Sister papers were once news-gathering rivals

Postcard of High Street North, DunstablePostcard of High Street North, Dunstable
Postcard of High Street North, Dunstable
David Underwood, of Totternhoe, discovered this old Dunstable postcard on eBay a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately its reverse has no message, stamp or postmark which would help with its date. But it was certainly taken before 1931.

It shows High Street North, dominated by the giant lettering on the side of the old Dunstable Borough Gazette office, with the familiar frontage of the Sugar Loaf on the right.

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The Gazette, founded in 1865, had moved into what were then newly built premises on the corner of Albion Street (then called Albion Road) in June 1879.

It had a stationer’s shop on the ground floor, editorial offices above, and a printing works at the rear.

The works was closed in around 1931, after the paper was purchased by the owners of the Luton News, which already had more-modern printing machinery at Alma Street, Luton.

This enabled photographs to be reproduced in the Dunstable Gazette for the first time.

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The Luton News had previously been a major rival of the Gazette, providing extensive Dunstable coverage from the building now occupied by Allders Opticians.

This is in the high street and, cheekily, would have been almost opposite the Gazette.

Dunstable news coverage for both the Luton News and the Gazette continued from the corner of Albion Street until around 1990.

That building then became an estate agency (now Urban & Rural) and journalists moved for a time to a smaller base, which was at 83 High Street North.

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