Paper Past Timaru Herald 1864 -1900
Timaru Herald Monday May 3 1886 page 3
It was on the morning of the 11th June, 1864, that the Timaru Herald was established, the proprietors being Messrs Ingram Shrimpton, Alfred George Horton, and Fred Edmond Younghusband, carrying on business in the name or firm of "A.G. Horton and Co." The paper commenced as a weekly one off our sheets demy folio in size. The "office" in which the first copy was struck off was a two-roomed cottage with lean-to attached, which was at one time used by "Old Sam Williams" - may the turf rest lightly o'er his grave- as the kitchen of his Club Hotel, the site of which is now covered by the N.M. and A. Company's grain store, George street. After a stay at this office of about eighteen months a shift was made to the main street, the one we vacate this day. The office then consisted of a two-storey building; on the ground floor being the editorial rooms, the news composing-room and the jobbing and press room. All went smoothly with us till Monday, December 7th 1868, when the "great fire" destroyed our offices, and thirty other shop and buildings. At this time the paper was a bi-weekly; had been sold by the first proprietors to Messrs Horton and Belfield, and was demy in size. The fire commenced in Mr D. Munro's furniture warehouse, and burnt right along the main south road on both sides from George street to almost the corner of North street. Thousands of pounds worth of property were destroyed.
Timaru Herald of December 12th, 1868
"To those who had seen the town grow year by year, the calamity appeared like a dream so clean had the town been swept away and reduced to a mere village- the shadow of its former self."
There is no denying, however, that the fire did an enormous amount of good, and that to it we indirectly owe the fact that we now have such handsome buildings lining both sides of that part of the Main South road mentioned. From the fire we managed to save a large quantity of type, paper, etc., and also the press, so that our readers did not want for their morning paper. The late Captain Cain kindly placed a room in his bonded store at our service- the store now occupied by Mr Cornish-and in it we carried on business until new premises were built. There were the ones we have just left. Messrs Horton and Belfield continued to run the paper for about two years, when the former sold out his share to Mr Herbert Belfield, who remained in sole possession till the 1st of April, 1882, when he in turn sold out to a limited liability company. In the mean-time the paper had been made a try-weekly, and shortly afterwards a daily, being increased in size to news form, and lastly to royal, its present size. The Company only kept the some three years when they transferred it to Mr Joseph Ives, the present proprietor, who took it over on the 1st March last. On that day the "make up" of the paper was considerably altered-for the better-, and the gentlemen who now has it intends, in order to do justice to the mass of news that daily comes to hand, to enlarge the paper very much at an early date. The Foreman of our News department (Mr Frederick Osborne) was present at the birth of the paper, and has been with us ever since, it is being very rare indeed that an employee stays so long as 22 years on a journal in this colony, colonists as a rule possessing migratory instincts.
The New Buildings
The buildings are situate on a corner section fronting on Sophia street, and running parallel with the northern side of Ross's arcade. The site is right opposite the eastern side of the Government buildings, and within a few minutes' walk of the chief business premises of the town. The main entrance is in Sophia street, the large double doors leading the visitor right into the public offices and bookkeeper's rooms on the left, the jobbing department on the right. The first-mentioned rooms are exceedingly well finished, being varnished and plastered throughout, a very neat counter running across the public room. The jobbing room is 23ft by 24ft, inside measurement, is comfortable looking and well furnished. The rooms are lit in front by large circular-headed polished British plate-glass windows, the frames of American pine, and very strong; Passing through, the machine room is next entered, and is of the following dimensions: 30ft 9 in wife by 36ft long. Dividing the ceiling into two is a massive iron-bark girder, 14" by 14 ", supported by a strong pillar, along which the girder the shafting which carries the pulleys that drive the several machines, is led. In the room is a Wharfe-dale news machine, an Ingle Show Lane, and one of Harrild's Bremner machines, which is used by the jobbing department; two Albion presses- a Royal and double news; a most improved guillotine, a Minerva machine for working off small jobs, a perforating machine, and a small model printing machine for striking off cards, etc. In addition to these are also a stereotyping foundry, and first-class ruling machine. The ordinary news machine is Dawson's Wharfedale, which generally runs off 1200 copies of the Herald per hour, but a considerably higher speed can be obtained if required. All the large machines are fitted with automatic flyers, or self-delivery apparatus. The sheets are received immediately after leaving the formes by grippers which release the sheets into tapes, by means of which the paper is carried to the receiving board. ..... Harrild's Bremner is the machine upon which the paper was recently worked.... It has been in use for the last to years and so nicely can the impression and ink be adjusted that it works with equal facility either a large poster, a show card in various colors, or a neat circular. Harrild's gas stereo, foundry has proved of great utility to us. By its aid we are enabled to stereotype formes of intricate matter so that should any be required at future dates they can be easily struck off the stereo. Connected with the foundry is a complete treadle saw bench for cutting furniture, reglet, wood, and metal stereo. mounts, etc. To the left of the machine-room are rooms for stationary, paper, engines, type washing, and paper folding, the last of which has a large folding table erected in the centre of it. Adjoining the rooms are the necessary out-buildings, courts, etc. A broad neatly-finished staircase springs from the western end of the machine-room and leads to the first floor, which is entirely set apart for the literary and news-composing staff of the Timaru Herald. On reaching the landing, a sharp turn to the right and then to the left brings the visitor to the Editor's sanctum, which is roomy, well ventilated and lit, and most comfortable looking. Adjoining this on the northern side, is a spare, or board room, and on the southern, the reporter's room. Coming out into the hall again, the sub-editor's room is met with on the left.... On the eastern side of these rooms is the news-composing room, 30ft 9 in by about 34ft. Connecting with the sub-editor's room is a "copy" door, through which the foreman of the news room receives every evening the necessary material for filling up his paper. The formes are sent to the machinist by a lift, which is placed at the western end of the composing room.
The whole building has a frontage on Sophia street of fifty-eight feet, and runs back 63ft 9in,this being the depth of the frontage of Ross's Arcade. The site was "made ground" and to ensure good foundations for the buildings the contractors had to excavate over 22ft below the ground floor level. The foundations were put sown in arch-like form resting on remarkably strong piers. ... Leading into Ross' Arcade is the back entrance to the premises... The elevation on Sophia street towers to a height of 36 feet, and the facade is exceptionally handsome. Two steps, of Timaru bluestone, lead to the main entrance doors, which are massive panel ones, neatly moulded, and are surmounted with a large fanlight... The panel of the parapet is recessed, the black and white ornamental bricks showing to great advantage. In the centre of the top of the facade is an entablature bearing the words
And above this are the figures "1885," denoting the year in which the buildings were commenced. The architects Messrs Meason and Marchant. This is the first time these gentlemen have drawn plans for a building in Timaru. The contractors for the building were Messrs Palliser and Jones, and they have done work faithfully and well and to the entire satisfaction of Mr Ogilvie, the clerk of works.
Timaru Herald Nov. 5 1875
Mr Wakefield is editor of the Timaru Herald. He was among the early Canterbury settlers, and has had a long political training as Secretary to Mr Stafford and other ministers. He is a strong Abolitionist.
Otago Daily Times 11 November 1875, Page 2
Timaru, November 10th. The Timaru Herald is announced to come out as a daily from the first, January. The weekly is to be called the Tomahawk, and to be published by the same office from that date. Mr Stafford will address his constituents in a few weeks.
Timaru Herald Monday, May 2, 1887.
This morning the Timaru Herald commences another period of its existence, being published for the new proprietor, Mr E. G. Kerr. The history of this journal is well known in South Canterbury, where it has enjoyed a wide and deserved popularity, and achieved very gratifying success. The new proprietor is sensible of the responsibility that rests upon anyone who may have control of the leading paper in such an important district as South Canterbury, and will see that all interests are properly and fairly represented. Owing to the general depression, keen competition and other causes, which need not be particularised, the paper has for the last few years ceased to progress, but the prestige of its name still exists, and its vitality is undiminished. We have the utmost confidence that under prurient management the paper will regain all its lost ground and make even more. Our confidence m the future of the paper is born of our confidence in the public, who do not fail, here or elsewhere, to recognise honest and earnest efforts to provide them with a good paper. This it will be our constant aim to make the Herald by giving m its columns all current news within telegraphic radius, and recording all events of local importance. By doing this and by opening our correspondence columns for the discussion of subjects of interest, maintaining a consistent political tone and giving due prominence to social questions, we may fairly hope to make this journal generally acceptable. One thing above all � the Timaru Herald is thoroughly independent; it is the organ of no party, the mouth piece of no clique, social or political. It would be profitless if we were to further air the intentions with which the paper is started on its new career and we shall not, therefore, pursue the subject. All that remains for us now having notified the change of ownership, is to place the paper in the hands of the public and let them decide what measure of success shall attend our efforts.
Timaru Herald Saturday, April 30, 1887.
A newspaper may be described as the recording angel of the stream of events. While it photographs the passing scene, it has a history of its own. Who shall record it? Again, a newspaper is the critic of institutions. But it is itself an institution, and may be criticised. Some times an angry rival gives a distorted picture of his opponent's business. On other occasions a journal itself may step out of its maiden modesty like a spinster in leap-year and speak of itself. At birth, when in full panoply it leaps from the brain of its founder, or rather from the purse of its promoters, it crows cheerily. It is in the place to speak the truth, and the truth it will speak impugn it whose lists. Yet again it is privileged to speak. When it dies : or when like Enoch it is translated without dying. Indulgent reader, to-day the Timaru Herald is in process of translation. This time is the fourth ! The paper must have had singular vitality to stand it, or shall we say, which is nearer the truth, that South Canterbury is a healthy district. But transfusion of blood is a desperate remedy. Death is never far off. It needs no prophet to say of each one in charge "
"He is but one of a moving row,
Of magic shadow shapes that come and go."
The Timaru Herald has had an eventful career. Ten years ago it was in the prime of life, slashing away at the Dr Von Humbugs, playing with the Ancient Mariner as a, cat plays with a mouse, rawing up the Town Council and the Building Society, pitching into unfortunate schoolmasters or more unfortunate parsons. There was some neat writing in these days. The Herald was feared at home, and laughed at abroad. Then was the golden age of Timaru when the boys of the Mackenzie Country and the few curled darlings of the town hobnobbed at the carousals of Sport's week. And the revenue of the Timaru Herald responded to the slashing writing of the times. Not because of it, oh dear no, but in spite of it. Then the turn-over of the paper was upwards of ten thousand a year, and allowing twenty-five pounds as the cost of each of the daily issues, it left to its amiable and gentlemanly proprietor, Mr Herbert Belfield, a handsome return. But like as the lightning in the "collied night that in a spleen unfolds both heaven and earth, and ere a man say Behold !" did this bright state of things come to a conclusion. Eight years ago the ship of the Herald was in heavy seas. It struggled along for some time with a staff out of all proportion to its income, and was for the money expended a rather indifferent publication. It was then that even in its own columns some Splatter-sputter- of a correspondent recommended a cleansing of the Augean stable. There were too many hands. The defeat of Mr Wakefield, at Geraldine, led to one of the translations referred to. His friends busied themselves to get him a billet, and a company was formed. One and all they were a most respectable body of men ; but one and all were alike innocent of the details of newspaper work. Even their smart editor was in the same category : for the successful conduct of a paper depends on something else than the ability to write a leading article. However, things went merrily as a marriage bell till it was time to produce a balance-sheet. From that time troubles began. Woe worth the day they ever dabbled in newspaper work, was the bitter cry of the shareholders who had to go without dividends, and have now sold out their shares at a ruinous discount. But when the company was formed if there bad been " a cleansing of the Augean stable :" if only properly trained newspaper men had been employed : if things had been put on a business footing, if details had been properly attended to ; if strict economy had been the order of the day, even with a falling revenue from auction and general business advertisements, the Herald might have been m a better position, and a less ruinous investment to the shareholders. But it was too late before the Company fairly took the affair in hand. A partial reconstruction of the Editorial Department, which then cost about a thousand a year, was first effected. The slashing editor was succeeded by a thoroughly able and competent journalist �Mr Triggs � but he came too late, and bad not power to " sack " useless hands, And so the Herald went along surely but slowly eating off its own head.
We now come to another translation � to the present proprietor whose term expires with this issue. He soon found what sort of legacy he had got with his hands in the shape of employees. It was a losing concern, a veritable white elephant. He was unfortunately compelled to dispense with the services of many of the old hands who had been in the office for many years. And this to save himself. It never is a pleasing task to dispense with the services of old hands. Regrets, not to say prejudices, and even odium arise in such cases. But the path of duty is the path of business. In the course of negotiations with the old Company to obtain such terms as would be barely remunerative, the business was sold to the proprietor of the evening paper in Timaru, who from to-day will issue the Herald. Such is a brief sketch of the financial history of this paper up to date. We may now look for a little at the probabilities of the future. Is Timaru large enough to support a morning daily ? Very doubtful. It takes Dunedin to enable its morning daily to pay a fair dividend, and in the case of the three leading dailies in the South Island, it is just possible that not one of them would pay without the revenue accruing from their splendid weeklies and their job printing. It is a poor look-out for Timaru. That the Herald paid some ten or twelve years ago when settlement was going rapidly ahead, and when such firms as McLean and Stewart, Jonas, Hart and Wiklie were paying each about �50 a month for advertising is no basis to go on. That time, alas ! can never return. Solicitors, land brokers, commission agents, builders, and architects know that to their cost. Of course the public want a morning paper. We all want more than we often can get or afford. To use a witty expression of Charles II., the public yet can't see that " Nothing more can be done in the matter than is possible." A good evening paper such as we trust to make the projected Timaru Evening Mail will do well, for at present it is a matter of notoriety that the evening papers in New Zealand are, with three exceptions (Auckland Herald, Otago Daily Times and Lyttelton Times), the only properties worth having in the newspaper line. But whether a morning paper can be supported in Timaru or not, it is monstrous that both the morning and evening papers should be controlled by the same hand. In the interest of the public, in the interest of fair play and justice, it is necessary that there should be healthy opposition. Cases of actual maligning individuals because of spite and rancorous feelings are fortunately rare, and the outraged individual can always appeal to a Court of law ; but it is possible to dam away with faint praise or to annoy without committing a libel, and it is to prevent the abuse of this that in most towns of any size there should be and is an opposition paper. We doubt not before the two months elapse before the publishing of the Mail there will be plenty of cases of uneasiness and discontent that things lie aye in one direction. The public will be glad to welcome an opposition paper. From the point of view of the newspaper business itself it is an undoubted fact that a morning and an evening newspaper published in the one office never go well together. Probably for a week or so there will be some little splutter which means money. When accounts are reckoned up, the first spurt will get a rude check. The readers will never know where they are. The morning will be jumbled up with the evening, and the evening with the morning. We can fancy some one remarking " I read that this morning, or " I read that last night." Result � disgust. Then comes the inevitable hush ! When at noonday the sun's rays penetrate the forest there is often heard a long sob, a kind of plaintive cry echoing from the distance. It is the struggling breath of the feeble breeze. Indulgent reader, we do not say farewell, We shall meet again in the pages of the Mail -. Men worship the rising rather than the setting sun. ...
Papers Past website 'Manawatu Herald', June 18 1891 page 2
History of the First Daily Newspaper in NZ, the Otago Daily Times.
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project
Timaru Herald April 30th 1887
It will be seen by advertisement that the promoter of the Timaru Evening Mail intends to publish the new paper in Mr Quinn's Building, and all orders for advertising, subscriptions, and job printing will be received at his temporary office, next W. Collins and Co., Auction Mart, Cain's Terrace, until he enters into occupation of his permanent office in July. Price One Penny. Joseph Ivess. Prospectus - page 4
Eight years ago the ship of the HERALD was in heavy seas. There were to many hands.
Recent history - 2007
The Timaru Herald began publishing in 1864, initially as a weekly, then bi and tri-weekly, before becoming a daily morning newspaper on January 1, 1878. On May 1, 1898, the Herald was purchased by Edward George Kerr, the owner and publisher of the South Canterbury Times since 1881. He ran the two papers from the Herald's Sophia Street premises until 1901 when the Times ceased publication. The Timaru Herald Company Ltd was formed in 1905 and was controlled principally by members of the Kerr family. The Kerr family ownership of the company remained until 1983 when Independent Newspapers Ltd acquired a 20 per cent holding. Two years later INL gained a controlling interest. The Herald has been something of a trendsetter for the New Zealand newspaper industry over the years. In 1900 the Herald became one of the first New Zealand daily papers to replace hand-composed type with a linotype setting machine. In 1914, as South Canterbury developed, the company began New Zealand's first daily rural mail and newspaper delivery service; in 1957 it became the first newspaper to offer two-colour printing; and in 1988 the Herald pioneered the technology that enabled journalists to input copy directly into computers. At the same time the Herald became the first newspaper in the South Pacific to introduce fully computerised page layout and production systems. The company changed its name to Herald Communications Ltd in 1991, but in 2001 changed back to Timaru Herald Limited. It operates in a provincial rural-based economy reliant on farming, horticulture and fishing. South Canterbury has a population of 54,327.
The Timaru Herald will move from 52 Bank St. building to the former South Canterbury Finance building in Sophia St. in December 2012.
'GREAT AGENT' FOR LOCAL HISTORY
Claire Haren 10 October 2006 Timaru Herald
Newspapers, it is said, contain the first draft of history. For 142 years that has been The Timaru Herald's role. This weekly series looks at how some of the defining moments in South Canterbury history were reported. The first draft of South Canterbury's written history appeared on June 11, 1864. This was the first edition of The Timaru Herald, a respectable eight pages that cost sixpence (1.1s for an annual subscription, payable in advance) and was to be produced every Saturday. It became a bi-weekly, then a tri-weekly publication, before becoming a daily morning newspaper on January 1, 1878.
In the first edition, "the proprietor" wrote of his hopes for the newspaper, and what benefits he believed it would bring to the fledgling district. "The local newspaper is the great agent for writing the history of the age and disseminating it amongst the people. It educates people by making education necessary to them. It is the guardian of liberty, and of law, because both liberty and law can only exist where the acts of public functionaries are subject to publicity.
"Of the part which the newspaper press takes in guiding the public mind in its political and social movements we say nothing; for that is rather accidental to the newspaper than an essential to it, especially to the local papers of remote districts. But as the organ and voice of the people, expressing their wants and urging their claims, the local journal is of the greatest use to the public. In starting the Timaru Herald it is the intention of the proprietors to keep this mainly in view. "Situated in the midst of an immense district almost wholly unsettled, and with resources very partially developed, our primary task will be to keep the wants and claims of the district perpetually before the public and the Government.
"But it is not only in the leading articles of a newspaper that the public mind is reflected. The editor may mistake or mis-state public feelings. As a corrective to such error our columns shall be freely open to correspondents of all opinions, provided only that the language in which their opinions are couched is such as to cast no discredit on the journal which is the medium of publication." The eight-page first edition also featured more than a page of Supreme Court business - matters before His Honor Mr Justice Gresson (note the American spelling of Honor).
Other items included coverage of the Resident Magistrate's Court, a lengthy report of a masquerade and fancy dress ball in the Mechanics Institute in Timaru (believed to be the first event of its kind in the province). The ball was obviously a success - "dancing did not cease until nearly seven o'clock in the morning".
The Ivanhoe arrived from London, "but in consequence of several deaths having taken place, the last of which was from typhoid fever seven days ago, the Health Officer ordered the ship into quarantine, and to sail to Camp Bay at once".
There was a fire at Waitaki -- the stables belonging to Messrs Tyler and Brown, at the Waitaki Ferry. Upwards of three hundred pounds worth of property was supposed to have been destroyed.
And the Geraldine Road Board was about to take steps for the immediate erection of a bridge for foot passengers over the river Temuka. "This has long been felt desirable, but more especially now, as we understand that there is a probability of a Church being built on the northern side of the river."
27 Aug. 2011
Peter O'Neill, a Timaruvian, has been appointed the editor of The Timaru Herald. His current position is editor of The Ashburton Guardian. David King, the previous editor left the Timaru Herald in June 2011 to take up the new position of general manager of Fairfax Editorial Services.