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Final edition of the Driffield Leader is printed

After almost 60 years in publication, the editorial team of the Driffield Leader have made the difficult decision to cease publishing the magazine.

With rising costs and the difficulty delivering the magazine to every house in Driffield, the team from the Driffield Leader said it is with a heavy heart that the spring edition will be the last in print.

However, it is their ambition to keep the spirit of the Leader alive and launch online material later in the year.

The Driffield Leader was first launched in 1966. It was the brainchild of Winston Halstead, the editor, printer and publisher of The Ridings magazine.

The front cover of the first Driffield Leader, printed in 1966, features a headline ‘Stagnant Driffield Lacks Youthful Vigour!

He and his family moved to Driffield in the mid-1960s and, inspired by the magazine produced by the church he had left in the West Riding; he suggested a magazine for the Methodist Church in Driffield would be a good idea.

With Winston taking care of the editing and layout, it was Allan Bradshaw who was responsible for the editorial content and finding regular contributors and columnists.

To meet the growing demand, the printing of the bi-monthly magazine was taken on by Horsley and Dawson and to help fund the printing costs, local businesses were approached to pay for advertising space.

Some of the original advertisers from 1966 have continued their support throughout the years and were still advertising in the last print edition.

Editorially, the magazine has included regular features and articles of local interest from gardening, local history, wildlife, recipes and poetry, as well as church news.

When Winston Halstead stepped down, the Leader was edited by Rev Barry Shipley, followed by Ross Weekes and then Hazel Senior headed up the editorial committee.

Ross said he believes the success of the publication is thanks to the community contributions.

He said: “The Driffield Leader has featured articles of local interest to local people. We have been grateful to our regular columnists and to everyone who contributed articles over the years.”

With 7,000 copies of the Driffield Leader printed and distributed to most of the houses and businesses in the town, the committee has paid tribute to the 100 volunteers who distribute the magazine.

Ross added: “We have had wonderful support from our volunteers who have delivered for us over the years. One of our distributors, Tony, was 100 last week.”

To thank all those who have been involved with the Driffield Leader, a celebration event will be held at Driffield Methodist Church on Saturday 24th June for contributors, advertisers and volunteers who have helped publish and deliver the magazine.

Hazel said: “We would like to thank everybody who has been involved with the Leader over the many years.

“Our thanks to all the contributors and our advertisers and to Dave Marley and his team from Horsley and Dawson who laid out the pages and printed the Leader for many years.

“When Dave retired, the printing was done by Alma Printers and then GT Graphics in Pocklington, when the colour editions were introduced.

“Thanks also to Rachel Ullyott who has been responsible for the finances and liaising with our advertisers.”

With the rise in the cost of paper and printing and a smaller number of people available to distribute a free magazine to an ever-increasing number of houses in the town, the decision was made that the spring edition would be the last in print.

Hilary Walker from the editorial committee said: “It was a sad and reluctant decision, and one that was difficult to make, but when we realised that a new option was available to publish online, it felt much better.

“We are currently investigating all avenues of being able to put the Leader online in the autumn.

“We are keen to make it as accessible as possible and hope to make it so that it can be printed off, so that our readers who aren’t computer literate or don’t have access can still enjoy the content as they have done for many years.”

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