Former editor and Leigh RLFC match reporter Mike Hulme recalls his time with the Journal:

FORTY years ago I was a rookie reporter at the Journal tasked with delving into the archives to produce a special centenary edition to mark the paper’s 100th birthday.

Back in those days of typewriters, pens, pencils and no Internet or email it was a time-consuming job – but a rewarding one. 2014 is a totally different world – certainly in journalistic terms. Armed with a full kit of electronic devices, today’s news gatherers write, video and blog all the latest happenings to the print, web and e-editions of the newspaper.

The latest news may now be available in a variety of forms 24/7 but the underlying message remains the same.

For the past 140 years your Journal has been at the very heartbeat of Leigh, Tyldesley, Atherton and surrounding districts, bringing you the best of local news, sport and comment every week. Regular as clockwork and without fail.

I was proud to work at the Journal for the first 16 years of my career and after a long spell at the then Bolton Evening News, I became editor in 2002.

At the time I was one of only seven editors in the Journal’s history and it was a sad day when I left the paper in 2009. I’m glad to see that the ‘old girl’ continues to flourish and long may it continue to do so – 140 years of publishing in the same town is a magnificent achievement.

2014 is a special year for this paper and hopefully there will be many more landmark occasions ahead.