The Witham Staple can trace its history back over 55 years to a simple single-sheet newsletter written by the then Rector of Bassingham, Canon Colin Evans. The first copy of the “Newsletter” was published in 1966, the year that saw the six local churches formed into a group. Since then The Witham Staple, as it has been styled since 1984, has developed and grown into what it is today: a high quality community magazine, serving the eight local villages. The early copies of the magazine were printed on a hand-turned Gestetner printer in the Old School House opposite St Michael’s Church in Bassingham. In the depths of winter, the operators would huddle round their meagre source of heat to keep the ink flowing and to keep themselves warm! At that time the magazine was put together by individuals in their own homes and the circulation was something in the order of 350 copies.
Some thirty years ago, The Witham Staple was at a point of crisis and in danger of disappearing. A group of willing people rallied round and formed The Witham Staple Committee. The committee determined to secure the long-term future of the magazine by placing it on a professional and self-funding basis. Grants were secured from North Kesteven District Council and from local parish councils, donations from various local clubs and societies, and contributions from individual members of the community. From this we built a solid financial foundation, which has enabled the magazine to be completely self-funding for all its requirements.
Today, the magazine has the size of operation of a small business. A major feature continues to be the judicious balance of fresh monthly copy with a considerable number of mostly local commercial advertisements, which are re-set six-monthly. There is always a keen demand for advertising space, and this is the prime source of our income, allowing us in turn to continue our policy of not charging local residents for The Witham Staple. The current print run is of the order of 2,500 copies.
Today The Witham Staple has well achieved the aims of the original committee. It is a highly professional publication and serves the needs of the community by providing the key means of communicating local information and items of local interest to every household in the eight villages. It is right up to date in terms of information technology with the re- launch of The Witham Staple website this year, making it accessible worldwide. So, a community magazine run for the community by the community: a principle that will confidently ensure the continuing success of the magazine in the years to come.