04:47PM, Thursday 03 March 2016
The Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust was set up by the charismatic Louis Baylis, who revitalised the paper after the Second World War and whose editorial policy championed service to the town.
In 1962 he created the trust to safeguard the paper as 'an independent family concern free from all outside influence'. He also wanted to ensure, as he wrote at the time 'its continuance as part of the civic and social life of the community it serves'.
This turned the Advertiser into an oddball among provincial weeklies and in effect made a gift of the newspaper to the town, a truly independent newspaper whose profits fund local good causes. Essentially it meant that he again became an employee of the firm he had rebuilt, foregoing any financial benefits he could have enjoyed as the virtual owner.
At the time the Trust was created LGB wrote of the 'standing menace' posed to small, family-owned provincial weekly papers by large newspaper groups and of the importance of keeping alive the 'invaluable' tradition of public service established by papers like the Advertiser. He said: "Over recent years several approaches have been made to ascertain whether the Advertiser was for sale.
"The formation of the Trust will, it is believed, protect our paper from intrusion by outside interests."
"Divested of personal local interest and control our paper would soon lose its character."
This unique standing means as long as the paper is run as a profitable concern, its future is assured.
Since it was formed the Trust has ploughed more than £5million back into hundreds of local charities, organisations and good causes, allowing them to improve the quality of many thousands of lives.
Everyone in the area will know someone who has benefited because of the Trust.
And everyone who buys a copy of our papers or who takes out an advert is also directly helping us make a huge positive difference in the community where they live and work.
June 2010. FORMAL LINKS: The plaque marking the trust's relationship with the heritage centre. Ref:103668-10
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