From Tallygraph to Telegraph

The Bloxidge Tallygraph masthead 1874

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the new Bloxwich Telegraph.  Since 2006 this publication has been known, in another format, as The Bloxidge Tallygraph, in tribute to the humorous – and scurrilous – 1870s news-sheet of the same name, written in genuine Black Country dialect and given out at the old Bloxwich Wakes.

The new online Tallygraph had a strong emphasis on local heritage, having its origins in my wish to offer articles on the local history of Bloxwich and district, but over time it became as much a newspaper, as well as providing a wide range of additional community and business information.  It did its best to support local and community events like the Bloxwich Carnival, and to cover an area including Bloxwich and Little Bloxwich as well as Blakenall Heath, Leamore and, latterly, Birchills.  All these places are closely linked by history and geography.

This year, however, it had become increasingly obvious that something had to be done to reduce the ever-increasing cost (a particular problem due to pay freezes and future wage cuts at my place of employment) and the amount of time taken to produce the Tallygraph, which was compiled using webs.com, an excellent system for hosting websites but sometimes very slow and inflexible to work with, and short on modern technologies like RSS capability and the ability to post news in the field.

So it was that I decided, reluctantly, since it would require a lot of work and not everything could be transferred, to move the Tallygraph over to WordPress, a system better known for blogging.  Initially, I decided to rebuild on the wordpress.com platform as that is basically free, though it has its own limitations.  I have not ruled out moving again, to wordpress.org, a more customisable system, but I want to see how wordpress.com works out for a while, and gain experience in using WordPress, before making that decision.

It has not been possible to retain the ‘old newspaper’ look and feel of The Bloxidge Tallygraph under the new system, and some of the older, little-used features of the Tallygraph have had to go, but despite this I believe that on WordPress I can now offer a better, more responsive and more integrated service to the community.

The new look has prompted a change of name, as you can see.  You may or may not be aware that the original Bloxidge Tallygraph, which dates from 1874, itself underwent a major transformation in later years, and by January 1886 it had been reborn as The Bloxwich Telegraph, which although no longer presented in Black Country dialect, was even more of a rabble-rouser for the village than its predecessor!

I decided, therefore, since major change was inevitable, to follow the lead of the modern Bloxidge Tallygraph’s illustrious predecessors, and this new-look, WordPress-based publication has now been re-launched and will henceforth be known as The Bloxwich Telegraph.

If nothing else, this will mean that the old folk of Bloxwich will at long last be able to retain their false teeth while speaking its name…

I hope you will find the new service as useful as the old one, and will come to appreciate its new features. The Tallygraph will remain in place until I am satisfied with the Telegraph.

Cheers,

Stuart Williams

Editor and Publisher

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