Whitehaven News Centenary Book

E P I L O G U E   [1952]

This brief outline of history must now, I feel, end on a personal note. Since October, 1918, when I joined the staff of 'The News', first as assistant manager, then as manager and secretary, and finally as director, manager, and secretary, I count myself as being extremely fortunate in being aided by a Board of Directors who have endowed me with the widest possible powers in the direction of the affairs of the Company.

The succesful development of the undertaking is due, in no small measure, to the confidence thus enjoyed over more than three decades. During those years I have been surrounded by a loyal and devoted staff who have reacted to enlightened management. To them I now pay tribute. They have risen to every occasion, many of which demanded all they had of mental and physical energy. Many times I have made demands on their resources which, in emergencies, made it necessary for them to work long, very long hours at high pressure. They have 'always' completed the work in hand on time, and in so doing they have enhanced the prestige of the office and gained in stature themselves. Through- out my time I have always tried to invest them with a sense of individual responsibility and the quiet dignity of an ancient and honourable craft. The results have been gratifying indeed; for many of them have spent the whole of their working lives with me. It is good that it should be so,because on reaching the early sixties they have added to my experience, the breadth of which gained through a life spent with newspapers can be extremely valuable. No other industry could have given me so much or have provided so many opportunities of building something worth while and which should endure.

My work has brought me into contact with an ever-increasing circle of people in all walks of life, and, consequently, I have made many friends. These friendships, I feel, will endure too. It is a warming and pleasant ambition that they should be carried along with me in the years that are left and so long as my pen flows smoothly over the paper and words fall easily into their place. Most of us have heard it said that there is no sentiment in business. That, happily, has not been my experience. A large volume of business has constantly reached 'The News' from a stimu- lus of pure sentiment. Time and again 'The News' has spontaneously attracted substantial orders for printing from important West Cumberland industrial concerns. Throughout the years they have sustained us in the days when the district was in bad economic shape and business was hard to come by, and ensured our development as conditions improved. Such conditions may be unique, but it is a fact that friendship, faith, and service have enhanced the pleasure of our work, and in those principles I have an abiding faith.

That is enough of my 'Obiter Dictum'; what I have written within the covers of this book should make the task of those who may be privileged to write about the second century of the paper's history somewhat easier.

I salute them ! May they be able to record it with the same complete freedom of thought and action. My researches have been fruitful and enjoyable; I hope the result will be acceptable to those who may read them and perhaps con- sider them worth while.

To THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS I have devoted thirty-three interesting and expansive years. They have given me great joy and satis- faction, with a dash of gay adventure at times. During my time I have seen THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS readership increase more than threefold, and its printing department grow into a vigorous ancillary - there can be no better reward for the best years of my life.

For the rest, most of the reasons for the succ- essful growth of THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS during the Third Phase are mentioned in this book, others are intentionally omitted for they go very deep into my being. . . .which reminds me that my office telephone number is 33. That coincides exactly with the number of years it has been both servant and master to me, and, as I write, I am surprised to see that it is almost midnight. I must, therefore, reluctantly put aside my working tools and wish you "Good night, Good Night ! "


and a former president of the Institute of Journalists.

One may be sure that the centenary of THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS will be an occasion of lively interest and satisfaction to all of us who have associations with Cumberland. This news- paper has a great record of service to the best interests of the town and country.

Many other weekly papers are about the same age. They came into existence when our country, largely transformed by the spread of the railways, had immense faith in its business future and was determined to go full speed ahead with all the driving force of the Victorian virtues. What wonderful (and well-founded) self-confidence our forefathers had in that great time of oppor- tunity.

The local paper gave a rich stimulus to com- munity feeling, and does so still, perhaps even more strikingly and beneficially than ever. Most of the London papers offer bright entertainment, but the Provincial Press takes life seriously and meets greater needs than mere pastime reading. It is a notable public advantage to have the subs- cribers to THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS so well informed about their own local government, in- dustrial, and agricultural affairs; for the more knowledgeably and freely we can discuss our common problems the more likely we are to be able to solve them. As a source of accurate information and a guide to clear thinking, THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS stands out like a local landmark. Long may it lead the way to more prosperity and progress !



I congratulate you on joining the honourable and select circle of newspaper centenarians. Unlike humans, they do not necessarily grow weaker as they grow older; indeed they can renew their age like the eagle. Their continued existence is in itself proof that they have satis- factorily served one generation after another of their readers.

These are difficult times economically for local newspapers, as well as their bigger brothers, but local newspapers are invaluable to the districts in which they circulate, and can- not be replaced by any outside substitute. They provide the particular information that is indis- pensable to the life of a healthy community; indeed they help greatly to produce and maintain a sense of community.

I wish THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS many more birthday anniversaries.

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© Barb Baker