Times Remembered……

Well, here we are again, time for the weekly post in the LBC series.

Please vist the others in our little family and enjoy their ideas about Times Remembered.

Ashok , Conrad, Gaelikaa, MariaMarianna, Ramana, Grannymar , Judy & Helen. We also welcome two new members namely Anu and Ginger

I remember times at boarding school when I would make trip to the Library to read. What I read I will reveal later.

You might ask, “What other purpose would be served by visiting the School Library?”

Well, the opportunity to get away from ones house mates perhaps or maybe the opportunity to meet one’s (current) soul mate.

What ever the reason, I used to got to the library from my earliest days at Wymonham College but in the Fifth ans Sixth Forms one reason was to read the greatest of British Institutions, The Times.

Not, you will note, The Times of London but simply The Times which, in those days, was still a full sized newspaper instead of the emasculated “compact” production it is today.

The Times was founded byJohn Walter in 1785 as The Daily Universal Register . On 1st January 1788 with Universal being universally omitted by the public,Walter decided to change the title, after 940 editions, to The Times . John Walter, the first editor of the paper resigned in 1803 and handed ownership and editorship to the second  John Walter . The first John Walter spent sixteen months inNewgate for libel printed in The Times. Pioneering efforts to obtain European news, especially from France, helped build the paper’s reputation among policy makers and financiers.

This influence lasted fro many years but one hopes that it is not so in these days under the ownership of Murdoch.

The Times was the first newspaper to send special correspondents abroad, and it was the first to send war correspondents  to cover particular conflicts. Perhaps W.H. Russell the paper’s correspondent with the army in the Crimean War , is the most famous of these. His dispatches back to England were  immensely influential.

Throughout the 19th and for most of the 20th century The Times remained an organ of influence and information. That influence has long since declined.

The old mast head of The Times: those who know about chess may recognise the name of Philidor

What made The Times distinctive for many, many years were the advertisements carried on the front page. No Headlines whenI used to read it. That is just a memory, truly Times Remembered.

As for me and The Times, a picture of me appeared inside in the mid 60’s. I was attending a National Union of Students Conference and sitting in a debate when i noticed a photographer. I pointedhim out to the reat of my delegation and we immediately became alert and obviously paying attention  (probably to Jack Straw droning on). When we returned to Colleg there were copies all over the place on posters proudly stating that the St Luke’s College delegation were the only ones awake and folllowing the debate! I fully admit that I cannot remember which conference that was, perhaps it was the one addressed by Ted Heath. We met him in the bar and he bought a couple of rounds of  drinks…more that that misery Harold Wilson did after he addressed conference.

Today I rarely buy a copy of The Times…it’s not even good or big enough to wrap the fish and chips and certainly isn’t even large enought to cover a table in the painting class at school.


16 Responses to “Times Remembered……”

  1. Rummuser Says:

    David, you have pulled of a coup here! You have indeed remembered The Times. Wonderful.

  2. Rummuser Says:

    I hope you will forgive me the two lapses there. One, I should have addressed you as Magpie and two, the spelling mistake ‘of’ instead of off’.

  3. Magpie11 Says:

    Hey! I’ve found out how to reply to individual comments….

  4. Helen Says:

    Somehow, it would have to be Ted Heath buying the round of drinks…that image makes me chuckle. I’m a big fan of The Sunday Times although my dad dismisses it as a magazine! Cheek. ;O)

    • Magpie11 Says:

      Politics aside I admired Ted Heath. He maintained his own interests, music and sailing. How many British PMs have won sporting events for the nation?

      When it comes to politics I preferred his conservatism to Thatcher… though my father despised him for supporting the Common Market…

  5. gaelikaa Says:

    “The Times” remembered. Great, I love it! Well done. It was lovely.

  6. Grannymar Says:

    The times have certainly changed! (pun intended) I don’t think the ink stuck to your fingers so much in those days as it does now.

  7. Maria Says:

    When I thought of the topic, I thought of course of Time Magazine and our Los Angeles Times. Glad that Magpie thought about times in the news type, too. Any older hooligan, remember the old newsreels “Time Marches On”?

    Certaninly enjoyed this and glad you guys were all alert to that photographer. Did you save the paper? Is it in some old scrapbook?

  8. Conrad Says:

    To be blunt, I think the Murdochs of this world are cultural criminals! I miss the warmth and tangibility of newsprint in its highest glory. It was good either as the start of the day or the end, but in any case it always served as the solid bookmark that propped the meaning between.

    Good stuff, David! Do you have the picture itself that they put there? To have your picture in The Times is really quite a distinction.

    • Magpie11 Says:

      What was interesting when I was checking a few facts was to find that over here we call it The Times but out there in the rest of the world people call it The Times of London. It was the original The Times.

      No, for some reason I never kept a copy. It didn’t seem important at the time.

      As a footnote. On my last day at college I went o say some goodbyes and was congratulated on doing a good job as National Union of Students Secretary for the college by the warden. He then informed me that there had been an emergency meeting of staff when I was appointed as I was seen as radical and a “disturbing influence”. Such notoriety had apparently followed me from my school.

  9. Conrad Says:

    David, I love that!

  10. Marianna Says:

    The library! How that has triggered a memory of the book-mobile – a rolling library that would come to our small country school.

    Then, later, the trips to the “big” library in town.

    We are truly blessed in this country to have libraries. May they live long and prosper and not go the way of your beloved The Times.

    • Magpie11 Says:

      We lived out in the sticks many times so libraries were fewa nd far between. When staying with Grannie I always went to the her library to borrow books.
      At Wymondham College our library was in a Nissen hut..like our dormitories and classrooms at first.

      The school was a boarding Grammar School and used the buildings of an old U.S. WWII Hospital. Although I hated it I look back with some affection…it gave me one thing above all else: an ability to carry on a conversation with anyone in the world.


      This link provides some more information.

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