THIS week marks the 166th birthday of the Warrington Guardian.

The first edition of the Warrington Guardian was published on April 9, 1853.

Unlike today, it focused largely on national news.

And it had just eight pages, for 2p, a mix of national, foreign and local news as well as literary and science pieces.

The main news item was the birth of the Queen’s son, her eight child, Prince Leopold.

You could also read news that the Government had started to cure meat for the Navy, using 30 bullocks a week.

A column of farm notes was written by agriculturist JJ Machi while the page of market news kept readers informed of prices – coal was 80p for a ton, butter 45p a quarter and potatoes, £8 a tonne.

The most local news was of Warringtonians young and old meeting their death on the railway as George Guest, aged 12, was killed by a collision between two trains on the Warrington and Altrincham railway near the Dog and Dart pub, while Thomas Bradshaw, in his 50s, was hit by a train at Jockey Lane Works.

Warrington Guardian:

Mr Ashcroft, a saw miller, took his own mother to court over a £45 debt.

Mr Ashcroft claimed to have lent his mother the money to secure her financial future after the death of his father.

His mother denied the debt claiming to have only ever borrowed a few shillings from her son, adding that she had always repaid these small loans.

Witness James Atherton, of Lovely Lane, said he had seen Mr Ashcroft’s mother sign a note in 1851 promising to repay the debt should she remarry.

Having just become Mrs Hewitt, Mr Ashcroft’s mother was ordered to pay her son back.

Complainant Mr Edleston, whose son had failed to master wire working despite a three year apprenticeship, was less successful in his attempts to reclaim the fee for his sons training.

It soon became clear in court that his son’s failings were due to Mr Edleston expecting him to have gathered a set of skills requiring seven years training, not just three.

Among the adverts on the front page was W Worral who offered fancy dresses, shawls, prints, bonnets and ribbon.

John Burrows, at his English and American Provision Stores on Buttermarket Street, told of the Extra Superfine American family flour on sale for 7p, Cheshire Cheese, 2p per pound, and bread, 2p per loaf.