BGL will be closing on Dec 20th. Sorry.

Hello, readers.

It’s with a bit of a sad face that I am announcing the closure of BGL on Dec 20th, 2013. It’s been a great two-and-a-half years but the work involved in keeping BGL running and innovative and useful and fun is getting to be too much, and not enough fun to keep this place going.

So unless someone feels able and willing to take on BGL (see below) then we’re shutting up shop, saying sayonara, leaving the building, doing a runner, kicking it, calling it a day, throwing in the towel, folding, calling for a taxi, looking for the coat check stub, shouting ‘last orders’ and pulling down the blinds on what was a very useful and moderately successful measure put in place to fill a gap, temporarily, when the Guardian Leeds project was canned back in May 2011. We were only supposed to be doing this for a little bit, while other projects were picked up and taken more seriously than this one,  and yet here we are.

We’ve had fun, worked with some amazing people (some of whom I’m still astonished were happy to throw their lot in with us for a little while), caused debate, sparked arguments, made a few people rethink what the scores were with blogging (although, perhaps, not enough), and done a good job of what we set out to do: give a wider audience links to local news that wasn’t being covered by the mainstream media.

That’s all we wanted to do; look at the smaller stories that deserved more than 40 words in a newspaper read by fifteen people on its way to lining the budgie’s cage. We’ve tried to entertain, to educate and to extend the realm of local blogging in Leeds. I like to think we did that. I certainly hope we did. We covered events, too; we’ve worked with a few people over the years who have been very generous and let us into events for free (or not very much), and we thank them for that.

We aren’t vanishing right now, though. We’ve got a consistent and regular schedule right up to Dec 20th (thanks mostly to the incredible writers and researchers we’ve got at the moment) and we’re still accepting stories and news and events and anything you’d like to see publicised just that little bit more.

If you think you’d like to run BGL in future – be the face, the keeper of the passwords, the email manger, the one who coughs up occasionally to let people go to certain things, the C-in-C, the last line, the one who is ultimately responsible – then please get in touch. Be aware that I have quite strict requirements for my replacement, and that it is a surprising amount of work; I’m not just going to hand over the reins to anybody.

In the meantime, please enjoy the last six weeks of BGL. If you’ve got any fond memories of the place, if you heard of a story or gig in our pages that changed your life, then we’d love to hear from you! And if you’ve ever written for us or sent us stories in the past then please accept our heartfelt thanks for keeping the good ship BGL afloat over these years. If you’ve ever read this blog – which of course you have – then thank you too; we’ve only ever done this as a service and if we’ve been of service to you then our job has been a success.

Cheers, all.


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20 Responses to BGL will be closing on Dec 20th. Sorry.

  1. Rafe says:

    Thanks for the brilliant, fresh, self-deprecating (mostly!) updates on Leeds life! You will be missed.

  2. Harriet says:

    BGL, you were cool, thx for all the local news.

  3. dakegra says:

    enormously sad to see the end of BGL. The emails popping into my inbox were genuinely a delight and something I looked forward to.

  4. ctf says:

    So so sad BGL is ending. it is my fave email to land in my inbox.

    Not sure there is anywhere that offers such an amazing spread of events and news which BGL does.

    Will be sadly missed xxx

  5. Sarah says:

    It’s been brilliant – thank you for all your work. Thanks for the opportunity to appreciate you and your team 🙂 Sarah

  6. racingshoes says:

    Very sad to see you go – have enjoyed reading since arriving in Leeds, thank you

  7. Bad news. I don’t know how you’ve managed to keep it going for all this time. It’s going to be sorely missed by loads of people, me included.

  8. Jo Dunn says:

    this is bad news – you will be missed 😦

  9. Angus says:

    I only found BGL in the spring, and since then, BGL has become the essential read.

    Thanks for doing such a fantastic job!

  10. Very sad that BGL is going but I understand how much work it is. This has always been my favourite place to get Leeds news!

    Thank you for a great 2.5 years and for all the links to our stuff in that time!

  11. Gayda Jackson says:

    I am originally from Leeds but live in Toronto and have really enjoyed BGL. It has been so informative and has made me feel so much closer to home. I will miss you!

  12. garethwilce says:

    Really sorry to hear it. Can imagine how much work it takes to produce the quantity and quality of your output, so not naive enough to offer to help out in any way. Besides, as a comms manager at leeds city council, i fear i wouldn’t have the requisite level of independence!

    I have tried to get my own side project off the ground; a not for profit blog trying to start a different conversation about how we as consumers can shape the city, businesses and services we want; .

    If there’s any chance of a plug for this blog in your remaining few weeks, I’d really appreciate it. I really want people prepared to write a one-off post or simply make recommendations of orgs which are good for leeds, so we get a decent geographical spread of goods and services and get under the skin of what we value about our local businesses and services.

    Anyway, thanks.


  13. Steve Williamson says:

    I’m really sorry to hear the news – as someone involved largely behind the scenes at South Leeds Life – I have some idea of the work involved and have been very impressed at how you have kept producing it and made it both interesting and informative. It strikes me that the various people running blogs in Leeds should be able to find ways of working together which share more resources but maybe we’re too busy doing what we’re doing to do that…

  14. terry says:

    Thanks very much, Mike and crew, for all your hard work. It has been much appreciated and you’ve definitely earned a rest.

    But – we do need our BGL! Surely there must be people out there who are in a position to continue it?

  15. stripeyanne says:

    Ah, the end of an era. I really appreciate your commitment and hard work, Mike.Many thanks to you and the team for all you’ve done. Now, what’s your NEXT project?!


  16. jess says:

    Just gutted. There is such a lack of news that isn’t done from an angle in Leeds and you’ve done an amazing job over the last couple of years. Thank you for all your support with all the various projects/plugs and just being ace. I hope someone who doesn’t have an agenda is found to replace you!

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  18. Very sad, but well done on all you’ve done for the last couple of years!

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