Copshaw Clatter History 1980s
An article by first editor - Anne Charters
'The first Copshaw Clatter was published in July 1983.
On one of my brother Andrew's visits home, he brought a little newsletter written by a lady in Straiten, Ayrshire, who felt she never knew what events were taking place in her community. Andrew thought it would be quite a good thing for us to do and I agreed. I mentioned it once or twice at various meetings but it was only when I was taking minutes at the newly-founded Chamber of Trade meeting that I suggested it might be a good thing for them to do. They agreed so I drafted a specimen of what it might look like - village news, what's on, information for visitors, births, deaths and marriages, 'for sale' notices and trade adverts. The first issue was eight pages and I think right from the beginning the people liked it. If I remember correctly, I wrote and typed it, took it to Mr Lyall for approval then put it on skins. Mr Bee taught Edward Rutherford how to use the Gestetner and got permission to sell it to us. Edward cleared a room in his home to house the machine and all the paper and inks. He was responsible for the covers which quickly improved. He did all the trade adverts and the collating and stapling. We did have a little team and they were most helpful'.
The first article in the first Clatter read -
'The Copshaw Clatter is being sponsored by the local Chamber of Trade. We hope you will like it and support us by placing an order now. It is our intention to make it a monthly publication.
There will be Village News, What's On, Information for visitors, Trade adverts, which will be charged at 50 pence for 15 words, and a Small Ads section For Sale or Wanted at 20 pence for 15 words.
We would also like news of Births, Deaths and Marriages and we will publish letters of thanks at a similar charge.'
Apparently, the name 'Copshaw Clatter' had the approval of some folks but others were not sure. A questionnaire was included in an early Clatter and by No. 5, sixty replies had been received with the majority voting in favour of keeping the name.
By the time Ann handed over to second Editor, Sandra Inglis, the magazine had grown to its present size. Ann's last Clatter was No. 47 in May '87. A tribute to her read...
'Annie took on the job when the newsletter was first produced in July '83 and has been largely instrumental in the success of the Clatter. We now print 500 copies with 33 posted far and wide. On behalf of all the readers, we wish to thank Annie for all her hard work in making a success of the Clatter and wish her health and happiness for the future.'
In Sandra's first Clatter, No. 48 June '87, she paid tribute to her predecessor and stated that Ann would be a hard act to follow 'I hope I don't let you down,' she wrote.
Needless to say, she didn't, and was able to give the Clatter a new look by using the word processor which arrived in 1987. This made the setting up of the Clatter so much easier but the job was still seriously time-consuming for a working wife and mum of three boys. Eddie was still printing on the Gestetner and Amanda Steele and lan Armstrong helped on the computer.
An article from Sandra's first Clatter. This month's funny story.
'Mum, Mum, can I have a drink of water?'
'No you can't, go to sleep!' calls his mum.
'But, Mum, I'm thirsty, please bring me a glass of water.'
By this time his mother is losing patience.
'Richard, if you don't go to sleep this minute, I'll come up there and smack you!'
Not to be outdone Richard calls back.
'Mum, when you come up to smack me can you bring me a glass of water?'
1988 - another step forward
In 1988, the move was finally made to the Resource Centre. This had been set up to cope with general photocopying, and the making of tickets, posters and booklets for the village. Ron Nicholson, a retired printer, conveniently lived next door! He took over the running of the Resource Centre doing all the photocopying, printing etc. In addition he was in sole charge of producing the monthly Clatters once Sandra had handed over the finished copy.
Photographer not known
One of the earliest days at the new Resource Centre. Amanda Steele is seen presenting her contribution to the Centre - a cheque for £800. Ron on extreme right.
The first photocopier
Things got easier when the manual gestetner was replaced by an electric one but eventually the first photocopier arrived.
In Clatter No. 69 March 1989 Keith Gardener, Chairman, announced that they had a photocopier - the old gestetner which had caused many problems was to go. Of those who tried to keep it going he wrote -'they laboured on surrounded by spare parts, covered in ink and muttering what cannot be repeated.'
On one occasion, Eddie, also responsible for the some of the covers and the ads, recalled working on a very hot day - all the wax on the stencils melted!
Amazingly, the Clatter had been delivered to households for 6 years but in July 1989 in Clatter No. 73 readers were told - 'It is becoming very hard to find enough willing hands to cover the whole village door to door,' so the Clatters were taken to the shops to be sold.
In the November issue Sandra, having edited for over 5 years, announced her resignation and asked if anyone was interested in taking on the post. With a full time job and a family to look after there wasn't a lot of time. But it seemed that no one was ready to take on the job.
Meanwhile, in the South Square, Stewart Inglis saw Johanna Lister's word processor when he was fixing a radiator. That was sufficient to convince him that a future editor was in residence.
'Just come and see our computer, have a word with Sandra and see how it's done. Perhaps you could do it until someone turns up....'