Your Eastern Daily Press turns 150-years-old today and the Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have led a series of tributes towards its ongoing work for the community it serves.

Eastern Daily Press: Boris Johnson pledged he would get the road dualled during a visit to the EDP office. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMANBoris Johnson pledged he would get the road dualled during a visit to the EDP office. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMAN (Image: Archant)

The first ever edition of the newspaper was published on Monday, October 10 and to coincide with its birthday we have produced a special commemorative edition of our Weekend pull-out in Saturday’s newspaper.

Paying tribute, Her Majesty said: “Please convey my warm thanks to the staff and readers of the Eastern Daily Press for their loyal greetings, sent on the occasion of your one hundred and fiftieth anniversary which is being marked today.

“Since the newspaper’s first issue in 1870, you have continued to keep Norfolk residents, including my own family, informed about events happening near Sandringham and across East Anglia.”

Mr Johnson said: “The Eastern Daily Press has been the voice of East of England for a remarkable 150 years and I’d like to personally congratulate them on reaching this historic milestone.

Eastern Daily Press: Sir Keir Starmer (Picture: Polly Hancock)Sir Keir Starmer (Picture: Polly Hancock) (Image: Archant)

“I was fortunate enough to visit the EDP last year to see their newsroom firsthand and to experience what they’re doing for the local community.

“Throughout the pandemic huge numbers of people have been turning to their local news outlet and it’s fantastic to see the EDP is able provide a vital source of news and information at such a critical time.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer added: “I congratulate all the staff, past and present, at the Eastern Daily Press on this historic anniversary.

“So much has changed in the past 150 years. But trusted local and regional news remains vital to our communities and our democracy. I urge those who can to support titles like the Eastern Daily Press and buy a local paper.”

Eastern Daily Press: Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireLiberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

And Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “This anniversary is an incredible milestone, marking decade after decade of service to communities across Norfolk and the East of England.”

During the past 150 years much has changed in the media industry, but the EDP is still read by more than 200,000 people every day in print and online.

One area it has received particular praise for, is for its work with Norfolk charities and Mark Nicholas, CEO of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice fundraising appeal, which the EDP is backing and aims to build a new hospice for the county, said: “Invaluable. It is a word that is often used, but as a local charity, the support we receive from the EDP and Evening News is invaluable for our campaign.

“From the launch, in February 2019, of our £12.5 million fundraising appeal to build the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice, which will deliver specialist end-of-life care for Norfolk and Waveney, we have received unwavering backing from the editorial team. “The EDP is a vital component of the vibrant and dynamic county that is Norfolk. Its contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of our county is unparalleled. It should be congratulated for everything it has achieved over the past 150 years.”

Eastern Daily Press: Mark Nicholas.Mark Nicholas.

Claire Cullens, CEO of the Norfolk Community Foundation, added: “The Eastern Daily Press is built at the heart of local communities. It shines a light on the issues and inequalities facing us every day – mental ill health, food poverty, homelessness, isolation and many more.

“The Eastern Daily Press has been a critical ally for the Foundation and supported our work in tackling these issues, from our annual Surviving Winter appeal, helping to combat winter poverty and isolation, to our recent Covid-19 Community Response appeal, working to support the most vulnerable in our community during the pandemic.

“We are proud to work with the Eastern Daily Press to help build stronger communities and improve the lives of people in Norfolk. Together Norfolk shines brighter.”

Lady Philippa Dannatt, Norfolk’s Lord Lieutenant, the Queen’s official representative in the county, added: “Many congratulations on the 150 birthday of the Eastern Daily Press! What an astounding achievement to have been the voice of the county for one hundred and fifty years. Thank you so much for everything you continue to give us today - accurate, interesting and compassionate reporting laced through with a rare integrity. Happy birthday indeed!”

Eastern Daily Press: Lady DannattLady Dannatt (Image: Archant)

Women’s Institute members pop in for a socially-distanced thank you

Members of the Women’s Institute Norfolk Federation visited the offices of the Eastern Daily Press to present a card to mark its 150th birthday.

“We wanted to do this because the EDP is so important to our members,” said federation chairman Margaret Collingwood while handing a card over to editor David Powles. “We’ve had this connection between the WI and the EDP for over 100 years now, which is fantastic. To have that, and to be able to say Happy Birthday in person is so wonderful.

Eastern Daily Press: Claire Cullens chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation . Picture; New Anglia LEPClaire Cullens chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation . Picture; New Anglia LEP (Image: New Anglia LEP)

“We’ve been useful to each other and have benefitted from knowing one another. We’ve had lots of exposure with so many of our events and activities. The EDP have been with us for all of our important milestones.”

“I’ll bet you we’ve got some members who look in the EDP for news about the WI rather than anything we send out!” added WI trustee Mary Dorrell.

‘I would rather give up chocolate than my EDP’

Eastern Daily Press: Her Majesty the Queen in the gardens of Buckingham PalaceHer Majesty the Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace (Image: ITV)

The EDP is certainly my newspaper as I have been reading it for as long as I can remember, I hate to miss a copy so when I go away I ask a friend to keep me their copies so I can catch up when I come back. I love the local news as it is good to know what is going on in the area and stories concerning local people gives an insight into current concerns and points of view. Other news is presented fairly and without political bias but still keeps us up to date. This has been especially useful during the present trying times.

My partner and I have a very special reason to make sure we read the EDP. My partner has grandson with cerebral palsy which will leave him with a lifelong disability. About five years ago the EDP featured a story of the family of a little girl in Sheringham who has cerebral palsy and they were having to fundraise to buy her a wheelchair. This made us aware that these children are often in need of equipment for which the NHS does not have the funding to provide these items. We both have a long history of fundraising and we decided to fundraise for children with cerebral palsy in order to give them a better quality of life. A problem arose as with data protection we had difficulty finding the children to support. However more stories followed in the EDP and we were then able to contact the families and offer help which has always been very gladly accepted. We are well known now for what we do and get children referred to us but we still can get very useful information from the EDP.

Sympathetic coverage is given to fundraising events for many charities and the EDP is always useful for finding about donations of grants.

Reader’s photos are always a great source of delight especially if mine are featured. Reader’s letters let us know about people’s concerns and also let us know what is appreciated about our fine county.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich WI present EDP Editor David Powles with the 150th birthday card. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANNorwich WI present EDP Editor David Powles with the 150th birthday card. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN (Image: Archant)

I would rather give up chocolate than give up my EDP.

Robina Churchyard.