What’s in a name?

The attentive reader might have noticed a slight change to the cover of this publication.  The Dulwich Society Newsletter has been renamed the Dulwich Society Journal.  It is not a hugely significant change but it has been felt for some time that the current publication is rather different in appearance to the title it set out to be 161 issues ago.  In the early years of the Dulwich Society it was indeed a newsletter; several foolscap sheets of paper produced on a duplicating machine (remember those?) and stapled together.  Successive editors have made changes to its physical appearance.  It was made squarer and more compact.  Extra pages were added and the newsletter was reproduced on a printing press.

Changes in technology, especially in the ability to produce photographs from the taking of the picture to its reproduction on a piece of paper have been reduced from about three weeks to three minutes.  As importantly, the cost of reproducing images of any kind has also been dramatically reduced.  These benefits have allowed us to illustrate articles and have, we hope, provided a different and interesting dimension.  On the other hand, becoming familiar with desktop technology has been a steep learning curve, one which has not been entirely climbed.  What my grandfather took five years to absorb as an apprentice compositor was condensed into a few weeks.

Technology has also been the medium through which a fascinating letter, written almost 150 years ago has been forwarded to us and is reproduced in this issue.  The Journal and a number of other Dulwich Society publications are regularly put on the Society’s website and accessed by members of the public. This has proved helpful to a number of people who have been inspired to trace their ancestry. 

News, as originally indicated by the title Newsletter remains paramount and matters affecting members and the Dulwich community in general will always take priority.  Nevertheless, there has been a gratifying increase in the number of contributions on a wide variety of topics which have Dulwich as their focus.  In this issue, the centenary of St Faith’s Church, North Dulwich is a cause for celebration and we are grateful for several articles on this anniversary.  By contrast, the Dulwich Players celebrate 40 years of presenting am-dram to local audiences and this too makes fascinating reading.  I am also grateful to our regular contributors who keep us up to date with what is happening in this part of South London.

Recently, the more mundane but essential task of the Journal’s distribution has come under scrutiny.  Margaret McConnell, who has been hugely efficient in being in charge of distribution for some twenty years has said she would like to be retire from this responsibility (although Margaret will continue to be the Advertising Manager).  For her long service in both these roles the Society owes her tremendous thanks. A number of other zone distributors, all who have served for many years would also like to be replaced.  Details of what these essential tasks entail is listed elsewhere in this issue.

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