It was founded in 1860 as the Totnes Weekly Times by Theodore Hannaford, but almost went under within three months of its first issue. Fortunately readers rallied round and the paper established itself on a firm financial footing – only to be embroiled in political infighting a year later as the local Conservatives accused Hannaford of being in the pockets of the Liberals. Hannaford immediately ceased publication to demonstrate his editorial independence, resuming only after the fuss had died down. It adopted its present title for the first time in 1867.
It was a pioneering publication, becoming one of the first newspapers in the country to have gas-driven presses and to adopt Linotype typesetting, before the nineteenth century was even over.
It absorbed a companion title, the Western Guardian, in 1968, briefly becoming the Devon Times Guardian before reverting to the Totnes Times in 1970. In 1976 it became part of the Mirror Group‘s West of England Newspapers. Six years later the Mirror Group’s new owners, Reed International, had to divest West of England Newspapers in order to acquire other titles, and a consortium of Devon business owners took on the company.
In 1986 Sir Ray Tindle’s Tindle Newspapers set up a new company, Devon & Cornwall Newspapers, which bought all the West of England Newspapers titles. West of England’s managing director, Brian Doel, is now an executive director at Tindle.
The Times is published from editorial offices in Newton Abbot, which it shares with several other Devon & Cornwall Newspapers publications. But there’s also an office in Totnes, at the address given below.
Editorially it leans to the right. At the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 its editor at the time, Gina Coles, published a front-page editorial strongly supporting Sir Ray Tindle’s instruction to his editors not to publish material critical of the decision to go to war or of the troops, arguing that now that the war had begun the debate was over.
It comes out on Wednesdays. An e-edition’s available by paid subscription.