"What the Papers Said" - from Shropshire Caving & Mining Club Archives

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A Shropshire Newspaper and the ‘Mining World’ Journal

Shropshire News and Mineral District Reporter title

In the middle of the 19th Century a newspaper seems to have existed headed ‘Shropshire News and Mineral District Reporter’ which by 1854 had become ‘The Shropshire News, Wellington Advertiser and Mineral District Reporter’. In 1854 Mr. T.Leake of Wellington set up a new newspaper called the ‘Wellington Journal’ which took over the titles of several local newspapers including the ‘Mineral District Reporter’. By the 1890s all these had been incorporated into ‘The Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News’ and their titles appeared directly under this heading.

Each weekly issue of the Journal contained some information on local mining and sometimes dedicated several columns specifically to it. For example during the 1870s there was a column entitle ‘Shropshire and North Wales Mining Intelligence’ and much of the information was culled from the journal ‘Mining World’.

A copy of the “intelligence” published on the 5th June 1875 has been reproduced on this web site. It contains information on the mines at Bog (two column inches), Ladywell (1 inch), Pennerley (2½ inches) and South Roman Gravels (½ inch).

The writer has not been able to find a copy of the ‘Mineral District Reporter’ or any contact between the local newspapers and the national ‘Mining World’ other than the fact that local newspapers carried the nationals reports. But one is possible through a Scotsman named William Chisholm.

The journal ‘Mining World’ has been described as being “to the mining investor what the ‘Mining Journal’ was to the mining engineer”. Mining World’s editor for 60 years (and sole owner for 40 years) was William Chisholm who began his working life on the railways in Shropshire in the 1860s.

Chisholm, a Scotsman was born in 1846 and joined the West Midland Railway on leaving school. He was posted to Bridgnorth, half way between the Coalbrookdale and Wyre Forest Coalfields. He was then moved to Dudley where he studied shorthand and through his writings gradually became a reporter for the new journal ‘Mining World’. He became a full time reporter in 1871 age 26 and must have known quite a lot about the Shropshire and Staffordshire mines and newspapers. Chisholm soon became Editor of Mining World and sometime later sole proprietor (from 1894 to about 1932).

After Chisholm retired (about 1932) he continued his interest in mining until his death in 1939. His journal, the ‘Mining World’ continued to be produced until the 1960s, but few copies appear to have survived. Recently however a part-set was advertised on the internet to raise funds for work on preserving one of the Cornish tin mines.

Questions
The above article leaves many questions to be answered, for example:

  • Have any copies of the Shropshire ‘Mineral District Reporter’ survived?
  • Has anyone seen anything written by Chisholm on Shropshire mines?
  • Did Chisholm arrange for the Wellington newspapers to reproduce reports published on local mines?
  • Do any copies of ‘Mining World’ survive in local collections (or national)?

Answers can be e-mailed to the club secretary at the address on the main index page.

Wellington Journal Banner from 1897

Submitted by Ivor Brown

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