In September 1998, chancing to find a selection of templates in her word processing
package, the editor decided to create a spoof newsletter for her daughters. She called
it the ALVERNE GAZETTE, after the weirdly unattractive name of her house. It was
to be a one off item but she sent a copy to an old friend of the family, Ken Fletcher.
He promptly sent her a crossword he had composed “for the next edition,” so there
had to be one. Unfortunately, the combined brain power of the editor and her teaboy
was not sufficient to solve Ken’s enigmatic clues so the second edition was passed
on to a handful of clever friends who then demanded further issues.
The Alverne Gazette continued monthly for 3 full years. The editor soon created her
own template, expanded the production to an average of 6 pages and found herself
with a circulation of about twenty families, some of whom occasionally sent in contributions
of their own.
In 2001 the editor and teaboy moved from Finchley to Thame. All the dramas of the
move were splashed across the front pages but no deadline was missed. After 36 issues
one single edition of the FANSHAWE SHUTTLE was published – they terrifyingly owned
both houses for a month – and then the FANSHAWE FLYER, after the name of their new
road, hit the presses. This is now in its ninth year.