Old ‘emergency’ copies sparking new interest

Frank Perchard found old copies of the Bexhill Observer and Sussex Express. London Road, Battle. SUS-150520-133929001
Frank Perchard found old copies of the Bexhill Observer and Sussex Express. London Road, Battle. SUS-150520-133929001
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Questions have been raised after a Battle man discovered a number of old and unique editions of the Bexhill Observer in his wardrobe.

Frank Perchard made the discovery while doing a bit of spring cleaning but is now delving a bit deeper due to the unusual nature of the papers.

Mr Perchard, of London Road, Battle, said: “I was having a bit of a tidy up and there was a pile of pullovers folded in my wardrobe. I picked them up to throw them away and these papers were underneath them.

“I have about six to eight copies of the Bexhill Observer and Sussex Express but they’re not usual editions. For a start, they’re much smaller - I’d say about 14 inches by eight inches – and cost a tuppence.

“They also have ‘emergency edition’ written at the top just underneath the title. I would have thought any emergency copy of the paper would have just had world news and what was going on at the time but it still had all the usual Bexhill Observer items, such as the cricket scores and some stories of local people doing naughty things.

“I can’t think why there would be an emergency copy in 1960. I don’t think it could have been for a strike because then the paper wouldn’t have been printed at all.

“It’s a mystery to me but I would really quite like to find out the story behind them.”

The front page of one Bexhill-on-Sea Observer, dated Saturday, July 25, 1959, features stories including ‘Record Regatta Hope: 295 Oarsmen Enter’, ‘Cricketer Drowned at Bexhill’ and ‘Grammar School Prizegiving’.