Old Star still shines

TODAY your Evening Star is lively, loyal and local, packed with colourful news and pictures – but more than a century ago it was very different.For a long forgotten treasure has been unearthed in Felixstowe which dates back to before the resort even existed.

TODAY your Evening Star is lively, loyal and local, packed with colourful news and pictures – but more than a century ago it was very different.

For a long forgotten treasure has been unearthed in Felixstowe which dates back to before the resort even existed.

One of the oldest surviving ancestors of today's familiar Star has been discovered lining an old suitcase full of photographs.

Priced at just one halfpenny the 675th edition of The Star of the East, dated May 17, 1887, will be 116 years old this year.


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It was printed in Carr Street, Ipswich, before the press moved to its new home at Lower Brook Street and could only have been in its third year of circulation.

Herbert Lankester, 81, of Mill Lane, Felixstowe made the rare find while clearing out his garden shed. He said: "It's lucky it survived as I usually just throw things away during one of our clean-up blitz. But when I saw the photographs I realized the paper must have been quite old so I took a closer look."

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And it must have been a close look because the printed letters are minute.

The issue has survived the test of time well. Although the white paper has yellowed and mould is beginning to set in, the no-nonsense text can still be read by those with good eyesight.

"It's amusing how the stories are written just how it is with nothing fancy. It brings a smile to my face and I should think I'll spend several hours looking through it."

The most striking thing about the antique is the lack of photographs. A map of Ipswich Town Centre and the masthead logo are the only illustrations in the four-page paper.

There also no real headlines, the columns are vertically divided into different stories with just the different place names on the front cover.

Mr Lankester and his wife, Doris, have been reading the Star for as long as they can remember and wondered why Felixstowe was not mentioned in the list of areas covered.

But when this edition was printed the resort of Felixstowe was not even invented. Only a small cliff top village existed and a pier was just a pipe dream until the Empress of Germany visited in 1891 and aroused some interest in the area.

N Do you have an earlier edition? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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