FOR more than 120 years The Mail - under its various names including the North-West Evening Mail and Barrow Evening Mail, has been at the forefront of news reporting.

The Mail - both in print and online, now reaches more than 91,000 people across South Cumbria every month - that’s almost nine in 10 people.

From the Lady in the Lake murder case to the Kirkup Report, as well as the Legionnaires’ outbreak and the ongoing urology scandal, Barrow’s trusted local newspaper has been relentless in its search for the truth.

Barrow’s paper was the first, and continued news source when Carol Park was first reported missing in 1976, and was at the forefront of coverage when her body was discovered in 1997.

When Carol’s husband Gordon was charged with her murder the Evening Mail, as it was then known, was first on the scene, garnering first-hand, eye-witness accounts from her family and friends.

And we continued to report the case right up to the present day when, just a few weeks ago, the High Court dismissed an attempt to clear Gordon Park’s name.

In 2000 the Evening Mail reported from within the heart of the community when Jason Pugh killed his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Garratt and her colleague Anthony McIntee.

We covered the lengthy murder trial and continue to report on the case to the present day - just last year we reported how the families of Pugh’s victims were horrified to discover he had been released from prison without their knowledge.

Just two years later we were at the heart of the shocking Legionnaires’ outbreak at Forum 28 and we helped to uncover the failings of the local council.

In 2012 we reported on the tragic case of Jodie Simpson - a young Barrow mum left in a vegetative state following an overdose and her family’s continuing battle to ensure lessons are learned.

Jodie’s family continue to engage with us and trust us in ensuring her story is told.

Last year her mum Jean spoke exclusively to The Mail about her lifelong fight which has led to potential legislative changes.

In 2016 we were first at the scene following the horrific murder of Guy Hamilton. The Ormsgill community invited our reporters to the candle-lit vigils held in the wake of his death.

We covered the murder trial, and eventual conviction, of Damien Hill, and reported the response from Guy’s closest friends, family, and the wider community.

In 2017 we live-streamed six hours of video direct to our readers when the House of Lords and Bar Continental burned to the ground.

It was The Mail’s reporting team who obtained exclusive interviews with the buildings’ owner, and thanks to our determination and legal battle against the local authorities we were able to gain access to the fire investigation.

Later that year we covered the murder investigation following the death of Andy Hackett.

We went on to cover - and report live from court with an ongoing blog published direct from Preston Crown Court, the murder trial and eventual conviction of Mark Bartholomew.

Since 2018 The Mail has been heavily involved with, and responsible for, the investigation into the urology department at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Through our campaigning, and exclusive interviews with clinicians and patients, we have secured an NHS-commissioned inquiry and numerous ongoing General Medical Council investigations.

The Mail uncovered, and reported factually and fairly, the statistics revealing the crime issues faced at Egerton Court. Yet we also challenged national media when they unfairly represented those facts.

And earlier this year our reporter covered the police misconduct hearing where Barrow PC Matt Simpson was sacked after he committed gross misconduct by sleeping with a woman while on duty.

Throughout our 120-year history we have been the first on the scene at all major breaking news events and while we have been, and intend to always be, the first to hold officials to account, we will also always be the first to defend and champion Barrow when we need to do so.