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Ref No GE
TitleGentry Collection
Date c.1897-1989
DescriptionThe collection largely consists of both film and glass negatives, although it also contains microfilm and some printed images. Some associated diaries and index cards provide more information on the circumstances in which each photograph was taken.
ExtentApprox. 28160 items, 27 volumes and 1 file
Level Fonds
CreatorNameSouth Lancashire Newspapers Ltd
AccessStatusOpen
AdminHistoryThe first newspaper published in St.Helens was the 'St.Helens Intelligencer'. It was established in 1853 as a monthly paper and became a weekly in 1855. In 1860 Bernard Augustine Dromgoole established the 'St.Helens Weekly News', which became the 'St.Helens Newspaper and Advertiser' in 1862. This soon drove the 'Intelligencer' out of business and Dromgoole bought out the rights.

Meanwhile, in 1859, the 'Prescot Reporter' was founded. This also reported on St.Helens as well as national and world news. In 1877, the proprietors, Culshaw, Brown and Culshaw, moved the head office of the paper to St.Helens. In 1877 the St.Helens Standard (dating from 1865) was acquired by the Prescot Reporter' and the combined paper became known as the 'Prescot Reporter and St.Helens Central Advertiser'. In 1888 it became known as the 'St.Helens Reporter'.

In 1897 the St.Helens and Prescot Reporter Company Limited was formed. After liquidation in 1906 it was re-formed as the St.Helens and Prescot Reporter Limited. Mr W.G. Gentry was appointed Editor of the company's newspapers. By the time of his death in 1954 he had become the Chairman and Managing Director of the Company. The first half of the 20th century saw a long battle for circulation between the 'Reporter', which had a Conservative (and Protestant) tendency, and the 'St.Helens Newspaper', with a Liberal (and Catholic) tendency.

This struggle continued until after Mr. Gentry's death in 1954, when the 'Reporter' bought out The 'Newspaper'. The 'St.Helens Newspaper' was then amalgamated with the Tuesday edition of the 'Reporter', appearing on Tuesdays as the 'St.Helens Newspaper', until 1980.

A separate edition of the sister paper, by then called the 'Prescot and Huyton Reporter' was launched in 1955 and called the 'West Derby and Kirkby Reporter'. In 1957 the Company took over the 'Newton and Earlestown Guardian' and associated papers, as well as the 'Golborne Star', and in 1960 the 'Leigh Chronicle' was acquired (renamed the 'Leigh Reporter' in 1964).

To reflect these wider interests the name of the company was changed in 1961 to South Lancashire Newspapers Limited, but it was also known as the Reporter Group. Expansion continued with the launch of the 'Skelmersdale Reporter' in 1963. Another title in the Reporter Group was the 'Ashton and Haydock Reporter'.

In 1991 the company was acquired by Johnston Press PLC (which traces its origins back to 1767) and re-formed as part of a subsidiary company called Lancashire Publications Limited which also included the weekly 'Leigh and Wigan Reporters' and 'Wigan Observer', together with the 'Wigan Evening Post'. At this time the weekly Reporter titles became free and in tabloid format.
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