Why old news is something to treasure

Tony Evans, Julia Morrison, Owen Wells and David Greene share stories about preserving past editions of the Guardian

Reading the letters (4, 5 January) about old editions of the Guardian prompted me to write about my cousin Anne Duckworth. Early last year, Anne could no longer look after herself and was moved into a care home, where she sadly died in April. It fell on her family to sort her belongings and we found letters, birthday cards and old newspaper cuttings dating back to the 1930s.

On opening an old envelope we discovered the holy grail: a first edition of the Manchester Guardian. A family discussion took place and we donated it in her name to John Rylands Library in Manchester. We hope to see it on display (Covid permitting) when the library holds an anniversary exhibition of 200 years of publication in March.
Tony Evans
Wilmslow, Cheshire

• I too hoard old copies of the Guardian. I kept the paper from the days that my sons were born (25 September 1988 and 27 November 1989), and have kept copies from every birthday – the Observer when the date is a Sunday. They make a fascinating history, which to my amazement neither of them seems too excited about taking off my hands. But I will continue to collect, perhaps as an heirloom for their children if and when they come along.
Julia Morrison
Newcastle upon Tyne

• The oldest Guardian that I have is from the day of the Apollo moon landing in 1969. But my family only took the Manchester Guardian after the News Chronicle ceased publication, and my mother kept the copies of that (which I still have) recording the death of Gandhi in 1948 and the great east coast flood of February 1953.
Owen Wells
Ilkley, West Yorkshire

• I still have the Guardian dated 23 November 1963, which had a front-page report of the assassination of President Kennedy. It cost fourpence in the era before decimalisation. On the back page, readers were informed that Fanny Hill by John Cleland would be available the following week at the extraordinary price of 45 shillings, presumably ensuring that only posh readers would be able to afford it.
Dr David Greene
Harlow, Essex

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