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Industry top brass keep champagne date with Duke

Newspaper executives joined past and present staff from the Derbyshire Times to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the paper at a gala celebration at Chatsworth House.

Almost 170 guests were invited to the black tie event, hosted by the Duke of Devonshire, who paid tribute to the weekly paper’s important community role.

Speaking at a champagne reception in the Painted Hall, the Duke told guests: “The Derbyshire Times has been an institution in the county over the last 150 years and has been avidly read by my own family.

“The paper has been relied upon over the decades to inform and represent the local community and I am very pleased to host this celebration event at Chatsworth.”

  • Tim Bowdler (left) with the Duke
  • Guests included Tim Bowdler, chief executive of the paper’s parent-company Johnston Press, former Johnston Press managing director and chairman Freddy Johnston, who is now non-executive director, and Newspaper Society president Stephen Parker, managing director of Trinity Mirror’s regional newspapers.

    Also present was Mark Rodgers, managing director of Wilfred Edmunds Ltd, which publishes the Derbyshire Times, editor Mike Wilson and deputy editor Phil Bramley.

    Many of the newspaper’s former staff also joined the celebrations, including former managing directors Nick Mills, who is now managing director at the Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group, and Chris Green, now managing director of Yorkshire Post Newspapers, and former editors Alex Leys, now managing director of the Nottingham Evening Post, and Doug Melloy, now editor of the Rotherham Advertiser.

    Mike said: “We are all very proud to be associated with the long and successful history of the Derbyshire Times and it was a wonderful evening to celebrate the occasion.

    “Chatsworth has been a big part in the DT’s history and we are very grateful to the Duke of Devonshire for allowing us to hold the event in such a wonderful setting.

    “We would like to thank everyone who has played a role at the paper over the years and we are determined to build a successful future.”

  • The Chesterfield-based weekly, then known as the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, was first published on January 7, 1854, by Francis Augustus Hatton, printed on a hand-turned flat-bed machine and sold for 4.5d.

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