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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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EditorialsUp Front 07/20

Up Front 07/20

Sitting here, finishing off the last pages of our first print issue in three months, on the same day as the ‘final’ Downing Street coronavirus daily briefing, it’s hard to know what to think. We are obviously a long way from any feelings of elation yet, but with a little effort, I think we can conjure up a hint of hope. No doubt there are potentially more problems ahead, but for me, part of that hope is driven by the many calls for a new normal. The idea that we should slow down our rush to ‘progress’, or at least channel it less materialistically, resonates with a lot of people. Three months ago, like thousands of others, I went into self-isolation and we faced the prospect of shutting down this magazine after nearly twenty years of production. With little else to do other than keep working, we decided to continue. So now, looking over these pages, I’m glad we persevered. Since March we have produced three full issues online, each with a mix of voices from local people, along with stories of people’s lives in and around the Vale. We also launched a free Virtual Gallery to give a platform to artists and galleries whose events and exhibitions had to be cancelled. Then we created a monthly Mid-Month Special issue to give readers a sense of continuity. All these are available through our website and for those without access to the internet, we will try to republish some of those stories in future print issues. But all this is for nothing if we don’t highlight the importance of our contributors and advertisers. Over the years there have been hundreds of contributions and they have all been hugely valuable in their own way. However, this month especially, one person stands out. June marked a year since Ron Frampton died and his contribution to the history of the people and places in and around the Marshwood Vale has been enormous. I am delighted that we are able to remind readers of just part of that contribution with a look back at some of his photographs and an offer to win copies of his wonderful book Beyond the Vale. The second important element to the continuity of this magazine is the advertisers. For some local businesses, as they try to figure out how to rebuild after huge losses, the next few weeks and months will feel like pushing back flood water with a rake. So if there ever was a time to shop local, now is that time. Our advertisers are the only support this publication has and now is the moment to support them and our local community, more than ever before.

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