Once Upon A WOW

WOW (What’s On in Woodford) ceased publication with the 154th edition in December 2016 / January 2017, before being resurrected in November 2017. Here is a look back at the WOW and it’s predecessors.

The Woodford ExpressWoodford Express cover page

Here is the cover of issue 9 of the Woodford Express from June 1977, a Silver Jubilee edition. It’s sixteen typewritten (yes these were the days before home computers) pages are filled with the preparations for the celebrations of 25 years since the Queen’s Coronation. How many people then would have thought that she would still be on the throne today, 40 years later?

Then Clerk of the Parish Council and local historian, Jim Anscomb contributed an article on Woodford cum Membris in 1952, which is the subject of another post here.

There was news that a lease had finally been agree to allow the villlage to take over “The Village Centre” (the Hinton and Dryden Rooms and the Library) and the dedication of the restored bells of St Mary’s Church, together with the arrangements for a village wide party for the Jubilee celebrations. Finally there was a list of local shops and businesses. (For those interested in the history of shops in Woodford you can find the list here).

Page from the Woodford Express

Woodford Quarterly

The immediate precursor of the WOW was the Woodford Quarterly which was a communuity magazine produced by St Mary’s Church, running for fourty issues between 1991 and 2001. This carried church news and a direectory of local businesses, services and clubs.

woodford quarterly final edition

By the summer of 2001 though, the Quarterly was galloping off into the distance with its final edition as its place was taken by What’s On in Woodford.


The WOW was created to cope with the need for a more frequent newsletter and first appeared in September 2001, published by the Parish Council.

Issue 1 Number 1 was a very simple one side of A4 in black and white but it featured the directory that was always a key part of the publication (the local directory is still a well used part of the Signpost!)

WOW went on to appear regularly 10 times a years, delivered free to every household in Woodford, Hinton and West Farndon by a group of dedicated distributors.

It first appeared on-line in February 2013 (by then on four pages in three colours, typeset and with pictures) and all the editions of WOW since then are still available here.

(The Signpost sends its greatful thanks to Gill Pitt for the copies of Woodford Express, Woodford Quarterly & WOW #1 )

5 thoughts on “Once Upon A WOW

  1. Liz Pym

    I agree with Gill Pitt that the WOW needs to go back to how it was with information about Woodford Halse, contacts and events. I am computer literate and can help Jill in any way.

  2. Gillian Pitt

    The spirit of the original WOW was two sides of A4 with village information. Since then there has been a change of direction. I am more than willing to assist, although my skills are limited, to a relaunch of a much needed WOW but perhaps reverting to a less time consuming simpler version.
    Gill Pitt

  3. Cllr Gary Denby

    I took over WOW from June Irani for the WOW Christmas edition 2014 and carried it onwards for two full years to include the Christmas edition 2016. The WOW Team included myself as main collector of materials and Editor, ably assisted by Julie Williams with the proof reading and split-out of near 2,000 issues to three super-distributors, who then delivered them to fifty doorstep deliverers. Quite a team effort, all village volunteers!

    Over the past years we were increasingly having problems recruiting villagers to distribute to their neighbours (some having to do three or more streets).

    As the principal editor I was coming under increasing pressure, with this effort consuming 1 full day per month of my time. I saw this as a valuable contribution to the village as a Parish Councillor and the owner-practitioner of a small business in the village. Sadly, my enthusiasm ceased at the Parish Council meeting in January 2017 which set your Parish Council Precept and I was no longer willing to give so generously of my time.

    Over the years WOW developed into a highly informative and professionally produced village resource. To resurrect it requires three key volunteers: An Editor to chase interesting items; A Marketing person to chase advertisers (new and old, also to produce quarterly invoices); A main Distributor to collect from the Banbury printers each month, to split into streets and parcel-out to the super-distributors (requires a car), also to encourage more street-helpers. Anyone interested?

    1. Cllr Gary Denby

      Apologies, in the latter days we also had the assistance of Gordon Verner with the production and chasing of WOW invoices.


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