happy in their new place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    I remember finding newspapers and magazines from the 40s in our attic in Brum, which was so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darlene says:

    What a great find. Enjoy reading. You may have some stories out of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. elegancesicy says:

    I love finding newspapers under the flooring. We found some pages when we took up the lino – all local French village news. I’m going to pick out the best articles and frame them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, newspapers! I have such fond memories of the Sunday papers being shared and enjoyed not only when I was young but through the majority of my adult life. I was a reporter for a year for the County weekly. It was a job I felt proud to hold.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! Yes I remember Dad usingewspapers as underlay! And he used to use them as an air guard as he lighted the coal fire… The number of times the paper went up in flames dosen’t bode well with health and safety for firelighing or underlay.
    As for newspapers I don’t read them in any shape or form not since having a run in which a nasty unscrupulous tabloid , we had neighbours who has 15days of notorioty and we had Sky, the Beeb, ITV and all the newspapers reporters camped out on the front lawn baying for blood …yuk it was awful One Reporter just walked in my backdoor…. Anyhow I digress.
    I love to read old newspapers they are a delight. We Also bought and have kept the editions to celebrate the birth of our sons so they range 1973, 1975 and 1983.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      goodness, now you have me intrigued; I’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of a tabloid interface but I can imagine it is awful


      • willowdot21 says:

        It was absolutely horrendous and , they lied, cheated and even tried to threaten and intimidate me …saying I would be harming my friends if I didn’t given them the story. Then they stole information from my kitchen… Bast****. Luckily hubby knew how to deal with them . Worst thing was we were decorating at the time and I had no curtains up in the lounge! So we kept out the lounge!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennie says:

    The old newspapers are delightful, but what a mess and a challenge to clean and restore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. £52,000 haul between a gang of 6 — a sign of the times (or The Evening Standard), Postmen arguing over pay, Aukland Harbour bridge at a cost of £6million and the labourers earning £2,400 a year to build it. Wow! Did you find the pencil marks recording the children’s growth? A few years worth of story topics here Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great finds from a splendid project. It is more than ten years since I read a newspaper – in any format

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Old newspapers are a real draw for me – when the news was news and not some idiot’s opinion of what is important. A great find – but what a ton of work lies ahead with the house!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a find, Geoff. I just spent over an hour reading the stories myself. I loved the 17 pound savings on the roto gardener.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. gordon759 says:

    As you will guess I love old newspapers and they are always fascinating.
    I loved the article on an apparent controversy about singing ‘Abide with me’ at football, and the vicar with either a sense of humour, or just being realistic, suggesting, ‘Oh God our Help in Ages Past.’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Suzanne says:

    We still get the local newspaper delivered which is still free and online. I appreciate your excitement regarding the newspaper find as I would’ve been too. I have a few clippings, somewhere.


  14. V.M.Sang says:

    Isn’t it odd how old newspapers seem more interesting than current ones?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Widdershins says:

    Aren’t they wonderful! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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