Welcome to the special 125th anniversary edition of the Accrington Observer.

It makes us incredibly proud to think that we have been bringing you the best in local news since 1887.

And to celebrate this historic, landmark occasion we have produced a special bumper edition of the paper.

Turn to the centre pages for your free 24 page pull-out complete with a complete reprint of the first ever edition from January 1, 1887.

And you can join in the fun; see a full page of anniversary themed competitions on page 30.

We are very grateful to Ye Olde Sausage Shop for making a fantastic new banger to mark the anniversary and to the Irwell Works Brewery for producing a new beer to mark the occasion.

But most of all we are thankful to you our readers for sticking with us over the years.

I am sure that there aren’t many readers out there who remember the early years of the paper, however the loyalty of our readers over the years has been tremendous.

So thanks for all your fantastic support, keep reading and here’s to the next 125 years.

Gareth Tidman, Editor, Accrington Observer