River Wissey Lovell Fuller


March 2020

Welcome to the 500th edition of The Village Pump. How things have changed. Back in 1978, when the first edition was handcrafted by Chris Young and his team, articles were typed by the School Secretary on to “a skin” which was then placed on a screen wrapped around a pair of revolving drums, onto which ink was placed. The drums were manually revolved and ink, spread evenly across the surface of the screen by a pair of cloth-covered rollers, was forced through the cuts made in the stencil and transferred onto a sheet of paper which was fed through the duplicator. Each complete manual rotation of the duplicator printed one sheet. Jack Petrie, who was tasked with using the copier became known as “Inky Jack” because, no matter how he tried, it was impossible to make copies without getting ink all over his hands. The system of production was improved later in 1980’s by hiring access to, what I believe was, a school photocopier. By the early 90’s The Village Pump was printed, in-house, using a Rex Rotary copy printer, purchased by The Village Pump, which left one’s hands clean but inevitably produced many blank pages. Every couple of years the printers were upgraded with some improvement in quality, but the manual method of collation and stapling continued each month by a dedicated team of helpers. The latest improvement in the quality of the magazine occurred some 5 years ago when the Committee decided to outsource the printing to Minuteman Press. No more collation, no more blank pages but a distinct improvement in the quality of the final copy by use of laser printing. This year, the publication of each edition is also undertaken by Minuteman thus giving me a much-needed break. Many thanks to Minuteman for taking us into the 21st century. Elsewhere in this edition you will find advanced in formation of this year’s Stoke Ferry Summer Fayre and the usual round of contributions from or stalwarts such as Jill Mason, Dr Ian Nisbet, Ron Watts and Rachel from the Fengate Drove Garden Centre. We also have the monthly newsletters from All Saints Academy and Wereham together with Parish Council minutes from Stoke Ferry, Wretton and West Dereham. Still no event details for Oxburgh Hall, I’m afraid. I hope that you will all enjoy your Easter breaks despite the threats of the coronavirus which is a subject discussed elsewhere in this edition. Ray Thompson

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