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130-year-old weekly newspaper to go part-paid, part-free

One of Kent’s oldest weekly newspapers, The Dartford and Swanley Times, is going paid/free from next week.

The title, which is part of the 130-year-old Kentish Times Newspaper group, owned by Archant London, will be for sale for 40p in newsagents and delivered to 45,000 homes in and around the Dartford borough and Swanley district.

The new Dartford and Swanley Times will incorporate the free title, The Dartford and Swanley Express.

A bright new design plus pages of hard hitting news, popular columnists, showbiz exclusives, campaigns, competitions, entertainments section, readers letters and a re-vamped sports section will be on offer to readers.

Kentish Times Newspapers’ group editor Melody Foreman said: “We have asked readers what they’d like to see in their local newspaper and the new Dartford and Swanley Times is the result.

“It is all part of our plan to generate great audience figures which unite dynamically with our lively, news driven website,”

Among the areas the title will cover are Farningham, Eynsford, Sevenoaks, Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Hextable, Darenth, and Wilmington.

The new bumper sized Dartford and Swanley Times follows the successful re-launch of The Bromley Times in 2005 and The Bexley Times in 2006. In October The Bexley Times scooped the prestigious EDF Energy London and South East England Free Newspaper of the Year Award.

The editorial team focusing on the Dartford and Swanley title includes deputy editor Kate Bryson, assistant editor (content) Michael Adkins, news editor Kate Mead, photographer, Simon Hildrew, sports editor Stuart Henderson, sub editor/reporter Joe Shackley, reporters Martin Sawden, Ed Riley, Jason Goodyer, Lizzie Thornton, Marina Soteriou, Alex Leach (sport) and Fintan Quinn (sport).

Melody added: “The team are tremendously buoyed up by the re-launch of this popular title and have been working magnificently to give audiences what they have asked for. In keeping with a strong tradition of offering the best news service in the area we will continue to incorporate a series of exciting new content plans that aim to invigorate and modernise this famous Kent weekly and its sister websites.”

Archant London editorial director Richard Thomson said: “The re-launch of The Dartford & Swanley Times completes the re-positioning of the famous old Kentish Times titles in south east London and north Kent which has seen the Archant titles become much more competitive in the market place.”

  • Front – Michael Adkins (assistant editor, content) Melody Foreman (group editor) Kate Bryson (deputy editor); Back row – Stuart Henderson (sports editor) Martin Sawden (reporter) Lizzie Thornton (reporter) and Joe Shackley (sub-editor)
  • Comments

    Oliver Baldock (06/08/2009 10:48:12)
    I got my first job delivering these papers but now this has happened they have made me ‘redundant’ at just 14 years old. It’s terrible.