Hertfordshire Newspapers

and other sources of Hertfordshire News


Guide to Old Hertfordshire


I must declare a family and personal interest!

In 1836 my ancestor, John Gibbs of Aylesbury, founded the Aylesbury News with his son, John Rolls Gibbs as editor. Later another son, Robert Gibbs, became editor and the paper was renamed the Bucks Advertiser. In 1855 John's brother, Robert Gibbs founded the St Albans paper, the Herts Advertiser, and the business expanded to become the publisher Gibbs & Bamforth and the Home Counties Newspaper Group. In 1872 my great grandfather, Frederick George Baylis, became owner and editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser, having previously worked  on the Gloucester Journal and the Exeter Daily Gazette. In 1946 my father, Gerald Finch Reynolds, took over a newsagents shop in Newton Abbot, Devon, and I grew up "under the counter" helping to sell a wide range of daily newspapers and magazines. As a student in 1959 my summer job was to sell the London Evening News to holidaymakers on the beach at Teignmouth. In 1978, having started researching my ancestors, I spent many happy hours in the Buckinghamshire County Library extracting family extracting family information from the bound copies of the Aylesbury News. By the 1980s I was into part-time freelance journalism in a range of publications - but especially the New Scientist. In 1991 I started work on the book, The London Gunners come to Town with my mother, Frances Bertha Locke, who was born at Hemel Hempstead. This involved photographing many pages of bound copies (too fragile to photocopy) of the Hemel Hempstead Gazette from the First World War period, including many news reports mentioning my Grandfather, Walter Richard Locke. I also looked at a number of other local papers, the most important being the Watford Illustrated. From 1995 I started researching parts of St Albans and ended up with over a thousand photocopies (from microfilm) of the Herts Advertiser - mainly in the 1860-1900 period. In about 2000 I started building a library to support this web site - and this included purchasing a few individual copies of 19th century newspapers - the most exciting being a free monthly newssheet of the Royston Crow - published in a periods when neither HALS or the British Library have any evidence that the paper was being published.  And with the British Newspaper Archive going online in 2012 I am really excited ... ...