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Chairman’s Comment

Forty Years On - Not the play by Alan Bennett!

“It was the kind of library he only read about in books”

In the beginning was the word and that word was manually typed out on a borrowed war  issue Imperial typewriter. Letraset, Tippex, rulers, cow gum, scissors, much perspiration, tea and coffee and a lot of foot slogging all followed. The first lay-up was held in Kibworth Methodist Church and these are some of the things that were necessary to get the first issue 40 years ago off the ground. It was an eight-page edition in black and white and delivered to eight villages: Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt, Smeeton Westerby, Gumley, Saddington, Church Langton, East Langton and Tur Langton. The village of Tur Langton was added at the very last minute by someone handwriting the village name on the cover! It was really very basic, but lots of fun. Enthusiasm was absolutely necessary and a willingness to correct anything should it appear wrong.

 

Nothing changes - or does it?

Today it’s still a community newspaper put together by our volunteer lay-up team now numbering over 35 persons. It is still manually cut out and pasted down on similar boards and hand-delivered to our professional printers, Willdays, on a Monday morning as before. We are still using them after 40 years!

 

Once printed, it is still delivered to the villages in South Leicestershire; however, the number of villages has increased to 29. Every household and some businesses now receive their copy through their letterbox in the period between the Thursday lunchtime to Sunday evening directly after the previous Sunday’s lay-up. Approximately 160 volunteer deliverers are now involved and get the job done in all weathers.

 

We now publish 4,900+ copies. 40 years ago it was 1,200 or fewer. From eight pages originally, it is now regularly 22 pages but we are proud to maintain our 1/3 adverts to 2/3 copy balance. It has always been our aim not to become a mere advertising publication which people recycle without even bothering to read the embedded copy. Where copy was once typewritten, today we use computers and email, introduced by our Production Manager in the 1990s, Peter Knott. (See his obituary elsewhere in this issue.)

 

We are still a community newspaper, written by the community, pasted up by the community and delivered by that same community.

Back in 1995 your local Chronicle won a nationwide competition run by The Countryman magazine for community newspapers such as ours. The standard was very high and the judges could not believe that over a year we had features or copy from every single one of the communities mentioned on our front cover! The competition was never held again as it was apparent that we might have won it the following year.

 

Over the years many youngsters, before going off to university, have spent a year or two pasting up a page on a monthly basis. It’s only ten sessions of about two or three hours over a year and they are then able to declare on their CV that they have genuinely been involved in a community venture. Parents have become lay-up members when watching over their children and children have got involved when they have come to see what daddy/mummy/granny gets up to. The Chronicle is not a clique but an ever changing group of people, young and old, all with that vital ingredient, Enthusiasm. Want to join? Why not pop in to Kibworth Village Hall for our 15 April lay-up and see what it is all about? You will be most welcome.

 

Here’s to the next forty years. Cheers.

 

Stephen Poyzer

Chairman of the Kibworth Chronicle Association

Issue 400
March 2018

 


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