Focal Point first appeared in December 1980 and has been produced every month since then; an unbroken five years. It was brought into being by Hector Young who was the the Chairman of the Parish Council with the purpose of providing a magazine that was not specifically for the Parish Council, nor for the Church, but was for the villagers of Winthrop, Langford and Holme.
The magazine serves as a notice board for village groups, reports occasionally on sporting events and also carries articles of more general interest; but we never seem to have enough of these.
We have a monthly circulation of 350 and although we do not compete with Eddie Shah in many areas we are also FREE. This is because we are financed by groups, reports occasionally on sporting events and also carries articles of more general interest; but we never seem to have enough of these.
In the beginning all the articles were collected by the editor, typed by volunteer typists and pasted up by the editorial team. This often resulted in a rather patchwork look to the pages. The whole thing was originally printed by offset litho, but this proved to be too expensive. At the beginning of 1984 we acquired an electronic ‘daisy wheel' typewriter, which greatly simplified the production and improved the appearance, but at the expense of time spent by the editor at the typewriter. Since then this machine has been linked to a BBC Microcomputer with View word processing. This means that all the material can be typed in, changed, put into order and arranged on the page before being committed to paper. All this technology is very useful but it still doesn't prevent spelling errors from creeping in.
Printing, at the moment, is done on a Gestetner Stencil Printer, the stencils being electronically produced from the typed masters. This process, though cheap, is not as good as offset litho; an eagle eye has to be kept on the ink density, page squareness and margins whilst printing is in progress. Some of you will have observed the effects of momentary lapses of attention.
What of the future? We hope that improvements to Focal Point will continue to be seen; our sixth year starts with a new cover and title page and possibly in the year we will try different type faces and improved page layouts. In the future a return to offset litho printing might be possible, giving improved appearance,
Lynne Shapley. Editor, December 1980 to November 1987.
Extract from Focal Point. December 1995.
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