March 4, 2024

The Brendon Beacon

The Brendon Beacon is the monthly community and parish magazine covering Brompton Regis, Withiel Florey, Upton and Skilgate.

The magazine includes news, events and features from across the district and we positively encourage people to submit their news, events and photographs for publication.

The Brendon Beacon is published during the last week of each month and is available to buy for 70p from the Brompton Regis Village Shop.

Most residents take out an annual subscription for £8.00.  If you would like to subscribe then please get in touch and we will organise this for you.

History of The Brendon Beacon

The first parish magazine was published in January 1967 and was called ‘Parish News’. It was started because a decision had been taken to stop publishing the Deanery magazine, owing to increasing losses, and John Woodburn, who was the vicar at St Mary’s Church at the time, was determined not to let a month go by without a church magazine. He decided to ‘go it alone’ because of his belief in its importance.

After some help from Elizabeth Luxton, the new editor, the magazine was up and running before the first of the month. As well as local church and village news, it had an insert called ‘Headway’ which was a UK wide Church Union publication.

The first issue was well-received with a circulation of nearly 50 in spite of some problems with the indifferent quality of the duplicating machine owing to the limited equipment at their disposal. Circulation improved rapidly. From a circulation of 28 for the Deanery magazine, the ‘Parish News’ had achieved a circulation of 90 copies with 65 regular subscribers by the end of the first year.

In January 1970 the magazine cost 6d (old pence). This changed to 2½p in March 1971 with the introduction of decimalisation on 15th February, to 3p in June 1973, to 5p in January 1976 to 6p in January 1977 and then 10p in January 1980. The first adverts started to appear in the January 1971 issue and it was in March 1971 when the magazine, which up until then had covered only Brompton Regis affairs, joined forces with the Upton, Skilgate and Withiel Florey magazine to become a true Parish Magazine. Over the years it has covered a lot of village topics that were relevant at the time including restoration work to the church (1967), re-hanging the bells (1968), installation of street lighting (1972), progress of the new sewage scheme (1974-78), progress of the dam (1974-78), village concert and music hall events (1975/6), development of the George Meadow (1978) as well as regular reports on the sheepdog trials, the annual show and gymkhana and inter-village sports activities. There were also many recipe contributions from different readers as well as many articles of general interest.

Some of those articles are listed here to give a historical context to life in the village at that time.