Home needed for news archives

Sev­eral hun­dred vol­umes of Ad­ver­tiser and Ex­press dat­ing back to 1800s need stor­ing

Windsor & Eton Express - - News - By Adrian Wil­liams adri­anw@baylis­me­dia.co.uk @Adri­anW_BM

The search is on for a per­ma­nent home for his­tor­i­cal archives of the Slough and Wind­sor Ex­press, which date back to the 1800s.

Due to fi­nan­cial pres­sures caused by COVID-19, Baylis Me­dia, which owns the Ex­press and the Maiden­head Ad­ver­tiser, had to down­size its of­fice leav­ing nowhere to store sev­eral hun­dred large vol­umes of news­pa­pers.

The com­pany de­cided to list them on eBay in an at­tempt to find some­one in­ter­ested in tak­ing the archives, af­ter sev­eral at­tempts to find a new home for them were un­suc­cess­ful.

A list­ing was put on eBay start­ing at 99p. Shortly af­ter a bid came through for £1,000, which the com­pany de­cided not to ac­cept.

In­stead, the eBay list­ing brought much-needed at­ten­tion to the archives and re­newed in­ter­est in sav­ing them.

Jeremy Spooner, chief exec

utive of­fi­cer of Baylis Me­dia, said “It was never about money – it was about find­ing a home for the archives.

“In the end, putting them on eBay saved the day.”

The com­pany was con­tacted by Wind­sor Lo­cal His­tory Group (WLHG), which res­cued many vol­umes of the Wind­sor and Eton Ex­press.

Six mem­bers of the group are cur­rently keep­ing the vol­umes in their garages, un­til they can find a per­ma­nent home for them.

“It is not ideal, it is very much a tem­po­rary home,” said Brigitte Mitchell, chair of WLHG. “We want them to go some­where where they will be avail­able for pub­lic view­ing. We are very pas­sion­ate about them and we re­ally don’t want to see them lost.”

Berk­shire Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture has ex­pressed an in­ter­est in tak­ing the news­pa­per vol­umes, but there is some ques­tion as to whether or not the col­lege will have space to house them all.

These vol­umes are all those which have al­ready been digi­tised and are avail­able to view with a sub­scrip­tion, or can be ac­cessed by lo­cal char­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion with­out charge.

There are still 100 more copies of the Ex­press to digi­tise, with a view to re­home these in the fu­ture as well.

As for the copies of the Ad­ver­tiser, Maiden­head Her­itage Cen­tre has been for­mally of­fered all 105 vol­umes, each con­tain­ing a year’s worth of news­pa­pers. How­ever, it is pos­si­ble the her­itage cen­tre will not be able to take them.

Vol­un­teer Martin Shaw is hold­ing the vol­umes in the hope that a per­ma­nent home can be found.

Email mitchell.brigitte @gmail.com if you can pro­vide a home or have a sug­ges­tion for the Ex­press vol­umes.

Hun­dreds of vol­umes of the Ad­ver­tiser and Ex­press need a home.

James Chap­man has been run­ning Pow­er4Fit­ness gym ses­sions out­doors while in­door gyms re­main closed. Ref: 132813-12

Ref: 132813-5

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