Driffield Times & Bridlington Chronicle

Many thanks to Mike Wilson for sending in these two photos and details of his early career.

Jim Ireland
Jim Ireland (J. W. Ireland, father of chapel, senior Lino operator at Driffield Times for many years) operating the Model 48 – the one I wanted to work!

Driffield Times was once based in Exchange Street, Driffield, and the Linos were upstairs.

After working as an apprentice at the Bridlington Chronicle from 1952 to 1954, I carried on the apprenticeship at Driffield, as both newspapers were by then owned by Yorkshire Post Newspapers (I think!).

From that office I left to do National Service, and by the time I returned after three years (I signed on to do an extra year), the composing room was in a newly built factory on Wansford Road alongside the railway.

The site is now a housing estate named Fawcett Gardens as it covers the site of Benjamin Fawcett’s Driffield operation.

Bridlington Chronicle
Three Linotypes (two model 4s and a model 1) at the Bridlington Chronicle.

I started there in early September 1952 and my Eagle diary tells me that I spent the day “doing metal.”

I remember melting the metal down in a huge gas-fired crucible (it made a hell of a stink!).

I left school at 16 and started more or less straight away on the Linos. I missed out all the traditional hand-comping experience.

In 1954, when the newspaper was sold to the Bridlington Free Press, we threw all the equipment etc. out of the window into a yard so that it could be taken away.

I still have the type blocks for the masthead of the Chronicle.

Once at Driffield I was deferred from National Service as I attended night school for Linotype Mechanics.

This involved a train trip to Hull and the Hull Daily Mail to be taught by their resident mechanic (can’t recall his name).

I’ve still got the micrometer I was given there.

It was on the train that I learned to play brag and pontoon. I remember also playing hookey one night and going to see “The Quatermass Experiment.”

I had to admit it to my parents because I woke up in the night with nightmares and they wondered what I was screaming at!

One thought on “Driffield Times & Bridlington Chronicle”

  1. Interesting tale. I, too, remember that distinctive smell of the hot metal infused with ink, that seemed to drift everywhere.

    Another Wilson, this time David, who died last month, did a short stint in editorial on the Bridlington Chron, before spending a year or two on the Driffield Times. I did the eulogy at his funeral last weekend, so I’ll post it here as it might interest old-timers.

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