THE Journal and Gazette which has sat at the corner of Linlithgow Cross since 1891 is moving out of town.
It’s the end of an era for the local paper, the second title established in the Johnston Press empire, after the Falkirk Herald, as it moves from Linlithgow High Street to Grangemouth.
The move has been made to meet the demands of the digital age, but a community reporter will still be based in the town during the week. And as always, reporters can be contacted by phone or email.
Johnston Press which owns the Journal and Gazette title hopes to sell the iconic office (pictured) in the near future.
There have been mixed views locally about the move.
Murdoch Kennedy, a well known face in groups including Linlithgow Reed Band, said: “I think it is very sad to see the Journal and Gazette move from the prime High Street location it has occupied since 1891. However, I have no doubt the paper will continue to serve its communities, and will only be a telephone call or email away!”
The reporters, who cover Linlithgow, Bo’ness and Queensferry, now have their own mobile offices, after being supplied with new kit, so they can be on the move and still be where the news is happening.
But local historian Bruce Jamieson is dismayed at the loss saying: “I think it’s a terrible decision to move out of the town, a sign of the times maybe, but a most unwelcome one.
‘‘I am sure this piece of news will be met with enormous disappointment by the people of the town.”
But the mood is not all negative as Barbara Braithwaite, daughter of Arthur Brown, former editor from 1941 into the 60s, has fond memories of how the Journal and Gazette office has changed over time.
She said: “I remember the printing press with Mr Watson and Betty Scott on the front desk. The office was always great viewing for the Marches. But it was a very cold office - my dad would be sitting there with his hat, coat and scarf on writing stories!
“People all know the building and, when you are giving directions, it’s always right, left or centre of the Gazette office.”
She added: “It’s hard, but if people get on board from the beginning it’ll be fine. It’s a different job now. There were big changes for my father during his time - he used to attend countless meetings but that changed when there became more of a focus on being in the office.”
Nowadays, the move is into digital as more news goes online.
Editor Jackie Mitchell said: “We’re part of the history of Linlithgow and that’s not going to change. New technology is moving, so we’re still producing traditional print papers but will also be updating our website with new and exciting content for years to come.”
For more details on contacting the team see page 25.