BACK in 1983 a 2-litre tub of Country Fresh Ice-cream at the Pick â€™n Pay Hypermarket in Hunters Retreat, Port Elizabeth, was on special for R2,49. Everyone was watching the A-Team on their TV screens and dancing to the movie Flashdance. The top song of the year was Every Breath You Take by The Police; Microsoft Word was first released and McDonaldâ€™s introduced McNuggets.
On Wednesday, November 16, 1983, the first edition of Port Elizabeth Express was delivered into the post boxes of residents across the city, the first ever free newspaper for the town. And 35 years on, just like Country Fresh Ice-Cream and McNuggets, the Port Elizabeth Express has not only stood the test of time, but has grown and changed with the times, to become an essential part of our readersâ€™ households.
Port Elizabeth Express, which is to this day known to many as the Apple Express, due to its first masthead sporting a big green apple on a bright red background, was established by Naspers, publishers of the former Die Oosterlig, which, at that time, was located in Cawood Street, North End. The concept of a free community newspaper was not new, as it is a sister publication of UD Express, formerly known as UD News, which is the oldest, registered free local newspaper in the country.
UD News, which is 47 years old this year, was launched in 1971 to serve the residents of Uitenhage and Despatch. In 2017 its name was changed