The Westmorland Gazette

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The Westmorland Gazette is a weekly newspaper published in Kendal, England. It covers "South Lakeland and surrounding areas",[1] including Barrow and North Lancs, and derives its name from the historic county of Westmorland.

The paper is now owned by the Newsquest group, within which it forms part of Westmorland Gazette Newspapers, which includes the weekly freesheet South Lakes Citizen and other titles. It has an office in Ulverston, in addition to its Kendal base. Its circulation is about 30,000.[1] It changed from broadsheet to compact format in August 2009.[2]

The editor is Kevin Young who is also the editor of the local tabloid newspaper, The Lancashire Telegraph. The newspapers are owned by Newsquest, a division of the US firm Gannett.[citation needed]


The newspaper was founded in 1818, and among its early editors was Thomas de Quincey best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.[1] His editorship lasted from July 1818 to November 1819, when he resigned. It has been suggested that his interests were too esoteric for the readership, but the main reason for his leaving seems to have been concern regarding his reliability: the proprietors had complained in July 1819 of "their dissatisfaction with the lack of ‘regular communication between the Editor and the Printer’".[3]

William Wordsworth wrote many letters for publication in the paper, and had been invited to be its editor; other notable letter-writers included John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter.[1]

The newspaper was the first publisher of Alfred Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, until the books were taken over by Michael Joseph.[4]

In 2007 The Times reported that a minor news story in the Westmorland Gazette, describing the fire brigade's attendance to extinguish a burning chair, had received much commentary. The editor, Mike Glover, was quoted as saying: This is not the most crime-ridden or busiest of areas, and it’s difficult to get much material from calls to the police and fire brigade. We took the the [sic] attitude that local news sells local newspapers. People will have wondered what the fire brigade were doing.”[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "History of the Westmorland Gazette". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Westmorland Gazette breaks its broadsheet tradition with compact move". How-do: News, opinion and resources for the North West media industry. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Lindop, Grevel (Sep 2004). "Quincey, Thomas Penson De (1785–1859)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 July 2010.  Online edition available by subscription
  4. ^ "A Wainwright". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Hamilton, Alan (24 February 2007). "Office chair set on fire - news that made the world sit up . . .". The Times. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 

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