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My local weekly newspaper is "The Down Recorder". The paper was first published, as "The Downpatrick Recorder" on 31 December 1835. It was the first newspaper published in Downpatrick and was owned by Conway Pilson, son of Aynsworth Pilson (1775-1863), who kept a unique family diary of early 19th century life in Downpatrick. The paper cost 4d per issue or you could get for an annual subscription (in advance) of 18/- (18 shillings - 90 pence in today's money.)

Pilson was an astute businessman and his methods of scooping his bigger rivals of the day, "The Belfast Newsletter" and the "Newry Telegraph" are worthy of any of today's contenders. He found out that the English daily papers were delivered to Newry port on their way to Belfast and arranged a sort of pony express to get copies to his Downpatrick printworks early where he copied the imperial news to his own paper, thus getting the up-to-date news on the streets hours before the other papers were delivered to the town. In those days there was no such thing as copyright and papers shamelessly stole each other's copy. This strategy enabled the paper to grow from its initial print run of 875 impressions to over 5000 copies within a few months.

Conway Pilson relinquished control of the paper in 1876 to Joseph S. Clarke. He died in 1883, aged 73. Clarke died in 1890. His widow married W.Y. Crighton in 1894. Their family continues to produce the paper to this day.

From 6 December 2000 an on-line version of the paper is available. Select from the list below. I will add local papers as I find them or they are notified to me.

  Down Recorder  
  Mourne Observer   Newry Democrat