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Britain's first halfpenny daily marks its 150th anniversary

The Greenock Telegraph is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The daily newspaper, owned by Clyde & Forth Press, was launched on March 19, 1857, and became Britain’s first halfpenny daily.

To mark the anniversary the paper held a party in Greenock’s Oak Mall shopping centre, giving away cash prizes to readers.

There will also be a civic reception and a special People’s Party in Greenock this summer.

Editorial manager Tom McConigley said: “For any newspaper to reach 150 years of age is a phenomenal achievement.

“It really is humbling to witness how important the Tele is to the people of Inverclyde.”

Celebrations have begun in-paper too, with a series of articles and supplements looking back at the history of the paper and the changing face of Greenock.

Some former staff have recalled memories of their times at the paper, including Sunday Times assistant editor Joan McAlpine.

Joan began her career at the Telegraph 20 years ago and sent a birthday message to “one of the most successful local papers in the world”.

She said: “I had a great time at the Telegraph. I loved it.

“Working at the Telegraph was the basis for my career. It was a great place to learn.”

BBC Scotland correspondent Colin Blane and the Daily Record’s Paul English have also contributed.

Paul began as a news reporter at the Telegraph before moving to the sports desk.

He said: “I definitely look back fondly, especially on my days on the sports desk.

“It is not so much the stories, but the people I worked with and the people I met when I was out and about on jobs.

“I still read the paper every week. My mum saves them for me.”

  • The Greenock Telegraph has an average daily circulation of 18,268. (ABC – Mon to Fri, July to Dec 2006).