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Victorian editions of the Gazette are auctioned

A bound volume containing a year’s copies of the Tiverton Gazette from 1874 has gone under the hammer, fetching £160 at auction.

The large leather-bound volume contains Victorian editions of the Gazette and other titles, including the Bridgewater Gazette and Western Counties Advertiser.

It had been estimated to fetch between £100 and £150 when it was put up for sale by auctioneers Chilcotts in Tiverton alongside fine art and railwayana, but was eventually bought for £160.

The editons of the Gazette contain many reports of agricultural accidents, including three separate falls from hayricks – including one where the unfortunate man fell on his pitchfork and disembowelled himself.

Another report described a boy who worked in a clothes factory in Wellington who was involved in an industrial accident. The report states: “After the doctor had amputated a finger, the boy was barely inconvenienced.”

Liz Chilcott, who runs the auction house with her husband Duncan, said browsing through the copies had provided a fascinating glimpse into life in Devon in the 1870s.

She said: “There was quite a lot of excitement in the press of the time about the coming of the railway, but there were also reports of a number of farm suicides.

“In a few cases, farmers threw themselves in front of trains.”

The Gazette also had a Ladies’ Corner handing out advice to Victorian women about how to conduct themselves in order to be good wives and mothers. Do you have a story about the regional press?
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