Aston Abbotts page header Aston Abbotts page header Aston Abbotts page header
News - History Of The Chronicle - 4
By the time issue 111 came out in April 1993 the pump in Church Row had been repaired and was working again. Getting this repaired had been an ongoing saga that had first raised its head in the very first issues of The Chronicle, ten years earlier. Clifford Price reported "It's no good hanging about if you want tickets for the Cabaret. And it's no good hanging about if you want to be sure of a good seat. The first members of' the audience were there forty minutes early, having made it from the far end of Ross Road. The first members of the cast turned up quarter of an hour later, having finally found the key to the Church Room. The scene was set for another memorable evening..." The Chronicle reported that the Church Room committee were looking at improving the toilet facilities, with a new toilet block extension at an estimated cost of £10,000. The Bull and Butcher alterations were approved by AVDC. 1993's fete was opened by Don Bellingham and realised net proceeds of £930. October's cover showed a drawing of a possible dual carriageway underpass junction at Wingrave crossroads and readers were urged to attend the public meeting about it at Wingrave School hall. By now, Lol Hinds was organising the annual fireworks display and thanks were extended to him in the last Chronicle of the year. The results of the 1991 census were reported, putting Aston Abbott's population at 340. Issue 120 wished a Happy 40th birthday to regular advertiser Dave Lewis and listed his hobbies as flying, Muff Diving (!!), gate crashing parties and Pubs. The Neighbourhood watch scheme was revived. March's issue 121 reported the theft of the Florence Nightingale collection box from Osborns shop. A small spate of car crimes was attracting interest. Then something odd happened. Caroline and Gordon numbered April's issue 125, skipping numbers 122, 123 and 124. So - April Fool! You've been had! With these three skipped issues this is not really the 200th at all, its the 197th. But who cares? It says 200 on the cover, so SSshhhh… - we'll keep Caroline and Gordon's little secret. In May Caroline and Gordon wrote, "Come the autumn, we will have produced five years' worth of Chronicles, and we think it's time to stop before we get too set in our ways" and appealed for someone to take over. The following month they reported, "We have not exactly been swamped by people eager to take over the editorship of The Chronicle". By July the idea of a rota of people each producing one issue a year was mooted. Issue 129 appears to be missing from the Archive, but a very smart issue 130 in October, edited by Simon and Helen Dowling, tells us that Chris and Bridget Brandon had edited the previous issue. The rota system of Chronicle editing was well under way. November saw editors David de Silva and Barbara Bellingham suggesting people might like to protest about the planned Microlight airfield at Aston Clinton, whilst in the Church News Colin reported that the Chapel had closed. Deirdre Whyte produced the Christmas 1994 issue, with 'Digger Deep' reporting on the 'tunnelling' at the Bull and Butcher. A more ominous report appeared in the Parish Council Notes under the Planning Applications section, "Nash's Farm, conversion of two barns into residential and building of eight further dwellings: after much discussion among councillors and comments from members of the public present,
the following comments were made. (1) Building materials had not been specified; it was extremely important that materials should complement houses in the conservation area. (2) Boundary demarcation not specified; recommended that developers plant a continuous hedge of native species, preferably holly or hawthorn. (3) What was the purpose of the access left open to the field behind? Further development in the field behind this site would be unwelcome. (4) Although not grounds for objection, the parish council felt an opportunity had been missed to provide starter homes within reach of local people; all the units, although not spacious, had three bedrooms." Andy Bystra ushered in 1995 with Jan's Chronicle, Gordon Kemp and Ann Goodman took over for February, and Janet Biddle produced March's issue in which Caroline regretted that they had felt unable to print a village 1994 roundup submitted by 'Ivor Cheek' for fear of causing offence. Margaret Chesher's April issue noted that the Nashs Farm planning application was on hold for legal reasons connected with land donation near to the Rec. Margaret Kent started the May issue with "Welcome to the May edition of the Chronicle. May, I think, is one of the loveliest months of the year. Everything is fresh and green, birds singing, lambs in the fields, gardens planted and lawns mown. We are lucky indeed to live in such tranquil surroundings, so let us remember and be thankful as we commemorate in our own way the 50th anniversary of VE day on May 8th." Elsewhere Gordon Smith regretted that there were not more volunteers for the fete. June 95 was edited by Jeremy Bale and the Parish Council minutes note the refusal of a planning application for an extension at New Zealand Cottages. In issue 139 editor Caroline Lane reported that Andy Bystra would take over editorship when he retired and it was also reported that planning permission had been granted for barn conversions and new dwellings at Nashs Farm. The Bull and Butcher were applying for a public entertainment licence. Caroline stayed in the chair for the September issue and the following month's editor Don Bellingham announced that Andy Bystra would be doing the job from now on. With that, the rota system of Chronicle production came to an end. So in November 1995, with issue 142, Andy Bystra became editor, starting with these words, "Armed with a brand new computer, boxes of Chronicle bumf and Caroline Lane's detailed list of 'instructions'; right now it seems like I've taken on an impossible task. Oh well; one man plays many parts in his time and all that". His sentiments reflected the realisation that producing The Chronicle was not a quick task. Margaret Kent and Tony Hinds have since told me of the amount of work that went into their issue. Although computers were having an impact, much of the magazine was still being assembled by hand and the sheer volume of work in putting together a 24-26 page monthly publication with its local news, regular contributions and reports, features and advertising can only be appreciated when you have tried it.
Reading the news