Community newspaper is celebrating key milestone

The editorial team behind a long-running community newspaper is celebrating after publishing its 100th issue.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 1:00 pm
From left: Andrew Mounsey, Tim Jones, Cath Findlay, Anna Williams, Vivienne Dalgliesh, Norma Hinson. Photo by Bart Rippon

The Ambler started in January 2000 and has gone from strength to strength since. And reaching the centenary has been hailed as a major success for the publication, which focuses on all things Amble.

Anna Williams, who is part of the editorial team, said: “The Ambler is 100 issues old. What an achievement for a little community newspaper.

“Some Amble residents may remember our first edition in January 2000. It was a yellow 16-page publication, full of enthusiasm, but our inexperience hampered the images, which all looked like the inside of a coal mine. Issue two sported a creamy colour and still no images on the front page – what were we thinking? Issue three was blue, before we settled down to the buff colour – or magnolia as some of us rudely called it.

“We didn’t turn white until we were 63 issues old, and that actually caused some consternation with younger readers, who commented about it on social media.

“Our website started shortly after the first few issues, and there are few hyperlocal sites in the UK which have been running for 16 years.”

So, what is the secret behind this bi-monthly publication’s success. Anna said: “We are often contacted by research teams who want to know the secret to our longevity. One of the rare things about The Ambler is the longevity of our core team. We still have volunteers who have been here since day one. That is such an achievement and I want to thank them – and to everyone who has helped produce this wonderful little paper over the years. Their help, however big or small, has been invaluable and has made us what we are today.

“Some people have written for us for years, and to the people and organisations who are now old friends; thank you all for your continued contributions and support.”

Thanks have been given to all of the advertisers, as well as Amble Development Trust, which started the project through its community development work.

Anna added: “We would also like to thank our readers, whom we hope will continue to send in photos, letters, articles and events, and who, together, form Amble’s strong community spirit, which we will always strive to reflect.”

Various groups and individuals have congratulated the team. Business club chairman Ann Burke said it is a very professional publication, while Coun Jeff Watson said: “I can’t think of a better or more interesting free local magazine anywhere in the country.”