100 not out!
We are 100 issues old! What an achievement for a little community newspaper!
Many of you 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 2 (which is a very rare one, so if you have one, hang on to it) sported a creamy colour and still no images on the front page – what were we thinking?
Issue 3 was blue, believe it or not, before we settled down to the buff colour – or magnolia as some of us rudely called it.
In fact 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 the then new fangled social media. Ironic perhaps, as ‘Young People Today’ probably rarely read paper-based media at all now.
Our website started shortly after the first few issues, and there are few hyperlocal sites (as they are now known) in the UK who have been running for 16 years. We are often contacted by research teams who want to know the secret to our longevity.
Every community newspaper and hyperlocal project is different. They are as varied as the towns and communities they serve. We can say, 16 years on, that Amble may have changed physically in many ways, but underneath it all is still a strong community spirit, which values its residents, whether they be established families, incomers, entrepreneurs or just hard grafters.
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. Your 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.
We’d like to thank our advertisers too – without you, we would simply not have been able to continue to print the paper edition. Some are heroes of historic proportions, but we are indebted to all the local businesses who have advertised with us over the years.
Of course we must thank Amble Development Trust. For although this project started through their community development work, the Ambler team have always felt editorially independent. Grant funding, the provision of a wonderful work space for the volunteers, and the knowledge that there is such great support from the staff and management committee, have all sustained us over the last 16 years.
Finally, the Ambler team would like to thank you our dear 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.