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I am working through the early editions, and converting them to electronic copies. The first edition (November 1991), is now available.

First Edition First Edition - November 1991

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Gazette History

The Church of St Mary decided back in the nineteen-sixties to produce a church notice sheet, 'The Church Messenger', that would be delivered to all the houses in Gamlingay. This newssheet, although initially intended to cover the events of St Mary's, very soon expanded to include many village events as well. Being non-sectarian the leaflet regularly covered news from the Baptist Church.

The Village History Society has copies of many back issues of both the Messenger and The Gazette. Incidentally all editions of the Church Messenger were sent to the British Library for archive, and should be available for scrutiny. These early editions were typewritten on 'foolscap' sized paper, folded to give the orientation for a folded newsletter. For a short time the master copy was sent off to a printer in Liverpool, who produced 1200 copies; these were distributed by a loyal band of volunteers to the whole village.

In the early seventies my wife, Margaret, took over the typing of the master copy. This was on a manual typewriter, how technology has changed (this will become apparent through this article).

In the late nineteen-seventies the cost of commercial printing was becoming too high and the church purchased a duplicator. Just to show how things were in those days I must describe this machine (from the age of dinosaurs!) The Duplicator worked by using a waxed paper sheet, both the paper and the wax layer were very thin. A typewriter could be used to impress, through the wax, the text that needed to be reproduced. Simple drawings and other graphics could be drawn directly onto the stencil (as the waxed paper was called), to produce simple lines. If the typewriter keys were pressed too hard, the centre of the 'O' and other enclosed characters could be cut out completely! The stencil was placed in the duplicator, and ink was applied to the stencil, this ink could be pressed through the areas of the stencil that had been impressed by the typewriter. The process inevitably involved inky fingers, and several dud sheets!

Copies were original produced manually by cranking a handle - 1200 copies of, say two sheets, double sided, meant a lot of cranking! Luckily the machine was eventually updated for an electric model!

In the late nineteen-seventies I acquired what must have been then, one of the first desktop publishing packages - this was before the days of Windows and ran under an operating system called 'GEM'. It had about eight fonts, each in about 5 or 6 different sizes (I don't recall them being labelled as font sizes!). Using this software I was able to produce a stencil using a 'dot matrix' printer that was able to produce thousands of dots on the stencil that could be arranged to form text or simple black and white graphics. The stencil had to be cut in half to produce the right orientation of the page, the stencils were then glued together with a special glue (I seem to remember it being a bright 'Barbie' pink). The Church Messenger continued in this format until the early nineteen nineties, when Edward Nobes, the then Rector, suggested that the name be change to separate the implication that the Newsletter was a church based publication. It was changed to the 'Gamlingay Gazette', the name has continued to date.

The original production methods were the same as for the Church Messenger, though technology had advanced considerably. I now had a simple scanner, this was manually dragged over the graphic, and I then was able to include more graphics - even the occasional photo, though the resolution was very poor - only slightly worse than that that of the national newspapers of the time. How technology has changed! The effort and time taken to produce The Gazette was becoming a problem, so help was advertised for, The Gazette was no longer produced by St Mary's church, but became a separate entity, and was organised by a small committee. The original principles were strongly adhered to - with legal constraints, all articles submitted would be published, The Gazette would be non-political and non-partisan. It was non-profit making and was produced and distributed on a volunteer basis. I started the Village web-site in 1997, and in 2000 published The Gazette on the web through this source. I use a simple piece of counter software to know how many visits each page on the web is accessed. This tells me that there are currently over 100, sometimes 150, regular readers of The Gazette on the web - mainly from California, Australia, New-Zealand and Hong Kong; many of these are Gamlingay ex-pats (several of who I know and are in communication with). There are in addition about 20 or so other readers of The Gazette on-line. As a volunteer deliverer of The Gazette I am constantly impressed by the regular readers on my 'patch'; all of those who have notices on the door: "no free papers" I have checked with all say - "Oh yes we definitely want The Gazette" A moving note, thanks to The Gazette:

Some years ago I received a query from someone who lived in Leicester, concerning their uncle, who died as a PoW on the Burma Railway. They knew he had had friends in Gamlingay, and wondered if anyone remembered him. I published the details in The Gazette, and within hours of it being delivered, I received two phone calls, one from a comrade who was actually at his bedside when he died. I was then able to help reunite these two families - a very moving experience.

Gazette Archive

The Gamlingay Gazette started in November 1997

There are hard copies of both the Church Messenger and the Gazette available. In the year 2000, it was decided to publish the Gazette on the web, as part of the Gamlingy pages Unfortunately, the format of the copy was not in a format that could be easily published on the web, and had to be converted into a suitable format. This work occupied me for about 3 or 4 days each month. There were some advantages, I was able to 'animate' several parts, notably the club and society logos; for instance the Tennis Club rackets bat a ball between them, the Players 'masks' alternately frown and smile, the Wildlife Trust badger winks at you!
In 2008 new software was used to produce the Gazette, which enabled a PDF format to used, which is easily understood by the web.
As the electronic version started in 2008, these are the only ones available for an electronic archive. Even then, somehow I seem to have a few copies missing probably due to a change in computers (I have had a few since this all started!) and some probably got lost in the ether with the various backups.

It is fun to look back over the past 17 years and see the changes that have been reported in the village.

Archive selection

Dec 2000
Jan-Feb 2000
July-Aug 2000
June 2000
May 2000
Nov 2000
Oct 2000
Sept 2000

April 2001
Dec 2001
Jul-Aug 2001
June 2001
March 2001
May 2001
Nov 2001
Oct 2001
Sept 2001

April 2002
Dec 2002
Jul-Aug 2002
June 2002
March 2002
May 2002
Nov 2002
Oct 2002
Sept 2002

April 2003
Dec 2003
Jan-Feb 2003
Jul-Aug 2003
June 2003
March 2003
May 2003
Nov 2003
Oct 2003
Sept 2003

Dec 2004
Jan-Feb 2004
Jul-Aug 2004
June 2004
March 2004
May 2004
Nov 2004
Oct 2004
Sept 2004

April 2005
Dec 2005
Jan-Feb 2005
Jul-Aug 2005
June 2005
March 2005
May 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sept 2005

April 2006
Dec 2006
Jan-Feb 2006
Jul-Aug 2006
June 2006
March 2006
May 2006
Nov 2006
Oct 2006
Sept 2006

April 2007
Dec 2007
Jan-Feb 2007
Jul-Aug 2007
June 2007
March 2007
May 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sept 2007

April 2008
Dec 2008
Jan-Feb 2008
Jul-Aug 2008
June 2008
March 2008
May 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sept 2008
/ /
April 2009
Dec 2009
Jan-Feb 2009
Jul-Aug 2009
June 2009
March 2009
May 2009
Oct 2009

April 2010
Dec 2010
Jan-Feb 2010
Jul-Aug 2010
June 2010
March 2010
May 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sept 2010

April 20011
Dec 20011
Jan-Feb 20011
Jul-Aug 20011
June 20011
March 20011
May 20011
Nov 20011
Oct 20011
Sept 20011

April 2012
Dec 2012
Jan-Feb 2012
Jul-Aug 2012
June 2012
March 2012
May 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sept 2012

April 2013
Dec 2013
Jan-Feb 2013
Jul-Aug 2013
May 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sept 2013
/ /
April 2014
Dec 2014
Jan-Feb 2014
Jul-Aug 2014
June 2014
March 2014
May 2014

April 2015
Dec 2015
Jul-Aug 2015
March 2015
May 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
April 2016
Aug 2016
Dec 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Jul 2016
June 2016
March 2016
May 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sept 2016

April 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Jul 2017
June 2017
March 2017
May 2017
Aug 2017
Sept 2017
Oct 2017
Nov 2017
Dec 2017

Jan 2018
Feb 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
Sept 2018
Oct 2018
Nov 2018
Dec 2018

Jan-feb 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
Jul-Aug 2019
Sept 2019
Oct 2019
Nov 2019