The Observer celebrated 150 years of publication in 2006 (although the British Library lists it as having started in 1853, with one issue of the Tenby List of Visitors which was immediately followed by a change of title to The Tenby Observer, etc.. In 1860 it became The Tenby & Pembroke Dock Observer, but switched back again in 1867.
It came close to closing in 1978, however: after relaunching as the West Wales Weekly Observer in 1963 – and again as the Tenby and West Wales Weekly Observer in 1974 – and expanding its news coverage in an attempt to expand circulation, it went into liquidation. Sir Ray Tindle’s Tindle Newspapers bought it from the official receiver, restored the original name and ordered the staff to cover stories from Tenby only. Sales more than doubled over the following three decades.
It has two sub-editions: the Narberth and Whitland Observer, founded in 1906; and the much newer Pembroke & Pembroke Dock Observer, launched in July 2011. There’s also an associated free monthly paper, the Tenby Times.
It prides itself on never having missed an issue, even during wartime paper shortages. Its masthead strapline, “Pioneer of Press Freedom”, commemorates its editor’s successful campaign in favour of the Admission of the Press to Meetings Bill, enacted in 1908.
It comes out on Fridays. An e-edition is available by paid subscription.