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The British Newspaper Archive

History of the Shoalhaven Press

The News, Shoalhaven

The first newspaper printed in the Nowra district was The News, Shoalhaven. It was printed at Terara on the 2 February 1867 by Charles Isaac Watson in folio size. The paper was a weekly publication but during the first year, Watson decided to try to produce the paper as a bi-weekly publication. This did not last and the paper once again became a weekly publication. At the 29 May 1867 the newspaper (now in double demy) was subtitled Shoalhaven and Southern Districts Advertiser [Bayley] / Shoalhaven and South Coast District Advertiser [S.N.N.].

The Shoalhaven News, Ulladulla and Southern Coast District Advertiser

In June 1871, the name of the newspaper changed to The Shoalhaven News, Ulladulla and South Coast District Advertiser and in October 1873, the sub-title Broughton Creek, Kiama and Ulladulla Advertiser was added.

The News

 In 1886, Charles Watson died and C.J.B. Watson (Charles’ son) took over the running of The Shoalhaven News Ulladulla and Southern Coast District Advertiser. It continued to be published at Terara until 1893. After this date, the printing was done from the office of The Colonist in Kinghorne Street, Nowra. Towards the end of 1893 The News was published from new premises in Junction Street. The News was produced every Saturday until 1914 when it was incorporated along with The Colonist into The Shoalhaven News.

The Colonist

The Colonist and Shoalhaven Advertiser [Bayley] / Shoalhaven Colonist [S.N.N.] was established by Joseph Weston in 1879. It later became the Nowra Colonist and Colonist. It was published from its office in Kinghorne Street Nowra every Wednesday between 1886 and 1914 when it was incorporated into The Shoalhaven News.

The Shoalhaven News

On the 5 December 1914, Henry Rauch bought The Shoalhaven News and it continued to be published on Saturdays. The Shoalhaven Telegraph, published on Wednesdays, was also being produced at the Junction Street office. When Henry Rauch retired in 1937, The Shoalhaven Telegraph was incorporated with The Shoalhaven News and was published on Wednesdays.

The Shoalhaven and Nowra News

Purchased by Frank and Jessie Hanley in December 1945 as The Shoalhaven News the paper was renamed The Shoalhaven and Nowra News then sold to and published by Harold Wilson from 1947 until June 1969 when it was in turn sold (Nowra News) and then amalgamated with The Nowra Leader. Publication of the newspaper then lapsed, but the name was never deregistered. In 1972, Carl Egan received permission from Howard Wilson to use the title and in April 1972 The Shoalhaven and Nowra News resumed publication. On the 9 June 1994, The Shoalhaven and Nowra News merged with The Shoalhaven Chronicle and was published on a Thursday. In 1995, the newspaper is titled The Shoalhaven and Nowra News Chronicle. In July 1997, the title reverts to The Shoalhaven and Nowra News. It is still currently published under this title on a Friday.

Nowra News

The first issue on 2 July 1969 resulted from the sale of The Shoalhaven and Nowra News to Maxwell Newton Country Newspapers Pty Ltd. The last issue was on 29 October 1969 when the newspaper was amalgamated with the Nowra Leader to become the News Leader. 

Leader (Nowra Leader)

October/November 1893, the Leader and Shoalhaven District Newspaper was founded by Thomas Charles Kennedy in Kinghorne Street. It was later sold to Mr Herbert James Connolly and was published by him and his daughter until 1947, when it was sold to a group of Wollongong businessmen. The News Leader banner was purchased by Maxwell Newton Country Newspapers Pty Ltd at the same time as The Shoalhaven and Nowra News. Amalgamated with the Nowra News it became the News Leader. 

Leader (News Leader) 

Formed by the amalgamation of the Nowra Leader and the Nowra News. First issue 3 July/November 1969 and the last Newton issue 1971. In 1971, South Coast Register Pty Ltd purchased the News Leader. It was printed on a Monday (from 1980) and Friday from 1972 until 19 February 1993. Since this date, it has been published under the South Coast Register Banner. See The Shoalhaven and Nowra News.* 

Maxwell Newton Country Newspapers Pty Ltd

 In 1969, the company purchased a number of country newspapers. As all papers were published and printed in Canberra, printeries were never purchased, only the publishing rights of the newspaper concerned.

Kangaroo Valley Pioneer

 Published in 1889 by P.J. Wallace, the paper lasted five years and in April 1894 was incorporated with The Scrutineer (Moss Vale).

The Kangaroo Valley Times

 A second paper, The Kangaroo Valley Times, was published by Frederick Bennett in April 1894 and in 1905 passed to A. Watson and then to E.G. Triglone. In 1924, Mr Triglone sold to W.P. Stevens who at the time owned the Berry Register.

The Broughton Creek Mail

 In May 1880 The Broughton Creek Mail was established by C.J.B. Watson, but it was purchased by John Maclean by 1889 and incorporated into The Broughton Creek Register, and Kangaroo Valley and South Coast Farmer.

The Broughton Creek Register, and Kangaroo Valley and South Coast Farmer.

The first edition of The Broughton Creek Register, and Kangaroo Valley and South Coast Farmer was on 3 April 1886. The paper was printed and published by the proprietor, John Maclean, of a Saturday with the price sixpence an issue. The paper changed its name on 29 November 1890 to the Berry Register after the Broughton Creek township was re-named Berry by an Act of Parliament.

Berry Register

 The Berry Register had a succession of owners in the first part of the twentieth century. 1907 Turnbull and Turnbull; 1918 J.A. Chessell; 1926 W.P Stevens who changed the name to The South Coast Register; 1934 Sidney Ford; 4 July 1935 J.J. Bradley and Leslie Patrick Higgins. In 1967, on the death of his father, J.S. Higgins, in partnership with his wife, bought Bradley’s interest and published the paper in Berry until 1969. It absorbed the Kangaroo Valley Times and the Albion Park and Shellharbour Light, had a change of name to the South Coast Register in 1926 and publication day was moved to a Friday.

South Coast Register

Following the 1934 purchase by Sidney Ford, J.J. Bradley and L.P. Higgins purchased the paper in 1935. By 1938, publication had changed again to Thursdays. In 1967 when Leslie Higgins died, his son Jack bought Bradley’s share and the South Coast Register was published at Berry until 1969. In October of that year the South Coast Register Pty Ltd was established to buy the paper and since 5 November 1969 has been published, on a Wednesday, in Nowra.

Jack Higgins stayed as editor until 1974. A Monday edition was introduced on 2 February 1970 and it continued until 31 December 1979. The week following the last edition of The News Leader, the South Coast Register became tri-weekly (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

On September 30th 2015, a new format was introduced and the Monday edition was cancelled. This was a result of decisions made by owners Fairfax Media.

The Milton Express

Published by W.L. Rutter in January 1889

Ulladulla and Milton Times

 Founded by Robert Burgess in February 1878 the paper was sold to J.J. Rutter in 1882. In June 1891, John Maclean bought both the Ulladulla and Milton Times and the Milton Express and amalgamated them as the Ulladulla and Milton Times. It was then sold to Henry Rauch (January 1893), A.E. Brown (1901), H. Bishop (July 1903), A.E. French (January 1921), Mr Bright (1922). After a couple of years, a Mr Bell bought the paper and in 1935, it became the property of S.J. Ford. In 1945 the paper was bought by Frank Hanley who sold it to Howard Wilson (Shoalhaven and Nowra News). It was then published in the Shoalhaven and Nowra News office. In June 1969, Ulladulla and Milton Times (and the Shoalhaven and Nowra News) were sold to Maxwell Newton Country Newspapers Pty Ltd. Publication was discontinued in April 1970, absorbed by the News Leader under editor Bernard Shirley.

The Telegraph and Shoalhaven Advertiser

Published by Joseph Weston (John Maclean – Manager) in Kinghorne Street. The founding coincided with the opening of the telegraph to Nowra on 26th February 1879.

The Shoalhaven Telegraph

The Telegraph and Shoalhaven Advertiser became The Shoalhaven Telegraph and was acquired by John Maclean in 1884.

Local Newspapers Index


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Images and maps

Donated images


Shoalhaven Libraries images collection consists of photographs, slides and negatives donated to the library showing the Shoalhaven as it was and is. Images to view are of landscapes, streetscapes, buildings and natural features.

To increase the images collection with both historical and contemporary pictures, Shoalhaven Libraries always welcomes the donation from the public of copies of their local ‘historical’ snaps. The types of photos we are looking for are of the Shoalhaven area whose subject matter includes:

  • Events/Parades/Ceremonies
  • Streetscapes
  • Buildings (existing and gone)
  • Pioneering families
  • Pre-urban development shots (farms/scrub where now shops/suburbs are built)
  • Natural Disasters/Bizarre Weather (floods, droughts, dust storms, bushfires, mice plagues etc).

Donating Pictures

If you would like to discuss donating images to this collection please contact the Local Heritage Librarian on (02) 4429 3713 or email library@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au

Images are scanned and returned to the owner. The library does not retain the physical photograph unless desired. With the help of the larger community the Shoalhaven Libraries images collection can continue to provide a historical record of the lives and times of the Shoalhaven. It is intended that images on this database will be used for general viewing, private study or research, but may not be duplicated, modified or used for any other purpose without expressed written permission of the copyright holder. Australian Commonwealth legislation protects images in this collection under the Copyright Act 1968.

Requests for permission to use an image or to order copies of photographs from this collection can be made by contacting the Local Heritage Librarian on (02) 4429 3713 or email library@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au


Shoalhaven Maps: Collection coming soon

National Library Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/maps/using-the-maps-collection

Shoalhaven Images

Our image collection can be accessed via our catalogue