Tue, 07 Feb 2017
IN February 1867, Walter Blacket and Thomas Whieldon Turner founded the Newbury Weekly News from a stationers shop at 34 Northbrook Street.
Mr Blacket was born in Newbury in 1842, the oldest of the three sons of James Blacket, who had moved to Newbury to take over an ailing stationery business.
Within three years, Walter was in sole charge of the business, and keen to start a local newspaper.
Walter sought an editor for his new venture and found Thomas Whieldon Turner, a former printing apprentice at Blacket’s, who had become a reporter on the Cheltenham Examiner.
TW Turner returned to Newbury and on February 7, 1867, the Newbury Weekly News was launched to an expectant public.
Today, the paper is still going strong and February 2017 will mark 150 years of serving the community.
A special commemorative edition of the newspaper will be published on Thursday February 9, which will include a reprint of the first paper.
NWN chairman Jeremy Willis said: “Serving one’s community for 150 years is a huge milestone in any business.
“Not only has the Newbury Weekly News achieved that, it is still in the ownership of the same family.
“I am hugely proud to be the fifth generation of the founders and still in the same town.
“The first edition of the NWN was printed before the lightbulb or the car was invented yet our editorial standards and partnership with our community remain pretty much the same.
“We intend to be around for a long time yet.”
To celebrate the 150th anniversary, the Newbury Weekly News has also teamed up with West Berkshire Brewery to brew its very own beer in what is believed to be an industry first.
The NWN beer, which will feature the names of Mr Blacket and Mr Turner, will be on sale from February.
NWN chief executive James Gurney said: “Reaching 150 years is an incredible achievement for any business.
“It is not something to be taken for granted and is becoming rarer.
“Making it that long requires strong leadership with an emphasis on doing the right thing for our readers and our customers.
“I am certain the paper will continue to serve its community for many more years to come and it makes me incredibly proud to be the CEO and custodian of such an incredible and important local institution.”
Cogratulations @NewburyToday! Long may it continue— Kennet Radio (@KennetRadio) February 7, 2017
Congratulations! https://t.co/kZGbk4I2L1— Chris Hall (@Chrishallnewb) February 7, 2017
@NewburyToday happy birthday!— James Wadham (@James_Wadham) February 7, 2017