Newington couple find relic newspaper while decorating

A couple in Newington have uncovered a preserved relic copy of The Scotsman from 1937 while decorating their home.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 10:03 am
Ben Jones and Liesbeth Tip who found a old copy of The Scotsman under there flooring as well as murals left on the walls by previous builders

Liesbeth Tip and Ben Jones found the newspaper which shows how Scotland celebrated the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth while stripping the wallpaper from a room in their home.

The paper, dated May 13, 1937, features images of the royal family and the procession which took place in Trafalgar Square.

Ben, an electronic engineering manager said: “Liesbeth and I bought the house together at the beginning of the year, anticipating a fair bit of renovation work.

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“I found the papers in exactly the way you would expect – I was just hurriedly stripping back all the old floor coverings layer by layer and carting it off down the stairs in preparation for a new installation.

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“When I started to lift the final sheet of vinyl, I saw some newspaper between that and the floorboards. From then on I started to take a bit more care.”

It is believed that the newspaper, which was found in a good condition had been beneath the wallpaper, undiscovered since 1937.

Liesbeth contacted the previous homeowners to ask if they had known about the paper, however it was news to them.

Ben added: “The workmen had laid them out flat over about half the area of the room, leaving the Coronation Photo Special topmost in one corner.

“Uncovering the picture of the royal carriage was like finding a bit of buried treasure.”

As well as the newspaper, the couple also found drawings and the names of workmen who had decorated the house.

Liesbeth, who is completing a PhD and is a research assistant, said: “It was so special because we found the writing and I was going to put it on a Portobello forum to see if we could track them down.

“We were impressed, we thought that they must have had so much fun doing it.

“We just thought it was really special and we love the house, it’s an old Victorian one and the last couple was really sad to leave.”

The decorating company the workmen belonged to was named R Edward & Son, which no longer exists, however the couple do hope to track down relatives, or the men themselves who worked on the house.

The names signed in 1937 appear to be Sandy Sutherland, James Reilly, William Chalmers, Jack Chalmers, John Buchanan and William Bankhall.