NEWSPAPERS AT WITNEY BLANKET HALL
18th & 19th CENTURY NEWSPAPER REPORTS
IT IS NOW QUITE HARD to imagine with what keenness the weekly newspapers were once read. Jackson's Journal (the forerunner of The Oxford Times) was founded at about the same time as The Blanket Hall was built, and provided the first real opportunity for Witney to find out what was going on elsewhere. Similarly, the newspapers carried Witney's news out of the town. In a sense the weekly newspapers were Witney's conversation with the world.
So far as The Blanket Hall is concerned, these new means of communication were essential to the Company of Blanket Weavers, for they not only provided the necessary intelligence about markets, and trading opportunities, they also allowed for small and isolated towns like Witney to play a part in the national and international story. For the first time, Witney could matter!
Here are a few examples of stories in Oxfordshire papers detailing triumphs and disasters, the hectic and the humdrum, concerning life at the Blanket Hall between 1754 to 1830...