Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

April 2011

This months News



The History of the Oxhill News

The first edition of The Oxhill News came out in June 1973, after a questionnaire circulated by the Village Hall about village amenities had shown a large majority in favour of a village news sheet.  The first Editorial Board consisted of Betty Smith, (a writer and local journalist from Fern Cottage) and Annette Summers, from the Old Forge,  with Stephen Smith and Joan Clark representing the youth of the village.  A 25 pence donation was invited to cover ink, stencils and paper.  The stencils were rolled off by John Cartmell of Payn’s House until 1975, when this task was taken over by - who else? - George and Gwyn Adams.  Gwyn remembers battling with the old manual Church duplicator up in the roof at Amberway where they then lived, before an automatic machine was obtained.  She also managed the finances of the News and its distribution.  A faithful team of deliverers was built up, and has been later renewed as necessary.

Betty was Editor for the first 5½ years, combining this with a busy professional life.  In January 1979 she resigned, and Ann Hale and Julia Leeson (in 1983 to become Julia Stirman) jointly took up the Editorship.  Soon afterwards the subscriptions were taken over by Joy Bloxham, (who did this for many years), and the duplicator moved to Mr Brown at Harmony in the Whatcote Road.  Mr Brown soon abandoned this antiquated method of production however, and in March 1981 the format changed to booklet form, and was photocopied.

When Mr Brown left the village in November 1982, stencils and A4 format were resumed for economy’s sake, with only occasional brief periods of photocopying.  In 1988 Julia Stirman was replaced by Gaynor Van Dijk, and in 1991 Ann Hale by Jane Moore.  Gaynor’s and Jane’s joint Editorship lasted until February 1998.  By 1996, they found that the condition of the roneo machine by then in use was getting terminal, and photocopying seemed the only option.  The subscriptions had crept up first to £1, and later to £2, but collection of them was tedious, and not always rewarding, and with the increased costs looming, an application was made to the Parish Council for subsidy.  For several years grants were made to make up the shortfall in funds, and in 2005 the Parish Council took over the funding of the News completely.

In 1998 the new Editor was Father Russen Thomas, aided in succession by Debbie Harris, Sophie Jowett, and Neil and Angela Chick.  The News became a booklet again, but this time with the improvement of an illustrated front cover.  The content became more varied, with poetry, comment (sometimes controversial!), and – to boost funds – advertisements on the back cover.  I see that Grenville began his excellent Nature Notes as far back as October, 2002!

In March 2003, George Adams began his term of office, and no-one needs to be told how professionally he has served as Editor.  The layout is impressive and the content interesting, interwoven with a dry humour.  The News has grown from a straightforward newsletter into a magazine with a far wider compass.  George is a hard act to follow, but surely there is someone, or maybe two people, prepared to take this on?   Each Editor has put their own stamp on the News, and could again.  Someone once said to me years ago, when the News was previously under threat, “The Oxhill News must not die!”  I agreed then and still do.   

Ann Hale

This site is maintained by villagers of Oxhill for the benefit of the community and those interested in the history, news and activities that make the village such a pleasant place to live.

Send mail to the editor of the Oxhill News at news-editor @ oxhill.org.uk.

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Last modified: May 04, 2011