Paper trail of history is uncovered

A RENOVATION project in Merrigal Street has unearthed a treasure trove of old newspapers.

The papers, dating back to 1949, appear to have narrowly escaped a mouse plague, the rigours of time and several renovations.

Karen French and Ugo Fattore made the discovery when they ripped up four layers of floor covering recently.

Ms French said it was interesting to see what was making news 65 years ago.

“They are all in really good condition considering how old they are,” she said.

“It must have been an election year because there was lots of how to vote Labor information.

“It was hilarious to see the Yenda gossip section. You would have known everything about everyone from that. When people were on holidays and who was pregnant.

“Some of the advertisements are funny. The movie The Rainmaker was showing at the Lyceum Theatre and there is an ad for Capstan cigarettes, “the empires favoured cigarettes”.

A headline on the front page of The Area News dated Friday, December 9 1949 reads, Re-planning for Griffith, Conference agrees on site for technical college. 

Among the old papers uncovered are copies of the Sun Herald, The Truth, Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald.

Ms French and Mr Fattore are only the Merrigal Street properties third owners.

They plan to frame them to decorate after the renovations are complete.

“It’s amazing that they were under the floor coverings all these years,” Ms French said.

“Mice had eaten through most of the layers of coverings, but not the papers.

“I’ve had a bit of fun reading them and they have brought back memories for my dad.”

In 1949, you could purchase a boy’s Malvern Star bike in Griffith from Bruce Small Pty Ltd for 13 pound, while mothers, wives and sweethearts were urged to use their votes to stop conscription. 

Readers were also encouraged to use Bex powders and tablets to “relieve rheumetism fast!”.

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