Young journalists are celebrating after their school newspaper was archived by the British Library for future generations to study and enjoy.

Newspaper editor, Owen Ovens, 16, and 15-year-old chief reporter, Jonathan Simpson, delivered copies of the Hummersknott Academical to the library to be preserved for years to come.

The newspaper is produced by students at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, and it was Jonathan’s initiative to contact the British Library.

While visiting the library, the students met former national newspaper editor Ted Young, who worked on the D&S Times sister paper The Northern Echo as a young reporter in the 1980s. Ted went on to edit the Metro, and talked to Owen and Jonathan about some of the most memorable moments throughout his career, including night editing The Sun during the 9/11 terror attacks, and editing Metro during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Ed-to-Ed: Academical editor Owen Ovens shows the paper to former Metro editor Ted YoungEd-to-Ed: Academical editor Owen Ovens shows the paper to former Metro editor Ted Young (Image: Chris Barron)

He said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet the Owen and Jonathan, answer their questions, and hear about the fabulous success of The Hummersknott Academical. I don’t think I could have done what they’re doing at that age, and I’ve no doubt that they and their paper will go from strength to strength in the future.”

Ian Cooke, Head of Contemporary British Publications at the British Library, said: “School newspapers, like the Hummersknott Academical, which reflects local and national events as well as featuring the voices of young journalists, are a part of our published heritage.

“It's great that we are able to add this to our collection, preserving the newspaper and making it available now and in the future for research, inspiration and enjoyment.”

Owen and Jonathan both started writing for their school newspaper as 13-year-olds. Now, three years later as they prepare to sit their GCSEs, they’re getting ready to pass the torch to a new team at the school, which is part of the Advance Learning Partnership trust.

Owen said: “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with the Hummersknott Academical, and I am thrilled to have it committed to the history books."

Jonathan added: “Writing for the Academical is like nothing else we do at school – it just gives me a great feeling to share our stories with the world.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Delivering the paper: Owen and Jonathan deliver back issues to the British Library Visitor Experience Officer Dan PriceDelivering the paper: Owen and Jonathan deliver back issues to the British Library Visitor Experience Officer Dan Price (Image: Chris Barron)

English teacher, Dominic Webber, who supports the student news team, said: “It’s not every day that something our students have worked on is added to the British Library for future generations to enjoy and study – we’re incredibly proud of them!”

Hummersknott Academy executive principal, James Keating, said: “Producing the Hummersknott Academical has been an enriching experience for the students involved over several years now, and it is wonderful to know that their work is going to live on at the British Library, alongside professionally produced newspapers from all over the country.”

Head of School, Nick Merifield, added: “It’s fantastic to see a state comprehensive achieve such recognition and this is something we are already quite used to with the Academical.

"Once again, it’s a testament to our students and to the staff who support them. It is quite moving to know that what they have put together is now part of the national record."