ANNIVERSARIES mark a special occasion in every calendar; whether someone is celebrating a birthday, wedding or historical event.

For one Ryedale village, the creation of a monthly newsletter full of different voices, opinions and events is celebrating a very special anniversary.

The Sheriff Hutton Village News has been a valuable part of Sheriff Hutton life since 1969, with co-editors Eric Hayhurst and Alan Franaby producing the first-ever edition.

Producing the newsletter using stencils, a hand-operated Roneo duplicator and lots of ink; the duo created what is now the main source of news not only for Sherriff Hutton, but the surrounding villages of Farlington, Lilling, Stittenham and Whenby.

Eric said: “The population of Sheriff Hutton has crept up to 1,000 people with certain families dating back generations.

“In October 1968, a topic was raised at the general meeting in the Methodist Church that Sheriff Hutton should have a form of communication.

“We racked our brains for a while, until the penny finally dropped – why not create a newsletter by the people, for the people?

“We found a second-hand typewriter, duplicator, a handful of willing volunteers and the rest is history.”

Eric and Alan created the newsletter which has grown from strength to strength with an army of volunteers who distribute to every corner of the village – the oldest being 97-year-old Molly Cowell and the youngest three-year-old Lucas Knock.

The duo decided to make a profit through advertisements, charging £2 per year back in 1969, by collecting adverts from Sheriff Hutton businesses such as the Post Office, pubs and general stores.

Meg Ashbridge, the co-ordinator of the Sheriff Hutton History Group, said: “Myself and my husband moved here 32 years ago, and I remember someone bringing the newsletter to our doorstep.

“The idea of a monthly newsletter is fantastic for people who may feel lonely or want a source of communication with different people and events happening around the village.

“We have a thriving and busy village – people may be surprised about how much happens!”

After Eric stepped down 10 years ago, Peter and Geraldine Hepburn, Brian and Lynne Shepherd and Richard and Wendy Haste took the reins of the Sheriff Hutton Village News.

Bursting with news from various sport teams, local groups and upcoming events, every contribution is added with editing only for punctuation and grammar.

Richard Haste, the current editor said: “Unlike 50-years-ago, we have a great relationship with a printer company in Loughborough who send the newsletter back in three days.

“Gone are the days of messy ink and drying paper in strange places!

“Most of our volunteers are retired people who fancy getting involved - we are thankful to each person who makes the newsletter what it is now.”

The future of the Sheriff Hutton News? All the volunteers hope that the newsletter will continue for the foreseeable future.

Eric added: “It’s lovely to see how popular and appreciated the Sheriff Hutton Village News still is after 50 years.

“Over the years, the production has simplified from days and days worth of printing, ink and drying the paper in Alan’s airing cupboard.

“Who knows what will happen in the future, maybe the village news might flash onto a screen? Technology is amazing.

“The final thing I will say though, I remember distributing the first edition of the Sheriff Hutton Village News and a lady commented: “There is a village newsletter now? I might have to stop buying the Malton Gazette & Herald!”