Walter Guiton

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Walter Guiton


Walter Ernest Ingram Guiton (always known as 'W E') was a printer who acquired the Evening Post within weeks of its being founded in 1890 and developed it into what was to become Jersey's most influential and longest lasting daily newspaper - today the Jersey Evening Post and the island's only newspaper

The third son of painter John Marett Guiton and Susan Godfray, he was part of a large family (he had two sisters and five brothers). His great-great-grandparents, Jean Guiton ( -1785) and Marie Simoneau (1754-1822), who married in Jersey in 1778, are believed to have come to Jersey from France.

Early years

Born in Jersey on 9 October 1856, he left school early and learned the printing trade as an apprentice at The Constitutional before going to work in London. He returned to Jersey and at the age of 23 he bought the Charles Street printing business of T Mackenzie. He immediately became involved with newspapers, undertaking the printing and production of The Weekly Advertiser, The Jersey Observer and La Chronique Financiere.

The Rev William Burberry started the Evening Post in 1890, but it failed to make an impact in a highly competitive market. Owing £40 for printing costs to Walter Guiton and unable to pay, he sold the newspaper to him for that amount.

The rest is history. Guiton developed a remarkable judgment for what the Jersey public wanted from its newspapers and one by one he saw off the opposition and ensured that his newspaper reached all corners of the island with a distribution network using horse-drawn vans. He expanded his Charles Street premises through to Bath Street, invested heavily in the latest presses, and proudly witnessed the inauguration of electrically-powered presses in 1926, shortly before his retirement and death the following year.

Walter Guiton was active in the Methodist Church and his funeral took place at Aquila Road Chapel.

The business passed to his son-in-law Arthur Harrison, and eventually to his grandson Arthur Guiton Harrison. It was to expand considerably in the latter part of the 20th century, giving rise to the Guiton Group, named in his honour.

An upstanding member of the community, Walter Guiton nevertheless fell foul of Great War regulations in April 1916 for having unauthorised stocks of fuel at his home. The fact that the indictment was brought by the Constable of St Helier, J E Pinel, and no fewer than nine witnesses were called, suggests that the proceedings were pre-orchestrated
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