Letter from the Editor July 2021

Welcome to the July edition of The Caterham and District Independent.
Here we are again. It seems as though the past four weeks since I last wrote have passed very quickly! Stage 4 of the road map had to unfortunately be delayed, but how are you feeling about having to wear masks, and socially distance, for a while longer? Are you optimistic we will be in the right place for them to be lifted on 19 July? Email and let me know at newsdesk@caterhamindependent.com.
June has been extremely more hectic for the Caterham Independent team than usual! As well as meetings, selling advertising, posting on our socials, commissioning articles, carrying out interviews, balancing finances and managing distribution – all of which come with editorship of a paper – there has been an exceptional amount of administration too, but it is exciting watching the paper continue to grow. I should also mention how much I enjoy visiting businesses and advertisers, putting names to faces and providing them with a platform to promote their new products or services.
I want to say a big thank you to Champs Consultants for helping me complete and submit my year-end figures – the Caterham-based accountancy firm made it easy for me, and it feels great to have got it out of the way. Champs write a monthly column for us and this month’s article is about small businesses looking for more clients, so if this is something you need help with do read their article for some helpful advice.
Thankfully, alongside all the less-than-exciting-but-important bits and pieces that come with running a paper, I have also managed to fit in some lovely things too. The team and I have reviewed some exciting new local businesses and my family and I visited Hever Castle and took a boat out on their lake. It was a lot of fun (even if the children were convinced we would capsize the moment we left the shore!) and gave us the opportunity to appreciate the stunning grounds from a different viewpoint.
I managed to arrange a proper CI team get-together recently at The Fox pub in Old Coulsdon: the pandemic of course put a stop to any big meet-ups last year and so this was an amazing opportunity to be able to get some of the team together. It was great to finally have so many of us in one place, and for some of our columnists to meet each other at last. I’m very appreciative of everything they all do to help me get the paper together each month and it needs to be said that I couldn’t do it without them each month!
Newspapers are an important means of communication for many people, and talking newspapers are even more vital for people with visual impairments. In June, reporter Rosalind Brookman met up with the chair of Tandridge Lions Talking Newspapers, Diana Drysdale, to find out more about how her team puts an issue together.
We also spoke with local author, and Woldingham School teacher, Roy Peachey, about his new book, The Race. It is his first published novel for children and we were eager to hear all about it. We will be giving one lucky Year 7 student the opportunity to review a copy later this month.
Some of the research for Roy’s earlier WWII novel was done at East Surrey Museum in Caterham which, this month, has written us a piece about the year that Britain held its own Thanksgiving festival. Take a look inside to read more.
We’ve got two distinct themes going on in the paper this month: our articles on Walking for health and the new Kenley 10k run, plus exciting news about local resident and hockey player Zach Wallace who has been selected for Team GB to play hockey at the Olympics. Our regular writers The Girl Who Gardens, Keep Calm Nutrition and award-winning pastry chef Tim Fisher are also bringing us a touch of summer, with columns about sweet peas, staying hydrated and vanilla ice cream!
I’m excited about welcoming our summer work experience students to the Caterham Independent. I’m looking forward to showing them what it’s like to work for a newspaper, and also having their help around the office – I hope it’s enough to encourage them into journalistic careers!
We’ve been working extra hard this month to get everything finished earlier than usual, as our designer, Andy, is off on a well-deserved break. We’re a small team, so it’s really noticeable when one of us is away, especially when they’re as crucial as the person who physically puts the paper together! It’s been exhausting, and there were times when we didn’t think we’d get it all done, but we made it. It was incredibly satisfying when we finally sent it off to print, and it reminded me of this quote, by St Francis of Assisi:
‘Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’
See you in August!
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