Though now allied to Thomson’s conservative and populist policy, the early paper was quite different and emerged in 1877 with the radical and reforming ethos of Sir John Leng who became Liberal member of parliament for the city. Historical copies of the Dundee Evening Telegraph, dating back to 1877, are available to search and view in digitised form at The British Newspaper Archive.
John Leng and Co. prospered and among the new titles produced were ‘The People’s Friend’ and ‘The People’s Journal’. These journals did not have the folksy sentimentality which appeared in the Thomson era, but as the titles intended, had Leng’s aim of improving literacy and educational standards. Leng set up a Trust in 1901 which gave prizes for essays on literary and scientific subjects by young people, and the Trust organised competitive solo singing of Scottish songs. Leng’s offered a number of new ‘Evening Telegraph’ trophies for local sport, and his magnificent cup for a Scottish Amateur golf championship, an event ignored by the elite clubs, brought up the standard of artisan golf, particularly in Carnoustie. Leng’s company was taken over by Thomson in 1927.
The present paper addresses local issues in Dundee and the surrounding area on a daily basis. It was published in four editions until Friday 2 November 2007.