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Weekly marks 140th anniversary with special edition

A weekly newspaper bought by Sir Ray Tindle four years ago is celebrating its 140th anniversary with a special edition.

The Forester was a family-owned title for 126 years before being bought by Northcliffe Media in 2000 and sold on to Sir Ray’s Tindle Group ten years later,

Now the Cinderford-based newspaper has charted some of its ups and downs in a special issue to commemorate the anniversary of its first edition on 3 July, 1874.

A seven-page feature, written and researched by Andy Sherwill, has documented the paper’s history from its origins as the Dean Forest Guardian, its merger with the Lydney Observer and rebranding as The Forester in 1991 – a name chosen by readers in a public vote.

The Forester's first edition as the Dean Forest Guardian on 3 July 1874

The feature reveals why the Bright family felt that, after 126 years of running the paper, the time was right to sell The Forester to Northcliffe Media and its subsequent acquisition ten years later by Sir Ray Tindle.

As part of the article The Forester has reproduced the stories and the mastheads from its broadsheet pages, giving designer Dan Brassington the challenge of fitting them onto a tabloid page while retaining their original style.

Said Andy: “It appears that the newspaper’s history has never been fully documented, apart from a small story contained within its centenary edition.

“My research has involved spending hours in the attic transcribing the original newspapers from the bound volumes and interviewing former editors, printers and journalists and other staff.

“In the early years, the newspaper documented every hurrah, hiss and boo as part of its coverage of council and other public meetings. There was obviously no word limit to a story during this era.

“I also discovered that before the First World War, the newspaper bought in pages that had been printed elsewhere with national news, features and American cartoons on one side of each sheet of paper, leaving the local printing press to put the adverts and the news from the Forest of Dean on the other side.”