The Prince of Wales has visited the Tavistock Times Gazette and its sister titles in Devon to see how the newspapers work.
The visit, with his wife Camilla, was in advance of Local Newspaper Week, for which he wrote an article explaining how “local newspapers are at the very heart of the communities they serve and play an extraordinarily important role in shaping local agendas and priorities”.
Sir Ray and Lady Tindle, and executives Brian Doel and Wendy Craig were hosts at Tavistock, where the royals met nearly 100 members of staff as well as members of the public.
Prince Charles spoke of the affection in which local newspapers were held in their communities and said the fact that the three had reached 150 was proof of this.
The Times Gazette, which came under the ownership of Tindle Newspapers in 1986, has since seen a dramatic rise in circulation from approximately 6,500 copies in 1986 to just under 8,000 today. The title is part of a series with a circulation of more than 12,500 copies a week.
The town originally supported two paid-for titles for more than 50 years, the Times and the Gazette.
The Times, with a smaller staff, finally reached the point where it took over the Gazette in 1983. The two papers continued as separate publications. The Gazette appearing in mid-week and the Times publishing on the traditional Tavistock livestock market day, Friday.
In the face of ever-increasing production and material costs, the arrangement continued for three years until the two finally merged as the Tavistock Times Gazette in 1986.