Through now hollow eyes
Looking down on Walsall lives
No questions asked.
Founded in 1868 The Walsall Observer lived a predatory existance absorbing competitors throughout its 122 year existance, until it was culled itself by its eventual and ultimate owner, Trinity Mirror. This is a conglomerate of newspaper titles, which now calls itself Reach plc that is based at Canary Wharf in London’s revived docklands.
Observer is a passive role. Would this regional title have lived longer had it been given a more lively title? Does nominative determinism apply in business?
Walsall FC formerly Walsall Town Swifts FC currently struggle in the depths of League One, (the 3rd Division). Would they be doing better had the club not dropped the surname in 1896? The club is certainly long established enough to be amongst the high flyers, like their neighbours, Wolverhampton Wanderers, (The Wolves). I sense it has remained a modest competitor because of its more modest branding. Follow the Wolves, or follow the Swifts? It’s easier keep up with a wolf, I suppose.
Had this town newspaper been called The Walsall Inquisition, would people of power been more wary of the Fourth Estate in this community? Would the newspaper been a ferocious watchdog for the people’s interests?
The sandstone used to build this imposing facade was glowing in the last light of late afternoon, but the building looked most sad. Its bold headline never more apt, as life went on below and the old Observer watched on without comment.