“ The Barnsley Chronicle has for nearly 150 years lived up to its title by faithfully chronicling the lives and activities of the people of this town. „
Barnsley Chronicle, thar knows!
The nickname for the Chron' as everyone round here calls it, is the Barnsley Bible. Not least I suspect as it has been known to preach a few times!
In seriousness, there are very few people in Barnsley that do not by the Chron', and as an 'outsider' (well I have only lived here for 11 years) I would not be without it.
It is still in a broadsheet format though the inserts (motoring etc.) are now conveniently half size.
The Chron' is the UK's best selling regional paper.
The paper is 150 years old, the first edition being produced in 1858.
The paper costs 55p.
There are several regular sections:
The main section
Occasionally there is also a section on 'first school' or 'best dogs', and now 'Face of Barnsley' a yearly competition to find the best looking young men and women!!
~~~~The paper itself~~~~
There are seven district editions and these reflect the fact that Barnsley was once an area characterised by coal mines and the village conurbations that surrounded them. : Town
Royston/Cudworth/Grimethorpe (one edition)
Wombwell/Darfield (one edition)
Each of these editions have many of the same stories, but each has a different 'leader' dependent on local news. Barnsley is actually a very large Metropolitan Borough in South Yorkshire that spans the start of the Pennies in the West, and goes as far South as the outskirts of Sheffield, North to Wakefield area and East to the old coalfields areas.
There are several noteworthy regular columns and pages;
Ian McMillan, AKA, the Barnsley Baird has a regular column, often championing Barnsley dialect or some other tradition that seems to be going. This week he is on about holidays away from Barnsley due to the weather.
There is an editorial column which is often fair, but sometimes strays a little to the right of Attila the Hun.
The standard letters page: This is a selection of local councillors (Labour usually and the wrong side of 60) justifying themselves, competing with folk complaining about late buses or dog do on the pavements.
There is a really good section on local sport which does its best to highlight local talent, you know....'Becky Thump came first in the heats for the all local hula hoop eating competition, from 6 entrants, she said "I'm on my way now, 2012 beckons"'
Seriously they do really well with local talent. The back page is always full of Barnsley FC 'The Tykes', currently near the bottom of the Championship.
There is a regular feature on community events which is always useful.
The section on property highlights how cheap Barnsley property is, it really is folks.
The classified section has local events, items for sale and jobs, as well as some seedy massage adverts and a huge dating page.
I would not be without a Chron' there are some great reads in there, really interesting local stories, mixed with the bizarre and the downright daft, especially when it comes to stories about local 'characters' such as 'Kipper Jackson', known for wheeling a karaoke machine around town and singing Cliff Richard songs. At a recent court appearance he wore a T shirt stating 'Free Kipper Jackson'. Eleven years after moving here I am fiercely loyal to this paper.
It is the only local paper that could print a front page about being one of the 'fat' capitals of England, proudly boasting that we are only just behind Hull.
My only criticism is that there are still miners stories and references to the mining community nearly every week, 15 years after last pit shut...time to move on, the paper and the town.
The Chron' has also recently gone online....we are entering the digital age in Barnsley.