You are lucky to have paper

Madam,

The impressive list of achievements by the Mercury highlighted as part of Local Newspaper Week underlines just how fortunate Matlock is to still have its own independent-minded, professional newspaper.

As a media regulator I have seen over recent years a depressing decline in the number of local publications, many serving towns far larger than Matlock. Victims of new technology, under-investment and declining advertising revenue, they are, without doubt, much missed and not easily replaced.

The Mercury, in newspaper terms, is quite a youngster. Founded in 1947 by a local indomitable entrepreneur Ella Smith as The Coming Events, essentially an advertising sheet, when resources allowed a few years later it developed into the fully-fledged Mercury with my late father Sam Fay as the first editor.

Other editors, including Barry Askew and John Upritchard, ensured the Mercury remained at the heart of the community as an accurate reporter and often providing an irritant to local authorities, quangoes and assorted bureaucracies whose ideas of openness were not the same as the Mercury’s.

It self-evidently continues to fulfil a vital role and exemplifies the three aims essential for a local newspaper – to inform, educate and entertain.

And to think that readers can enjoy a 25 per cent discount!

Michael Fay

Delves Wood Road

Beaumont Park

Huddersfield