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Closed paper back in print after new owners found

A weekly newspaper which ceased publication earlier this year is back in print after new owners came forward.

The Woking News and Mail ceased publication in March, along with its free sister paper the Woking Review, with the loss of 19 jobs – after the Guardian Media Group was unable to find a buyer.

They were the only local newspapers owned by GMG when it sold its regional arm to Trinity Mirror last year, with the latter choosing not to have the titles included in the deal as it already owned rival publication the Woking Informer.

But local family business Knaphill Print and Web decided to step in following the announcement of the closure so the News and Mail, which had been published for 117 years, could continue and it hit the streets again last Thursday with a new masthead, pictured below.

The new owners came forward with details of the title’s revival after HTFP reported that former journalists from the paper were planning a reunion for those who had worked there.

New editor Hilary Gavin said it had initially been relaunched as a monthly title but the aim was to bring it fortnightly then back to weekly and a team of freelance journalists and photographers were working on the paper.

She said: “What we are trying to do is say this is a 19th Century paper reborn in the 21st Century.

“Our masthead reflects the old but we want to say we are reborn in the 21st Century. We realise that people communicate in different ways, through print, online and with social media.

“People have just been thrilled. Since the paper has come out, we have had several ‘well done’ letters. We have been overwhelmed by the support.”

Hilary started in journalism at the Aldershot News and Mail then sister paper the Camberley News and Mail, followed by time as a sub-editor at the Bucks Free Press and the Sun and recently subbing freelance at the Daily Mirror.

She added: “It is lovely to go back to a local paper. We believe there’s a market for local papers.

“It is a great opportunity to show people that local papers are alive and kicking and will remain that way because local communities want local news and businesses want to advertise locally.”