Saint Bartholomew's Gazette
In September 1945 English Martyrs, Streatham, and St. Bartholomew's, Norbury, launched a joint Parish Magazine called The Strorbury Gazette. Every issue had the legend 'A magazine for the youth and parishioners of Streatham and Norbury' emblazoned across the front cover, together with the papal keys across a backdrop of a hand-drawn outline map of the Streatham/Norbury area showing unnamed roads and railways and only two buildings - the two churches! Issue number seven of this august journal was dated November 1946, and for reasons not yet apparent, the issue dated February 1947 was again given the number one. The joint venture finished with issue number nine in June 1948, and in August 1948, after 16 bimonthly issues of The Strorbury, St. Bartholomew's 'went it alone' with the Saint Bartholomew's Gazette, again with the papal keys on the front cover, but without the map or the legend. The new Parish Magazine lasted almost bimonthly until issue nine in February 1950.
In the first issue of the Saint Bartholomew's Gazette the then Parish Priest, Father Basil Miller (under the pseudonym of 'Parochus') wrote the introductory editorial, and it will no doubt fascinate many to see this introduction faithfully transcribed on this page. (Click on the image and then click on the resulting image - makes a huge difference to the legibility, especially on a PC! Ed.)
The total debt of £8,500 was huge, equivalent to over £275,000 in 2020. The £4,000 Father Miller inherited in 1945 was largely the residue of the £4,800 cost of purchasing the site for, and building, St. Bartholomew's Hall at Pollards Hill. The Hall (as it came to be affectionately known as) was primarily intended as a Mass Centre. It was opened on Sunday 12 March 1939 with Mass said by Father Cyril Walmsley, and was used for a film show the following Tuesday. The floor of the Hall was specially constructed with dancing in mind, and the venue became a well known and popular centre for dances. Father Walmsley (previously of the professional staff of St. Joseph's Diocesan College, the Seminary at Mark Cross) had been inducted as Rector (Parish Priest) at St. Bartholomew's the previous August.