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YOU are reading the 600th issue of Melksham Independent News!
The paper – one of only a handful of independent family-owned newspapers left in the country – was set up in 1981 and is delivered free to the whole of Melksham and the surrounding villages.
It is run by Melksham couple, Ian and Susan Drew, and is based in the Market Place. 13,505 copies are distributed free every fortnight making it the newspaper with by far the largest circulation in the town.
Mayor of Melksham, cllr Chris Petty, congratulated Melksham Independent News on the milestone. He said, “I would like to congratulate Melksham News on the 600th issue. Ian, Sue and the team have done a great job in producing a very good, balanced publication. We are very fortunate in Melksham to have such an asset to the town.
“The town council has always been very supportive of the paper. It is a very good vehicle for all of the voluntary groups and organisations in the town and it really helps the town to think as one.
“I hope it continues to get the support it needs from local businesses.”
Ian Drew, who also edits the paper said, “It’s quite a milestone reaching 600 issues. It’s rare these days for an independent paper to survive – most papers are now owned by large national and even international companies. Our success is a tribute to the dedication of our team here and the fantastic support we get from the people and businesses of Melksham. I’d like to thank all the businesses who have supported us over the years; without them there would be no paper.”
Melksham News, the town’s own newspaper was printed for the first time on the 2nd of April 1981 by Ian and Susan Drew. In 1992, they added a second newspaper in Westbury, White Horse News, with a third title, Frome Times, being added in 1999. The three titles are printed in Holt on the company’s own printing press.