30 years! A bit of history.

If you read the previous post, you will know we've had our first Flutewise event of 2018. That means Flutewise has reached its 30th anniversary!

I'm thrilled, amazed, stunned and a 101 other emotions to have reached this milestone. 30 years is such a long time, I do find it hard to believe. To have reached this point has taken so much amazing work (virtually all of it voluntary) by so many supportive people. It has been the most amazing fun. That was always my aim with Flutewise - to motivate and inspire people to play the flute and make music and have fun doing so.

I remember way back in 1988 so very well. Most of the year was spent planning, thinking and learning new skills. One of the most important jobs was coming up with a name. We drew up a list of about 30 or 40. My husband suggested Flutewise. It was influenced by my like of owls. My very great fried, Sue Besly (another flute player) and I had spent a happy holiday in Gibraltar together and we had filled some of our time looking for an ornament of an owl playing the flute. We didn't find one. I've rather a lot now!

Flutewise started life as just a magazine aimed at young flute players. My learning curve was huge. I'd never been involved in such a thing and I had to learn everything involved from scratch. I was so grateful to Simon Hunt, another flute player and publisher of flute music - Pan Educational Music. Simon introduced me to James Ledward, a printer (and musician) of music who had a print works near me in Hove. I think it is true to say James and his printer, Robin, taught me almost everything I know about print.

Life was very different in 1988. No internet - no emails or websites. Mobile phones were very rare and had HUGE batteries - you needed two hands to carry them and the signal was rubbish. Printing was also so different. I would draft the magazine and using 'cut and paste' set it out. It was literally printing out words from a typewriter and, slightly later, a computer, cutting them out and placing and sticking them where I wanted them to go, leaving spaces for photos or drawings. Drawings were so important in those days as they were easier and cheaper to print. My good friend Wendy Standen was our artist from the beginning and produced so many wonderful covers and illustrations. I would then take my draft to James and he would set it out more carefully, making sure everything was lined up and then inserting the photos from negative images. The document was then made into a plate and then a negative image made. A proof was made and once approved, the magazine was printed from the image.

It wasn't until late in 1989 I bought our first computer. It still sits on a shelf in my office. It's an iconic Apple MacintoshPlus. It cost £1066, a huge amount of money in those days. The next week we needed to go back and spend another £464 on a hard drive - it was operated by floppy disks and took forever to load. That computer could do so little, especially compared to what a mobile phone can do today. It managed word processing, a simple database and a painting programme. Those were the days.

The first magazine was printed over the Christmas holiday at the end of 1988 and sent out in the January 1989 - this gives me the excuse to celebrate 30 years over 2 years, 2018/2019! So now 30 years on I'm spending the year trying to plan something really, REALLY BIG for all of our lovely flute players. I hope I manage it, with help maybe I will.

There will be plenty of Flutewise events this year involving so many wonderful people who have been involved over all of these years. I'm thrilled that so many people who have been involved with Flutewise as children are now grown up, but they are still involved. I'm grateful to every single person who has ever been involved in Flutewise - I'm mentioning no names as the list would be too long and I'd hate to miss anyone out. Some people have been/are much more involved than others, but thank you to everyone. A big thank you also to the unsung heroes, our Trustees, a great group of people who make sure everything I do with Flutewise is 'on track'.

How many more years?! Maybe you can support me - come to an event, suggest an event ...

Liz Goodwin (the person who created Flutewise in 1988)


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