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NWN reaches out to the Commonwealth

1952 film featured Newbury and its local newspaper

Jackie Markham


01635 886654

hugh turner

Hugh Turner was the editor in 1952

The Central Office of Information chose Newbury as the location for a film about British life and culture.

The Newbury Weekly News has been reporting on the life of the communities in towns and villages throughout West Berkshire for 150 years.

In the 1950s, news of the town and its local newspaper spread even further afield – throughout the Commonwealth.

Newbury was chosen as the location for a Government-funded Central Office of Information film, intended to promote British life and culture to the people of the Commonwealth. In 1952, a camera crew arrived and tailed longstanding NWN editor Hugh Turner and his staff as they put together an edition of the weekly newspaper. Reporters are filmed covering among others a wedding, a fire, a recital and a football match. Compositors are seen planning the proof newspaper pages. Some of the action takes place in Hugh Turner’s office, which doubled as his dining room, as he lived above the business premises in Northbrook Street.

There are also recognisable views of buildings and traffic-filled Newbury streets.   The end product - an affectionate portrait of the town and its newspaper - played to full houses at Newbury’s Forum Cinema, before winging its way around the world, translated into twelve different languages.


The film, which is 16 minutes long, can be viewed here:

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