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Celebrating our 40,000th edition

The South Wales Evening Post has celebrated its 40,000th edition. The paper has been taking a look back at some of the major news events covered on its pages – and, below, the history of the 142-year-old publication.

The history of the South Wales Evening Post can be traced back to the first edition of the Cambrian Daily Leader, a broadsheet publication which was launched on May 20, 1861.

Curiously, after just four issues, the letter ‘n’ was dropped from the word Cambrian and for the next 69 years the paper was known simply as the Cambria Daily Leader.

The next stage in the newspaper’s evolution occurred on March 17, 1930, when it merged with the South Wales Daily Post, a publication which had been running since February 1893.

It was during the 1930s that the Post employed one of Swansea’s most famous literary sons – firstly as a copy boy and later as a junior reporter.

Dylan Thomas reported on local events such as weddings, fires and funerals.

In his book Dylan the Bard, Andrew Sinclair claimed that Thomas’s brand of journalism left much to be desired.

“As a reporter,” wrote Sinclair, “he was both evasive and inaccurate, finding out that all events were much the same if he left out the names of those attending, which he did.”

In 1932, the newspaper changed its image yet again, with a new name: The South Wales Evening Post.

The Post survived the war years, despite paper shortages and the threat posed by German bombing raids, which flattened so much of Central Swansea, and built upon its reputation to emerge as one of the most respected publications of its kind during the 1950s and 1960s.

It was inevitable, however, that the centre of operations for a newspaper of this calibre would eventually have to move from the site in Castle Bailey Street, which it had occupied since the early years of the 20th Century.

The Post building was actually keyed into the walls of Swansea Castle, which officially made it the oldest newspaper office in Britain.

The move to the present site in Adelaide Street took place over the course of a single weekend in January 1968.

Months of planning had preceded the operation, which involved the transfer of heavy printing equipment that had to be removed from the old building through massive holes which had been punched through the outside walls.

The past few decades have seen other changes, such as the Post’s transformation from an unwieldy broadsheet format to a more convenient tabloid size.

A dedicated website has also been launched which can be accessed from anywhere in the world at a touch of a button.

But the process of gathering information and distributing it to people’s home remains largely unchanged.

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