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'Soap opera in print' tribute to 150-year-old weekly

A man who claims to have read every edition of the Beverley Guardian for more than 80 years was one of the guests of honour at a gala lunch to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the East Yorkshire weekly.

Herbert Thompson, (90), said he had lots of memories of the Guardian and described it as a wonderful local paper packed with community news.

Also at the lunch was another Beverley resident, Joan Failey, (89), who worked on the newspaper for nine years from 1931.

Editor Dennis Sissons proposed a toast to the guests, recalling the paper’s long association with the historic market town and thanking its supporters for helping to celebrate such a ‘milestone’ in local journalism.

He described the weekly letters page as ‘Beverley’s very own soap opera in print’.

He recalled the many changes the Johnston Press paper had experienced during the years leading to its change from a broadsheet to a tabloid in 1988.

He said: “Weekly newspapers have been flourishing like never before in the past few years.

“I believe this is because publications such as the Beverley Guardian give a comprehensive coverage of news down to community level which no other medium can provide.”

The loyal toast was proposed by the Mayor, who said he believed two key factors, a good pub and a good local newspaper, were at the heart of a thriving community.

Other guests included civic and church leaders, among them Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart; the chairman of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Coun Hilary Saynor; the Mayor and Mayoress of Beverley, councillors Matt Snowden and Emma Hoddinott; the Rev Canon David Bailey, vicar of Beverley Minster and other local clergy. Many local organisations were also represented at the lunch, along with business leaders. Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk