The idea of a residents’ association for Boars Hill was first mooted in 1973 and an initial proposal was circulated to all households on Boars Hill in November that year. The following put their names at the end of what became “Circular 1” : Dorothy Mathews, Dallas & Marion Stevens, Albi & Maud Rosenthal, Leslie & Gladys Woods and Michael & Phyllis Fogarty and were thus the founders of the BHA.
As can be seen below, the first, rather ambitious, idea was to have a community centre on the Hill where residents could meet.
The original meeting held in December 1973 was attended by 60 residents. Three more circulars followed; the fourth of which was titled “The Boars Hill Association” and called for a public meeting to establish the Association. The Boars Hill Association was formally constituted on 30th March 1974 at this meeting held at Ripon Hall (later Foxcombe Hall). In May 1974 a fifth circular was distributed which became the first BHA Newsletter with the heading: “The Boars Hill Association Newsletter No. 1 May 1974”. In today’s money, the initial family subscription of £1 pa was slightly more that the current, still very modest, £10 sub.
All five of these early documents have been scanned and may be viewed below. The original Newsletters were printed on foolscap writing paper of 8 in x 13 in. The 100th edition (see scan below) was the last to use this size. From No. 101 onwards the present standard A4 size (210 mm x 197 mm) has been used. Maud Rosenthal and her secretary used a Gestetner duplicating machine to produce the first 113 editions the last of which appeared in May 1995. Michael Edwards pioneered a new look Newsletter using his desktop publishing package for No. 114 in summer 1995. It allowed various fonts to be used and this was the first edition which carried advertisements. Black & white photos slowly started to appear from this point on. In February 1998, edition No. 127 was the first to used coloured paper for the front page – the colours being varied with each edition. This format, still stapled at the top left corner, continued for many years until, in Feb 2014, edition 195 introduced colour printing on plain paper and the Newsletter then took on the appearance of a magazine – being saddle stitched, ie double stapled along the spine. The penultimate change took place with No. 206, in November 2016 when the practice of having the Diary of Events on the front page ceased. The BHA Newsletter thus finally following the example of The Times which had abandoned personal ads and public notices on its front page as long ago as 1966 – 50 years earlier! The current full colour format on glossy paper first appeared in Spring 2021 with No. 223.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the BHA established a support hub for the Boars Hill community which was officially recognised by the Vale of White Horse District Council (VoWH DC).
(at a single sheet, the shortest ever Newsletter)
More past editions will be scanned and posted online as time permits.
We still have some gaps in our archive and are seeking a dozen or so editions of the Newsletter from 1990 and earlier. If you think you may be able to help with any of these, please get in touch via our Contact form. Many thanks.