A local newspaper suffered an ignominious end after its ‘final edition’ failed to see the light of day.
As recently reported on HTFP, the Nuneaton & Bedworth Post closed after less than a year after failing to attract enough advertising revenue.
Veteran journalists Mort Birch and Steve Evans, who launched the monthly publication last October, had prepared a farewell edition with the headline : ‘Sorry folks, the dream is over.’
But now it can be revealed that even this failed to hit the streets after a single vote at a makeshift boardoom meeting decided the paper’s final fate.
Mort and Steve had set up the not-for-profit paper with the aim of giving a once-a-year hand-out to local organisations.
But the two journalists, with a century of experience between them, were forced to watch their dream fade a way with a whimper rather than a roar.
Mort and Steve – who first became firm friends in the industry nearly 50 years ago – were summoned to an impromptu vote by the seven-man volunteer board at their Bedworth-based offices.
“It had originally been agreed there would be one more edition to let the loyal readership know what was happening and why we were having to close down after only 10 months,” said Mort, 71.
“We’d got it basically and finished and ready to go. Then suddenly we were asked to vote on whether we wanted the paper to come out one more time – or stop immediately.
“By ceasing trading, it was claimed, we would be able to give out more monies to good causes.”
The vote was 4-3 in favour of immediate closure, said Mort. “Steve and I were basically outgunned and it left us in shock and a great deal of sadness at the manner of our passing.”
The pair, who between them have worked on most of the publications in the Coventry and north Warwickshire circulation corridor over the years, saw the launch of the Post last October as a “dream”.
“All of us were volunteers and our aim was to create something that would cherish our heritage, look to the future and educate and entertain,” said Mort, ex-Nuneaton Evening Tribune chief sports writer and former co-founder and editor of the Bedworth Echo weekly.
“We knew from the start that it would be a perilous project, but we pressed on undaunted,” he added.
The last Post’s final edition would have been a mix of news, features, a mayor’s regular column, nostalgia and sport.