Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Raymond Sheppard and Reynold's News and Sunday Citizen (Part One)

Reynolds News was a weekly Sunday newspaper in which Raymond Sheppard did some lovely illustrations. I have browsed the whole of 1957 and until I came to July there were few editorial cartoons, let alone illustrations to stories. Jon Marshall has lots of caricatures of leading politicians from 1957 - MacMillan appearing a few times.
Reynold's News 1957 July 21
Crusoes of Sunday Island by Elsie K. Morton
A crude scan of a photocopy!

Thanks to Christine Sheppard preserving cuttings that her Father (or Mother) made at the time of publication we have access to clearer representations than scans from the British Library. Sheppard drew for so many publications and exhibited many times we may never find some of this information except for those tiny leads that take us in the right direction. I now own photocopies of the pages from this newspaper but as can be seen above the original newsprint does not lend itself to easy reproduction (especially from a microfilm!). Fortunately Christine has her original cuttings. All clearer images below are my photos of cuttings so they are not flat, but based on 14 years of searching I own not a single original newspaper and I think it very unlikely that even if I owned one that the images would be clearer than Christine's cuttings.

Reynold's News 1957 July 21
Crusoes of Sunday Island by Elsie K. Morton

The University of Bradford helpfully outlines the history of this unusual paper.

"Reynolds's Weekly Newspaper" was founded by the radical journalist George William MacArthur Reynolds in May 1850. It soon became a very successful Sunday newspaper, especially in the North of England, with a radical working class approach combined with sensationalism.
The Reynolds family retained the paper until 1894, when, under proprietor Sir Henry Dalziel and editor William Thompson, "Reynolds's Newspaper" became the Sunday paper that reflect[ed] the Liberal Party's views. In 1925, the paper's change of name to "Reynold's Illustrated News" reflected the growing importance of pictorial content in news coverage.
The paper was later acquired by the National Co-operative Press on behalf of the Labour Party, becoming the Sunday voice of opposition as "Reynolds News and Sunday Citizen". It ceased publication in 1967, by which time it was known as "Sunday Citizen".
The full history of the changing names of the paper, as far as we can ascertain from the collection at Bradford:
  • Reynolds’s Weekly Newspaper from 18 August 1850 to 9 February 1851
  • Reynolds’s Newspaper from 16 February 1851 to 25 February 1923
  • Reynolds’s from 4 March 1923 to 30 September 1923 (with interior page heading Reynolds’s News)
  • Reynolds’s News from 7 October 1923 to 21 September 1924
  • Reynolds’s Illustrated News from 28 September 1924 to 23 February 1936
  • Reynolds News from 1 March 1936 to 13 August 1944
  • Reynolds News and Sunday Citizen from 20 August 1944 to 16 September 1962
  • Sunday Citizen and Reynolds News from 23 September 1962 to 14 February 1965
  • Sunday Citizen incorporating Reynolds News from 21 February 1965 (to December 1965, latest issue held).

Reynold's News 1957 July 28

In my later research into the Sixties version I noted that the slogan of The Sunday Citizen newspaper (note: not a magazine), calling itself a democratic socialist weekly paper, is "The government of the people by the people". The Sunday Extra was a 4 page pullout "for the young and all the young at heart"  - a free comic supplement to the Sunday Citizen which contained comic strips by the likes of John Burns, Frank Langford and Frank Bellamy's one page summary of Poe's 'Pit and the Pendulum'.

But in the Fifties, when Sheppard did his illustrations the paper only had 12 pages, 3 of them sport so the inclusion of a serialised book was unusual.

Reynold's News 1957 August 4

The illustrations above accompanied Crusoes of Sunday Island by Elsie K. Morton and the full text is available online  thanks to Victoria the University of Wellington, New Zealand, we can read the author's preface:

Crusoes of Sunday Island is a factual account of the experiences and adventures of the Bell family on Sunday Island presented in story form. It is neither a documentary recital of their misfortunes and achievements, nor a personal history of the family, but is based on the actual happenings as related to me by Mrs. Bessie Dyke, Thomas Bell's's oldest surviving daughter, co-heroine of the story with her elder sister Hettie, the late Mrs. G. Gelderd.

Mrs. Dyke, now in her eighty-ninth year, possesses a remarkable memory, and has told in full detail the story of her extraordinary childhood and of her parents' heart-breaking misfortunes in the early years of their Sunday Island sojourn.

As the only surviving member of the family possessing personal memories of the ill-starred Denham Bay landing in 1878, and of the annexation of the island to New Zealand nine years later, she has given me permission to use the facts of her story as I see fit. Every episode related in the book, also the descriptions of Sunday Island as it was eighty years ago, are therefore based on fact, and follow as closely as possible Mrs. Dyke's own reminiscences.

It has obviously been impossible in every instance to record actual dialogue, but in many cases, conversations have been given in the exact words used by Mrs. Dyke. Elsewhere I have made a sincere attempt to suggest the manner in which this courageous family reacted to their often hostile environment, how they talked, and sometimes what they may have thought.

This story of an actual family's adventures obviously cannot be compared as a work of literature with Robinson Crusoe nor with the uninhibited invention of The Swiss Family Robinson. But I hope that its authenticity may win it a place of its own in the never-too-full shelf of desert island books.

The interest of the Bell saga lies in its grim realism, from the day Thomas Bell landed with his family on Sunday Island's surf-swept shore to his embittered departure thirty-five years later.

Elsie K. Morton (1885 - 1968) - was born Katherine Elizabeth Morton and this story of the Bell family tells how they settled between 1868-1904 on Raoul Island, known also as Sunday Island
Reynold's News 1957 August 11

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