There have been a number of periodicals issued by the Club/Supporters Club since the 1940’s. The first one I featured in this series was ‘The Superhoop’ from the 1970’s and this was followed by the ‘Bush Ranger’ from the 1980’s. Usually, life expectancy was just a few years, but although there were early teething problems, the ‘News-Letter’ appears to be more prolific than most.
In the 1951/52 Handbook, “Bushranger” wrote the following, titled, “Dear Rangerite”:
‘The title of this article will, by now, be familiar to some 700 of “the faithful” who have subscribed to and regularly received the monthly “News-Letter” since its inception, in January of this year. It has sometimes appeared late, and on one or two occasions, very nearly did not appear at all, owing to the increasing shortage of materials, but somehow these have eventually been found and we have been able to fulfil the contract.
Nobody is so conscious of the shortcomings of the “News-Letter” in its present form, as is “Bushranger”! I have had many letters containing suggestions as to what to include and how to include it but, unfortunately, the most we can do at the present is to give you news of current events and pray for more space.
Negotiations are going on all the time towards the eventual production of a real Club Magazine of our own, but the material shortage is a real handicap to our efforts.
We are, nevertheless, undaunted and have confidence that all difficulties will be overcome in a short time. All we ask of you, as your share, is to stay faithful to the “News-Letter” and to give your full support to it until our ship comes home. If, in the meantime, you have any useful suggestions to make, we shall be delighted to have them and put them “on file” until we can use them.’
I have six copies in my collection, which date from the January/March 1953 edition, up to the latest which covers the period July/August 1956. They don’t come up very often on eBay and recently two of them from 1953 sold for ¬£ 13 and ¬£16 respectively.
To subscribe to the ‘News-Letter’ you could tick the appropriate box on your Supporters Club renewal form, add a remittance of 2/- and post it off to the Membership Secretary: Mr R. Durrant, 39 Priory Avenue, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W4. The intention then was to publish it monthly.
A few years later in 1955, it was noted that the January/February edition was available for 2d at the Club Room and Supporters Club huts.
The Jan/March 1953 issue begins with an apology from “Bushranger” who highlights some of the on-going problems:
‘Our first and most obvious duty this time is to extend to you our most sincere apologies for the long gap since the last “News-Letter”. We understand that Ron Durrant has been receiving quite a few letters of complaint on this score and would like to make it clear, straight away, that the fault is none of his. Ron can only set about his job of distribution when he receives the finished article from the printers and they, in turn, can only send them to Ron after they had the “copy” from US, and we must confess that we are the culprits’.
As for the ‘News-Letter’ itself this particular edition spans three pages and there is a mention that Ray Winter was quickly filling up his fixture list for the coming cricket season, summer plans were in hand for the cycling section and they even hoped to introduce a tennis section too.
There had been recent dances at the Porchester Hall and Hammersmith Town Hall and there had also been a memorable evening at the Kings Arms (Acton Vale?) when Bert Addinall was present. The Club evenings at the Bush Hotel were now well established. The next dance was going to be held at Kensington Town Hall, tickets were available for 5/- from Tony Gurrin or his sister Denise. And the end-of-season dance was going to take place at the Territorial Drill Hal in Wood Lane.
The ladies section was running a competition to choose a new club song, entries to be sent to Mrs Daphne Biggs, with prizes for the winner and runner-up as judged by “Cheerful Charlie Chester”.
The Directors had given the Manager, Jack Taylor, permission for a player no longer on the books to be awarded a benefit match at Loftus Road. Ernie Adams left at the end of the previous season for Batteshanger Colliery. The match was to take place on 13th April between a QPR side and former players.
And finally it was recorded that the Secretary, George Hurley, had a problem with a painful boil. Passing the dressing room one morning and upon hearing loud grunts and groans, the editor looked in to find Alec Farmer doctoring it for him!
I would be interested to know exactly how many of these newsletters were published in the 50’s.