Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

South Shields premier political blog

The Shields Gazette

with 26 comments

Oldest Evening provincial setting new records?

The Shields Gazette has a long and distinguished history. Whilst not the oldest newspaper in the UK (the Worcester Journal is considered to be England’s oldest surviving newspaper), our local evening paper was the first of 17 provincial  dailies to be published, way back in 1855.

Saturday editions appear to be setting new trends in establishing records for speed and efficiency,  I picked up my copy at my local newsagent at 10.15 a.m. this morning, the print was still wet!

Did anyone better that?

Written by curly

November 3, 2007 at 10:56 am

26 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Yes Curly , I went for my morning paper and got the Gazette at 9:25am.


    November 3, 2007 at 2:11 pm

  2. The world’s second-longest continually published newspaper in English (most on your reference link have since changed titles or merged with others) is the Gibraltar Chronicle has been published out here on the Rock continuously since 1801.

    If any reader of this blog gets this as a pub quiz question then they owe me a pint.


    November 3, 2007 at 10:47 pm

  3. Curly,
    Just happened on your site and thought you might be interested in a few old Gazette anecdotes. I worked there from 1960 to 1964, on the sports desk, under Bill Bawden and Dick Kirkup (RIP, one of the game’s great gentlemen), starting, full time, straight out of school, at 30 bob a week. With no overtime for covering evening and weekend events. The editor who hired me was C. Wallace Jackson, who, to my horror – these were innocent days – was fired a few weeks after I started after being caught in a compromising position with his secretary (he was shagging her on his desk). Jimmy Sinton, a gent, took over as editor. The news desk consisted of Stan Oliver, Maurice Snaith, Bill Galley, Alan Egdell and Dave Milner – who fled to what was then Southern Rhodesia to escape his debtors, including myself, around 1965. Another news desk veteran was Bob Bentley, one of the truly great drunks, whose long-suffering wife, Marjorie, was a reporter. We used to spend much time at the old General Havelock, where beer cost less than a shilling a pint. I also remember having the task of doing 25 Years Ago, 50 Years Ago and 100 Years Ago, for which I used to spend hours, fascinated, among ancient, yellowing newspapers in the bowels of the building on Chapter Row. I often wonder if the old papers are still there. And if some young reporter’s doing the same job and coming across my fading bylines. I left in 1964 when I got an offer I couldn’t refuse (26 pounds, ten shillings a week, the Fleet Street minimum at the time) from the Sporting Life in London. After that, I worked for the Evening Chronicle (sports desk, under Sammy Brooks), the Daily Mail, Manchester (sports desk, under Brian Webster) and then went to Canada for a year, which turned into 20. Currently living in St. Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean and working for a few months at the moment at the Sun-Times in Chicago. And got a book coming out early next year, published by Macmillan, a biography of Bob Marley – whoever’s reading this, do buy it, I need the money. If there’s anyone still around at the Gazette from my long-ago days, please tell them to drop me an e-mail. Oh yes, one other character I remember well was John Landells, the shipping correspondent (I Cover the Waterfront). The Tyne was hopping in those days, and my ferry from North Shields (I’m a Whitley Bay lad) had to dodge its way through the tankers (to say nowt of the shite).
    Later on, when I was pushing 20, I used to stop for one or two on my way home at the old Jungle (upstairs, the posh bit).
    (One last thing: What caught my eye in your blog was the bit about how quick the papers get out these days. I used to work on the Football Pink on Saturdays. The games would be over around 20 to five, and we’d have the last copy into the composing room (full results, updated league tables etc.) around five to. The paper would be off the stone (all this with hot metal, Linotypes, real live proof readers) around ten past, printed (in the same building) by five thirty, and I’d pick one up in Whitley Bay around 6 on my way home)

    garry steckles

    November 17, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    • HI Garry,

      I was just browsing Curley’s site and saw your comments re the Gazette 1960-64 when you worked there. I remember you well as I worked in the Wire Room with Norman Tulip, Bill Calvert, Jim Summers and Jack Forster who later transferred to the sports desk after you left. I was the long suffering apprentice then and remember you always wore that black jumper at work and if I remember rightly were a keen skater. It brought memories talking of the old pub General Havelock, I used to go there for a quick pint before work, I remember the old battle axe barmaid Laura and the Landlady Alice. I used to have to go to Dickson Pork shop every Saturday to get the Pork sandwiches for the guys in the Wire Room. I remember also Maurice Snaith who was a great guy and Frank Oliver who was pretty morbid kind of guy, Dick Kirkup was a real gentleman and Bill Bowden’s jokes were pretty foul. John Landells lived just across the road from me, I wonder how many of those guys are still alive now and where they all are. I now live in Perth Australia but often think about the good times we had at work and what a great team it was to work with….. Cheers …… Alan Rossiter

      Alan Rossiter

      March 27, 2016 at 8:36 am


        Barbara Birtwistle

        October 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      • Hi Barbara, Yes I am the same person… jeez it’s been a long time between drinks. I am living in Perth Australia, been over here since 1983. Where are you living these days? It would be nice to hear from you, my email is and I’m also on facebook.

        Alan Rossiter

        October 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

  4. […] with an interest on our local evening paper may be interested in the comments left under this post by Garry Steckles, currently living in St. Kitts and working on the Sun-Times in Chicago. Garry […]

    • Hi Garry, I do remember I was the young womens editor workinng with Audrey and Bob Woods. Marjori and Bo “adopted” an Australian reporter who had strayed up from london after running out of money. David Millar…we were marred april 4 1964 and came out to Australia to Goondiwindi where his father owned te newspaper, the Argus. We used to drink at the Birds Nest -beatles music – and had many a drink with the drunken old bob bentley. Sadly my david died in 1986 aged only 49. Do you know Clive Cricker, he was our best man and i would like to contact him?

      Cheers Maureen Millar,nee Pickles


      May 15, 2011 at 4:22 am

      • Hi Maureen, and sorry this has reached you so late. I was just doing some random googling and came across your message. Also sad to tell you that I found out only two days ago that Clive Crickmer had just passed away. There’s a lovely obit of him (he was a lovely guy) on the Gentleman Ranters website. I was in touch with Clive a few years ago for the first time in decades (only by e-mail, unfortunately) and he was as funny as ever. There were some characters around at the Gazette back then, and delighted to find someone who remembers Bob Bentley. It’s been a long time, but I do remember you from Chapter Row, and a few other reporters who toiled under Bob and Audrey, including Eddie Nichols and a classic old-school gent whose first name was Vincent and who was into threatre, used to write a column called ”
        from the Green Room” as I recall. And of course Marjorie Bentley, the shorthand wizard. As someone who couldn’t get to grips with shorthand, I was in awe of her. Cheers, Garry

        garry steckles

        October 17, 2011 at 2:13 am

  5. Oops! In my recent contribution to your site, reminiscing about my three and a half years at the Gazette from 1960-1964, I recalled how quickly we used to put out the Saturday “Football Pink” Of course our paper was Green – our hated rivals, the Chronicle, put out the Pink. I worked on the Chronicle sports desk a few years later, around 66-67, and did many shifts on the Pink, which, along with too much rum and too many beers over too many years, might have contributed to my blooper.

    garry steckles

    December 20, 2007 at 10:48 pm

  6. @garry steckles:

    Would they have been in The Douglas Vaults or The General Havelock Garry?


    December 21, 2007 at 12:14 am

  7. […] Former Shields Gazette reporter Gary Steckles gets a mention in Gawker, the New York media gossip site, as he plugs his new book about the life of raggae star Bob Marley. You wondered what qualifications Garry Steckles a St. Kitts restauranteur, brings to his job as a consultant for the Chicago Sun-Times, which is facing imminent layoffs. Apart from being childhood friend of the Chicago newspaper’s editor-in-chief, “I worked [at English newspaper Shields Gazette] from 1960 to 1964, on the sports desk… full time, straight out of school, at 30 bob a week,” he writes via the comments section of an English news blog. […]

  8. does anyone have any photos of the reyroll,s football team from 1964 -64 charity do iv been looking for old friends from then for a long time please email me
    thank you in advance

    julie hardy

    January 23, 2009 at 9:39 pm

  9. Would anyone on here know if they have any information about Frederick Sarson. He aparently worked for the Shields Gazette around 1950 – 1970 I’m not sure exactly but he was my grandfather and just wondered if anyone know anything of him. Thanks in advance

    ashleigh sarson

    March 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

  10. This for Ashleigh Sarson:
    Hi Ashleigh, a somewhat belated response to your query in March about your grandfather. Yes, I remember him – at least I think I do, I knew an Eric Sarson, presumably a contraction of Frederick. Don’t know if this is going to reach you, but if it does drop me an e-mail and I’ll be more than happy to share my memories of him with you. I should warn you that they’re a bit fuzzy – it was all a long time ago, and I was a junior on the sports desk at the Gazette while he was an experienced, cynical and highly intelligent veteran of the newspaper business who I looked up to with something approaching awe.

    garry steckles

    July 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    • I am a cousin of Garry Steckles and wonder if you could let me have his email;Kathy, Vin and myself would love to get in touch and no he does not owe us any money.

      Lawry Roberts

      August 24, 2009 at 8:07 am

      • Hi Lawrence, came across this just now, and realised we hadn’t been in touch for a while. So just a quick line to say hello and love to all. I’m going to get myself over to England one of these days and would love to catch up with everyone. Cheers, Garry

        garry steckles

        October 17, 2011 at 2:18 am

  11. Hi,

    I got the job of womens editor at the ssg in 1962 at the grand old age of 19 but lots of experienceafter four years as cadet and same at Gateshead Post. Bob wood said we have a cosmopolitan team (first time i had heard that word) an irishman ,cants rmember his name but he came aorund one night and read me poetry and flew his mother from ireland to meet me, he was very nice but i was so naive, an American, Brad someone from Harvard who we thought could be a spy because he went a lot to the missile base, and DAVID Millar, an Australian who I married. Our best man was Mirror legend Clive Cricker (does anyone have his address or email address?_Sadly David who was well liked, especially by legend drunk Bob Bentley because as an aussie he could drink him under the table, died from a brain bleed in 1986 at the age of 49. He loved England. One night after being to a “bucks party” and wearing an imitation policemans helmet he was pulled up – drunk. When he showed the cops his tattered Goondiwindi. Queensland, Australia licence, they sent him on his way. I remember Stan Oliver -good looking man and bob and audrey. Would love to hear from you.
    I live in Brisbane, Australia. Went on to work for the Courier Mail. AUSTRALIAN wOMENS wEEKLY, AND rOWLAND wORLDWIDE pUBLIC RELATIONS.


    Maureen MIllar
    Ph 0417 785 188


    maureen millar

    February 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

  12. I have passed your message on to Cliver Crickmer. His e-mail address is
    I as a trainee at the Gazette starting in 1963 with Peter Young and David Jenkins.
    I remember you and your husband but do you remember us?
    All the best, Ian Wilson

    ian wilson ex-shields gazette 1963

    October 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    • Hi Ian, I do remember you and Peter Young. Sorry I thought it was Garry Steckles who passed on my message to Clive. I was devastated today to read that he had passed away in Oct last year. Thank you for his email address. We did catch up via email and shared lots of happy memories. He and my late husband shared that great sense of humour. Do you know his address in South Shields as I would like to contact Yvonne, his wife. I know she has MS so she may be in care by now. Would be great if you could find a contact for her so I can at least send her my condolences……naureen millar

      Maureen Millar

      June 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  13. Hi Garry, I was devastated to hear about Clive Crickmer’s passing. I emailed him after your left his email address for me and we got back in touch. I was lovely as the last time I saw him was when he took my son and myself to lunch and we had a drink at the Rose and Shamock in Birtley after my mother died. I tried to email Clive recently to say i had been watching the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations but no reply!!! I know he was looking after his wife, Yvonne who has MS. and his granddaughter while her father was at work. You are right about his sense of humour, his whole body and shock of unruly hair used to shake his big frame Clive.when he laughed. Lovely man. RIP If anyone knows Clive’s address in Soth Shields I would be grateful as I would like to contact Yvonne with my condolences…..Maureen Millar

    Maureen Millar

    June 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  14. thanks Ian I have sent a card to Yvonne Crickmer at ? Harton Lane, South Shields, so hope it gets to her. I got out my old wedding photos and there is Clive as best man towering over everyone. Also on the “family” photo are Bob and Margery Bentley who represented David’s parents as they couldnt make it. Well actually David’s mother had passed away when he was only 24 and that its why he decided to go to england. He sold his car to pay for the airfare. The first time we got “friendly” was on a mattress at Bob and Margerys when we had too many drinks to drive home………as you do!!! We used to cover magistrates court together (i covered magistrates court in Gasteshead when I worked on the Gateshead Post and that was when I first met Crickmer when he worked on the Newcastle Journal. I always remember before either of us werfe masried her saw me to ther bus one night after a late case and gave me a kiss which wasnt easy as he was 6″2″ and I was a foot shorter!! I would have loved to have celebrated Clive at his funeral but i am having a drink forhim tonight. A gentleeman to the end!!! My mum loved him!! Love to hear from yoiu. My email is

    Maureen Millar

    July 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

  15. My email address is now would love to hear from any south shields gazette pals. Send to maureen millar (nee pickles)

    maureen millar (nee pickles)

    March 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm

  16. Hello, does anyone have any archives or copies of the shields gazette from around 1966? I’m trying to find a story for my Dad, Kenneth Mcritchie who used to work at Dicksons farm. Any help would be appreciated, thank you!


    December 8, 2014 at 7:03 am

    • sorry becci but the gazette should have some copies in their archives at south shields or try the south shield library

      maureen millar

      December 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: