Launch of The Wychwood magazine

Probable early production team of the Wychwood Magazine in the 1980s  taken at Shipton Standing

Probable early production team of the Wychwood Magazine in the 1980s taken at Shipton Standing

Since 1979 when Col. Oliver Stedall, Cdr. Rob Long and Mr Dudley Hopkins discussed the possibility of starting a village magazine much has changed with the production of The Wychwood. Who would have expected that it would prove so popular that it is celebrating its 40th anniversary? Their aims of giving information about village events and activities and providing advertising space for local businesses hold good today despite the arrival of websites and social media.

The first issues dropped through letterboxes in April 1980 at a cost of 12p per copy. Although the cost has risen to 50p per issue it still represents good value. Great reliance has always been placed on our volunteers who produce and deliver the magazine and our advertisers who help cover costs.

In the early days Jo Schofield typed up the copy and advertisements ready for duplication. Every alternate month 20 volunteers gathered in the Old Beaconsfield Hall to collate and staple together each new issue, thus saving on costs as well as providing a social occasion for all involved. Reg Ray and his giant stapler were crucial to the smooth-running of this operation. In 1991 Don Salter and his editor/wife Rosemary introduced a computer which cut down on the typing and duplicating but we were still reliant on Reg’s stapler.

In 2002 Rosemary and Don moved from Shipton and that is when Liz Clarke-Watson and I, with much help and encouragement from Jan Harvey, were ‘recruited’ as editors. Our first problem came when all the adverts were deleted! Without the expertise of Mike Watson and Ray Derkacz we would have been sunk. As well as re-setting all the lost files they moved us into the digital world, enabling us to communicate electronically with the printers.

I never really knew how or exactly what Mike and Ray did but, after years of emailing each other, it was sheer joy for Liz and I to be able to send proofs down the line, sit back and wait for the finished magazine to arrive on the doorstep.

Liz and Mike dreamt of adding colour pages to give the magazine a more up-to-date, professional finish and along came Alan Vickers with his camera, computer and expertise. The result is as you see today.

Although I enjoyed my years on the production and editorial team the time came to hand over to Bob Forster, Glyn Allcock and Graham Stacey who have moved the magazine into the next phase of its life. I am sure you will all agree that they have added their own special touches to our wonderful, best in the land, local magazine.

Before we know it we will be celebrating our Golden Anniversary and raising a toast to all who brought you the magazine.

Christine Halliday

April – May 2020