The Bloxwich Telegraph is to cease operation as a news site this weekend, after being published (first as The Bloxidge Tallygraph) since July 2006, when it first covered Bloxwich Carnival.
There are a number of reasons for this, but this is primarily because for personal and family health reasons, our editor and publisher, Stuart Williams, is no longer able to spare the time to do the site justice in the way he would wish, something which will have been evident this year due to the infrequent nature of updates.
The site will, however, be maintained online (but not updated) for the foreseeable future, in order to both ensure that the information it contains remains available, and because plans are being considered to re-work it into a permanent local history and heritage site for Bloxwich and district at some time next year, which seems appropriate considering the site’s regular involvement with such matters as well as its historic origins. If that goes ahead, an announcement will be made.
The social media arm of The Bloxwich Telegraph, formerly known as Bloxwich News Network and now Walsall North News, which comprises both a Twitter feed and a linked Facebook page, with a combined total of more than 3,500 followers, serves in its own right to relay a wider range of news and information which may interest local people. This service is expected to continue to operate until further notice, and will remain linked to the front page of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
We would like to thank our readers for their support and interest over the years, and hope that we can serve the local community in different ways in future. Watch this space.
This weekend marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. Bloxwich News Network (BNN), the social media arm of The Bloxwich Telegraph, is changing – and so is the Telegraph.
BNN, which works by following and identifying locally relevant and interesting news and info on Twitter and Facebook, and sharing it out via its own Twitter and Facebook feeds, which together have a total of more than 3,000 followers and an even greater reach, has primarily focused until now on the Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Birchills and Leamore areas, with the addition of wider-ranging material of local relevance.
It has become evident, however, that BNN also has a natural fit with the rest of the Walsall North parliamentary constituency area, and can help with relaying news and information from that slightly wider area, which in addition to the current coverage would include Willenhall and Short Heath.
We have therefore decided that as of today, 10th June 2017, Bloxwich News Network will be renamed Walsall North News (WNN) and will focus primarily on Birchills, Blakenall Heath, Bloxwich, Leamore, Short Heath and Willenhall. Items of relevant regional and national interest will also be covered.
Both the names of our Twitter feed and our Facebook page have been changed accordingly – please see below.
Bloxwich Telegraph refocused
The Bloxwich Telegraph will not, however, be changing its name and will remain dedicated to the Bloxwich area. There will be content changes, and the site will become a less frequently updated magazine style site with more local interest and photo features (especially local heritage) and considerably reduced news coverage, something which has been coming for a long time anyway. This will take longer to implement, and changes will be flagged on social media as they happen.
We hope that the extended coverage will both help and interest local people from the whole of the Walsall North area and beyond. If you are on Twitter and would like to follow us, see below – and if you are a local organisation, official, group or company, please do give us a Tweet so we can follow you, and include WNN in your tweets so we can relay them.
To follow the ‘new’ news outlets on social media, please see:
We’re looking to tailor The Bloxwich Telegraph and the BNN social media more to meet the needs of our readers and followers, so we’d be grateful for some feedback about what you’d like to see (or not) on the website and via Twitter or Facebook. This first poll is to find out how you like to receive your local news.
Please be honest with your answers – it’s particularly important to us to find out whether you need this service from us or not – after all, there are many local news services and there’s no point in us duplicating these unless you actually use ours. Please tick only those options you really prefer to use, then click on Vote.
The amount of feedback we get will also prove a useful indicator of the actual level of interest in these facilities. Can you please fill in this first LOCAL NEWS poll accordingly, and many thanks for your help!
I am delighted to report that, thanks solely to the generosity of a small number of readers of The Bloxwich Telegraph, our domain name has been saved for another year!
I would like to send a massive thank-you to kind-hearted local people Alison Ball, Terri Gergely (all the way from Canada!), Barry Crutchley and Fay Gleeson, who have all chipped in following our appeal for support through these pages on 24 June.
This means that the basic costs of keeping the site online with its present URL have been assured for the next twelve months, as well as a very useful contribution towards the cost of internet access.
It would be wonderful if all of our readers felt able to send in a pound each through PayPal; that would make a great difference to what we can do, but of course there is no obligation to do this, and we do what we do free of charge, in support of the communities of Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills.
Meanwhile, we could not be more grateful to those donors named above – thank you again!
If any more donations are received, additional funds raised will be set aside towards any future expenses and improvements to the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two Bloxwich Telegraph readers who have made donations in support of this site via PayPal, following our appeal on 24 June. Their help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to their kind generosity, we now have almost enough funding to cover the cost of renewing this site’s domain name registration, which is set to expire on 7 August, 2015.
I have added a donations box to the front page in hopes that this will continue to enourage further support from local people in order that The Bloxwich Telegraph can continue publication after this year’s Bloxwich Carnival, which is currently the last event we are scheduled to cover.
I hope that more readers will feel able to support this site with any donation, no matter how small, they feel is appropriate, so that I can continue, and hopefully build upon, the support which The Bloxwich Telegraph has given freely to local people, businesses and organisations since 2006.
I am making a personal appeal, as the editor and publisher of The Bloxwich Telegraph, to ask for our readers’ support.
I would like to invite you, if you have enjoyed reading The Bloxwich Telegraph in the past, or have found it useful, to consider making a small donation in support of this hyperlocal website to ensure its future.
Since the site was first created by me, originally as The Bloxidge Tallygraph, in summer 2006, it has been funded personally by myself, as a contribution to the communities of Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills. Next summer will see the 10th birthday of the site, now in the form of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
WORK FOR THE COMMUNITY
I have also undertaken the vast majority of the work needed to produce it, including designing, researching, writing articles (both news features and local history), reporting, and photographing events all across Bloxwich and district, especially Bloxwich Carnival and other village events, as well as publishing numerous news features which local newspapers either could not manage or did not consider a priority. Through this site, I have even provided full coverage of the Olympic Torch Procession in Bloxwich when the local papers’ and other media focus was on Walsall town centre, helping raise the profile of the area internationally.
Unfortunately, I was made redundant from my ‘day job’ earlier this year, and was obliged to take a part time job. Now the financial crunch has come, and I can no longer fund The Bloxwich Telegraph entirely on my own. This is having an immediate effect.
DOMAIN NAME COULD BE LOST SOON
Unless funds are found to renew this site’s domain name registration and hosting in time, this will expire on on 7 August, 2015.
I should say that The Bloxwich Telegraph site as it is right now will still be here after the domain lapses, just under a different URL, but the loss of the domain name will make it more difficult to find, and less distinctive. It might even be hijacked by someone else.
Apart from site costs, I have had, and continue to have, other costs to cover, inevitably, including equipment, internet access, transport and other expenses. I have never charged for coverage or for my time, and have no wish to do so.
Over the past year, due to family illness (I care for my elderly disabled mother), I have had to reduce my workload with The Bloxwich Telegraph. I would, however, like to do more with the site and, if possible, increase local coverage in future. I am already planning extensive coverage of Bloxwich Carnival, for example.
Having said that, if it now proves impractical to continue the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph for financial reasons, it is likely that the site will cease updates after Bloxwich Carnival, also in August. Things really are that tight at the moment.
The only way in which I can now retain the site’s domain name, and continue the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph in the long term, is to invite donations from any of our readers who may think that The Bloxwich Telegraph is worth continuing.
Any contribution, no matter how small, could make the difference between shutting up shop altogether, keeping the site going as it is now, or, if there is enough interest, continuing to add to and improve it in the future.
Local people are not, of course, under any obligation to support the site, and if there is not enough interest to keep it going, then we have our answer.
If you feel, however, that you would like to make a small donation to the upkeep and future of The Bloxwich Telegraph, I would be very grateful if you could do so by sending any amount you feel appropriate as a gift via PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
24 June 2015
For Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills.