News Shopper has been a staple in the community for 50 years, but I bet you didn't know some of these quirky facts.

The paper was launched in 1965 in Orpington on Chislehurst Road, above an upmarket hairdressers.

The first ever Shopper office consisted of one manager, one reporter, one advertising representative, a secretary, a part-time distribution manager, a photographer and a fashion writer.

29,000 copies of the newspaper were produced and delivered by 140 plucky paper boys.

In the same year that News Shopper was formed, The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich and the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich merged to form the London Borough of Greenwich as we know it today.

Similarly, 1968 saw the merger of The Metropolitan Boroughs of Lewisham and Deptford to form the London Borough of Lewisham.

In the early years of the paper, there was no filing system for invoices so the only solution was to put them in a bath tub in head office.

News Shopper:

The co-founders of the Guinness World Records, Ross and Norris McWhirter, regularly contributed editorial features to News Shopper in the 1960s.

Another contributor to Shopper was Golden Globe winning screenwriter Lord Ted Willis, who has a memorial plaque in Chislehurst.

In 1969, the paper was bought by global media giant Rupert Murdoch, the owner of The Sun and The Times.

News Shopper:

At its largest, News Shopper had 200 staff and a loyal weekly readership of 590,000, making it the largest free newspaper in England.

At that time there were News Shopper editions for Orpington, Romford, Barking, Dagenham, Croydon, Ilford, Barnet, Edmonton, Finchley, Kingston, Twickenham, Richmond and Merton.

In 1990, News Shopper moved from Orpington High Street into Mega House in Petts Wood where it remains to this day.

News Shopper:


- Since the launch of the News Shopper, we have seen the birth of seven new members of the royal family and nine different prime ministers

- If you placed all the News Shopper newspapers end-to-end they would stretch all the way from News Shopper headquarters to Orpington Hospital, which is the equivalent of 65 Wembley football pitches.

News Shopper:

- Criminals reported on in News Shopper could fill Belmarsh 68 times.

- If you stacked all News Shopper papers upright, the stack would be three times the height of Ben Nevis and only slightly shorter than the tallest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc.

News Shopper:

- Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic and Millwall, covered by the News Shopper, have won 19 football trophies combined in Shopper's lifetime, with Palace having a slight edge, winning seven compared to the other two's six.