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Couple discover one of regional daily’s oldest copies at home

A couple have discovered one of a regional daily’s oldest copies in their house – prompting the newspaper’s current editor to remind readers of its importance as a historical record.

Mairi and Norman Summersby, pictured, discovered the copy of the Oxford Mail from 1928 – the year the paper was founded.

The copy in question was printed on 12 December that year in broadsheet format and was priced at one penny.


Mrs Summersby, 66, told the Mail: “My husband was going through his things and having a good tidy up when he found it in one of the boxes that he hadn’t touched. He can’t remember how he came to have it.

“Could it have been from his mum or dad? We’ve been trying to think whether it could have been from this person or that person. It’s a bit of a mystery really.”

The find prompted current Mail editor Samantha Harman to run a comment piece emphasising the paper’s importance during the coronavirus otbreak.

She wrote: “Newspapers not only keep communities connected, they form important historical records.

“Each edition is a time capsule made of paper, able to transport its reader back to the very day upon which is was printed. Who were the big players in the city? What were the issues of the day? What was the mood of the public?

“All of these questions can be answered by looking through any edition of the Oxford Mail over the past almost 92 years.”

Samantha added: “Fast-forward almost 92 years and whilst so much has changed, the principles behind your Oxford Mail have not.

“We may do things very differently (one wonders what the founding editor would have made of the internet). But we are still here for the same purpose – to serve the community, campaign, ask questions on your behalf and keep you updated and entertained.”

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  • May 1, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    I’m a little suspicious that’s a reprint copy, perhaps issued for the paper’s 50th or 75th anniversary. Look at the whiteness of the supposedly 92-year-old paper, its general condition and the fact that printing streaks and splodges don’t reach the edge.

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