The Evolution of the Journal

The Evolution of the Journal: John Selley

I have the privileged of serving on the 4th Journal sub committee. Having seen how many recent changes we have made in the production and distribution handling, I thought you might enjoy reading about the evolution of the Journal.

You will find following this article in this 100th edition of the Journal a copy of the cover and Editorial by David Bate ofthe first edition, so I will spare you a repeat of that!

What amazed me was how organised the 3 founders were because the first edition ran to 27 pages, professionally printed by PDC Copyprint, Shrewsbury, and there were even 3 pages of ‘Sales and Wanted’!

In the 2nd edition, published Winter 1986/7, they proudly state they have 180 members and this edition has 34 pages.

In the 3rd Journal they are advertising lapel badges, either gold or silver background for £1.50 inc. postage! They certainly worked very hard.

Sadly by the 4th Journal Dave Bate has resigned due to pressure of work and we have an Editorial Committee.

In Autumn 1987 they published the complete list of 180 members with their addresses and, bearing in mind David, Ken and Geoffrey were members 1, 2 & 3, we still have members 4, 8 & 10 as Life Members, among others!

To date we have had 5 Editors, David Bate, George Field (6 years), John Cousins for just the one year, Alan Dunderdale (5 years) and Tim Hanson our current editor with 17 years and counting under his belt!

Under the editorship of George Field it received, for the first time, a colour cover and 85 pages.

Alan Dunderdale has sent me an excellent piece about when he was Editor but it runs to 1100 words so, with Alan’s agreement I include a precis of it.

“I became Editor of the Ferguson Club Journal with my first edition, issue 25 Spring 1997 and I decided that 1 wanted the Journal to be the best Club journal around, a change of printer made the difference.”

Under Alan’s editorship, at issue 30 Winter 1998 the front cover format we are all used to was introduced.

Alan was also responsible for the much treasured Handbook, a ‘Free Gift’ to all paid up members to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Club.
A number of advertisers wanted to go colour, so, by getting them to agree to higher charges, the Journal became ‘Colour’ granted only a few pages at first. Alan was under no illusion that it would not be tolerated for the Journal to lose its ‘quality feel’ hence we have a slightly thicker paper for the cover over the other pages. The size of the Journal was also important – it had to fit into a boiler suit pocket. (A true fact I am sure you’ve never thought off).

The committee were worried about copyright of our Club material, so we investigated the ISBN book registration (International Book Registration) and became the first tractor club to be issued with our own ISBN number. So, if any material is copied from a Journal without written permission, the person or company can be taken to court. That is how important the Club’s members’ contributions are!

When he started as editor, we had 450 members when he stepped down, it was some 1800 members! Thank you Alan.

“Yes, I am pleased to say that I had achieved my goal to make the Journal one of the best in the world. It was not my work alone – it was all those members who contributed to make it so special.”

When Tim Hanson took over with issue 43 Spring 2003 we had 1800 members and he, and his long suffering wife Gill, put each copy of the Journal into an envelope, stuck an address label on and put it through the franking machine, so it was no surprise, that when he was asked if he would carry on being our Editor for the fourth edition he said NO!

Of course, we on the Fourth Edition subcommittee, had no idea this is what went on, so moves were made for our printer to do the fulfilling, addressing and postage. This move removed this ‘burden’ from Tim and he agreed to carry on being our Editor. Thank you Tim and Gill for all those years and all those Journals you put into envelopes, we now can fully appreciate the work load you both did on behalf of the

Club especially as at the end membership was 3000+ and Tim said they had 400kgs of Journals to process each edition!

Another milestone, achieved under Tim’s Editorship, was the Journal going to full colour.

If you wish to find out how talented our editor is then you should read his leader in issue number 43! 1 feel quite tired after just reading it!

I think we have 5 Editors to thank for producing such a fine publication as the Journal is today. It has evolved, as has the way in which it is printed and handled, and we have two members of the Club who are involved in this process and in Journal I they will tell you how that happened for this edition.

Published in Journal No.100 Spring 2022