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News - History Of The Chronicle - 2
1987 started with the Parish Council expressing concern over a plan to build one dwelling at the rear of Home Farm and turning down a request for help with Chronicle funding. Andy Ford secured a place in the London marathon and the idea of a help line service for the village was mooted. April saw Billie and Phil Howe leave the Royal Oak. The Parish Council was in crisis due to lack of candidates for the May elections and the Aston Abbotts Chapel celebrated its 125th anniversary. In the summer street lights were finally installed at Wingrave crossroads, but the campaign for a safer junction continued. Arthur Roff, a steward at the Methodist Chapel opened the 1987 Festival. Licensees Barry and Maralyn Sykes kept the Bull and Butcher open all day whilst Trisha Webb and Dick Clifford cooked the burgers that these days are so splendidly provided by out Four Fat Blokes. In September the first cabaret - and evening of Entertainment - was staged by The Friends Of the Chronicle, raising nearly £300 as reported by a grateful Graham Parker when he penned the editorial for the 50th issue in November, "Now, welcome to our 50th Edition, marked (or perhaps scarred is the more appropriate word) as it was by the 'Chronicle Aid' party in the Church Room last Saturday night. Those of you who were there will remember it for many a long day; those of you who were not there will now by now that your good judgement has again been vindicated". The Christmas Show raised further much needed funds, with the remainder going to the Playing Field Fund. At the end of the year the Youth Club closed, due to dwindling membership, and the Royal Oak completed renovations under landlords Gayburn and Joanna Owen. 1988 started with St James having to find £750 for the chancel roof as its inner roof had fallen in and Colin Higgs took BCC's Highways Department to task over the poor condition of our village roads. New landlords Roger and Lorraine Sykes took over the Bull, only to leave in the summer. A little controversy raised its head over some Chronicle articles signed with a Nom de Plume. By now The Chronicle had increased in size and was sometimes running to 22 pages or more. Although some of the increased page count was due to larger amounts of advertising that brought in more revenue, it still created a heavy workload for Graham. Remember, in 1988 the use of computers was not widespread and much of The Chronicle was typed up by hand and glued onto pages which were then photocopied. This was clearly taking its toll, with many of Graham's editorials starting, "Sorry for the late arrival of this months Chronicle…" In Issue 60 matters reached a head as stated in the editorial, "Nothing to say other than hope there is someone out there who would be interested in taking over the position of Editor. While I enjoy the task is does take up time that should be used in other ways, and the likelihood is that publication will become increasingly erratic. So if there is someone who is interested in taking over please let me know and I will gladly explain what is involved". With remarkable prescience and two inches below appeared the item, "People Page Stop Press. Welcome to Gordon Smith, Caroline Lane and their daughter Sarah, who have just moved into Church Row." As the year rushed to a conclusion the Rev John Heffer moved on to Wilden in Beds and Peter Dines paid tribute to him in his regular Church News column. Neighbouring Cublington was up in arms over Bootsey Waite and his National Chopper Club rallies, and Aston Abbott's annual bonfire night celebrations were once again organised by Tony Hewitt and John Ford. 1989 started with bright promise as AVDC agreed to discuss village conservation proposals. Graham Parker was still at the helm and another
Chronicle funding cabaret was planned for February, but in the March editorial Graham wrote, "Can I now announce my 'goodbye'. As from the July issue I am afraid I will be vacating the Editors desk and handing over to .... well I know not who at the moment. If you are interested in taking over the Chronicle, lock, stock and barrel, then please let me know. If no one comes forward the magazine will cease with the July issue". Aston Abbotts was suffering from a spate of tyre slashing incidents. The Bull was changing hands rapidly with the departure of Dave and Tonia Parsons and the arrival of Barry and Denise Ward. Don Hinds passed away in the early summer. A plan to create affordable local housing attracted signs of dissent with a 'name and address supplied' article to The Chronicle in June. "As an observer at the May Parish Council meeting I was stunned to hear of the enquiries being made to build what amounts to a brand new 'village' between Aston Abbotts and Cublington. Not only that, but that 'village' is going to consist of mobile homes. Now to me 'mobile homes' is a euphemism for 'gypsies encampment' and we have all seen the terrible problems created in the location of the campsite up at Cublington. The area of Aston Abbotts and Cublington has always been under attack. Not so long ago it was the airport, then insidious bits of infilling and now…." In issue 70 Graham Parker said his final goodbye and announced that Caroline Lane and Gordon Smith would take over the editorship. At the time Caroline and Gordon were renting temporary accommodation in Aylesbury whilst their house in Church Row was being repaired following a fire. The same issue carried a record number of furious responses to the article on affordable housing, as typified by Lol Hinds, "If anonymous had come to myself or Ray Wilkinson and asked us about this project instead of listening to malicious gossip and rumours, they would realise that we are trying to help the locals of Aston Abbotts, Cublington and Wingrave to remain in or near to their relatives and loved ones in these villages. With the price of houses in this village we see so very often rich businessmen and women coming in then selling up making a quick profit never to be seen again - so much for community spirit. "Well, I have lived here all my life and I don't see why I should be shoved out by some rich person trying to make a fast buck at the expense of people like myself. I can assure you that from the huge amount of people who are interested in these types of home not one of them is a gypsy, nor do they ever intend to be one, so that knocks that theory on the head. "…So please if there were any of you out there taken in by that OTT letter then please spare a thought for people who genuinely want to remain part of this community." With that controversy, Chronicle founder Graham Parker bowed out. It took nearly a page for him to list the contributors and advertisers he wished to thank, including special thanks to, "Colin Higgs and Peter Dines who have never missed an issue".
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