True to form, neither BBC1 North West Tonight, nor ITV1 Granada Reports have featured any Cumbrian celebrations of Her Majesty’s 70th anniversary of her succession to the throne. This is despite the fact that 200,000 Cumbrians live in the north of BBC1 North West’s transmission area and at least 100,000 Cumbrians live in the ITV1 Granada Reports‘ transmission area. Folk in North Lancashire might also wanted to know about fantastic celebrations in their area- or just north of where they live- for a fantastic, patriotic day out.
Manx viewers who watched either BBC1 North West Tonight or ITV1 Granada Reports also saw no coverage of Manx celebrations of the Queen’s long reign! That’s despite the Isle of Man being a British Crown Dependency, so just (maybe) they might have wanted to see more than celebrations in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire or south Lancashire!
However, for the benefit of viewers on the Isle of Man and in northern North West England who did not get a Cumbrian perspective, this Website includes some pictures of celebrations that took place in the small village of Nenthead in north-east Cumbria- a place that reporters on BBC1 North West Tonight or on ITV1 Granada Reports would likely never even heard of: Of course, Nenthead is beyond their transmission areas which is why the programmers don’t cover this area- or indeed most of Cumbria- not even for the benefit of 200,000 potential South Cumbrian viewers! Infact ITV1 Granada Reports scarcely covers Cumbria at all, which is why northern North West viewers might try to get ITV1 Border Lookaround– since that Regional news-service covers Cumbria extremely well. For viewers who only have coverage of the Platinum Jubilee- or other news-coverage of places from Preston or Blackpool southwards these pictures might redress some of this balance!
And more here:
With reference to the last picture, the village of Nenthead has its own Community snowplough- in addition to a Community Shop (see top picture)- i.e., rural communities clubbing together to provide for common needs when neither the market or Government will! It is conceivable that communities in South Cumbria (in what will soon be Westmorland and Furness), in other parts of Cumbria, or in North Lancashire might consider setting up “Lakes Community Television” or LancasterTV in future.
Local and Regional TV News-services are not much good for communities when all the news is mainly about places- in one direction only- some sixty or more miles away from the affected communities. This is something that this site campaigns to rectify.
My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. .
A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! .
People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England!
In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! .
North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. .
Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). .
In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.
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