Celebrating 125 years of news at your YEP

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Queen Victoria was on the throne, Lord Salisbury was Prime Minister and Stan Laurel, Agatha Christie and Groucho Marx came kicking and screaming into the world.

But Stan, Agatha and Groucho weren’t the only notable new arrivals of 1890 – the year also saw the publication of the first ever edition of the Yorkshire Evening Post.

September 1 marks the 125th anniversary of that headline-making event and today the YEP kicks off a month-long countdown to our special birthday milestone.

Looking ahead to the anniversary, YEP editor Jeremy Clifford said: “The Yorkshire Evening Post has enjoyed a special place in the community for 125 years and has been part of the changing landscape of the Leeds region during that time.

“We believe we reflect life in Leeds, campaign for change and action on behalf of the people of Leeds and we look to continue in that role.

“Marking 125 years as a business and newspaper in the region is a real privilege and we thank people who have supported us over the years.”

During the next few weeks, you will be able to read a whole host of features dedicated to the YEP’s proud past, ambitious present and bright future.

We will tell the story of the paper, from its relatively humble beginnings on Albion Street through its four decade stay in the now-demolished ‘bunker’ of Wellington Street and then onto the present multi-media operation on Whitehall Road.

There will be in-depth reviews of the big stories covered by the YEP, including the Graf Zeppelin’s flight over Leeds in 1931, the Yorkshire Ripper’s reign of terror, the miners’ strike and the many ups and downs of Leeds United.

Our acclaimed campaigns, investigations and fundraising drives – Boots For Bairns, the Armley Asbestos Tragedy and the Half and Half Appeal to name just three – will also be given a richly deserved place in the spotlight.

We will be saluting the famous faces whose CVs take in spells on the paper’s staff, a roll call that includes the likes of Barbara Taylor Bradford and Keith Waterhouse.

And there will be plenty of opportunities for you, our loyal readers, to play a part in the celebrations.

We are joining forces with the local success story that is Leeds Brewery to launch a beer called YEP125 – and the really good news is that readers will be able to take advantage of a free pint offer.

A competition will also give five lucky winners the chance to get involved with the all-important process of developing and brewing the beer.

Further down the line, there will be an eye-catching link-up with Leeds Rhinos when they face New Zealand in October to mark the 125th birthday of another city institution, Headingley Stadium.

Details of further anniversary events and products will be announced in the coming weeks.

Paying tribute to the role that the YEP fulfils in the day-to-day life of its home city, the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Judith Chapman, said today: “I would like to congratulate the Yorkshire Evening Post on reaching this impressive milestone.

“It is just as much a key source of local news for the people of Leeds today as it was all those years ago when it first began.

“Over 125 years Leeds has seen many news publications come and go, but the YEP has become a stalwart of local news and continues to be the go-to paper for the citizens of Leeds.

“Even in a city the size of Leeds when access to news is at everyone’s fingertips 24 hours a day, it represents the core traditional news source with a key focus on community and local issues and has a fond place in the hearts of many Leeds residents.

“I hope it is still going strong in another 125 years.”

* Tomorrow’s YEP will include a trawl through our history, starting right back with that first edition of Monday, September 1, 1890, and its pledge that the paper’s main business would be the “prompt and accurate publication of news – news of all kinds”.

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