For my sins I have now inherited the task of creating the Cambria Newsletter a couple of times a year. Nancy Brambleby assisted by Boss of Volunteers, Basil, has been making this happen for all the years it has been in existence so far and thought it was time for some new, fresh input and blood and, as Basil phrased it, “bringing it into the current century”. As they think I have enough gift of the gab from doing this blog, I am their nominated successor. Of course, I am joking and I am more than happy to help out in this way, another contribution I can make from 500 miles away. There are not many.
Mine is the relatively easy part of assembling the text and coercing hapless would-be writers to string a few words together on our behalf and we have, so far, had enough of these to keep us going but if you have something to say – anecdotes, stories, comment, opinion, critic appraisal of barge films or books then these contributions are always welcome. I am very fortunate in having my good lady wife, Elizabeth here among whose many skills happens to be the use of Microsoft Publisher to create and design beautiful documents. This is one of the things she did for a living when we were in the UK. I am in awe. I hope you will agree that the finished document is gorgeous. She tells me she even borrowed the colour of the red sails from the new Trust Logo to use in the font for the paragraph headings; apparently there is a way to effectively “dip your pen” in an image on screen and adopt that colour. Way beyond me, but fair play.
Anyway, our first edition from the small village of Feigh in County Roscommon is now built, proof read, approved, converted back to the required .PDF format and pinged across back to Nancy and Basil for submitting to the professional printers. This has been created in a page order which will allow printing onto 2 sheets of A3, double sided so that it can be folded into an A4, 4-page, double sided booklet. We also have, of course, the website ‘version’ but the procedure is that we hold onto that until the hard copies of the newsletter, ex the print shop, hit the GPO.
This Newsletter is all about giving some reward back to, and maintaining our contact with, those faithful subscribers, funders and donors who are not on the internet. There are still many of them and some have been contributing since way back, when the barge was first out of trade and in the hands of the Maritime Trust. We all think it is important to stay in touch with these people and hence have not given up on hard copies and gone totally electronic. I hope you all enjoy the newsletter when you receive it, and I would welcome any comment, favourable or negative. We want to get this right for the readers and we can evolve it using the feedback. Also, I’d re-iterate, please do send in any contributions ready for the next edition.