Snapshots of history

Every time we do any work on the house we inevitably find pieces of newspaper, very handily as we can then date the part that we are removing. We can date all work that was done to the house to 1897, 1929, 1939, 1941, 1950, 1952, 1974 and 1981. This gives us a fascinating insight into the story of the house.

Most of the newspaper is found screwed up and pushed into gaps then plastered and cemented into the walls, floors and ceilings. It takes a while to unravel some of it, but it’s definitely worth the time!

The oldest newspaper we found, October 16th, 1897! It appears to be a local paper from Nuneaton and was published “thrice weekly”. This was uncovered under some timber cladding on the wall next to the very old front door. It was cemented in and took a great deal of persuading to come out.

This is the same year as the bar bill that fell out of our sitting room ceiling last summer, a bar bill for John Coles who lived in the house at that time. We knew this as Cat had already done some digging through the census reports. John Coles was a ‘Journeyman’, whatever that may be!

There is no date on these bits of paper, but they are around 1920 we think. These were found while taking out the ceiling of the landing. The story about the train rescue is particularly entertaining.

This was found under the window seat in the sitting room, when we uncovered all those pins and buttons among other items. No date, but it looks around early 20th century from the typeface. It has been cut in a straight line so could have been used as a pattern for sewing.

The Daily Mail, July 15th, 1929. This was cemented in between the door frame and the wall at the bottom of the staircase in the sitting room.

Our electrician, Sam, found this in the corner of the sitting room wall, to the right of the cubby hole. No date, but the film “Evangeline” was released in 1929, so this could be part of the same Daily Mail found by the door to the staircase (on the same wall).

Another Daily Mail, this time from September 25th, 1939. All these bits were found on the landing, down the side of the floorboards near the external wall (just above the sitting room wall where the 1929 papers were found). All the stories, adverts and illustrations are amazing!

A religious pamphlet from 1941, showing the work of overseas missionaries in South East Asia and Africa. The way they report from Africa is rather alarming…

A workman’s poem printed out and plastered into the wall. The poem was written in the 1850’s by John Macquorn Rankin, a Scottish Scientist, Civil Engineer and Poet. It was printed and there were two copies, but we don’t know the date it was put there, but probably around 1940’s.

The People, February 19th, 1950. Found when taking out the ceilings upstairs. There is a lot of this one, these snippets are just a small part of it, there are some great 50’s adverts.

These remnants were found 3 years ago when we took down the plasterboard ceilings in the dining room. No date is visible but the visit to Buckingham Palace of Miss. Truman was 1952.

The Mirror, May 13, 1974. This was found under the carpet in Zanna’s bedroom which was appropriate as that is the year Zanna was born!

The Sunday Times, November 1st, 1981. This was found behind the plasterboard wall of the spare room (the new bathroom), the wall where the old wooden window seat was found.

Property adverts from 1981 when a house in Chelsea cost £147K!

A 4/5 bedroom house is the Cotswolds was £55K in 1981!


    1. Oh my god, could he be responsible for the atrocious repairs to the house??? He was a heavy drinker, we know this from his bar bill, could explain a lot….

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