AddThis SmartLayers

Binge drinking is old news, editor tells Prince

Prince Charles was given a lesson in the history of journalism when he visited the offices of one of the world’s oldest newspapers this week.

Thumbing through archived original copies of Berrow’s Worcester Journal with Worcester News editor Kevin Ward, he learned that binge drinking was as big a story in the 1700s as it is today.

The Prince was shown a story about a farmer who was described as a “man of great bulk and a guzzler” who had been out with his friends and drunk and eaten so much that he died.

Kevin Ward said he had wanted to illustrate how news and issues today were similar to the issues written about 300 years ago.

In a first person piece published in the Worcester News, Kevin described meeting the future king as “frankly, the most nerve-wracking moment of my career”.

“In my quarter of a century in the newspaper business I’ve met and interviewed a varied bunch of the great and good including Tony Blair, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ian Botham, Sting and the woman who played Madge in Neighbours,” he said.

“Fortunately I don’t tend to get nervous on such occasions. Yesterday, however, was another matter.

“Being presented to the Prince of Wales and talking him through the history of the Berrow’s Worcester Journal and the Worcester News wasn’t me being a journalist and interviewing someone. This was me representing more than 300 years of history.”

The Prince also met Journal editor John Wilson, Newsquest publisher Ian Richardson, and Newsquest regional finance director Bob Smith when he visited the city on Tuesday.

Berrow’s Worcester Journal has been published in the city since 1690, making it one of the oldest surviving newspapers in the world.

The Prince was presented with a copy of the earliest surviving front page, from 1714, and details about Worcester charity Noah’s Ark – a bereavement charity for children and their families. The Worcester News and Berrow’s Worcester Journal are running an appeal to help find the charity a new home.

Before the Prince left the room he spoke to children from nearby Powick School who were pretending to be news reporters writing stories.