Bedford’s second oldest newspaper to cease publication

Ex-Councillor Shan Hunt being handed her Honorary Alderman of Bedford Borough certificate by Mayor Frank Branston.
Ex-Councillor Shan Hunt being handed her Honorary Alderman of Bedford Borough certificate by Mayor Frank Branston.

Bedford’s second-oldest newspaper will end its 40-year run later this year.

The Bedfordshire On Sunday, founded in 1977, is set to cease publication in October.

Instead the paper will be re-branded as a midweek publication with a new title, and its website will close too.

It is also understood that the paper will no longer have any full-time journalists.

Simon Edgley, regional managing director for 
Trinity Mirror which owns the paper, said: “These decisions are never easy to make but they are necessary if we are to maintain a viable commercial operation with the opportunity to invest in the growth of our remaining news brands.

“I fully appreciate this announcement will be unsettling for those involved and we will do everything that we can in order to provide affected colleagues with the appropriate support throughout the consultation process.”

The Beds On Sunday was founded by former Bedfordshire Times chief 
reporter Frank Branston, with former police inspector Brian Constant and businessman Bob Elford.

Mr Branston subsequently became Bedford’s first elected mayor, and later sold the paper in 2005. He died in 2009.

His widow Marlies told the T&C: “It’s very sad that it should end like this.

“The Beds On Sunday was Frank’s baby. He created it, and even when he was mayor he was always a 
journalist at heart.

“Frank loved to expose evil and wrong-doing, and investigative journalism was his thing, even if in recent years they haven’t had the resources to do that.”

She added: “I think this has been coming for a couple of years now. They changed the paper’s deliveries and moved offices.

“It’s been 18 months or so since I even had a Beds On Sunday delivered now.”