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History under the hammer

A major piece of newspaper history has gone under the hammer with the sale of the former Matlock Mercury’s former offices for £142,000.

The newspaper had been based at the old offices in Bakewell Road since its advent after the Second World War.

Ella Smith founded the Mercury – then called Coming Events – from the building which was also her home.

And for many years the paper was printed at the site, on Bakewell Road.

The newspaper’s home was not without incident – in 1965 four feet of flood water invaded the plant, destroying many of the paper’s early editions.

Editor Don Hale was at the helm for 15 years at Bakewell Road, before the offices moved to their current Firs Parade address.

He said: “It was sad to have moved out of there – the end of an era. It is part of the town and community.”

The old offices are now expected to become home to Peak Insurance, which has outgrown its present base.

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