About the Ledbury Newspapers
For the record, the earliest known printing in the town was in 1817 when Mr H.Holder of Butcher Row published the Ledbury Diary or Weekly Magazine with five issues in that year. And in 1825, Thomas Ward applied for a license for printing in Ledbury.
The first Ledbury newspaper was the Ledbury Free Press founded in 1869. In 1875 it was bought by the Ledbury printer, Mr. Luke Tilley, from a Mr. Phillip Bayliss. Tilley and his daughter continued to print and publish the paper, and in time it was renamed the Ledbury Guardian and Herefordshire Advertiser.
A second broadsheet was founded in 1896 by Thomas Vaughan, the Ledbury Reporter and District Chronicle. He was proprietor, editor and reporter and he hand-printed the paper on his press in Church Lane. The first issue appeared on Friday 27 November and the masthead from Issue 7 of 1897 is shown above. He died in 1911. From January to August 1914 it seems to have been printed as pages within The Abergavenny Mail, published at this time in Ledbury.This arrangement ended in the August.
Above is the LG & HA masthead from October 1914 with a prominent advert for the Tilley family’s latest enterprise in the corner.
Until 1921 the town supported two newspapers but, in that year, the Reporter and the Ledbury Guardian and Herefordshire Advertiser were amalgamated, the new paper being named the Ledbury Reporter and Guardian.
Above is the 1945 masthead. It finally dropped the and Guardian from the beginning of 1968. Since 1970 it has been a local sub-edition of the Malvern Gazette, initially as the Ledbury edition of the Malvern Gazette and Ledbury Reporter; it was renamed the Ledbury Reporter and Malvern Gazette in 1975, but became simply Ledbury Reporter in 1993.
The present Ledbury Reporter is a weekly, tabloid-size newspaper published on a Friday and sold in the market town of Ledbury and surrounding parts of eastern Herefordshire. It is one of fifteen newspapers published by Newsquest (Midlands South), with editorial offices in Worcester. The Newsquest organisation was formed in 1996 and it now publishes over 200 newspapers in the UK. It was bought by and is now a subsidiary of media giant, Gannett Co., Inc., Virginia, U.S.A. (Information correct at 2014)
The British Library holds hard copies of the Ledbury Reporter and Guardian from 1921 to 1967 and microfilm of the Ledbury Reporter and Malvern Gazette / Ledbury Reporter from 1986 onwards. The hard copies will be stored at their Additional Storage Building at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.