GLASSES were raised in the Adver offices yesterday as the newspaper celebrated its 160th year.

It was Monday, February 6, 1854, that 28-year-old William Morris produced the first edition of what was then called The Swindon Advertiser and Monthly Record.

And yesterday, to mark the special birthday, regional managing director Shamus Donald visited the offices in Victoria Road, where the paper has been produced since 1855, for a celebration with staff.

He said: “There are three things that the Swindon Advertiser does – we provide the single greatest record of Swindon – our past is Swindon’s history and our future is Swindon’s history.

“Secondly, we facilitate trade within Swindon, we make things happen, we help businesses, we make it a vibrant community. And thirdly, we inform and entertain our readers.”

Group editor Gary Lawrence said: “I don’t know what William Morris would think of the way we do things now, what with the internet and live blogging. It is completely different to what he set up, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the wonderful staff.

“We have been here longer than Swindon Town Football Club, Swindon Council and the BBC, we are Swindon.”

He also urged readers and staff to throw their full support behind the Adver’s 160 Appeal to raise £160,000 for Prospect Hospice.