Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Press baron brothers honoured in Merthyr

Gomer Berry and William Berry
Gomer Berry (left) died in 1968 while his brother William died in 1954.

Two brothers who became giants of the UK newspaper industry in the 1920s have been honoured in their home town.

William Ewart Berry (Viscount Camrose) and brother Gomer Berry (Visc Kemsley) owned well known titles, including the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph.

A plaque was unveiled in Merthyr Tydfil on the statue of Seymour Berry (Lord Buckland), the eldest of the three Berry brothers and an industrialist.

The plaque was dedicated by the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Regeneration Trust.

Trust secretary Adrian Doolan said the brothers' father was a successful estate agent and auctioneer who eventually became mayor of the town.

"The second son, William Ewart Berry, became a reporter on the Merthyr Express, and by the age of 21 moved to London," he said.

"He was joined by his younger brother, Gomer Berry, and they started publishing magazines, mainly about advertising and boxing.

"Their elder brother, Seymour Berry, had gone into business and became a famous Welsh industrialist with interest in collieries, iron and steel.

Empire of papers

"The two brothers in London borrowed some money off Seymour Berry to start their publishing and eventually they bought a number of newspapers."

They became great rivals to Lord Rothermere, who vied to own the biggest empire of papers across the UK.

The Berry brothers owned Allied Newspapers and Amalgamated Press, running national newspapers as well as a network of regional and local papers.

William Ewart Berry was proprietor of the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph while his brother owned the Sunday Times and regional daily and weekly newspapers throughout the country, including the Western Mail, the South Wales Echo and the Merthyr Express.

The unveiling was attended by the current Viscount Camrose and Viscount Kemsley, grandsons of the men being honoured, and more than a dozen members of their families and of Lord Buckland.

The statue of Lord Buckland stands outside Merthyr library.

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