Sheffield Star got royal seal of approval for 125th anniversary

HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York visits the Sheffield Star newspaper offices on York Street. Speaking with Rebekah Avill
HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York visits the Sheffield Star newspaper offices on York Street. Speaking with Rebekah Avill
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STAFF at The Star rolled out the red carpet to welcome a royal visitor to mark the paper’s 125th anniversary.

The Duke of York yesterday enjoyed a tour of The Star’s offices in York Street, Sheffield, as well as meeting members of staff as part of our birthday celebrations.

It marked a return to the building for Prince Andrew - after he visited the paper to mark our centenary in September 1987.

Jeremy Clifford, The Star’s Editor, said: “We were delighted the Duke of York was able to revisit The Star’s offices to help us to mark our 125th anniversary.

“Our industry has changed significantly since his first visit 25 years ago and he was keen to learn about how The Star and its staff have adapted to those changes.

“He left with an understanding of the important role we play not only as a newspaper but as a media provider and our enduring role in the community.

“It was a privilege for The Star to have been awarded a royal visit in this important year and I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to make the event a success.”

The Duke said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to come back and recognise the hugely important work of a local newspaper.

“I would like to congratulate you on the work you do on a daily basis.

“The one thing I have heard is how over the last 25 years and probably over the last five years, how the distribution of your audience has changed beyond all recognition.

“It’s very encouraging to see how technology has changed the way you work.”

As part of his visit, The Duke of York met long-serving members of staff including Lynda Butterell, front-counter supervisor.

Mrs Butterell, from Stannington, who joined the company in December 1973 as an accounting machine operator, said: “He was really nice and approachable.”

As part of his visit, Prince Andrew was invited to meet some young people interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

Rosie Hamer, from Ecclesall, Sheffield, is currently studying for a degree in politics and philosophy at the London School of Economics.

The 21-year-old said: “It was a stimulating and interesting conversation, and an experience I will remember for a long time.

“The Duke was genuinely interested in the issues surrounding young people entering journalism. He was friendly and funny too, causing a few laughs.

“We talked about how The Star is keeping up with trends like Twitter, but also how local and regional papers retain an important role that cannot be fulfilled by social media sites.”

He also met Sadie Styring, Elle Turner and Jamie Furniss who are on The Sheffield College’s CreativeApprenticeship programme.

Sadie, aged 17, from Waterthorpe, said: “The experience on a whole was a great eye-opener towards the newspaper and journalism world.”

Elle, 18, from Intake, said: Being given the chance to meet the Duke was a refreshing and educational opportunity.”

Jamie, 18, from Arbourthorne, who wants to be a sports reporter, added: “The Duke seemed very pleased to be in the same room as us having a conversation, mainly about the economics of a newspaper and, particularly, why we were interested in entering the journalism industry.”

Prince Andrew was also treated to a presentation about the future of The Star and the newspaper industry with company directors and tours of the advertising and newspaper sales departments.

He also spent time in the newsroom, seeing how the newspaper is put together and our digital operation.

The Duke told Graham Walker, Digital Editor: “It’s been interesting to see how newspapers are going to make revenue out of the digital side of the business, to keep them sustainable.

“I’ve been impressed by all I’ve seen and the way you have moved forward over the past 25 years, since I was last here.”

To mark his visit, the Duke unveiled a plaque and was presented with three bottles of Late Star, a new ale being brewed by Thornbridge Brewery as part of The Star’s birthday celebrations, as well as a copy of the newly-published Retro Re-wound 2 book, looking back at 125 years of The Star photographs.

After visiting The Star, Prince Andrew called at the MADE entrepreneur festival at City Hall, speaking to delegates, before visiting customer management specialist HEROtsc, in Manvers, Rotherham.

n Made in Sheffield - See Page 12 and 28.