western chronicle

western chronicle

A Liberal-inspired weekly Yeovil newspaper


The Western Chronicle, a weekly Yeovil newspaper, was started in Liberal interests in Yeovil on 21 May 1886 and inaugurated by Lord Wolverton, seen at left.

George Grenfell Glyn, 2nd Baron Wolverton (1824-1887) was a Liberal politician and MP for Shaftesbury from 1857 until 1873 when he succeeded to the House of Lords. He held office in three of the Liberal administrations of William Ewart Gladstone. Wolverton Terrace is named for him.

The Western Chronicle, sometimes titled the Western Chronicle and Dorset Guardian, was an amalgamation of seven existing Dorset publications and ran from 1886 until 1924. In 1917 it was acquired by the Wessex Publishing Company Ltd. In 1924 it was acquired by Yeovil printer Stephen Murray who re-named it yet again as the Western Chronicle and Three Shires Advertiser between 1924 and 1925. From 1925 Murray continued to issue it as the Western Chronicle and Yeovil Advertiser until it ceased publication on 29 January 1931. As is seen in the advertisement below, the Western Chronicle was issued on Thursdays and cost 1d.

The Western Chronicle Company also published a series of other publications.

First among these was the Yeovil Leader, a  weekly paper dedicated almost entirely to sports. The Yeovil Leader ran from 24 July 1899 until 5 May 1924 at which time it was absorbed into the parent publication. As is seen in the advertisement below, the Yeovil Leader was issued on Mondays and cost ½d.

The Three Shires Advertiser was published from 23 July 1904. It had started life in Gillingham as the Gillingham Gazette and Three Shires Advertiser in 1903 and even though it was published and printed in Yeovil its main readership was in the Shaftesbury area. The Three Shires Advertiser's last issue was on 2 May 1924 after which it was absorbed into the parent publication. As is seen in the advertisement below, the Three Shires was issued on Fridays and cost 1d.

Stephen Murray's Western Chronicle Company also published a free newspaper, the Yeovil Advertiser, News & Literary Review, which ran from 11 February 1932 until 18 July 1935.




Courtesy of Colin Haine

Middle Street, circa 1905. At left are the gasworks offices, at centre the Liberal Hall and to the right are the offices of the Western Chronicle. Taken from a newspaper cutting.


The Western Chronicle building decorated for the coronation of King George V in 1911. The Yeovil Leader was in this building from 1899 until 1924 and the Western Chronicle from 1886 until 1931.


This postcard dates to about 1925 and looks up Middle Street towards the Triangle. The large building to the left of the lamp-post is the Liberal Club, built in 1895, and next to it (to the right of the lamp-post) is the building that housed the offices and printing works of the Western Chronicle - now the site of Wilkinson's.


In this photograph of the mid-1960s, the former Western Chronicle building is seen sandwiched between the Liberal Club and AD May's builders merchants.


An advertisement of the Three Shires Advertising Co Ltd featuring the Western Chronicle. Judging by the telephone number - Yeovil 10 - probably dating to about 1910.