What's Happening in Stansted blog

Newspaper’s birthday is celebrated

Local newspaper The Herts & Essex Observer has celebrated its 150th birthday.

The paper’s anniversary was marked with a party looking at its rich history.

The first edition of the paper was on display during the evening, which was attended by about 80 dignitaries and local community leaders.

The bound volume, from 1861, was provided by the Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies centre in Hertford.

Editor Paul Winspear gave a presentation on the paper’s history, looking at some of the big news stories it has covered over the years.

He talked about world wars, deaths and coronations of five monarchs and big local stories.

These included the Moat Farm murder in Clavering in 1903, the Anchor maltings fire of 1907, which burnt for three weeks, fires at All Saints Church and the Dell Lane flour mill in 1935, the 1966 Thorley manhunt for police killer Harry Roberts and the Stocking Pelham murder of kidnapped newspaper executive’s wife Muriel McKay in 1970.

Guests at the event, which was held in Bishop’s Stortford, included Vice Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Richard Beazley, the county’s High Sheriff, Lord Cecil, the chairmen of East Herts and Uttlesford district councils, the mayors of Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Dunmow and representatives of charities, community groups, and businesses.

A special commemorative supplement was also printed to mark the anniversary, and a video was made showing how this was designed, laid out and printed. The video was also shown during the evening.

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