This week at The Archive has been another incredibly busy one as we have added 106,443 brand new pages to our collection, with one brand new newspaper from Lancashire, the Fleetwood Weekly News, joining us. Meanwhile, from Londonderry to Lanarkshire, from Maidstone to the Mearns, from West Sussex to Worcestershire, we’ve updated twelve of our existing titles from across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
So read on to discover more about our new title of the week, which serves the town of Fleetwood, and to learn more about an historic Fleetwood landmark, Fleetwood Pier. You can also find out which of our twelve existing titles we have updated over the past seven days.
We’re delighted this week to welcome the Fleetwood Weekly News to our Archive. The successor to the Fleetwood Chronicle, which was the coastal Lancashire town of Fleetwood’s first ever newspaper, having been established in 1843, the Fleetwood Weekly News was founded in 1984. This new newspaper appeared hot off the heels of the last edition of the Fleetwood Chronicle, and was published by the Blackpool Gazette & Herald.
A weekly newspaper, the Fleetwood Weekly News covers the news from both Fleetwood and North Fylde. In the 1980s the newspaper appeared every Thursday at the cost of 20p, with the words ‘We Believe in Fleetwood’ adorning the ship-decorated masthead. Ships are an appropriate symbol of the town of Fleetwood, where the fishing industry expanded in the early 20th century, the town becoming home to a deep-sea fishing port.
The Fleetwood Weekly News is still running to this day, having ‘reported the news and opinions of its community for three decades’
Moving away from Fleetwood now, we’re delighted this week to host updates to our existing newspapers from across the United Kingdom. Our largest updates of the week are the over 31,000 brand new pages that we have added to Nottinghamshire title the Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News, whilst representing Scotland is the Motherwell Times, to which we have added over 22,000 brand new pages. Another update of note are the over 10,000 brand new pages that we have added to the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.
You can find further new Scottish pages this week in our updates to the Mearns Leader, whilst we have not neglected our newspapers from Northern Ireland, with new pages joining both the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph and the Londonderry Sentinel.
Memories of a Local Landmark – Fleetwood Pier
Here at The Archive we love delving into the pages of our local newspapers to discover the memories and stories they contain about people and places. Our local newspapers, even from later on in the 20th century, are an important record of these people and places, and this week we thought we’d take a look at important Fleetwood landmark, Fleetwood Pier, through the pages of the town’s newspaper, the Fleetwood Weekly News.
On 27 September 1990 the Fleetwood Weekly News published a page entitled ‘Memories of Fleetwood Pier,’ which was part of a series entitled ‘Looking Back.’ The page is filled with photographs of Fleetwood Pier from across the years, with the introduction describing how ‘plans for a pier in Fleetwood were drawn up in the 1890s, and the building work began in 1909.’ Only a year later, in 1910, ‘the work was complete,’ and the pier was ready to be opened.
A few years previously, local historian Catherine Rothwell told the story of Fleetwood Pier in the pages of the Fleetwood Weekly News on 11 September 1986. She described how the ‘pier was completed in time for the summer season’ in 1910, although it was ‘much shorter than originally intended.’ However, the pier ‘contained plenty of slot machines and other attractions, including of course, ‘What the Butler Saw.”
The 1990 spread in the Fleetwood Weekly News features a photograph of the ‘early days of Fleetwood Pier’ from 1913, speculating how ‘What the Butler Saw’ must have been a ‘great attraction.’ By 1916 ‘Fleetwood was thriving as a holiday resort,’ the Fleetwood Pier, also known as the Victoria Pier, being popular amongst tourists.
However, it was not all plain sailing for the pier, as Catherine Rothwell describes in her 1986 article. Unfortunately, ‘fires were fairly common until the 1950s’ at the pier, the worst, which took place on 25 August 1952, ‘could be seen miles away on the other side of Morecambe Bay.’
On 22 August 1991 the Fleetwood Weekly News looked back at the catastrophic 1952 fire through the eyes of Barbara Sanderson, whose mother, Mabel Acklan, ‘kept a collection of memorabilia on the 1950s,’ which including newspaper clippings about the fire. Although Barbara was just a toddler at the time, her mother’s newspaper cuttings were able to ‘tell the story graphically.’
Meanwhile, Barbara’s husband Norman recalled ‘that when the fire occurred, blazing timbers dislodged coins which fell onto the beach.’ This caused the children of the area to spend ‘hours searching for the coins after the fire was extinguished.’ And although eight fire engines had fought the blaze, the pier was left a ‘mass of twisted girders and wreckage,’ with both ‘holiday-makers and residents [joining] in efforts to save such equipment as could be salvaged from the flames.’
Despite the 1952 fire, Fleetwood Pier was back in business. The Fleetwood Weekly News in September 1990 pictures the pier as it appeared in 1960, with a ‘much more streamlined, modern appearance.’
Local historian Catherine Rothwell brings us up into the 1980s, describing how the pier ‘is only closed on Christmas Day, and bingo is the most popular game for adults.’ Sadly, in 2008, another fire hit the structure, and Fleetwood Pier was completely demolished, never to be reopened.
Find out more about the history of your local area’s landmarks and much more besides in the pages of our newspaper Archive.
|Fleetwood Weekly News
This week we have updated twelve of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Ballymena Weekly Telegraph
|Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail
|Northampton Chronicle and Echo
|Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph
|Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News
|1955-1972, 1976-1979, 1981, 1989-1990
|West Sussex County Times