A step back in time to the Mearns Leader 1938, a treat handed in

A side by side of the Mearns Leader from 1938 and one from the end of March 2014

A side by side of the Mearns Leader from 1938 and one from the end of March 2014

This week I got a chance to step back in time with a copy of the Mearns Leader from 1938, courtesy of a reader who was having a clear-out.

The reader kindly handed in an edition of the Leader from June 10, 1938, and it’s a fascinating read.

As a ‘‘modern’’ journalist, I was nevertheless hooked by the old newspaper sitting on my desk and a chance to step back in time over 70 year.

This edition of ‘The Mearns Leader and Kincardineshire Mail’ (which was registered at the general post office as a newspaper) cost one penny and was 16 pages long.

The pages contain a total of 15 separate pictures, all in black and white of course.

Last week’s edition had no fewer than 52 images, with colour throughout.

Diving into the 1938 edition, there are a plethora of stories which makes it hard to imagine that war would break out in Europe little more than a year later.

Then as now, the Mearns Leader was a local paper at the very heart of the community.

Inside in 1938, the Kincardineshire Weekly Review was where Mearns Leader correspondents reported some of the latest news from areas in Fettercairn, Johnshaven, Luthermuir, Inverbervie and St Cyrus.

On the front page sits the headline ‘Striking Tribute to the late Mr R. L Crabb’, a former bank agent in Auchenblae (spelt Auchinblae) and Stonehaven and honorary Sheriff-Substitute.

The article starts: “The scythe of the Grim Reaper has taken heavy toll in Stonehaven recently, and on Sunday another highly respected citizen passed away in the person of Mr Robert Lawson Crabb, Pitneil, Bath Street.

“He was a great servant to the profession to which he belonged and was an outstanding example of that kind of man, perhaps not too common, who placed the intesrests of other people just as high as his own,’ said Sheriff J. D, Dallas.”

The eagle eyed among you may have already noticed a coincidence between the Pictures from the Past on page 10 of today’s edition being from the year 1938.

You’ll find a picture of the parade from the opening air swimming pool in the Mearns Leader and a picture of the Laurencekirk East Church womans guild in the Observer.

Editor’s note: What strikes me the most about the edition from 1938 is that my predecessor of the time was keen to have the newspaper at the heart of the community.

In that respect, nothing has changed after 76 years.

It’s also unusual to see so many photos in a weekly newspaper from the 1930s, which suggests either it was an usually heavy week for them or the Leader was blessed with a staff photographer.

Given huge leaps in technology, one wonders how the comparison will be made 70 years from now?




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