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The Villager

Someone once defined news as "scribbling on the backs of advertisements". We hope The Villager is a bit more than that, although of course we do value our advertisers.

The Villager is a bi-monthly newsletter cum magazine, which is delivered free to all households in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell. It has been going since the mid-1970s, and is produced entirely by voluntary effort. A computer may have taken over some jobs, but production still involves slaving over a hot printer. Many similar parish magazines are contracted out for printing.

Since its beginnings, The Villager has been put together in the same way - by a group of people patiently parading around a table and gathering up the pages in the right order for stapling. Assembly now takes place in the Stewart Room rather than on someone's kitchen table, but the principle remains the same.

In an article written in 1992, to celebrate The Villager's 100th edition, the then editor, John Biggs, wrote :

"The magazine started when a group of enthusiasts decided to replace a somewhat ailing church magazine of limited circulation with a magazine for all members and sections of the Parish. In stories that start like that the next sentence is usually something like : "Who would have thought that it would grow into the giant enterprise we have now?" In fact today's Villager differs very little in spirit or appearance from the unpretentious early editions. This modest constancy is, to me, one of the attractions of The Villager."

The print may be a little less smudgy, but John Biggs's words still hold true.

Articles and letters for publication are always welcome, and can be sent by post or e-mail. We could always use more help, especially with assembly and distribution.

Highlights from current and past editions of The Villager are now available online. Click here for "The Villager Online"

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