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Ex-editor warns weekly’s readers to ‘use it or lose it’

John FrancisA former editor has urged readers of his old newspaper to “use it or lose it” after the title celebrated its 50th anniversary.

John Francis, who used to edit Stevenage-based weekly The Comet, has made the plea in a column to mark the paper being in business for half a century.

John, pictured, ran The Comet between 2014 and 2016.

In his column, published last week, he paid tribute to the team he led at the paper for “putting their hearts into a real labour of love”.

John wrote: “It was a glorious Indian summer and I savoured every day of it.

“I’d be there still, if things had stayed the same – but they never do.

“I didn’t like fresh changes looming on the horizon, so I made a dignified retreat to make way for the next generation.”

John went on to urge The Comet’s readers to keep supporting the paper.

He added: “Times are tough for local news providers and they don’t look like getting any easier, which is a great shame.

“A strong regional press is important for all sorts of reasons, but many of those reasons don’t become apparent until a paper is forced to call it a day.

“Use it or lose it, people – the Comet has already shown it’s a survivor, but it can only carry on for as long as you want it to.”