Straying from this blog’s specific theme of Tennessee newspapers (and more broadly, US newspapers), I couldn’t resist posting a link to this sumptuous selection of newspaper-related photographs in today’s Guardian. The images have been compiled as a tribute to the former hub of the British newspaper industry – Fleet Street – which, sees its last two journalists leaving the street today.
This selection of photographs demonstrates what an incredibly labor-intensive industry newspaper publishing was. From the roomful of typesetters nimbly placing rows of metal type and using mallets to secure/loosen the type, the huge rolls of paper pulled by traction engine through the streets for loading into the massive printing presses, and the small army of Press Association messenger boys.
When I used to work in London, my bus journey would take me the length of Fleet Street. I used to know the accuracy of every clock on that route, so the image of the men dismantling the Telegraph clock made me smile. I also vividly remember News International’s departure from Fleet Street (also featured in this selection), and the “Battle of Wapping” that followed.
Although the street is no longer home to the newspaper industry, it is still its spiritual home, and will remain so as long as Christopher Wren’s St Bride’s Church (“the journalist’s church”) is there.