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September 2003 News & Features

Fond Farewell to Longstanding Editors

After many years of dedicated service, Marilyn Palmer and Marion Thorn have handed over the reins of the Pucklechurch News to a new team. The pair decided call it a day and sent out an appeal for a new editorial team in the last issue. “It has been good fun, but it’s time for some new blood,” says Marion. As you can see, volunteers were forthcoming.

Marilyn first volunteered to help with the newsletter in 1978 because her friends, the founders of the newsletter, needed a bit of assistance. Little did she know that she would still be publishing it 25 years later. Marion joined the team in 1984, and the pair became the core of the team that has been in place for the last 19 years. For Marilyn, it’s been 100 issues’ worth of typing, editing, paste-up, printing, and distribution!

The first Pucklechurch News was published in August 1976. In the early years, each edition ran 8 to 10 pages because the layout tools available were rather crude by today’s standards, so the copy couldn’t easily be fitted into columns. The team typed the issues directly onto waxed stencils – any mistakes had to be dabbed with bright pink correcting fluid and retyped. Graphics were drawn directly onto the stencil by scratching the wax surface, taking great care not to tear the delicate stencil. A tear meant retyping that page from scratch.

Marilyn remembers using a hand-cranked Roneo duplicator to print 500 copies per edition. (Roneo Vickers had an office in the Pucklechurch Trading Estate, adding another local element to the publication.) P’News was then hand-folded and delivered to the distribution sites, including the Post Office, Terry Walker’s newsagents, and the old hardware store on Oaktree Avenue. Until the Parish Council started funding the newsletter in 1994, the costs were covered by donations and the occasional fund-raiser. At first the suggested donation was 10p, but it later went up to a whopping 20p. Parish Council funding enabled an increase in circulation: 1,200 copies were printed and delivered free to all the homes in the area, the same number delivered today.

Whilst the Pucklechurch News never courted controversy, it did have a big scoop in the early ‘80s. An article by Dr George Conrad broke the news that 3,000 houses were to be built at Emerson’s Green. At the time, nobody believed it, but has anyone counted them lately?

Each year the biggest event covered has to be the Revel. Marion and Marilyn say compiling the photographs and putting them together for the newsletter’s review of the festivities makes this issue the most fun. Pucklechurch News used to enter a team in charity events like the pram races. (Such antics our councillor gets up to on her days off!)

The longest running contributor has to be Les Whittock, who has been doing articles from the very beginning. “He did his series of guides to footpaths of the area and lots of stories about the village scene,” says Marion. “He’s like the warden of Pucklechurch, always urging us to go for best-kept village and that sort of thing.”

And so it is with many thanks that Pucklechurch News says good-bye to Marion and Marilyn. Their commitment and hard work over so many years has been appreciated by all their readers, contributors, and co-volunteers. Our new team will try to live up to the reputation of the old one, bringing you all the news and information you have come to expect. Best wishes to both Marion and Marilyn, who’ll have more time now for other things… like reading the Pucklechurch News.

Meet the New P’News Team

Marilyn and Marion have handed the Pucklechurch News over to a team of three new volunteers:

Jackie Sexton, who will be in charge of newsletter layout and printing. She is a self-employed sign-maker whose graphics skills will find a new outlet in the Pucklechurch News. Jackie has lived in the village since 1967 and belongs to a number of local organisations, including the Twinning Association and the women’s skittles team, of which she is captain. She was also a founding member of the Tower Playgroup.

Jacki Berry, who will be the main editor and writer for the Pucklechurch News. Jacki is a relative newcomer to the village, having moved here seven years ago from Los Angeles with her British husband. She has been a writer and editor for over 25 years and currently works in marketing at Hewlett-Packard. Jacki belongs to the Pucklechurch Gardeners’ Club and has recently joined the Twinning Association.

Valerie Broom, whose main responsibility will be collecting the newsletters from the printer, dividing them up, and delivering them to the 23 volunteers who bring the Pucklechurch News to your door. Valerie will also be an excellent source of contacts and information about village goings-on as she has lived in Pucklechurch for 34 years and husband Des was born here. Val is a classroom assistant at Pucklechurch Primary School, where she has worked for 20 years, and is involved with many local groups. She is currently the secretary of the Twinning Association.

The new team will strive to uphold the tradition built on 27 years of serving the village. Articles should be submitted by the copy deadline in typed or neatly printed form and can be emailed or dropped off to any member of the team. (See Pucklechurch News information box.) We welcome your comments and suggestions as we settle into our roles.

Revel 2003

Sunny skies and warm temperatures contributed to a fantastic day at this year’s Revel, but it was the hard work of many volunteers and the participation of the community that made this the most financially successful Revel ever. The events -- which included the sold-out Beer Festival at the Star -- raised over £8,000 for community projects and organisations. The Revel Committee will present cheques to the chosen beneficiaries at their AGM on 24th September 2003 at 7.30 in the Village Hall. At this meeting, the Revel Committee for next year will be elected, so come along if you are interested in volunteering for this fun and rewarding opportunity to help your community.

 Revel Queen leads the procession

  A hot-air balloon ride was one of the prizes on offer

The Sealed Knot put on a display

The giant inflatable slide was a hit with the under 10s.

Star Landlord Wins Regional Award

Bob Todd, landlord of the Star Inn, has won the  Regional Shine Award from the Punch Pub Company, owners of the Star. We all know Bob and his wife Diane as unflagging supporters of community events and charities, but it’s nice that other people notice too. Having won the regional award, Bob now goes on to the national final. Congratulations, Bob, and thank you for all you’ve done for Pucklechurch. Best of luck with the national award – we’re behind you all the way!

Pucklechurch Community Website

As you will know if you are looking at these web pages, Pucklechurch now has its own website! This is intended to be a community website and, as well as having the on-line version of the Pucklechurch News, it will also have information of local interest and details of meetings and schedules for many village clubs and societies. 

The site has just been launched and will be updated once or twice a month. To make it interesting and valuable, we need content from local organisations. If you are the secretary of one of our many local clubs, associations, or societies, please send information to Martin Smith at or hand it in to one of the editors of the Pucklechurch News.

Broadband Comes to Pucklechurch

If you use the Internet, broadband could be good news. BT have said that the Abson exchange will be upgraded to support broadband services on October 15th, which will mean that it could be available to subscribers around the 22nd.  

Without going into too much detail, the main advantage is high-speed, always-on access to the Internet, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable as well as giving better access to games, music, and video. You can also talk on the phone at the same time as surfing the web, a solid benefit for any household with a web-addicted member. Broadband costs a fixed amount each month (usually between £20 and £30), no matter how much you use it. There are some things to be aware of, however, like installation costs and security (you’ll need a firewall). Once BT upgrades the exchange, you will have a choice of providers, and it pays to shop around. You can find out more about broadband from your existing Internet provider, BT, or by searching the web.  

Recycling Made Easy

The introduction of the green recycling boxes for kerbside collection has made it easy being green. In March, the council collected 898 tonnes of recyclables from the, South Gloucestershire Area. Please take full advantage of the fortnightly collection – it’s the right thing to do for so many reasons.

What happens to those tons of materials picked up in your green box? Generally speaking, aluminium gets reincarnated as the same products it was in the first place: cans, containers, and foil. Glass comes back as glass products and sometimes road surfaces. Newspaper becomes more newspaper, cardboard, or insulation. Steel gets smelted down to create more steel for use in tins, appliances, construction materials, and automobiles.



Glass bottles and jars – any colour

Broken glass, drinking glasses or other tableware, pyrex, window glass, light bulbs

Aluminium – drink cans, food containers, foil, milk bottle tops

Crisp packets or paper-backed foil

Steel cans

Other metal items

Newspaper, telephone directories, junk mail

Cardboard, yellow pages

Old clothes and shoes

Plastic bottles and containers

Car batteries
Used engine oil

Ordinary batteries

Remember to keep everything separate – glass, metal, paper, clothing – the same categories you’ll see at the recycling centres in the village and the local supermarket. The SITA workers sort the materials by hand, so separating them makes the job quicker and safer.

Why isn't plastic recycled? Well, there are over 50 different types of plastics and a wide variety are used everyday. At this time, it is not economically feasible for our local council to offer facilities for plastic recycling. If you are concerned, you can help by buying fewer plastics and reusing carrier bags and plastic bottles where possible. Most supermarkets have a scheme for reusable carrier bags and boxes, so use that to keep the number of new bags created to a minimum.



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