Newsletter 150 came out in autumn 2018. To celebrate the milestone, around 400 articles (so far) from the past 25 years of newsletters are now online in full here on the Glastonbury Conservation Society website.
The collage of photos gives a sample of them. Click on any of the miniature photos to be taken to its full article.
Or see the Table of Contents, which gives a complete list of everything published in all newsletters since 1999. Articles that are online in full are flagged with the symbol in the Contents list — click the symbol to go straight to that article.
You’ll find that in many cases the photo that was originally published black-and-white back then is online now in full colour. The text, however, is pretty well unchanged from what was printed at the time, and a line at the top of the page clearly indicates the date of original publication.
Some cross-references have been added so that you can jump to related articles in other newsletter issues.
Overall, the website has had a behind-the-scenes technical makeover to make it visually clean and consistent and fast to load.
Search is a further important new feature. Click the button at the top of any page. Enter any word or phrase and press Go. Faster than Google you get a list of all the articles in which your phrase appears. You can click on the relevant result to go exactly to that page. For this feature we must thank an excellent service called Freefind.
A link to the Table of Contents for all newsletters since 1999 appears alongside the Search box. If you have the original printed newsletters, the Table of Contents shows you the relevant page number for each article.
And what about the newsletters from before 1999? Well, either they exist only on paper or as computer files archived on cartridges from a device no longer in use.
From the past, a few random newsletter articles in full
- Assuring the future of the Abbey: the conservation plan
- ‘Article 4’ of planning law now gives Conservation Area more protection
- Our mini-earthquake in February 2018 and our tsunami in 1607
- Walter Tully, Glastonbury’s pioneer photographer
- Miller’s hardware shop: four generations of iron in the blood
- The hidden history of the Roman Catholic church in Glastonbury
- Earliest pictures of Abbey discovered by art dealer in Cheshire
- The Chronicles of John Cannon published at last after 266 years
This area of the site is preserved as a tribute to Jim Nagel, who created and maintained the Glastonbury Conservation Society's online presence for many years. It will be kept, as much as is possible, exactly how he left it when he died in March 2020.
Jim was born and grew up in Canada, taking a degree in Mathematics and German at the University of Waterloo, also meeting Viola during those years. He remained after graduation as editor of the university paper, followed by beginning a journalism career at the local newspaper, the Kitchener Waterloo Record.
He arrived in England in 1970 and was captivated by Glastonbury, commenting "Avalon is the heart: the crossroads of imagination, a place where young see visions and old dream dreams". He was a driving force in the establishment of a Christian community project, initially as summer camps but developing into a full-time operation, which lasted for a decade, supporting himself in a variety of local and London jobs. Marriage to Viola came in 1982, and the birth of sons Christopher and Bartholomew followed. Employment as editor or writer for the Somerset County Gazette, The Times, Church Times, Amstrad Action, Computer Shopper and Archive kept him busy, and in 1991 he founded Abbey Press which involved him in a wide range of editorial and publishing activities.
As the years passed Jim became ever more involved in the activities of Glastonbury — including membership of the Conservation Society and production of the newsletter, as well as creating our website with its comprehensive archive of newsletter material produced over the years. Jim was an active member of St. John’s Church. He served on the PCC, joined the choir and, in early years, produced their newsletter. Latterly, he assisted with the church website. Jim was also part of the local drama scene.
Jim was deeply imbued with the spirit of Glastonbury in a way which can perhaps happen only to those who are not actually born or grew up there. He had a deep interest and understanding not only of the physical structure of the place but also of the myths and spirituality surrounding it and the effect these had on people, whether residents or visitors to it. Consequently, in his own modest way, he was a mine of information on various aspects of the town, for which he cared very deeply. The Conservation Society Newsletter, which he edited for many years, combined with the website, bear abundant testimony to these attributes — which as a contributor one took very much for granted and with the comforting realisation that Jim knew what needed to be done — especially in the field of computer related matters. Here, as in so many other aspects, Jim was always modest about his abilities and knowledge, and it is only now that he is no longer with us that we realise how much his efforts underpinned our activities and presence.