The Harrow Observer is a paid-for local weekly tabloid newspaper covering stories from the London Borough of Harrow. It has separate editions for Pinner, Harrow and Stanmore. It has a 24-hour website at www.harrowobserver.co.uk made up of a newspaper companion site with local news and a series of hyperlocal sites for Stanmore, Pinner & Hatch End, South Harrow and Wembley.
The Harrow Observer also publishes the paid-for Wembley Observer Series, covering the London Borough of Brent and free Leader titles. The titles are part of the Trinity Mirror Southern group which is part of The Trinity Mirror Group which publishes the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror among other titles. It is produced in the Harrow office, in Lyon Road, Harrow.
The Harrow Observer has documented every kind of event over the years, from rail crashes to royal visits, court cases to council estates. It began life as the four-page, two pence The Harrow Monthly Gazette and General Advertiser. The paper first hit newsstands on April 1, 1855, fulfilling the dream of local estate agent and civic leader William Winkley Junior, who published it from a small shop in High Street, Harrow on the Hill. By the 1880s, the publication had grown into a broadsheet and the cover price had risen by half a penny.
The Gazette lost its monopoly in April 1895 when non-conformist Robert A Smith launched the alternative Wealdstone, Harrow and Wembley Observer. In 1921, Sir Oswald Mosley, then MP for Harrow, took over as editor of the Harrow Observer and under his command the two rivals merged. After several changes of owner, the newspaper came into the hands of Westminster Press, under whose tenure a 20-page midweek edition was published in 1967. The sister free paper, the Leader series, came into existence in 1983 and three years later the Harrow Observer switched from a broadsheet to tabloid format.
A large swathe of the photographic negatives archive was destroyed in a fire in 1992 and dark room developing became extinct when digital photography was introduced in 1998. Trinity Mirror, the UK’s largest publisher, acquired the title in 2002 after a takeover and the editorial team moved to their sixth home in Lyon Road, Harrow.
The circulation figures have been falling gradually in recent months, and they have now relaunched their website in a bid to improve the fortunes of the paper.[when?]
The print edition of the newspaper closed with its final publication on 18 December 2014.
- Editor: Lindsay Coulson
- Circulation: 9,017
- Publication day: Thursday
- Price: 50p
- "150 Years of the Harrow Observer" supplement, Harrow Observer, September 8, 2005.
- Oswald Mosley biography
- "Trinity Mirror to close seven regional newspapers". BBC News. 14 November 2014.
- ABC/VFD figures April - May 2008