FROM humble beginnings to a bright new future, The Gazette today celebrates its 140th birthday.
That makes this newspaper older than the Illuminations, Blackpool FC and even The Tower.
On April 3, 1873, a new local weekly paper was launched .
Named The Blackpool Gazette its founder, Alderman John Grime (below), told readers: “We this week offer to the Blackpool public the first number of The Blackpool Gazette – a new journal we hope to make, and we feel every confidence will soon become, a first-class local newspaper.
“The rise and progress of Blackpool as a watering-place is in every way remarkable, and afford most interesting evidence of the healthful condition of our national life.
“And Blackpool – perhaps more than any other watering-place in the kingdom – is a great outlet where, in the summer season, tens of thousands of the trading and middle class community are enabled to relieve for a while the monotony of labour, to unbend the bow, and find that change of air and scene which they so much require.”
The Gazette grew in popularity and, in 1929, joined forces with its one-time rival The Herald to form the daily newspaper you enjoy today.
During the last 140 years The Gazette has covered every major story which has affected the Fylde coast from two world wars, the tourism boom, to the changing face of the Blackpool.
It has truthfully kept Fylde coast residents up-to-date with the news that mattered while also keeping it entertained and informed through quality journalism which shows the light as well as the shade of daily life in the 19th, 20th and now 21st centuries. Gazette Editor Jon Rhodes said: “This is a proud day for everyone involved with The Gazette – from its staff, former colleagues to of course our readers.
“From that very first edition The Gazette has grown into a byword for a trusted newspaper which delivers the news that has kept Fylde coast residents up-to-date and informed with what is going on in their communities.
“Much has changed over the last 140 years in terms of the media, none more so with the advent of digital publishing – something The Gazette has embraced with its award-winning online coverage.
“But through all the many changes, and worldwide events which have impacted and shaped this area, The Gazette has stood up for the Fylde coast and remains a trusted newspaper which campaigns for its readers.
“Next Monday – April 8 – begins a new chapter when we bring the all-new Gazette to the newsstands. Packed with more local content, we feel sure the new-look Gazette will continue a proud tradition of bringing high quality local news and journalism to its readers.”
Politics and a new press pack!
IN the latest of our continuing series looking at the all-new Gazette we take a look at what’s in store each and every Wednesday.
Together with the new look and feel of the paper, we bring some new platforms.
One of the exciting developments is the comeback of our Junior Reporters’ Club – the Junior Gazette.
Youngsters, aged seven to 14, are applying daily to join the club and write stories which will be published in The Gazette.
In return for their very own press card members can write about anything they want to as long as it’s local and will be of interest to readers.
From eco clubs at school to sports/entertainment reports and stories about how great their grandparents are.
Also on a Wednesday will come a new Political column.
We give a page over to one of the Fylde coast’s movers and shakers to let rip on any subject they want. This will be interactive and we will be asking readers to pose questions to forthcoming columnists.
Next week we start with Blackpool’s Tory leader Tony Williams, to submit a question e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org