| 1918 C
E Sharpe became employed by the Market Rasen Mail.
1935 Death of W. K. Morton and start of demise
of Morton publishing and printing empire which covered eleven
centres throughout Lincolnshire and beyond.
1947 C E Sharpe bought Market Rasen Mail.
1958 C E Sharpe bought the Horncastle and Woodhall
Spa News which was faced with closure.
1959 P Smith now Director (sales) joined Mortons.
1960 Production of the Horncastle News and Market Rasen
Mail centred upon Wharf Road, Horncastle, following the purchase
of a reel-fed printing press from the old Gainsborough News.
1961 P H Sharpe (now Managing Director) took over editorial
responsibility for the Horncastle News.
1968 T A Clark (now Publishing Director) joins Mortons.
Mortons abandoned hot metal and moved to new "cold set" techniques
and became the first newspaper company in Lincolnshire to
print web-offset rather than letterpress. Improved quality
laid basis for contract printing work
1970 P. Smith appointed Production Director.
1974 First units of conventional web-offset press
1979 Wharf Road premises outgrown and production
moved to new site on Boston Road, Horncastle, providing
scope for expansion.
1980 Louth Leader founded by Mortons.
1983 Death of C E Sharpe.
1984 Mortons achieves million pound turnover.
1985 Skegness News launched by Mortons.
1987 Mortons achieves £2 million turnover.
1989 New print record for Mortons - 860,000 copies
in one week.
£3 million turnover achieved.
Mortons embarks on a management program and training initiative.
1990 First computerised full-page make-up and introduction
of 'on screen' advert make up. The first phase of Mortons
expansion scheme takes place with the completion of the
1992 Purchase of 11 unit Goss Community press. After
enduring recession period.
Morton turnover exceeds £4m and prints over 1 million copies
in a week.
1993 P. Smith Production Director becomes Director
(sales). B.S. Leatherland appointed Production Director;
and B.V. Hill, Finance Director.
£200,000 spent on colour separation equipment. 1.4m copies
printed on busiest week. BS5750 system quality award (first
newspaper publishers in England to achieve this).
1994 Work starts on IIP. Over 1.8m copies on busiest
week. Mortons publish Old Bike Mart, their first national
1995 Decision made to purchase new Goss Universal
semi-commercial press complete with heat-set. £4m expansion
plan approved by board.
1996 Press hall doubled in size to accept new 8-unit
Goss Universal press, the first of its kind in Europe. Heat
set equipment installed plus trim-stitch finishing to enable
Mortons to enter magazine market.
Mortons Media purchases Manchester Reporter group of free
£1.5m order placed for additional press equipment. Mortons
establishes company site on World Wide Web.
Mortons purchases The Classic MotorCycle glossy monthly
magazine from emap.
1999 Mortons operations divide among three new companies;
Mortons Print Ltd, Mortons Media Ltd and Mortons MotorCycle
Media Ltd (all wholly owned by Mortons of Horncastle Ltd).
Mortons of Horncastle Ltd annual turnover now over £10m.
Mortons Motorcycle Media purchases the two Stafford classic
motorcycle shows, the largest of their kind in the country.
Mortons develop “new media” department and, by end of year
some 10,000 visits a month recorded on Morton motorcycling
sites on world-wide web.
2000 Mortons Motorcycle Media purchases Classic
Motorcycle Mechanics monthly title from emap. Mortons now
have the largest share of circulation in this niche market.
Some 22,000 motorcycle enthusiasts visit the first Morton-owned
show at Stafford in April.
Mortons Print Ltd installs CTP (computer to plate) technology
to improve deadlines and quality for contract print customers
Mortons South Manchester Reporter Series sold to
Manchester Evening News..
2001 - Mortons take the radical step of moving away
from local publishing and, in February, sell their Lincolnshire
Independent Newspaper group to Johnston Press plc.
In April, Mortons Media Ltd extends Morton involvement
in classic magazine publishing by purchasing three monthly
titles Old Glory (largely dealing with the world
of steam power), Heritage Railway and Vintage
These titles trade under the brand name of 'Mortons Heritage
May saw further expansion of Mortons Motorcycle Media Ltd,
with the purchase of Classic Racer from RiM.
In August 2001, Mortons Media Ltd acquired CMS Videos, a
company specialising in the production of steam and vintage
Mortons Motorcycle Media Ltd in November acquires the monthly
magazine, the "Used Motorcycle Guide" from Motive
2002 Mortons Print Ltd acquires, in June, the old-established
newspaper printing business of the Newark Advertiser Ltd.
The press at Newark, a double-circumference Harris, is complementary
to that at Horncastle and extends the capabilities of Mortons.
Mortons Motorcycle Media acquire the monthly magazines
"Classic Bike Guide" and "Used Bike Guide"
from Trinity Mirror; also the twice-yearly "Which Bike?".
"Scootering" (monthly) and "Twist &
Go" (two-monthly) acquired from Stuart Lanning, trading
as Scootering Magazine, take Mortons Motorcycle Media into
a new area of motorcycling.
Mortons complete the purchase of the adjoining Boston Road
factory site (from Phillips Animal Health). Work commenced
immediately on a new Media Centre, built as an extension
to the main Morton building.
Mortons Media Centre opened by John Surtees OBE, the only person ever to hold world championships in both motorcycle and car racing.
2005 - An order is placed for a MAN Roland Uniset press capable of this pagination, complete with on-line inserting, trimming and stitching.
2006 - With press installation at Morton Way, this £10m project is completed by the end of March. The Newark press, now over 30 years old, is sold off.