The Sentinel (Staffordshire)
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The Sentinel logo
|Type||Daily newspaper Monday to Saturday|
|Staff writers||Specialists: Dave Knapper (Crime), Kathie McInnes (Education), Phil Corrigan (Politics), Jon Bamber, Laura James (Business), Martin Spinks/Peter Smith (Stoke City FC), Mike Baggaley (Port Vale FC), John Woodhouse (columnist/TV), Jenny Amphlett (columnist), Colette Warbrook (Nostalgia), Richard Ault (Nostalgia), Becky Loton (What's On).|
|Circulation||28,862 (04 June 2016 – 03 Jul 2016)|
It is the only newspaper delivering daily news and features on professional football clubs Stoke City, Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra. The Sentinel also operates an online website with sections on news, sport and entertainment as well as a comprehensive directory of local businesses. The company also uses Twitter and Facebook to break news and communicate with readers.
The publication, which became a morning paper in March 2009, is printed from Monday to Saturday. The newspaper celebrated its 160th anniversary in 2014 and was awarded Freedom of the City.
The Sentinel’s patch includes the six towns of The Potteries (Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton, Longton and Stoke), Newcastle-under-Lyme, Leek, Cheadle, Cheddleton, Crewe, Nantwich, Alsager, Sandbach, Stafford, Stone, Biddulph, Congleton and Eccleshall.
From 29 June 2015 to 3 January 2016 it had an average daily circulation of 30,957, down from 33,426 from 29 December 2014 to 28 June 2015, and 35,112 during the six months before that.
The major local news story of the day is carried on the front page.
The remainder of the content given over to local news, sport and features. This will include news affecting readers including council news from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, reports of crimes, fires, accidents and other emergencies. The newspaper also carries small summaries of local court cases for minor offences, while more major or unusual crimes often have a story to themselves. There are generally at least two letters pages as well as a section for announcements and advertisements by local people and businesses.
Long-standing supplements mark the different days of the week. For example, the Business, Education and Jobs supplement on Wednesdays or the Motors and Homes supplement compiled by award-winning journalist John Swift. The Weekend Sentinel, published on Saturdays, contains lifestyle pages, the Green 'Un sports paper and the hugely popular Way We Were bygones supplement.
There is a TV listing for the day's viewing and on Saturdays there is a listing for the week ahead. There are regular reviews of various television programmes, theatre productions and restaurants, amongst other things such as video games and films. The Sentinel's website www.thesentinel.co.uk includes many of the stories available in the paper, as well as a comments box for each story.
The Sentinel has a stable of popular columnists. This included the late John Abberley, a Potter born and bred, who had been a journalist for more than 60 years.
Other popular columnists include the ascerbic TV critic John Woodhouse and local historian Fred Hughes.
The Sentinel has also introduced columns from its specialist writers including business editor Laura James, education writer Kathie McInnes and political reporter Phil Corrigan.
Sports columnists include former Port Vale player and ITV football pundit Robbie Earle as well as former Manchester United star, ex-Stoke City manager and TV pundit Lou Macari and veteran broadcaster Gerald Sinstadt.
In 2016 The Sentinel's longest-serving journalist, Dianne Gibbons, retired after working for the newspaper for 53 years. Dianne was awarded an MBE for services to journalism and her native North Staffordshire in 2015.
May un Mar Lady
May un Mar Lady is a comic strip written in Potteries dialect that first appeared on 8 July 1986 in the North Staffordshire Evening Sentinel and has been a local institution for a quarter of a century. The full twenty-year run (7,000 strips) of cartoonist Dave Follows' daily cartoon strip was republished in The Sentinel, as May un Mar Lady Revisited.
The cartoon currently appears weekly within the Way We Were nostalgia pages of the Weekend Sentinel.
In Arnold Bennett's "The Card", a comedic story about a local go-getter, Denry Machin, The Sentinel is portrayed as The Signal. Much later, Stoke's first commercial radio station was called Signal Radio, possibly in a nod to "The Card".
- The Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial and General Advertiser was first published as a Liberal weekly newspaper from offices in Cheapside, Hanley, on 7 January. The publisher was Hugh Roberts, the Editor Thomas Phillips, a former Northampton bookseller and printer. One of the objects of the publishers was to campaign for the incorporation of Hanley, but news of the whole pottery district was contained in its columns. The initial price was 3d.
- The circulation of the Sentinel had increased to 5,000 copies weekly with 90 agents covering the whole of North Staffordshire and part of Cheshire.
- The Staffordshire Daily Sentinel was introduced at a halfpenny on Tuesday 15 April, publishing daily editions from Monday to Friday, with the Weekly Sentinel, at two pence, continuing to appear on Saturday. The Sentinel was the first daily paper to be published in the Potteries.
- A new site in Foundry Street, Hanley, having been acquired for the Daily Sentinel the issue of 24 July, was the first to be published from the new office. The town of Stoke-upon-Trent received its charter of incorporation as a borough.
- The Weekly Sentinel was enlarged and many new features introduced. Extra supplements were published. The eight pages were 25 inches in depth and there were seven columns to each page. The price remained at 2d.
- The first Saturday edition of the Daily Sentinel was introduced on 5 January, and on subsequent Saturdays considerable space was devoted to sport, particularly football.
- The circulation of all papers produced at the Foundry Street office was given as six million copies yearly and it was estimated that the Daily Sentinel found its way into the hands of 100,000 persons each day.
- The Staffordshire Daily Post was founded by Unionist interests in opposition to the Sentinel. Mr Thomas Twyford head of the firm of sanitary potters, and a Liberal who joined up with the Unionists in opposition to home rule, was its leading promoter.
- After the Post had sustained heavy losses Mr Twyford approached the Sentinel proprietors and suggested a merger on the basis that the Sentinel should shed its political partisanship and become a paper for all the people.
- The merger having been completed, a new company was set up with Mr T. W. Twyford as Chairman, Mr. William Moody as Managing Director, Mr T. Bullock, Mr Arthur Heath and Mr James Heath. The Sentinel was now styled an independent newspaper. New offices had been built on the existing site and new machinery installed.
- The new company was registered as the Staffordshire Sentinel Ltd.
- The Sentinel Cup football competition was inaugurated for the youth of the district. (Later the Sentinel Shield was added for younger footballers and a junior cricket competition was inaugurated in 1906)
- Because of rising costs the price of the Daily Sentinel was raised to a penny in March and the Weekly Sentinel to 1 |d.
- After the Minnie Pit Disaster, in which 160 lives were lost in January, the Sentinel launched an appeal with a donation of its own.
- The general strike. The Sentinel ceased publication for several days, but later produced single sheet emergency editions.
- In July the acquisition of the Sentinel by Associated Newspapers Ltd. was announced. Mr John Cowley became Chairman of the company. (Later Chairmen were successively Mr A. McWhirter. Mr John Thomson and Mr J. S. Wallwork. The merger did not affect local control over policy).
- The title of the company was changed to Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers Ltd. On 4 February news appeared on the front page for the first time. A big office reconstruction scheme was launched.
- Virtual completion of the reconstruction of the Sentinel offices on the existing site. This was the third building to be erected there.
- Second World War. The outbreak of war was published in a special Sunday edition of the Evening Sentinel on 3 September. The "buff" edition containing early morning racing news which had been published since early in the century was discontinued. During the war newspaper sales had to be pegged to the pre-war circulation figure which was in excess of 78,000 copies a night. Newsprint restrictions reduced the size of the paper by degrees to four pages a night, and these restrictions continued for some time after the end of hostilities. Many members of the Sentinel staff served with the Forces both at home and overseas.
- Having moved from Cheapside to Foundry Street in 1874, the presses and staff were all on the move again in 1986 – to the purpose built current site at Etruria – the original site of Josiah Wedgwood’s Etruria factory.
- The format of the newspaper changed to tabloid as late as 15 October 1988. While many local people still refer to the paper as "The Evening Sentinel", the word "Evening" was dropped from the title during the mid-1990s.
- The Sentinel’s website: www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk was launched.
- In December Mike Sassi, who had been Editor of the Lincolnshire Echo for six years, succeeded Sean Dooley as Editor-in-Chief of Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers.
- The broadsheet Sentinel Sunday ceased production in 2007.
- The name Staffordshire Sentinel News & Media replaced Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers to reflect the group’s focus on all forms of media – specifically the growing demand for its online services.
- Local World acquired the Sentinel, along with other newspapers owned by Northcliffe Media, from the Daily Mail and General Trust.
- The website address changed to: www.stokesentinel.co.uk. Mike Sassi left the paper after eight years as editor. Richard Bowyer was appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief, after six years as deputy editor. In September The Sentinel moved from Etruria to a Grade II listed building in the heart of the city.
- In March, The Sentinel was awarded the Freedom of Stoke-on-Trent by Stoke-on-Trent City Council – a huge honour for the paper and its staff. The Freedom of the City was signed on behalf of the newspaper by its Editor-in-Chief, Richard Bowyer.
- In October, Editor-in-Chief Richard Bowyer left the business after seven years and the then Deputy Editor, Martin Tideswell, was appointed Editor-in-Chief. Martin, who had worked at The Sentinel for 16 years, is the 14th editor of the paper – and the first local editor for more than 40 years.
- Rob Cotterill was promoted to Deputy Editor. Rob joined The Sentinel in April 1989 as a senior reporter at the Stafford branch office before becoming chief reporter at Stafford, where he spent 10 years. He then moved to Newcastle in a similar role.
- In November 2015 The Sentinel's parent company Local World was acquired by the Trinity Mirror Group.
In addition to The Sentinel, journalists at The Sentinel’s headquarters also produce a monthly nostalgia supplement under "The Way We Were" banner and the glossy, monthly Staffordshire Life magazine.
- "The Sentinel".
- contact address of The Sentinel Sentinel House
- Stoke Sentinel makes switch to overnight priniting Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. pressgazette.co.uk
- Newspaper Press Directory. Benn Brothers. 1928. pp. 178–.
- Axe falls on the Sentinel Sunday Archived 12 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. pressgazette.co.uk
- Daily Mail sells regional newspapers to Local World BBC News, 21 November 2012
- Newspaper Report for the publication at the nsdatabase