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Shropshire sister titles celebrate 150 years

Shropshire-based sister titles the Newport Advertiser and Bridgnorth Journal have been celebrating their 150th anniversaries.

It is by coincidence that the papers are both the same age, as they were started independently and were acquired by Shropshire Newspapers – which also publishes the Shropshire Star – in the 1960s.

Separate events were held to mark the anniversaries, with Bridgnorth town mayor Councillor Ed Shirley attending a special celebration in a Journal marquee in the grounds of St Leonard’s Church.

Journal editor Colin Northway, who has been with the paper for 23 years, said: “The Journal has always been close to the community but it takes a long time for someone to fit in around here and after 150 years I think we’re part of the family!

“It’s the only paper in the area to have survived so long. The Journal was the first weekly paper to go on to screen VDUs.

“Since then it has totally changed although we’re still dealing with the same community.

“We produced a special supplement with lots of photos celebrating the town. It’s a big historical centre for its size.”

Colin said he was delighted with the reputation the paper had earned as being “part of the community”.

He said: “The paper is based in the centre of the town and so reflects the views of the people.

“And it is the combination of editorial and advertising staff which has ensured we maintain an excellent rapport with the community.”

In Newport, the Advertiser celebrated the milestone at Longford Hall with the town’s deputy mayor Coun Glynn Gratton and Wrekin MP Peter Bradley.

Advertiser editor Samantha Taylor said: “This was a wonderful celebration of the Newport Advertiser. It was particularly nice to be able to say thank you to so many of the people who have helped and supported us over the years, keeping the Advertiser at the heart of the community.”

Samantha said the Advertiser kept its celebrations quite low key, because its sister edition the Market Drayton Advertiser – with which it was amalgamated in 1863 – does not celebrate its 150th anniversary until next year.

Shropshire Newspapers managing director Warren Wilson said: “We are proud of both newspapers which have been an important part of the communities they serve for the past 150 years and it is hoped they will continue to be so for many years ahead.”

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