BORN 1874 – and still going strong.

That’s the Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton Journal, which has been bringing you the news in style for the past 140 years.

To mark the occasion this week we have produced a souvenir supplement taking a look back at 140 years of headlines.

We have delved through our archives and spoken to former Journal staff about their memories of working at the paper, along with some special birthday messages.

Editor Hayley Smith said: “The Journal of 2014 would look unrecognisable to creator WF Tillotson’s first edition back in the 19th century.

“The first edition was not a local paper as we know it. It carried regional and national news and the front page was all adverts and public notices.

“Compare that to newspapers in an increasingly digital age, where interaction with readers is as important to us as the news we report on.

“Five monarchs, two world wars and countless governments have come and gone, but the Leigh Journal is still here and facing up to the challenges confronting the media in the 21st century.

“Newspapers are not what they were, of that there is no doubt.

“There was a time when they were the most immediate – and often the only – source of local news and information.

“The dawn of the internet, the digital age and latterly the worst economic downturn since the depression of the 30s, have changed the landscape forever.

“People can now receive news and information in print, online or on their mobile or handheld device and not just from traditional publishers.

“This has led to a fragmentation of the audience which has hit newspaper companies across the world like a tornado. For some, it may prove fatal.

“But even in the midst of the phone hacking inquiry, local and regional newspapers were praised by Lord Justice Leveson for the vital role they play in the communities they serve.

“That is because we have stuck to the job in hand, to provide a comprehensive news and information service, always with care and balance.

“Such a service is vital in any healthy democracy and holding those in power to account is an essential part of our role in society.

“Since taking over as the 10th editor of the Journal 18 months ago, I have been struck by how much affection people still have for their weekly paper. To our loyal readers it is an important part of weekly life and one that we know, from our conversations with you, is highly cherished.

“Throughout the years we have strived to be at the heart of Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton, covering community events and tackling the issues that matter to you.

“Despite what the doom mongers say, print is not dead and the Leigh Journal will survive and flourish in the digital age.

“But it must and will continue to change with the times – and we will do so thanks to our readers and advertisers’ continued support.”