On the 40th Anniversary of Stock Press, the editors would like to thank our contributors, readers and advertisers for their continuing support. We must also thank our Treasurer, Tim Davis; proof-readers Jenny Berkley, Kay Burgess, Philip Gane and Iris Moss; Cecily Massey and her team of distributors too
numerous to mention by name but without whom Stock Press wouldn't reach its readers; Julie Wigston for postal distribution; and last but by no means least, our printer, David Oakman, of K-Cards in Stock.
In January 1971, the first issue of Stock Press - A Monthly Journal of Stock Harvard - was put together by an editorial board comprising Valerie Bell, Jeremy Bunting, Thomas McMahon, Ronald Messenger and Edith Sparrow. Over the years, the cover has changed from white with red lettering to coloured with black printing and a picture; the size to A5; the number of pages has gradually increased from the original 24 to 32; the font has changed; and the price has risen from 5p to its present 50p. Also, the editorship has changed many times and within this issue are contributions from a number of past editors.
Gayle Laybourn and Melinda Tickel - Editors January 2010 to present
As a founder member of Stock Press, I am delighted to join with so many others in offering warmest congratulations on this Fortieth Anniversary. It might be of interest to recall how this initiative came about.
In 1971, there was already a magazine produced for All Saints'. In discussion between Fr Bunting of All Saints, Ron Messenger of the Free Church and me, the idea came about of producing a joint ecumenical magazine for the Three Churches and for the village. I recall sitting in Fr Bunting's study and we were musing as to what the new publication should be called when, half-jokingly, I suggested 'Stock Press'. It struck Fr Bunting as a good idea and so the name was born.
It is very gratifying to see how this magazine has gone from strength to strength in the past 40 years and has been a unique record of village life and events over that period. I am delighted that Stock Press has proved to be of such good service to the Churches and the village and offer my best wishes and thanks to all who have contributed to it in any way.
Bishop Thomas McMahon
  EDITORS MAY 1971 TO JAN 1975
The Stock Flower Festival of 1970 was well under way and the weather was lovely and sunny. I decided to write a poem about the Flower Festival and sent a copy to Father Bunting, who seemed very pleased with it, and it was published when he was editor of Stock Press. The following month, Edith Sparrow and I were horrified to find Father Bunting had vacated the editorship and left it all to Edith and myself to carry on with the magazine. We were rather surprised but, the following month, we needed articles to print in Stock Press, which we were able to find. We hoped that would be an end to it but this was not so. Edith and I continued to edit Stock Press for the next three and a half enjoyable years.
Valerie Bell
Ruth and I succeeded Valerie Bell and Edith Sparrow on the magazine. Later, I also shared the editorship with Pam Malim. Looking back, I can scarcely believe it was only for three years. It was primarily, of course, the parish magazine of the three churches but, in addition, there was a huge range of information about clubs and societies and new clubs seemed to be forming all the time, always with the name of somebody to contact. Then there were the memories of older villagers, beautiful line drawings of local buildings, recipes, poems, and any amount of useful information. It was a real privilege to help put all this together and a wonderful way to get to know all sorts of people.
I remember lying sprawled on the sitting room floor once a month, surrounded by pieces of paper - handwritten, typed, pasted - laboriously counting words and making page breaks. We had to take the copy to Gidea Park for printing then.
In June 1975, Ruth and I changed the cover from the original Ordnance Survey print, for which we had to pay a regular fee, to the present 18th century map from the County Record Office. I'm delighted that the magazine is still going strong after all these years.
Alison Falls
I remember two of our more prolific contributors who are sadly no longer with us. First, Bill Everitt, for his short stories and articles, always with great, dry humour. Secondly, Donald Jarvis, our local historian, for his interesting articles which educated us all in the history of our village. It was vital to have such regular contributors. I feel mention should be made of the first editors, Edith and Valerie, for establishing Stock Press on such a sustainable footing.
Irene Condren
It doesn't seem more than 30 years since Irene and I took over the reigns from Pam Malim and Alison Falls. Irene has mentioned two of our reliable contributors and I recall some fierce correspondence in our columns on the pros and cons of street lighting in Stock, the parting shot being on the lines of, 'If you want bright lights, then don't live here!'.
Julia Seaman
  EDITORS OCT 1981 TO JAN 1984
With thanks to Janet Nevitt, her patience and her coffee
The space between the poem written, the sale of sofas, cakes, a kitten. Where have all these writers gone, with their poems and their song? Historians so full of knowledge, some moved on to teach at college. News of generous cash donated, Churches' times will then be stated. Do not ask me to remember details, names, back to December Let alone the dates and places, times and names of all the faces. 30 years is far too long; the memory wears and gets things wrong But now with no need to impress, I send my contribution to Stock Press.
Diana Barker
  EDITORS FEB 1984 TO NOV 1988
We enjoyed our four years as editors. Jenny remembers feeling that she was regarded by the clergy with some suspicion at first, because she was a Methodist and not a member of any of their congregations! However, we were invited for mulled wine by the fireside in the Rectory before we started.
We had to drive to and fro to Romford to the printer where the letters of type were set up one at a time. We did our own proof-reading and were ruthless sometimes in cutting down articles! In the days before computers, this involved a great deal of copying and pasting, with articles spread all over the table. We were fortunate to have a steady supply of interesting articles from our historian, Donald Jarvis, and the Horticultural Society wrote what we should be doing in the garden each month. Sometimes, we ourselves wrote about events in the village and Michael Williams could always dash off an interesting article to fill a page if required.
We have had a long association with Stock Press. Judy was already one of the distributors before becoming editor and has since looked after postal or local distribution almost continuously, and Jenny is now a proof-reader.
Jenny Berkley and Judy Williams
Father Richard Buckenham approached Liz when Judy and Jenny stepped down. But who would be her partner in print? Penny lived opposite Liz, they both had youngish children, some time on their hands and an interest in the village. Here was an opportunity for neighbourliness, friendship and cups of coffee! So it was that we edited the magazine together for four happy and challenging years.
The first task was to chase up reluctant contributors, the second to decipher their handwriting. Oh what joy when we received a typewritten article, the relief when the cricket club wanted to give us an article as well as the cricket programme for the month as we cast around to fill another page. We had a folder of articles that could be used at any time, short poems from "Glem", longer articles from Donald Jarvis, bits and bobs we found in other places, even writing some ourselves, when necessary, to fill a space.
The initial manuscript was a scruffy affair with bits of paper hand-written by the various contributors, stuck together to form a page with words and lines carefully counted by us into pages for the old fashioned gentlemen printers of Romford. A dash for the Saturday morning post so our gentlemen printers would have the script first thing Monday; then off to collect the proof, read it, then meet together to compare comments, squeeze in a late contribution or urgent message and work out how to cope with an over-long article that was not fitting on the page. Proof-read, back to the printer then collect the magazine ready for distribution.
In those days, some of our money was raised by the annual Stock Press Party - highlight of the Stock Calendar and not to be missed. Former editors, members of the Stock Press Board, husbands and children all pressed into service.
We cannot finish without mentioning the valuable contribution of Tim Davis. He often collected the magazines, dealt with the finances, keeping us viable and took over the marketing of our advertising space, to our great relief.
Liz Campbell and Penny Child
Maureen's editorship brought great changes. The first was to change from the printer in Romford to one in Stock, which was a relief. Maureen's second innovation was to put the information on the three churches in a central spread. To save more space, we tried having only one clerical contribution each month, the Ministers alternating. This was popular with them but not with readers who still wanted to hear their denominational voice, so we had to drop it. When it was re-introduced in recent years, there was not, to my knowledge, a murmur of dissent.
During this period, instead of working together on each edition, we alternated, showing the final copy to our fellow editor before going to print. When Lorna replaced Maureen in 1996, we continued this method which gave each editor a breathing space.
The Stock Press party, held in the Rectory Hall, required a Court attendance to get a licence to sell alcohol, as well as persuading former editors to provide a plate of food. The 25th Anniversary of Stock Press was celebrated in style with a birthday cake made by Maureen and the local press in attendance. The founding Fathers Bunting, Messenger and McMahon were present and Valerie Bell, one of the first editors. That the magazine has lasted until its 40th birthday is a miracle and Stock can feel smug that all those copies reside in the British Library.
Iris Moss
I was gently persuaded to become an editor by Iris Moss. I had little idea of what I had let myself in for but I need not have worried. Yes, some months we were short of copy, even submitting my own efforts at poetry to fill an edition, but Fizz and I had great fun. We got to meet some really nice people - Ruth Sellers, Mrs. Brooker - and the three great proof-readers who I really could not have done without. I can honestly say it changed the course of my life; some of you will know why! So thank you, Stock Press.
Stephanie Harbott
  EDITORS AUG 2003 TO DEC 2007
I had been living in the village just four months when Joyce Bull, who was then a church warden at All Saints' Church, asked me if I would like to become an editor of Stock Press and share this illustrious task with Felicity Tillett. To say I was a little taken aback is an understatement but Joyce challenged me with, 'Well you did say you wanted to get to know people and there is no better way of doing that, than by being involved with Stock Press'. Who could deny that! So two months later I was sitting with Stephanie Harbott, the outgoing editor, and Felicity, learning how to put Stock Press together. I had never done anything like this before and so my learning curve was very steep but ably assisted by Felicity and with valuable advice from the proof-readers and David the printer, we had great fun for the next four and a half years, and I certainly made many friends. Thank you, Joyce, for asking me; I would not have missed the experience. I am so pleased Stock Press continues, congratulations!
Pauline Collier
  EDITORS JAN 2008 TO DEC 2009
My principal interest was to see how the magazine could and should be developed. In 1971, the original editors appealed to readers to submit more articles to achieve balance with the church sections. Today, our three churches contribute fewer than four pages of a much larger magazine, reflecting both the wider range of village articles and even more significantly, demand from local advertisers. In response to this continuing demand for content, in 2008 Stock Press grew to 32 pages (the fourth increase in size). Improvements in layout and print density, facilitated in part by technology, have seen content increase further and the magazine is now half as big again as its forbears.
Over 40 years our world has changed dramatically and financial independence of Stock Press is vital if it is to continue. Many of our advertisers live and/or work in the village and purchase advertising space not merely to announce their presence but to support Stock Press as well. Despite an increase in price from 5p to 50p (unchanged now for four years), it is clear that the true cost to readers has fallen significantly relative both to the RPI and average earnings
John Taylore
Stock Press Website Council Website Stock Village Website