Hull Daily Mail to look back over its 125 year history

Hull Daily Mail is celebrating its 125th year this week with a look back over its history.

Each day this week the award-winning regional paper will retell a number of the stories that have graced its pages through its long history.

The paper was launched on 29 September, 1885, as a way of getting one of its founders elected as a Tory MP.

In the intervening years the Mail has covered a diverse range of stories, including the attack by a Russian fleet on a group of Hull trawlers in 1904, after it mistook them for Japanese warships.

The paper is also set to reprint details of two of the city’s aeronautical spectacles: the R38 airship’s crash over the Humber in 1921 – which killed 44 people – and the historic solo flight of Hull’s Amy Johnson to Australia in the 1930s.

The paper’s coverage of the 1941 ‘Blitzkrieg’ on the city, which devastated the port town and damaged the Mail’s offices, is also set to be relived in the title’s pages.

The celebration of the Mail’s past reporting is timed to coincide with the publication of a book on the history of the Northcliffe Media title.

The paper will be printing extracts from ‘Hull Daily Mail: A Part of the Community’ written by Barbara Robinson, a retired reporter who worked on the paper for 37 years, and the Mail’s history writer, John Markham.

The first extract details how the paper’s staff, many of whom also worked as night watchmen, reported the bombings of the Second World War “with windows blown out and rubble littering the floors.”

The book also details of how in 1961, when there was no other local means of public information, coverage in the Mail helped to ensure the people of Hull were inoculated against polio with the new Salk vaccine.

The book was originally meant to be published in 1985 for the paper’s centenary year, but has finally been finished in time for the 2010 celebrations.

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