200 years of the Westmorland Gazette

24/04/18 PRESS RELEASE: From Wordsworth to the Web: 200 Years of the Westmorland Gazette

24 April 2018

Museum marks Westmorland Gazette’s 200th anniversary

It’s served the community for 200 years and now has an exhibition dedicated to its own story. 

Local newspaper The Westmorland Gazette has been the definitive voice of the Lake District.

It has recorded life in the Lakes with stories of its people and places since the 23rd May 1818.

Now the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry has dedicated an exhibition to the weekly paper which sells 15000 copies each week and has more than 100000 readers in print and online. 

From Wordsworth to the Web: 200 Years of the Westmorland Gazette opens on 28 April and runs until 20 December 2018.

The exhibition puts the Wezzy Gezzy into context within the history of printing in Britain.

This exhibition looks at the scoops, exclusives, headlines and deadlines, of this Cumbrian institution.

It also considers the influence legends like William Wordsworth and Alfred Wainwright had on shaping the paper. 

Visitors will see a 200-year-old copy of the Gazette, as well as items from the Museum’s collections relating to printing. 

The importance of press photography will also be in focus with some of the best pictures taken by Gazette photographers over the years.

The exhibition will look at how breaking the news has changed in the digital age and also includes:

A wall of numerous humorous and light-hearted stories which have been covered by the newspaper.

An original copy of the Gazette from 1818 - its very first year. Plus other bound copies.

Letters to William Wordsworth from Lord Lowther - a key figure in setting up the Gazette.

Specially selected printing objects from the Museum’s collection.

Items from the Gazette including printing plates and a printing press.

Rachel Roberts, curator of Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry said: “The Westmorland Gazette is as much a way of life in south Cumbria as the fells and the lakes. 

“It’s been a staple in the homes of residents for two centuries delivering the sensational, serious and sometimes silly stories.

“In an era of digital news - this exhibition celebrates printed prose and also how the Gazette has adapted for the World Wide Web.”

Andrew Thomas, editor Westmorland Gazette, said: ”2018 promises to be a momentous and memorable year for The Westmorland Gazette.

“We have a range of special publications and events planned, both in-paper and online, to celebrate the newspaper’s important role in the local community over the past two centuries.

“One of the most important of these is the exhibition at the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, which reveals the history of the newspaper and how it has reported the news over the years.

“We hope as many people as possible will go along to see the exhibition, which will be on display until 20 December.”

The exhibition comes at a time that the Gazette is riding high. It has been shortlisted in the Weekly Newspaper of the Year (circulation above 15,000 copies) category of the Society of Editors' Regional Press Awards.

A beer in honour of the paper’s 200th anniversary is also causing a stir. The tipple “Wezzy Gezzy” is available in pubs across Kendal and beyond.

Notes to editors:

More details from dfelton@lakelandarts.org.uk or kclegg@lakelandarts.org.uk


Media can download images from the exhibition here: http://bit.ly/2JeI8MI

Lakeland Arts 

Lakeland Arts has a portfolio of galleries and museums in the Lake District. It opened Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, in 1962 and since then has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. 

Abbot Hall also houses the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in the former coach house and stables. 

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere is architect MH Baillie Scott's greatest house and retains most of its original decorative features. It is a perfect setting for exhibitions of historical and contemporary craft.

Lakeland Arts is due to open Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in 2018. Designed by Carmody Groarke architects, this will be a new world-class museum in a stunning setting on Windermere and will display an internationally important collection of boats which are all associated with lake Windermere.

No sidebar content on this page.