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interesting. This meant that although I kept the focus on the large-scale, ‘hard news’ stories which have the biggest influence on people’s lives, I also wanted to have light-hearted moments which allowed a smile or an ironic laugh. I decided to try to strike a balance between the dramatic, the worthy and the fun.


Having set myself that challenge, I set to work. The first job was sorting out the back copies room in the news- paper offices, to allow me to work systematically. Doing this allowed me to discover that huge swathes of the time period I was covering were com- pletely missing – most of the 1960s, all of the 1950s and bizarrely 1980, 81, 1990, 91 and 92. As I still had the best part of 30 years of papers to read I started to get down to work and started spending two nights a week in the newspaper offices, in the winter of 2007. It was tough trying to keep going in a freez- ing old building that creaked and groaned and had so many nooks and crannies, it seemed tailor-made for


the set of a horror film. Some nights I could get quite jumpy as the nights drew in.


However, I was only working part time on this project, as I had my full time position to worry about. Six months of cold nights allowed me to


I decided to try to strike a balance between the dramatic, the worthy and the fun.


put together the first chapter – the 1970s – which I submitted to Richard to see what he thought. His response was, essentially: ‘Great! Now go and write the other five chapters.’


Of course – now the challenge was to get on and do it. Four years later I’ve just heard that the book has started its print run, and will arrive for the launch at the Flavel on April 26th


.


It has been a hard job which re- quired the help and support of count- less people – too many to list here – to come to fruition.


I’ve discovered a lot about Dart- mouth: how things stay the same, how


much people love Dartmouth and will do anything to protect it, how the let- ters page can be filled with both wis- dom and madness (sometimes in the same letter) and also how Dartmouth’s community has always had vitality it’s hard to find elsewhere.


From the amazing events the town puts on, to the passionate fights that break out to bring new facilities to the town, or stop unwanted development, there is always an example to find, in every single edition of the Chronicle, of a community spirit which burns with an intensity unrivalled anywhere else in the country.


Or the world, for that matter. I’m amazed that there will be a book with my name on it and feel proud of the personal achievement, but the thing I will always take with me is the immense respect I’ve gained for the people of Dartmouth. The Chronicles of Dartmouth: An Historical Yearly Log 1955-2010 by Phil Scoble and with a Foreword by Simon Drew will be published by Rich- ard Webb on 27th


April. Price £25.•


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