The latest edition of The Jackdaw, Malmesbury's community paper, has just been delivered to every house in the town.
It first appeared in February 2000, when its editor, Pete Clarke, stated his hope that it would become "a local community newspaper that genuinely reflected the news and opinions circulating in Malmesbury". He had been impressed, from time he had spent living in the US, by their small town community newspapers that had an independence of spirit that he hoped The Jackdaw would emulate.
The paper's tone is set by its motto, "Forging aimlessly into the future". However there are a wide range of articles, from the life story of an 86-year-old born in Brokenborough, just outside Malmesbury, through the account of a resident serving with the British contingent helping to supervise the recent elections in Kosovo, to the regular spoof society gossip column. A popular feature is where people describe their memories of particular aspects of the town in the past. In previous editions it was the junior school and the cinema, and this time it is the pubs. There have also been regular articles by and about local artists.
The name Jackdaw is one that has been used for centuries for people of Malmesbury.
Footnote: In 2003 The Jackdaw launched its own website - www.TheJackdaw.com and introduced a subscription of 50 pence per issue. It flourished for a further two years, but the work involved in producing it proved too much for the small band of enthusiasts who were prepared to take it on. So regrettably it ceased publication, though the website still flourishes.