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Berkshire weekly celebrates half century of news

An independently-owned weekly who can count a pop star among its former employees is this month celebrating a half-century of journalism.

On Thursday 5 February 1959 the first edition of the Bracknell News hit the presses and has been serving the Berkshire town ever since.

The News team has been trawling the archives to mark the birthday throughout this month while readers have been sending in their old photos and stories.

Editor Rebecca Johnson said: “We’re going to be running stuff throughout February.

“Readers have already been sending in their memories after recognising different pictures we’ve ran and sharing their stories.

“We’ve had all our past editors and journalists submitting their memories which we’ll carry during the month.”

Former staffers on the Bracknell News include Chris Pharo, now head of news at The Sun, while The Hoosiers’ drummer Alfonso Sharland spent his youth delivering the paper.

The Bracknell News was one of 14 titles bought by the Berkshire Media Group from Trinity Mirror in July 2007 bringing it back once again under independent ownership, as it was when it launched in 1959.

Rebecca, who has spent a year with the News in her first editorship, added: “It’s been a challenge personally to get the anniversary stuff together but it’s been really interesting.

“The response from readers and dignitaries around the town has so far been fantastic.”