I recently went on the first of hopefully several visits out into town for a special drop-in to meet the great and the good of Swindon.

As well as flog a few papers and hand out some fancy Swindon Advertiser pens, I've been looking to get a better grasp of what people like, and dislike, about their 120-year-old newspaper.

And I will soon be doing the same for other towns served by the Gazette and the Wiltshire Times.

On the whole, it was a reaffirming trip with lots of people either pleased or generally happy with what they were seeing and giving polite nudges on what can be improved.

Swindon Advertiser:

But a rumor that has persisted for some time and reared its head on this visit needs quashing.

The Swindon Advertiser is very much still based in Swindon. The whole team of staff including our journalists work out of our office in Dorcan.

The claim that we had moved to Oxford, possibly an assumption when we left our Old Town office about six years ago, has never been the case.

Anyway, back to my visit. One thing that struck me was the loyalty many have for the Advertiser, boasting of buying it routinely for 20, 30 or even 40 years.

It was a humbling feeling knowing I held the mantle for something one person told me was 'like part of the family' because of how long it had been in their household. I feel this responsibility keenly.

In a snapshot, three issues came up a lot in our reviews. People wanted us to be sharper on our spelling and grammar, wanted more events in the paper and fewer adverts. 

I think I will cover advertising in a whole column on its own one day soon but we will certainly be pushing for more events to be listed (check out free to use evvnt.com to register your event).

And I can only say we will try our best to improve our spelling, a symptom I fear of the pace in which we now work, but not something we should be resting our laurels on.

Other issues not so easy to fix were the types of stories we covered. When people are saying write less crime, more crime or no crime at all, it leaves you in a bit of a quandary. Sport in particular is a very polarising topic.

We do like to keep a broad church of articles in the tabloid, so next time you feel you didn't enjoy a particular story, keep scrolling or turning those pages and my hope is you will find something that interests or entertains you.

If not, give me a shout at daniel.chipperfield@newsquest.co.uk about what's missing from your local paper.