The first issue of the Sheffield Evening Telegraph was published on 7 June 1887 by W. C. Leng and Company. William Leng, a former chemist, was a Conservative activist and elder brother of John Leng, the Liberal owner of the Dundee Advertiser. He already ran the Sheffield Daily Telegraph and, encouraged by its success, he decided to produce an evening edition. It consisted of 4 pages and was priced at one halfpenny.
In his first editorial Leng promised an “eminently readable paper, bright and sprightly while replete with information”. It would have “a little of everything and not too much of anything”. However, he could not resist getting into political mode, writing of a desire for the public to have “an evening newspaper faithful to the unity of the United Kingdom” and “unspoiled by any odour of “Parnellite juice”.
True to his word, the paper did contain small snippets of news, and included sensational items such as dramatic incidents, freak accidents, sudden deaths, brutal assaults and suicides. It also focussed on sports news, mainly horse racing and cricket.
Competition ensued with the rival evening paper, the Liberal Sheffield Evening Star, run by J. D. Leader who also owned the Sheffield Independent. Within a year, the ailing Evening Star was absorbed by the EveningTelegraph which was renamed the Evening Telegraph and Star and Sheffield Daily Times. In 1898 the name was changed to Yorkshire Telegraph and Star and in September 1907 a six page "Sports Special", was introduced printed on green paper.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
1887–88 Sheffield Evening Telegraph
1888–97 Evening Telegraph and Star, and, Sheffield Daily Times