IT was not the best of times in British and world history.

On the day of our launch on October 29, 1973 the Watergate Scandal was about to unseat an American president, the UK was still recovering from the shock and aftermath of IRA bombs at the heart of London and elsewhere, coalfields were closing across the country, the Prime Minister Edward Heath and his government had taken on the unions resulting in a three-day week, and at sea Britain was involved with a second Cod War with Iceland.

In these turbulent times the Evening Leader was born with its first front page reflecting the jobs dominated news in an area where a trickle of redundancies was about to become a flood.

Hawker Siddeley at Broughton, as it then was, had vacancies in all departments and plenty of orders on the books.

They were described at “secure, permanent jobs” without anyone realising that before long no one could be sure of a job for life in any industry.

In 1973 national and world news that appeared in the Evening Leader was sourced from the Press Association over teleprinters.

There were crosswords, horoscopes and weather forecasts all of which are still featured today. But it was a black and white world and it would be a considerable time before any newspapers would be able to offer colour printing to their readers and advertisers.

Reporters worked on typewriters with fingers marked by carbon and yellowed by nicotine, they campaigned to save jobs and championed charities. The paper was a pioneer in the way it was delivered straight from the press to the reader’s door by a team of delivery boys and girls. And some illustrious hands have pushed the Evening Leader through a lot of doors over the years including professional footballers Ian Rush and the late Gary Speed who both delivered papers for us as youngsters.


Later on in the hi-tech revolution sweeping through the newspaper industry, the Evening Leader would become one of the first papers in the country to receive complete pages transmitted electronically from the Press Association in London.

Money was short but it went a long way in those days.

Average wages for a man in 1973 were £36 a week and just over £20 for a woman.

The average cost of a house in the UK was between £8,600 and £10,400, although good detached homes could be had in North East Wales for as little as £4,000 and semis for half that in some areas.

With such a scene set it was the perfect time to launch a regional daily newspaper in North East Wales which 40 years on continues to serve its readers having switched from an evening to a morning publication in 2009.

The Leader remains at the heart of the communities it serves and is grateful for the loyalty of its readers.