About Us (The Witham Staple)

Topical issues are aired and forthcoming events detailed each month in The Witham Staple printed magazine: 

Current Magazine [Click to Download]

 

A list of contacts for local interest  and community groups is updated in September each year:

Local Information Sheet   [Click to Download]

 

Local Advertisers

 

Home Page - Index

 

The Witham Staple is mandated to reflect what is happening in our Lincolnshire community (i.e. the villages of Aubourn, Bassingham, Carlton le Moorland, Norton Disney, Stapleford, Thurlby, Witham St Hughs and the rural areas surrounding these villages).

 

Letters from the Chairman

40th Anniversary of The Witham Staple

40th Anniversary Celebration 22 July 2006

Editor Since May 2005 - Paul Hubbard (June 2005)

Remarks from Retiring Editor - Stan Underwood (June 2005)

The Witham Staple - Biennial Party (July 2005) 

New Chairman’s Remarks 2003

History of Witham Staple up to 2003

Thanks to all our volunteers

Can you lend a hand?  

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From the July & August (2005) edition, Paul Hubbard became editor. He is pleased to receive items for publication both from local groups and from individual readers. 

Tel: 789673 

e-mail: paul@withamstaple.com

 

Letters from the Chairman

 

New Year Honours List - John Rowland

Congratulations on behalf of The Witham Staple to John Rowland of Bassingham on his award of the BEM (British Empire Medal) in the 2016 New Year Honours List 'for services to the community'. One important aspect of those services has been and continues to be his involvement in The Witham Staple. John has played a key role in the establishment and development of our community magazine for several decades now and makes a major contribution to its production month by month. Warmest appreciation and best wishes to you, John.

Stan Underwood, Chairman

[WS January 2016]

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Farewell to Witham Staple Chairman - Mike Allport

Behind The Witham Staple is a production team and a committee managing what is in effect a sizeable community business. This is led by our Chairman, whose role and responsibility is ultimately to over-see a proper and efficient operation. He has to ensure that any problems that arise are dealt with promptly and that the principles and aims of the magazine are upheld. Mike Allport has been our Chairman for ten years now, during an unprecedented period of growth and consolidation for The Witham Staple, as the community of our eight villages has grown ever larger. Now we have to say goodbye to him as he and Bunny set off soon to make their new home in Australia. Mike has been an exceptionally good Chairman, bringing his own professional experience and efficiency to the task. He has met every challenge with professionalism and a calm cheerfulness that has seen us get through some quite choppy waters. So we thank Mike on behalf of our readers and the community and wish him and Bunny every success and happiness in the next stage of their life’s journey.

Please note the new Witham staple Chairman is Stan Underwood (Tel: 01522 788461)

[WS September 2013]

 

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Letter from the Chairman of the Witham Staple Committee  March 2013

The Witham Staple has been the community magazine for the Withamside Villages for the past 40 or so years and more recently has served the new village of Witham St Hughs. The Witham Staple is a true community magazine produced and published by the community for the community. It has evolved and developed over time and from a distribution of some 300 is now delivered to over 2,300 households in the eight villages. Its structure, organisation and financial viability are secure. The production involves well over 60 local people in editorial, financial control, printing, distribution, website management and advertising.

It will have come to your notice that the Witham Herald is now being distributed in the villages traditionally served by the Witham Staple. The Witham Herald is a magazine produced, published, and distributed by a commercial organisation not based in our villages and makes a profit for its owners. Like the Witham Staple it aims to contain copy that is of interest and relevance to local communities.

The Witham Staple will continue to serve the needs of our community as effectively as possible and we hope that we will retain your support and goodwill as readers, community groups and advertisers.

Mike Allport

 

Letter from the Chairman  March 2011

The Witham Staple is keen to encourage individuals to contribute articles of local community interest. In order that this is done within an acceptable framework The Witham Staple Committee has agreed the following guidelines for articles and letters:

• Articles and letters should not attack another body or organisation. Such issues are better addressed directly with the individual organisation concerned rather than using The Witham Staple as a vehicle to bring grievances into the public domain.

• Articles and letters should not be offensive to any other party or seek to score a point in public at the expense of another party.

• The name and address of authors must be given in full. In extreme cases only and at the discretion of the editor, publication of the author’s name and address may be withheld.

• If an item is contentious the Editor retains the right to delay publication in order to seek advice or alternative views.

• The Editor's decision is final. The Witham Staple Committee will offer advice when requested by the Editor.

Opinions expressed in articles and letters which are not authored by the Editor or The Witham Staple Committee do not necessarily express the opinions of the Editor or The Witham Staple Committee. Where necessary the Editor may restate this in conjunction with specific articles that are published because they possibly reflect only minority opinions held within the community. The above guidelines should help to ensure that The Witham Staple is able to publish articles and information that reflect the wide range of views and opinions held within our community through a sensitive and structured framework. Finally this is your magazine and if you wish to voice your opinion, I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the AGM on 10th May.

Mike Allport, Chairman

[WS May 2011]

 

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40th Anniversary of the Witham Staple [June 2006]

 

The Witham Staple can trace its history back over 40 years to a simple single-sheet newsletter written by the then Rector of Bassingham, Canon Colin Evans. The first copy of the "Newsletter" was published in 1966, the year that saw the six local churches formed into a group. Since then The Witham Staple, as it has been styled since 1984, has developed and grown into what it is today: a high quality community magazine, serving the eight local villages. During its long period of development many people have been involved in its production. Mrs Worsdall and Sheila Mullen were two long-standing editors in the early days. More recently, Stan Underwood retired last year after twelve years as Editor. The early copies of the magazine were printed on a hand-turned Gestetner printer in the Old School House opposite St Michael's Church in Bassingham. In the depths of winter, the operators would huddle round their meagre source of heat to keep the ink flowing and to keep themselves warm! At that time the magazine was put together by individuals in their own homes and the circulation was something in the order of 350 copies. 

 

Some fifteen years ago, The Witham Staple was at a point of crisis and in danger of disappearing. A group of willing people rallied round and at this point John Rowland became chairman of the newly formed Witham Staple Committee. (John handed over to the present Chairman, Mike Allport, in 2003.) The committee determined to secure the long-term future of the magazine by placing it on a professional and self-funding basis. Grants were secured from North Kesteven District Council and from local parish councils, donations from various local clubs and societies, and contributions from individual members of the community. From this we built a solid financial foundation, which has enabled the magazine to be completely self-funding for all its requirements. 

 

The addition of Witham St Hughs to the Witham Staple 'family' since the year 2000 has proved to be of major significance, not least of all logistically, as we now see the new village growing bigger by the week. Over the last several years, further grant funding has enabled the purchase of additional equipment, for the production of copy, for printing, collating, booklet making, and business administration. The printing, collating and purpose-built storage is now located at Bassingham Heritage Room, with further work done at Witham St Hughs. 

 

Today, the magazine has the size of operation of a small business. A major feature continues to be the judicious balance of fresh monthly copy with a considerable number of mostly local commercial advertisements, which are re-set six-monthly. There is always a keen demand for advertising space, and this is the prime source of our income, allowing us in turn to continue our policy of not charging local residents for The Witham Staple. The current print run is of the order of 1,800 copies, and each month the production of the magazine accounts for something in the order of 20 man/woman/machine-hours, not including delivery time. 

 

Today The Witham Staple has well achieved the aims of the original committee. It is a highly professional publication, and serves the needs of the community by providing the key means of communicating local information and items of local interest to every household in the eight villages. It is right up-to-date in terms of information technology with the launch of The Witham Staple website in November 2004, making it accessible worldwide. So, a community magazine run for the community by the community: a principle that will confidently ensure the continuing success of the magazine in the years to come. 

 

Stan Underwood [WS June 2006]

 

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40th Anniversary Celebration 22 July 2006

The Witham Staple party held to enable all those involved in the preparation and distribution of the magazine to meet up also celebrated this anniversary with a cake and a display of past issues. Mike and Bunny Allport kindly hosted this event in their garden and as usual were excellent hosts. 

 

A good crowd of us enjoyed the food, wine and opportunity to chat and Mike Allport thanked all of those involved with the magazine for their contribution in making it such a successful and valued asset to our community. We were all fortunate that the thunder and rain stopped just in time for the event to provide a pleasant summer evening.

 

 

Jan Culpitt, as the longest serving committee member and current secretary, had the honour of cutting the cakes celebrating the anniversary.

 

 

To provide us with an idea of how far the magazine had evolved, Stan Underwood prepared a display of ten example issues from across the 40 years.  As well as illustrating the extent to which we have embraced new technology as it has become available, this display also highlighted the high quality of the content produced in the early editions when the whole process was very much a hand-crafted and time-consuming exercise.

 

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Let Me Introduce Myself - Paul Hubbard (new Witham Staple Editor)

Hi I'm Paul and as Stan has said your new Witham Staple Editor. My first job as editor, on behalf of everyone involved and all the readers of The Witham Staple is to thank Stan for all his editorial work over the last 12 years. I hope I can continue in his footsteps with the same degree of quality. I would like to also thank all the members of the team for welcoming me, and making me feel right at home. I'm hoping my age will bring a fresh youthful feel to the magazine but still keep the quality we have enjoyed over the years. 

As I said I'm Paul married to Jane (née Postlethwaite) we have 2 children Cloe 10½ years old and Thomas almost 7. We have lived in Carlton as a family for over 5 years now but have had a bond with the area for many years before as Jane was born here. The children attend Bassingham School, Cloe is a Bassingham Brownie and swims with Lincoln Vulcans, Thomas is a Beaver, plays in the under 7s football team and now tennis as well, so we are all involved with different groups within the villages. Jane is a registered childminder and carer. We all like getting out and about on our bikes, you may even have seen us on our travels, I'm the one with the battery on the front. I do have interests of my own but by the time we've sorted out all the above not much time is left these days. My main interest is in art and anything associated with it. I try to turn my hand to any medium asked of me, but mainly like to do watercolour scenes. I love to get out on my bike and now I have the Editors position to keep me busy. Oh and I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy!! hence the chair. Stan's work is a tall order to follow so please forgive me for any mistakes in my new role. As Stan pointed out I look forward to receiving items for publication from both local groups and individuals. I would also welcome your thoughts on how I'm doing in my new role over the next few months and what you might like to be reading in the future.

Paul Hubbard [WS June 2005]

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Remarks from Retiring Editor - Stan Underwood

Over the twelve years that I've been Editor, The Witham Staple has brought me into happy contact with many more people than I would otherwise have met. It has given me a unique insight into our local communities and a better appreciation of what can make English village life so good. I think it's all to do with a sense of belonging, of getting together to make things happen. I'm sure readers will agree that this magazine contributes in no small measure to that sense of togetherness; in fact, it is people who make the magazine, a lot of people, providing both the content and getting each edition produced and delivered. I wish Paul well in his new role and hope he derives as much satisfaction and enjoyment from this privileged position as I have.

Stan Underwood [WS June 2005]

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The Witham Staple Party (July 2005) 

Mike and Bunny Allport kindly hosted the party in their garden on the evening of 23rd July.  This party enabled all those involved in various capacities associated with the support, production and delivery of the Witham Staple to get together. It also provides an opportunity for the executive committee to thank everyone for their contributions over the past two years.  The weather was kind to us and enabled the 50 or so that attended to chat and stroll around the garden whilst enjoying the excellent refreshments prepared by a number of volunteers.

This year's party was special because it enabled us to acknowledge Stan Underwood's retirement as editor after twelve years of dedicated and high quality service to the magazine. 

Stan was thanked in speeches by Mike Allport and John Rowland.

He was then presented with a gift by John Rowland to commemorate his valuable contribution in developing the magazine into its current format.  Stan thanked everyone for the gift and told us what a privilege it had been to serve the community in what he saw as a facilitating role. He also reminded us what a special group of villages the magazine covered and wished Paul Hubbard the best of luck for the future as the new editor.

Cynthia, Stan's wife, was presented with a bouquet and thanked for her supporting role and valuable contribution as proof reader for the magazine during the past twelve years.

The gathering was also informed of the Awards For All grant award of 15th July 2005 for the sum of £2905 that will enable the Witham Staple to purchase further computer equipment to support the ongoing production of the magazine and this website.

The evening was a thoroughly enjoyable event!

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A word from the newly elected Chairman (July 2003)

I should like to draw your attention to the excellent article and vale­dictory printed below, written by our retiring chairman, John Rowland, giving the history of The Witham Staple. May I, on your behalf, publicly thank John for his hard work over the last 12 years towards making the magazine what it is today. I continue to hear complimentary remarks on the magazine from all sections of the community, so it is a privilege for me to be asked to join the team as chairman. John is not leaving, as he continues as printing manager - so he will be keeping an eye on me. The Witham Staple is a most professional magazine produced by a very capable, dedicated and established team, I shall therefore go by the maxim that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. However, please do not hesitate to contact me, or any member of the committee, if you have any suggestions for improve­ment; it is your magazine.

Having travelled the world all my life, first, as a service child then a full career in the RAF, I am now enjoying the novelty and stability of being in the same house for a fourth year running. However, I listened as one Bassingham ‘senior’ said to another that she had ‘only’ been in the village for 20 years, perhaps in deference to the 47 years of the other. I am keenly aware that I am very new here. Like the mythical village of St Mary Mead of Miss Marple fame, scratch the surface of the Withamside villages and all of life is right here. I devour the magazine from cover to cover and it guides both my leisure activities and serves as my ‘Yellow Pages’ for a myriad of services. I hope that this has been your experience too. Thank you indeed, John Rowland.

Mike Allport Chairman [WS July 2003]

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History of Witham Staple up to 2003

The Witham Staple can trace its history back over 37 years. The genesis of the magazine was a simple single-sheet newsletter written by Canon Cohn Evans. The first copy of the “Newsletter” was published in 1966. Since then The Witham Staple, as it is now called, has developed and grown into what it is today: a high quality community magazine, serving the eight local villages. During its long period of development many people have been involved in its production. Mrs Worsdall and Sheila Mullen were two long-standing editors in the early days. The early copies of the magazine were printed on a hand-turned Gestetner printer in the Old School House opposite St Michael’s Church in Bassingham. In the depths of winter, the operators would huddle round their meagre source of heat to keep the ink flowing and to keep themselves warm! Collation at this time was done by individuals in their own homes and the circulation was something in the order of 350 copies. About twelve years ago, The Witham Staple was at a point of crisis and in danger of disappearing. A group of willing people rallied round and at this point I became chairman of the newly formed Witham Staple Committee. The committee determined to secure the long-term future of the magazine by placing it on a professional and self-funding basis. We secured grants from North Kesteven District Council and from local parish councils, donations from various local clubs and societies, and contributions from individual members of the community. From this we built a solid financial foundation which has enabled the magazine to be completely self-funding for all its requirements.

Today The Witham Staple has achieved the aims of the original committee. It is a highly professional publication, it is self-financing and it serves the needs of the community by providing the key means of communicating local information and items of local interest to every household in the eight villages. As I hand over the chairmanship of the Witham Staple Committee to Mike Allport, I would want to thank all those who have supported me over the past twelve years in helping to making The Witham Staple what it is today - a community magazine run for the community by the community. This ethos will ensure the continuing strength of the magazine in the years to come.

John Rowland [WS July 2003]

Further to John Rowland’s article, we should be most interested to hear from any readers who can add to the story of The Witham Staple. In particular we’d like to hear of anybody who has pre-1990 copies of the magazine, or who was involved in the very early days.  

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Thanks to all volunteers who help us

The Witham Staple Committee, on behalf of our readers, to thank all those who give their time and work so hard to produce, print and collate, staple and deliver the ten editions of The Witham Staple to more than a thousand homes in the eight villages over the course of each year. Thanks also to those who have provided us with the cover designs that are such a distinctive feature of the magazine each month: Thank you!

Can you lend a hand? The Witham Staple welcomes offers of help  distribute the magazine.  If you’re interested, please contact us and we can add you to our list of current or back-up volunteers.

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Witham Staple Web Editor can be contacted by e-mail: info@withamstaple.com