THE PILOT

Local Newspaper

By Frank Cox

In September 1922, a young man called Joseph E. Sault launched a new weekly newspaper from his home in Welwyn Garden City. He called it The Pilot and it cost a penny. “Like Welwyn Garden City,” he wrote, “The Pilot is Bright, Breezy and Bracing.” Joseph E. Sault believed that a local newspaper should contain more than local news. In the pages of The Pilot were to be found poems long and short, written by the editor himself. In answer to complaints about the drabness of Fleetville, St. Albans, he wrote this poetic reproof:

Fleetville, Fleetville, try your skill.

Decorate your window sill.

Make the people wonder why

They ever could have passed you by.

In 1923 he reported on the Dagmar and Alexandra Schools Prize giving. (At that time the schools had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. Prentice by J. R. Sheehan Dare) The introduction to his report read

Children, children, dark and fair,

Bonnie children everywhere,

Dancing, prancing, playing pranks

Eating cakes (and giving thanks).

Big boys, small boys, pretty girls,

Ravishing frocks and golden curls,

Fathers, mothers full of joy,

First, a girl and then a boy

They send to ‘prentice at these¬†schools

Run along the Prentice rules.

In 1925 The Pilot was swallowed up by the Herts Gazette and soon Joseph E. Sault’s zeal and his verses were forgotten.

This page was added on 08/11/2011.

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