Heidelberg Historical Society

When local newspapers were REALLY local

Posted on Sunday, 6th October 2019 by Janine Rizzetti

(From our Facebook site September 21st, 2019)

The Heidelberg News office in Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe.

This is the office of the Heidelberg News in Upper Heidelberg Road Ivanhoe after 1910. The shop, located on the west side of Upper Heidelberg Rd near Kenilworth Parade is still there today as Ivanhoe Cakes.

The Heidelberg News started in March 1898 as the “Heidelberg News and Greensborough & Diamond Creek Chronicle”. At first it was published at the Caxton Printing Works in Smith St Fitzroy where the Fitzroy Mercury (which used to cover the Heidelberg area) was published. Once it had been established as a going concern, it moved in 1899 to its own premises at the Heidelberg Printing Works in Burgundy Street between Cape and Hawdon Streets on the south side. In 1910 the Heidelberg News shifted to Upper Heidelberg Road, as shown here.

For many years the Heidelberg News consisted of only four pages, but it probably had more local news in those four pages than our local newspapers today. The first page consisted completely of advertisements. The second page had more advertisements, mainly for singing and elocution teachers, and church notices. The editorial was usually on the second page. The second and third pages were the main pages for local news. The final page often had a report of the events at Heidelberg Court, sometimes a serialized story and more advertisements.

Politically, the paper was conservative, and it gave prominence to Protestant churches, Shire of Heidelberg news and local progress associations. You can see online copies of the Heidelberg News between 1914-1918 at Trove. If you visit the Old Heidelberg Courthouse Museum, you can read all the editions between 1897-1920 on computer, with varied hard copy volumes after that date.

Image: detail from Rose Series Postcard ‘Heidelberg Road looking north’. State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/59813

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