The end of an era has been reached in North East England with the last edition of the Gateshead Post being published, more than half-a-century after the newspaper first hit newsstands in the Tyneside town.
Launched in 1946, the Post covered the town as a paid-for and a free title.
In 1991, it was bought by Thomson Regional Newspapers (now Trinity Mirror), publisher of The Journal, Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun.
Falling circulation and rising costs prompted the decision in October 1998 to cease publishing the Post as a paid-for weekly newspaper and instead send it out free of charge with Wednesday’s Newcastle Evening Chronicle. It ceased to have a separate staff.
Chronicle editor Paul Robertson said: “It was a difficult decision, but the fact is much of the content in the Post as it is today had already appeared in the Chronicle. “Gateshead is a very important area for us and we have three reporters based in the town – more than in any other area we serve. “By taking this course of action we are able to reinvest resources to give readers a better service across the week.”
Harry Irving was the founder and first editor of the Gateshead Post. He died in March 1996, aged 90, just 24 hours before the paper was named North East Weekly Newspaper of the Year.
It first appeared on 9 September, 1946, as the Gateshead Times with the headline “Gateshead wants its rate burden lifting”.
Over the next 50 years it became the town’s most successful newspaper. All previous titles, apart from one, were doomed.
The Newcastle Gazette or Northern Courant launched in 1710 and lasted only two years. It would be 125 years before the town had a weekly newspaper again, when the Gateshead Observer was launched. It lasted 22 years. The Gateshead Weekly Pictorial Post shut on 17 March, 1937, after just 14 editions.
The Gateshead Post has now been incorporated into the Trinity Mirror owned Gateshead Herald & Post weekly.
By Rob Stewart