Islington Gazette celebrates 150 anniversery

The Islington Gazette is celebrating its 150th anniversary this week by issuing a commemorative colour supplement with its Thursday edition.

The Gazette launched on 20 September 1856, and lays claim to being the oldest surviving local weekly paper in London.

The newspaper is also the best performing paid-for London weekly as it only lost 0.3 per cent of sale in the recent ABC figures, while other weeklies decreased by an average of 2.3 per cent.

"Our paper has shown the smallest decrease in sales. That almost seems like a circulation gain," commented Tony Allcock, editor of the paper for 31 years.

The Gazette will celebrate its anniversary with a reception at the Hilton Hotel in Islington, which local dignitaries are expected to attend.

There will also be a small exhibition of memorable front pages and editions of the newspaper.

Allcock attributes the success of the Islington Gazette to its ability to keep up with a changing readership.

"Islington has changed from a working class area to a much more affluent one in the past 15 years, and the paper has had to reflect that," said Allcock.

"Over the years, newspapers develop their own character no matter who's in charge," he said.

"The Islington Gazette has a distinctive voice, which people find appealing."

Allcock described the Gazette as a "people's paper" which has had "a powerful campaigning voice its entire life".

The first office of the paper was above a pie shop in Islington High Street. The first edition had four pages and cost a halfpenny.

The Islington Gazette is now published every Thursday with a cover price of 45p.

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