HAPPY 150th anniversary!

That is the message ringing out loud and clear today as well-wishers helped The Bolton News celebrate its special milestone.

The first edition of what was then the Bolton Evening News appeared on the streets of the town on March 19, 1867.

Exactly 150 years later, staff and readers celebrated by enjoying slices of a wonderful cake made by bakery Greenhalgh's.

The Bolton News office, in The Wellsprings, opened its doors at lunchtime for people to pop in, meet staff and buy a copy of the souvenir edition.

Kind messages flooded in via social media from readers, politicians, Bolton Wanderers fans — and even from as far afield as Argentina.

Writing on Twitter, Bolton Latinoamerica (@BWFC_Latam) said: "150 años informando el día a día de la hermosa ciudad de Bolton".

The lovely message, translated from Spanish, reads: "Happy 150 years reporting the daily life of the beautiful town of Bolton".

Bolton Wanderers fan Dave @__bwfc__ said: "Happy anniversary! Great coverage over the years of everything Bolton, long may you be a part of our town".

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said: "150 years and still going strong!"

Bolton Live! tweeted: "Happy 150th anniversary to the team at @TheBoltonNews!"

The special anniversary souvenir edition looks back at the past 150 years and is now on sale at more than 250 news outlets across the borough.

Impressed with his copy, Kevin Morris tweeted The Bolton News to say: "Excellent anniversary special edition of @TheBoltonNews.

"Well worth getting. Well done to the staff for putting it together!"

Mike Crutchley, editor of the 162-year-old sister paper the Bury Times, said: "Happy birthday to The Bolton News.

"Still looking good at 150. Many happy returns from big sister Bury Times."

A tweet from 96.5 Bolton FM said: "We're happy to see our good friends at @TheBoltonNews hit the major milestone of 150 years to this day!"

The celebratory 48-page special edition is packed with celebrity messages, classic pictures, fascinating articles and even rare letters by Britain’s most famous authors — including HG Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It will be on sale for the next four weeks.