A Brief History of the Cornish &?Devon Post
The Cornish &?Devon Post came into the ownership of Tindle Newspapers in 1986, since which time the paper’s involvement with the community as a whole has been developed to its present high level. A typical example of the close relationship of the ‘Post’ with its readers is illustrated by the fact that over the past 16 years over £110,000 has been raised by the joint efforts of the paper’s staff and those who read it for Children’s Hospice South West, which helps children with life limiting diseases and conditions.
It was on April 19, 1856, that No. 1 of the ‘Launceston Weekly News and Cornwall and Devon Advertiser,’ the forerunner of the ‘Cornish &?Devon Post,’ which was printed and published by John Brimell at Broad Street, Launceston, made its appearance, and with it began the modern newspaper era in Launceston and surrounding district.
It was not the town’s first newspaper, but it was the first successful one. The first actual newspaper which the borough saw was ‘The Launceston Examiner’ published by William Maddox which appeared for about six months in 1844.
In December 1877, the Cornish &?Devon Post banner was adopted on the amalgamation of the East Cornwall Times and Launceston Weekly News titles. The change of title matched the wider role the newspaper was intended to play as its circulation expanded.
The first issue of the new publication was, according to its imprint, “printed and published by William?Lydra?Powell for the proprietors, W?S?Cater and Co at their Machine Printing Works, Westgate Street, Launceston, in the Parish of Saint Mary Magdalene, in the Borough of Dunheved, otherwise Launceston, in the County of Cornwall” where it still thrives today.
Astute enough to see their opportunity and to plan accordingly, the producers of the new paper, which as they hoped ‘sold like hot cakes’ were able to announce with pride that “arrangements are completed for printing the paper by steam power.” Prior to that, the machine was turned by relays of men!
With eight pages and priced at 1d (one penny), it still gave plenty of national and international news. Now in its 152nd year, the Cornish &?Devon Post can fairly be described as an institution looked upon fondly by its readers as ‘OUR?PAPER.’
Apart from the Cornish &?Devon Post, the series includes the Holsworthy Post, Camelford &?Delabole Post and Bude &?Stratton Post. It is now, naturally, being produced by up-to-date technology but what has not changed is its traditional broadsheet format, style and appearance which is rare within the newspaper industry and is one of only two weekly newspapers in the United Kingdom with adverts but no news on the front page. The Cornish & Devon is now based at Tindle House in Westgate Street but it once occupied much smaller premises opposite St Mary’s Church — a building which later became a photographer’s shop and studio.
The ‘Post’ is a very strong product with wide appeal to both readers and advertisers in North Cornwall, Torridge, West Devon, and part of Caradon district. Some companies have been doing business with the paper since it was first published. The paper also produces several other publications, including the popular ‘Farming Diary,’ the Launceston and Bude Gazette, the North Cornwall Post and Diary, the Camelford Gazette, The Lancer, Country Cuisine, and town guides for Bude and Launceston, plus special supplements for both Launceston, Holsworthy and Camelford Agricultural Shows, again reflecting farming’s major role in the life of both town and country.
Keith Whitford, The Editor, September 2008.
LAUNCESTON, once the capital of Cornwall, has grown steadily in the past 40 years with major housing developments to both north and south. Steeped in history, Launceston was not only a wealthy ecclesiastical foundation in Saxon times, it also had a Royal mint.
The English Heritage Castle which dominates the town was built following the Norman conquest.
Launceston relinquished its capital status in 1838 when the Right of Assize passed to Bodmin. It is defined by the surrounding areas of natural beauty common to all North Cornwall.
Launceston has a good range of shopping facilities in line with its importance as a service centre for the rural surroundings and especially the needs of the farming community.
The town centre has a mix of architectural jewels, while three of the four supermarkets and the retail park lie on the outskirts.
In addition to agriculture, tourism and food manufacturing play a major role in the life of North Cornwall and Torridge districts — being ably assisted by the closeness of the A30 dual road link to the M5.
There is a wide choice of sporting and leisure facilities.
The Cornish & Devon Post, based in Launceston, has existed since 1856 and also charts happenings in and around the seaside resort of Bude, the market town of Holsworthy, and historic town of Camelford.
Bude is mainly Edwardian in character and started to become a fashionable resort in the middle of the 19th century. It is packed with holiday-linked shops and businesses, plus tourist attractions from the historic canal, which is being restored, to the array of sandy beaches, and Project Limelight — housing a cafe/bistro, historic displays, visiting exhibitions, and local studies centre.
Camelford is designated a historic settlement — the earliest remains are the Roughtor stone circles which date from the Bronze Age, although a settlement is not documented until medieval times.
Holsworthy is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a thriving weekly pannier market and one of the largest cattle markets in the region. The annual St Peter’s Fair runs for a week and attracts hundreds of visitors.