Winifred keeps up a century-long News family tradition

Winifred Beer
Winifred Beer
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Very few people will remember what The News looked like 85 years ago.

However Winifred Beer may be The News’ oldest and most dedicated reader.

The 91-year old from Southsea says this newspaper has been delivered to her family home for over 100 years.

She said: ‘My dad moved to Portsmouth from Greenwich in 1904 and had the paper sent to our house when he moved in.

‘I’ve lived in this same house from the day I was born and I’ve been reading The News since I was about six years old.’

Winnie, as she is known by close friends, is now bedridden and has not left her house in two years, but her daily subscription helps bring local news right to her doorstep.

The long-retired school teacher spoke fondly about why she continues to read The News and what stories she enjoys most.

She said: ‘I still subscribe to The News because I find it very interesting and I like to keep up to date with all that is going on in the city.

‘I used to be able to do things, but it’s been two years I’ve been like this and The News gives me a lot of information, I read it every day.’

After decades of reading the paper, Winnie joked that after all these years her favourite part of the paper are the Chipper stories.

She said: ‘I don’t keep any copies of the paper but I do cut out articles that I like and I really like the Chipper stories.

‘I cut them out every day and I send them to my friend Anne because she has two dogs.’

Winnie reminisced about her days as a schoolteacher and said she likes the coverage The News does today about schools compared to the earlier editions.

She said: ‘I was only a plain everyday school teacher and in those days they weren’t considered newsworthy.

‘Having been a teacher for 59 years, I really like reading about what the schools have done and I like to keep up to date with what they’re doing.’

However, the determined pensioner believes The News could benefit from writing more stories about Girl Guides, having been one herself as a young adult. She said she has many Brownie pictures she would like to share.