The independent and family-run Lymington Times and New Milton Advertiser – sister titles known collectively as the Advertiser and Times (or A&T for short) – has in one form or another been an enduring feature of local life on the Hampshire and Dorset coast since 1928.
The broadsheet covers the affluent New Forest and Christchurch patch and is published every Friday. It is printed in black and white at the company’s HQ in New Milton, Hampshire, on a 1960s converted Viscount letterpress printing machine powered by a John Deere tractor engine.
When it enters its landmark 90th year, the A&T will relaunch as a full-colour broadsheet printed at the Johnston Publishing operation in Portsmouth, Hampshire, a short drive down the M27.
The last black and white edition will begin to roll off the old New Milton press at 11am on Thursday January 18th. The new full-colour A&T will be in the shops on Friday January 26th – still priced at 50p.
The 90th anniversary celebrations in 2018 will continue with the opening of brand new offices featuring a purpose-built newsroom at the newspaper’s existing site in Compton Road, New Milton. The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in the summer.
The A&T’s managing director is Eddie Curry. He is among the four generations of Currys involved in running the business following his father, 97-year-old proprietor Charles Starr Curry MBE, and late grandfather Charles Townley Curry MBE.
Also directors are Eddie’s niece Marianne Gregory and his sister Caroline Woodford.
Eddie said: “Everyone at the A&T is rightly proud as we approach our 90th year as an independent paper – especially when the wider industry is facing serious challenges. We’ve endured by staying true to our high journalistic standards and traditional, ultra-local focus.
“Going colour is the logical next step to maintain the material and editorial quality that our loyal readership expects. We’ve worked hard to preserve the A&T’s spirit while making it more accessible, up to date, and attractive to advertisers eager to reach what is a very affluent area.
“We're sad to lose four full-time jobs on the press but are retaining two staff in other roles. They have worked wonders to get such results out of a more than 50-year-old black and white press. Savings will be reinvested to develop further plans that we intend to announce next year.”
Eddie added: “In the coming weeks, we will be explaining to local people what changes to the newspaper they can expect, listening carefully to how they respond, and adjusting where necessary.”
A&T commercial development manager Alison Thomas said: “We’ve listened to local and national advertisers and I think they will embrace our new full-colour pages. This is a real opportunity for eye-catching designs and campaigns to reach thousands of customers in the New Forest and Christchurch.”
The new-look A&T will be printed on 52 g/sm newsprint in ISO 72 size – similar to the proportions of the Daily Telegraph.