Welcome to the Bourton Browser website
The Bourton Browser is a free monthly magazine run entirely by volunteers and delivered to every household in the villages of Bourton-on-the-Water and Clapton-on-the-Hill, in Gloucestershire, England.
The Browser Team currently consists of Ray and Susan Dodd, Rob and Christine Gorton, Myra Ford, David Tebbutt, Ernie and Karen Rumsey and David and Jenny Stanfield. In addition there are over 50 street deliverers and a proof reader who all play vital roles in the production and dispatch of the Browser.
Susan is the Editor and Christine is Sub Editor with responsibility for the Church Page and Younger Generation Pages.
Ray is the Advertising Manager and Rob is the Finance Manager. Commercial advertising space is much sought after and we often have a waiting list, for full details of placing an advert with us see the Advertising Page. We are very grateful to all our regular advertisers for their on-going support. This is our only source of revenue and it makes the Browser viable. The finances are healthy and any profits are used to either enhance the Browser or are donated to village organisations or projects. If your Bourton based group or project is looking for some funding contact us as we maybe able to help you.
We are very lucky with our delightful printers Peter and Camilla Dunford, and would highly recommend them for their prompt, efficient and friendly service.
Distribution of the Browser is divided into North and South Village areas. David Tebbutt is the Distribution Manager giving the village a central contact point. Myra Ford is the Northern Distributor, the Southern Distribution is shared between Ernie and Karen Rumsey and David and Jenny Stanfield. The distributors deliver batches of Browsers to the Street Delivers in their part of the village.
We have a team of about 50 street deliverers who cover specific areas, all are volunteers, turning out in all sorts of weathers to ensure every household receives their copy of the new month’s edition, usually during the last week of the old month. We are fortunate that new street deliverers regularly take over from any retiring ones and as a whole team we work very well together.
We believe our website increases our readership from outside of the distribution area, particularly in villages like the Rissingtons and Slaughters whose residents regularly use Bourton’s facilities. Other advantages are the options it gives us for longer and / or extra articles and more photographs.
We still adhere to the original concept of the Browser. Everyone involved, (apart from the printers), are volunteers and give their time and energies freely to ensure the Village receives this much loved magazine, packed full of local news and information, with a limited number of adverts .
Volunteers always welcome
We are always interested to hear from anyone with ideas or offers of help to make the Browser even better. We keep a list of relief street deliverers to cover holidays and sickness, if you could help out do get in touch. Contact us via the “Getting in Touch” page.
A Potted History of the Browser
The idea for the Bourton Browser was conceived by Derek and Mollie Wise in 1999. Their concept was a magazine run entirely by volunteers and delivered free to every property within the Parish borders. The original team of volunteers comprised the Wises and Lynn Dartnel, (the first Editor). They recruited a team of volunteer street deliverers, found advertisers and sourced a printer. The name “Bourton Browser” was coined by David Bond, the then postmaster, and the logo was designed by Ron Bray, a local artist. Remarkably all this work took place in just 15 days!
It is a tribute to all concerned that the Browser is still going strong today. Of course there have been many changes over the years. Street deliverers, too numerous to name, have come and gone, although we must mention Brian Heywood, Russ Girdler, Joyce Walsh, Betty Phelps, and Joan Minchin who have been with the magazine since the start. That has been 20 years of delivering the Browser!
Lynn Dartnel handed on the Editor’s role to Jane Davis in 2003 and in the same year Ray and Susan Dodd joined the team as Bulk Distributors. In 2013 Jane retired and Ray and Susan became the magazine’s third Editors. Rob and Christine Gorton joined the team at that point, taking on the Bulk Distribution job. Mollie and Derek retired at the end of 2016 since then the latest team have run the Browser.
In 2019 the Browser celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary with a party for the past and present team members at the Cricket Club Pavilion. About 80 people attended and our longest serving deliverers were presented with pens (hand turned by Ray Dodd) as a thank you. The team also commissioned a picture of the village by local artist Emma Gorton. The picture, of ducks by the Windrush, was presented to Bob Hadley as Chair of the Parish Council and now hangs in the George Moore Community Centre, near the Library, for all to enjoy. A donation was also made to the Cricket Club to help with the further development of the Pavilion.
In 2020 it looked like Covid 19 would stop production of the Browser as most of our advertisers were not able to trade and therefore could not be expected to pay for adverts. During lockdown one, in the spring of 2020, many of our own volunteer street deliverers were also unable to do deliveries due to age and / or under laying health conditions. However thanks to help with deliveries from the Bourton Street Volunteers, a donation from the Parish Council, and an amazing response to an appeal for donations, we continued normal monthly production throughout.
During lockdown two and three, in late 2020 and early 2021, our own team continued deliveries as normal and our very loyal advertisers continued to advertise with us even when unable to trade. This has meant that the Bourton Browser has been a constant for the village every month despite the pandemic, sharing news and providing entertainment even in the darkest months. Our grateful thanks go to everybody who made this possible.