Issue 1 (Dec 1998) to Issue 31 (December 2003)
We know there were village newsletters published before the Hickling Standard began – can you help with information about any of these or even back issues that we could scan/copy?
- Please contact us if you can help.
We are also looking for someone to index back issues of the newsletter; we can help with how to do it – please contact us if you would like to give it a try!
How it all started.
(Chairman Dec 2021)
“The reason we have a newsletter is because I was at a Village Hall meeting in the autumn of 1998 and mentioned that Hickling used to have a newsletter, but had not had one for a long time. Everyone said it was a really good idea and as I had brought up the subject I had better do something about it! So I did, and here we are more than 20 years later.”
How much do you know about our village newsletter?
- We began with some guiding principles:
- Every household in Hickling and Hickling Pastures should receive a free copy through their letterbox
- We would publish every two months; this gap made it practical for volunteers to run the newsletter but wasn’t too long that events fell out-of-date or were missed between editions.
- Our publishing year would begin Dec/Jan because so much happens in the village in December and a deadline in mid-October would be much to early for everyone to be planning Christmas events!
- Anyone could contribute anything which they thought would interest their neighbours and the tone and content should be interesting and informative but not controversial or inflammatory (we’ve had some discussions over the years about this including anonymous submissions – these are fine as long as a member of the committee is aware of authorship …)
- Any surplus funds raised through advertising would be returned to the village in support of local charities; sadly, we’ve never quite managed this!
- To open up a bank account and apply for grant funding we had to set ourselves up properly; we have a constitution, we produce annual accounts and, in the early years, we had a most convivial public AGM in The Plough.
- Imagine the shock when a non-committee member turned up one year with a question – all turned out well when the chairman bought Mrs Fortey a drink and she happily joined the general chat (sadly, we can’t remember what her question was …).
- The first issue came out at the beginning of December 1998; it was simply called the Hickling Newsletter but an appeal was put out to find it a proper name. 250 copies were distributed.
- Barbara McEwen’s woodcut of Hickling ducks has been our newsletter logo since the first issue.
- The only time that it didn’t appear on the front cover was when a new local radio station was launched at the time of issue 15.
- Issue 4 was the first to be called the Hickling Standard – everyone likes a pun …
- It was an important but tough decision (!) and we picked pale blue as the colour for our front cover from the first issue and we decided to stick with the same colour instead of varying it issue by issue. In fact, over the years, we’ve had quite a range of pale blues, the occasional dark blue, one green and a few white covers – printers have minds of their own sometimes …
- In June 2000 we won an award for the ‘Best New Newsletter’; a suitably civilised celebration was held in The Plough – and, no, we weren’t the only entrant …
- In the early issues, our chairman wrote an editorial for the front page; in this issue he explained about the prize but, separately, he appealed to the village to do what we could about climate change (the fate of Bingham was in our hands) – this is 20 years ago, how far have we come?
- Printing costs have always been our biggest problem; we had a spell photocopying it ourselves in the village (logistical nightmare!); then we used the printroom at Whatton Prison (interesting drop-off, pick-up arrangements); then the printroom at Southwolds School which served us very well for many years. Since this option closed we have been using a professional printer instead.
- It is tough to balance affordability with including enough interesting content to retain the spirit of the whole exercise; fortunately, the support of the Parish Council, the Country Fair and Scarecrow Committees and donations from individuals has kept us going – Thank you!
- During the Covid pandemic, the Hickling Standard was forced to move into e-issues and was only available in an electronic version (issues 129-137, 2020 to 2021). E-issues continue to be available and they are widely read but the print issue delivered to every household in Hickling & Hickling Pastures is, thankfully, back up-and-running.
- Advertisers are incredibly important to the success of the newsletter; their contributions mean we can offer a free copy to every household and hopefully they receive some extra business as well as offering the village community their support. We are grateful to all our advertisers (thank you!) but we think that these wonderful advertisers have appeared in every issue to date:
- Keith Wadkin & Son; tree specialists
- William Hercock building supplies
- Vale Electrics
- A&R Peet; fuel and heating supplies
- R&EL Birley Motor Engineers
The founding newsletter committee set things rolling in 1998 and the format and structures have remained pretty much unchanged since then; they were:
- Tim McEwen – chairman (& still our boss man, 23 years later!)
- Ken Cadogan-Rawlinson – treasurer & advertising
- Gwen Cane – distribution
- Jane Fraser – editor
- Barbara McEwen – copy
- Christine Dingle – copy
We lost some members along the way as they moved to pastures new; Ken, Gwen and Christine – but they all kept in close touch with the village. Thankfully, we were also joined by Andrew Terry who has been treasurer and in charge of advertising for many years and Maggy Jordan editor from February 2003 until October 2021.