Most people who read our monthly village news would probably be surprised to learn that it has been produced regularly, in various forms, for well over sixty years!
The original Village News, known then as the Parish Paper, was produced by the vicar, and consisted of a single sheet of paper containing news of births, marriages, deaths, church services and local fund raising events. In 1939 production was suspended due to the war, but was resumed in 1947 on a quarterly basis, at a cost of 6d per copy. The first issue after the war was proud to announce that tenants had moved into the new council houses in Wilstone. The houses had all mod cons, but no pig stys!
Gradually the newsletter began to contain more news of other village events, and local firms were invited to advertise. By the 1980s the Parish Paper had evolved into a small magazine, the Long Marston, Puttenham and Wilstone Parish News, and was available to subscribers for an annual fee of 1.40, or 15p per copy.
In the ‘90s and early 2000s the magazine, by now enlarged to A4 size, had very attractive artwork on the front and back covers but it was in June 2003, after a change of editor, that the Village News became the publication that we know today.
In February 2004, through the financial support of the ‘Horti’ the subscription charge was dropped and the village News was distributed, free of charge, to every household in Long Marston, Wilstone and Puttenham. Under its new editor the magazine expanded, to include lots more local news, as well as recipes, readers letters and general interest articles.
June 2004 saw the first colour edition, and the magazine continues to go from strength to strength, having been voted 32nd out of 620 in the National Parish Magazine Awards of 2011.
Article written by Maggy Winship.
Acknowledgement: Christine Rutter.