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News - History Of The Chronicle - 3
September 1989 saw Caroline and Gordon's first issue as editors. Graham Parker opened the festival, and a festival display showed the planned low-cost housing development. The Beds and Bucks Observer of the 15th august reported the "Gypsy Camp" controversy and how the article in The Chronicle had stirred it up. However, at the end of the month the Observer reported that AVDC had turned down the plan. Village life continued as usual. Andrew Ford came 72nd out of 1737 runners in the Wycombe Hall marathon and The Chronicle reported on Neil 'Captain Birds Eye' Chesher's abortive attempt to single-handedly sail his dinghy across Ullswater. New rector Bob Willmott was installed in September and welcomed in print by Peter Dines. An Aylesbury property agent Steve Rotherham purchased the abbey and its contents were put up for sale in November. The first map of the planned Aston Abbotts conservation area was printed in The Chronicle. In December hunt saboteurs disrupted a meeting of the Old Berkeley Beagles near the Royal Oak. 1990 saw Gordon and Caroline setting comfortably into their editor's chairs. The management of the Church Room was causing a certain amount of discussion, a fund was launched to repair the church clock and Gordon Smith wrote a special report on a plan to build a landfill site between Bierton and Rowsham. Chronicle Treasurer Mike Cox stepped down as he was leaving the village and John Whyte took over the position - and holds it till this day! June 1990's editorial asked, "What's happening to the Bull & Butcher? It's a question on many people's lips - well nobody knows anything very much yet. All we know is that the brewery has put it up for sale because it doesn't make their required amount of sales per week, and that several other pubs belonging to the same brewery are suffering the same fate (such as the Unicorn in Cublington). The Bull is under offer at the moment, and rumour has it that the potential buyers want to keep it as a pub. We hope so. We think it's good for the village to have two pubs with very different characters and clientele. Furthermore, we think that Josh and Kay are making a splendid job of continuing the Bull's friendly atmosphere, and if they can't stay themselves, we hope someone else will". Hmmm….. Kay and Josh Reid left the Bull in July. The Peoples page welcomed the von Simpson family to The Abbey in September and Chris and Pam Watson took over at the Bull. Also in that issue Caroline Lane warned: "As many of you will already know, Doris Scutchings is giving up the Post Office at the end of September. She has run the Post Office for 43 years, so will be very much missed. Our good wishes to her for the future. "Out of curiosity I rang the head office in Oxford to find out what plans are for Aston. They are looking for someone to take it over on a part-time basis. Nobody had applied when I rang. This is sad, but not really surprising - life is getting increasingly difficult for village shops and post offices. The post office is a focal point of daytime life in the village and it would be a shame to lose it, so do find out more if you think you can help." Ownership of the Church Room was still puzzling many and its management was starting to become controversial. A full-page article by Bob Willmott attempted to clarify the issue. The controversy made the local press during November. The campaign against the Bierton landfill site was gaining momentum. Geoffrey Husson of Badgers Oak Farm applied for a license to stage a rock festival with up to 25,000 attendees on his land the following summer. Aston Abbotts and Cublington PCs opposed the proposal. 1991 started with the sale of the Bull by its then owners David and Yvonne Ash and the Peoples Page welcomed new owners Frank and Louise McManus who "...have plans for refurbishment and expansion of facilities at the Bull". Doris and Len Scutchings celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary. The village celebrated as the plan for the landfill at Bierton was rejected by AVDC. April's Chronicle reported that the Wing bypass was to be a dual
carriageway and follow the Northern route cutting between Burcott and Wing, and the Owens left The Royal oak. Bob and Julie Moult took over The Royal Oak and co-editor of The Chronicle Caroline Lane joined the Parish Council. A letter from Ivy Brandon, Arthur and Brenda Roff, Vie Scott, Vika and Paul Tyldesley, Alf and Wilf Parker and Rev. Peter Lemmon in May's Church News asked, "First we lost our school, then we lost our Post Office. Do we want to lose our chapel?" An intruder kicked John Page of Oxley Farm in May. In June BCC announced support for the southern Wing bypass route. Roy Malin took over as chair of the Parish Council after Colin Higgs resigned following 21 years service as a district and parish councillor. By the end of 1991 sufficient funds had been raised for the Church clock to be repaired. Early in 1992 Caroline and Gordon presided over the 100th issue of The Chronicle. A Cheese and wine party was held in the Church Room to celebrate it (see elsewhere for details of the 200th issue party). The event was celebrated with a collection of article reprints from the first 100 issues. The issue also contained a report on the Chronicle cabaret titled 'Chesher's New Organ Revealed', penned by Ray Wilkinson. The next issue was looking for fete committee members and also reported on the formation of an Aston Abbotts Action Group to oppose the wing bypass. The group comprised: Peter Cooper, Caroline Lane, Tom Manning, Phyllis Lind Andrew Page, Owen McManus, Helen Dowling, Fred Poulter, Gwen Kempster, Margaret Kent, Colin Higgs, John Barnett. Then in June, grim news from Janet Biddle: "Regretfully it has been decided that the village fete will not be held this year. Five people met in the Methodist Church on 21st May to discuss the possibilities. We had just one offer to join the committee after the article in the May Chronicle, and it was felt we needed the very minimum of eight to make it work. We all have many other commitments with work, families etc. and it just does not seem fair or reasonable to ask six people to undertake such a lot. Perhaps a fete could be arranged by the whole village on new and different lines in the coming years, who knows? - but please if you'd like a village fete in the future remember to volunteer!" However, the Church decided to go ahead with a separate Church fete in the grounds of the Abbey. September reported on a spate of burglaries in the village. Distributed with the December issue was a copy of the village appraisal, which had been carried out over the previous months. 134 adults and 14 young people aged between 10 and 17 had responded to the survey and its findings included: "We would support the sorting of rubbish for recycling. The sub-post office is still badly missed. The shop is valued as one of the few village amenities left and for its friendliness, but more stock wanted. Church and chapel: both seen as important to the village by most people. The recreation ground: all-weather surface/tennis court would be very popular. Traffic: we hate it and there were many suggestions for traffic calming such as sleeping policemen. Development: generally unpopular, especially infilling, backlanding and beyond the village boundaries. Support, though, for low-cost housing for locals. Likes and dislikes: generally, we like the peace and quiet, the friendliness, and the rural situation. Main dislikes were traffic and steadily disappearing village amenities such as the Post Office. Young people: less positive on the whole, because they lack things to do and/or transport of their own to get to larger villages and towns."
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