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Birth of the Meopham Review

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Rev. Lewis Woodward Lewis

Humble Beginnings

The very first editor of the very first issue was the vicar, the Rev. Lewis Woodward Lewis, MA, whose idea was “to provide an illustrated magazine of an interesting and instructive kind, able to convey information on Meopham affairs, to publishing timely notices of coming events, to afford a means of communication between parishioners, to answer the questions of correspondents, to chronicle the past, and as the occasion offered to give account of the life and history of Old Meopham in the days long gone”.

Hopefully we can still tick most of those boxes today – with the back issues of the Review itself now providing a valuable source of village history. In addition we also now provide a large advertising section providing a handy reference to local tradesmen and providers of a wide range of services!

For me the big positive things about the Review are that it demonstrates how much is going on in the village and that it provides an important connection and means of communication between the church and the wider community. The editor is really at the centre of all this.

I don’t want to exaggerate the importance of the editor’s position in a long historical line or as the hub of the community, as I know from my experience as editor number 19 that it is quite a humble role.

Humility is quite important when dealing with representatives of societies whose reports have vanished due to occasional technical glitches! The most important tool of the job is a rather battered ring-binder, which is still used to assemble copy for delivery to the printers in a plastic carrier bag. Of course we are gradually going electronic and e-mail and websites are increasingly important in providing content.

This is just one example of how the job continues to evolve. A new editor would certainly have scope to introduce changes in both how the Review is produced and what it contains. Maybe the Rev. Lewis’s idea of answering readers’ questions is something that can be revived in a new format? I hope that he or she will continue to find space for a few more installments of this Kolumn, but I’m quite prepared to make way for new interesting and instructive contributions.

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Garry Durant – Editor

Meopham Review List of Editors (1894-2020)

1894 – Rev. Lewis Woodward Lewis
1900 – Mr. J. Garratt
1901 – Rev. A.F.C. Owen
1919 – Mr. Golding-Bird & Mr. Arnold
1921 – Rev. G. A. Tait
1933 – Rev. E. Cannon
1946 – Rev. Vernon Nicholls
1956 – Rev. F. Mitchell
1957 – Mrs. P. V. Potter
1963 – Miss M. Blackmore
1968 – Mr. Colin Geeves
1969 – Mr. Stephen Beaumont
1974 – Mr. Knight-Sweeney
1976 – Mr. Sam Harbison
1981 – Mr. David Wells
1987 – Miss Mary Edmunds
1988 – Mr. Norman Benham
1999 – Mr. Peter Kettle
2002 – Mr. Ron Steward
2004 – Mr. David Wells
2008 – Mrs. Mira Gould
2008 – Mr. Peter Kettle
2017 – Mr. Garry Durant