Your Dunstable Gazette is 150 and the oldest business still serving the town

editorial image

The Dunstable Gazette reached a major milestone in its history this year, when the paper celebrated its 150th birthday.

So perhaps it’s appropriate that today’s Yesteryear photo should go back to a time when the scene in High Street North, well served by gas lamps, was dominated by the sign on the side of the Gazette’s former office and printing works.

Dunstable 2015

Dunstable 2015

The Borough Gazette, now the oldest business still serving Dunstable, began on February 11 1865 when 26-year-old Daniel Tibbett launched the paper from his Stationery Warehouse in High Street North.

Those premises, next to what is now the Halifax Building Society, were demolished when the Quadrant shopping centre was built.

Daniel died when he was just 33 years old, and the paper has had various proprietors since.

One of these, Henry Ballans, moved the paper across the road in July 1879 into what was then a new building, seen on the corner of Albion Street in our photos.

The Gazette, now printed in Luton, stayed there until August 1986.

Daniel was the son of James Tibbett, a pioneering printer who had started the town’s first newspaper, the Dunstable Chronicle, in 1855.

His shop in High Street South later became the Moore’s department store.

The Chronicle survived for only a few years, but Daniel’s brainchild has just gone on and on...

The old photo was certainly taken long before 1912, which was when the town’s first cinema was built on the site covered by the trees on the right.

The telegraph poles were put up in Dunstable in 1863 and the town’s first telephone exchange was installed inside the Gazette offices in 1897.

The buildings on the left in both photos are still readily recognisable.

Particularly so is the gabled residence which was built in about 1892 for Benjamin Bennett Jnr, the brewer and hat manufacturer.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.

He was editor of the Gazette a number of times between 1964 and 2005.