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Back-to-basics title reaches first birthday

The Bexley Chronicle Series is still going strong a year after it first hit the streets.

The monthly newspaper is celebrating its first birthday after being launched last September, billed as a back-to-basics title with grassroots news for local people.

And it is this true community focus which editor Bob Griffiths says has been the secret of its success.

He said: “We have done what we set out to do. It is a readable sensible paper which people can relate to and the borough is much more transparent in terms of news.”

Soon after launching the Bexley Chronicle and the Sidcup Chronicle, publishers Stone Leisure Limited discovered that the titles were still not local enough, and promptly launched a further two editions for Thamesmead and Swanley.

The company now publishes four editions of the Chronicle, all with their own front pages and some other localised content, and it could also soon be expanding into neighbouring boroughs.

Bob said: “We’re doing very well and have been asked by advertisers and local councils to launch in other areas adjacent to Bexley.

“We are looking at Bromley, Chislehurst and Eltham.”

Bob also believes that the way the Chronicle is distributed has also proved successful.

Instead of being delivered door to door the newspaper is delivered to supermarkets and superstores in the area such as B&Q and Homebase, as well as local health clubs and surgeries, meaning that all copies are actively picked up.

Bob said: “We started with 25,000 copies and now publish 35,000 which are all picked up and read. It costs around £2,500 to distribute them – a lot more than if we were to deliver them to letterboxes, but then you would lose control.

“Our purpose is to get to the people who want to know what is happening and that is our strength.

“The past year has gone really quick, but we have enjoyed it and it has been good fun.

“We’ve met a lot of new people and are closer to the community than ever before.”

  • Stone Leisure Limited also publishes Motorhome Monthly and organises various outdoor leisure shows.

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