1914, Nearly Gazettes Last Words!


Scan048, February 01, 2014 - Copy

Long Term Memories Rely on a Written History

A major part of this Gazette was taken up with a report of the A.G.M, held  on the 31st January 1914, and matters arising.  One of the subjects discussed at this A.G.M was the Gazette.  The Gazette has also been a topic of discussion at several of our recent A.G.Ms, and for much the same reason.  This reason being – should the Gazette continue to be produced?

The February 1914 Gazette reports:  “A very old and valued member sprung a bomb-shell on us by proposing the discontinuance of this Gazette.   His motive was economy, but there is a form of economy that is too expensive, and the members thought this was an example of the type.  Beyond his seconder, the drastic economist obtained no further support”.

At this time and for the preceding 25 years, the Gazette had been professionally printed.  The cost of type setting, etc, for a very small print run for club members would have been costly.  I am not sure if it was distributed to members free of charge but the new Editor says in the next Gazette (March 1914):  “It is not proposed to make any extra charge for the Gazette, but members desiring additional copies for presentation to others, may obtain them handsomely bound in a buff envelope,  for two shillings and sixpence”.

2&6 f2&6 r

The 1914 Half Crown (two shillings and sixpence) was real Sterling silver 

At this time the annual membership fee was 25 shillings per annum.  If the true cost of this free publication was half a crown, then 12 monthlies would be 30 shillings, i.e. more than the annual membership fee!
Sorry about the pre-decimal denominations but that is how it used to be, and some of us oldies fondly remember the feel of the real coinage of the realm.  We also remember the crinkle of the pound note (twenty shillings worth) and ten bob notes, which in 1914 looked like this:

gold note
 Known as the “Gold Note” because we were then backed by the Bank’s gold reserves


Thirty bobs worth above, but note the completely different wording on the ten bob note compared to that of the £1.  The reason was that this 10 shilling note was issued by the Government in August 1914, after the declaration of war.  Whereas the £1 note was a pre-war issue by the Bank of England who promised “to pay the bearer on demand.”

Value for Money

C.E Bailey, the new Editor in 1914, took up his pen to pledged his commitment to the continuation of the Gazette:
“It is gratifying to think that for nearly a quarter of a century practically every official function of our Club has been put into print, not only for our own satisfaction, but for the benefit of posterity.  We are hoping that arrangements will be made as heretofore of all Club Runs and other fixtures to be reported.  In addition to this, however, we should greatly welcome not only articles, such as we have been in the habit of printing, but also letters to the Editor on any matter of general interest.   If you know a good joke, have a grievance, or suggestion to make, write to the “Gazette” about it.
In speaking more particularly of the work which comes within the province of the present writer, it is well to remember that if one cannot obtain the best it is advisable to make the most of the second best, be it anything from a sausage to an Editor.  The new Editor undertakes this work, with a view to delivering our historic sheet from the hand of the iconoclast.  If our permanent and occasional staffs will be good enough to continue their very acceptable contributions, regularly and punctually, we hope that our ‘Gazette,” now in its 25th year, may still chronicle the doings of Anerley Men for many years to come”.

And continue it did, for another 100 years into the next century. 

The Electronic Age
Moving forward to the 21st Century, and 2010 in particular, a new Club web site was designed and set up by Stuart Grove, who continues as our Web Master.  This bit of electronic sophistication did everything, and much more, than the paper Gazette ever could. For a start, full colour photos, and lots of them!
Under Editor John Jackson (the late and great Jacko), the  Autumn 2010 Gazette was the first electronic version to appear on the Club web site. Unfortunately our Jacko, an Anerley member for over 50 years, passed away in the summer of 2011.  Jacko was irreplacable both as a person and a dedicated Editor. He was honoured with an electronic tribute at http://anerleybc.org/john-jack-jackson-a-tribute/

At the following Club A.G.M it was suggested that web based postings had made the Gazette obsolete, and that perhaps, after more than 120 years, the Gazette should cease to be published.  There were some however, who  agreed with what Editor Bailey had written in 1914; that it should continue to be published “for the benefit of posterity.”
A compromise was reached.  It was decided that an  annual Gazette should  be produced, to summarise the more notable doings of Club and its members. The first “Gazette Annual” came out in Autumn 2012, see http://anerleybc.org/club-gazette-autumn-2012/ , and long may it continue to do so!

To finish, I should mention that not only was this the first annual Gazette, but the new Editor was also a first. The Club’s first Foreign Correspondent, and female, all the way from New Zealand.  A kiwi bird going by the name of Julia Barnes. Not an All Black, but a blonde!


One thought on “1914, Nearly Gazettes Last Words!

  • September 1, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Reminded me of the expression – ‘queer as a 9 bob note’.

    Some of our maturer members may remember the expression from their parents.

    I dont remember as queer as a 9 bob watch as per my web search. Must be an era when 9 shillings was cheap for a watch.

    The Yanks have equivalent 9 dollar note.

    Very interesting article Des for 1914 current 100 year remembrances.

    I currently have an auntie Gwen Kippin who was born 24 August 1918 who lives on her own in a flat in Du Cane Court Balham. Been there for 50 years. This is the very large block of art deco apartments that has featured in Hurcule Poirot series and opened in 1937.


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