Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We've Come Such a Long Way

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We've Come Such a Long Way

Article excerpt

JOSEPH COWEN lived long enough to see his protege thrive, but died on February 18, 1900 - only for a statue of him, paid for by public subscription, to be erected on Westgate Road, where once we were published.

RB Reed retired four years later, but it was he who was behind the new printing and typesetting methods.

He was succeeded by his son, who was to become Sir Joseph Reed, knighted in 1922 for his services to the Press Association and the newspaper industry in general.

Cowen's death had seen the Chronicle titles remain in family possession through his son Colonel Joe Cowen and his daughter Jane. They continued to run in the old tradition until 1920 when it was sold to the North East shipbuilder and industrialist, Sir Arthur Sutherland.

Sir Arthur proved an uneasy proprietor, ill at ease in newspaper production, and it was said that he sold his papers with some relief when made a suitable offer by Allied Newspapers.

The year was 1925 - and the new owners, headed by Sir William Berry (later Lord Camrose) were to maintain their connection through a change of company title in 1943 (when the company became Kemsley Newspapers) until 1959, when the group was acquired by Thomson Newspapers Ltd.

The 1939-45 war saw strange events with many thinking all was lost and others determined to carry on regardless.

A favourite story of those days dealt with the Chronicle's highly-secret arrangements to distribute a clandestine newspaper in the event of German occupation.

An alternative printing plant was established over a derelict mine at Heddon. The editor's office was directly over the mine-shaft, the printing machinery in old mine buildings.

Telephones, radios, telegraph systems, together with a photographic department and other technical offices were installed. …

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