20 Years of Parish News

A Score of years

20 years ago (1983) Parish News was born - at least in magazine form, before that it was a News Sheet of eight pages; advertisements -two and a half pages, a cover, and a page and a half of Who's Who and the services. The other three pages included the Rector's Letter and a few details of meetings past and future. The Rector, the late John Venus, in the first issue of the new magazine said " I hope that you find the new format of ''Parish News'' pleasing. The change has meant a great deal of work for one or two people and the first vote must go to Gordon Kent is still working on PN in 2003, editing the Dairy of Events each month. The printers are still the same ones (A3 Design & Print), they too have serve us well over the 20 years.

Our advertisers have changed considerably but it is pleasing to note that The Kingsfisher Shop, Ede Brothers Removals, Abinger Hammer Motors, Sherlock & Sons, Emwood Pest Control, Stirling Antiques, R.T. Overton the Builders and the Abinger Hatch pub, who supported us from the beginning, are still appearing each month in PN after 20 years. Special thanks to these eight and to all our advertisers.

The new type of magazine comprised 28 pages and carried 31 advertisements of varying sizes. The first cover design (above) was printed on an orange-pink paper. The local organisations included The Evergreens, the Mothers' Union at Abinger Common, the WI's at Coldharbour, Abinger Common & Wotton and Abinger Hammer, Abinger Sports Club , the "Not-so young" group and a Village Society in Coldharbour, and an Abinger Boys' Club and Abinger 80 Club. The Abinger Fair was an established annual event, as was the Fete in Coldharbour.

In the first issue "The Registers" showed that Kelly Michelle Smith was baptised at Coldharbour on 15th October 1983.

During its 20 years of life, Parish News has had four editors; Mrs L. Roberts at the start until February 1986, then Mrs Sue Burgess for two and half years until October 1988 then Mr Gurt Furstenheim took over until September 1993 when the current editor took the chair. For eleven years the magazine appeared in typewritten form but in July 1994 the computer age began. On special occasions a single colour has been used in the printing of the covers but regular use of colour, especially full colour would be prohibitive for a small circulation production.

Through the help of our advertisers and the generous support you, the readers, give to the magazine each year following our annual appeal for donations, we have been able to enlarge PN; first from 32 to 40 pages and then in September 1999 to 44 pages. To the editor, struggling with a mass of copy, the need for even more pages sometimes seems imperative, but over a whole year it is unlikely that we would need to expand beyond our present 44 pages.

The first cover design which remained the same for ten years but since then there have been 16 different illustrations of the two churches featured in drawings or photographs. Most recently we have had special covers for Christmas, Easter and June, Fair and Fete month.

A most important Parish News task is distribution; Maureen Killick in Abinger and Harry Collis in Coldharbour get the magazines to each of the individual distributors. In Abinger this includes Mrs Jessica Brown, Mrs Bailey, Mrs Kershaw, Mrs Ridgers, Mrs Barker, Mrs Storrer, Mrs Bouchier, Mrs Kilfeather, Miss Worsfold, Mrs Locke, Mrs Case, Mrs Padgham and Mrs Trussler. In Coldharbour, Mrs Bridgen, Mrs Turok, Mr Wedgwood, Mr Cooper, Mrs Ward, Mrs Adair, Mrs McFall, Mrs Sack, Mrs P-Saynor and Mrs Harman. A big thank you to all who help in this way, it is a most valuable service.

Of course, getting all the advertisements each year and then managing the invoicing and chasing and copy changes is absolutely vital, so a big thank-you to Donna Burgess who handles all this. Finally, where would we be without Mary Collis and "The Coldharbour Collection" or Gordon Kent editing the Diary of Events "? Nowhere!

From the Abinger & Coldharbour Parish News October 2003