Lindfield Life: meet the team...

 Justin Ross, Claire Cooper, Emily Billson, David Tingley, Heather Barling, Annika Beadle

Justin Ross, Claire Cooper, Emily Billson, David Tingley, Heather Barling, Annika Beadle

By David Tingley

One of the common misconceptions about being the person responsible for publishing this magazine is that many assume I do it alone. I don’t! It’s definitely a team game.

When my wife and I created Lindfield Life eight years ago, Emma was tasked with selling advertising space, to pay for the production costs, and I would write the majority of each issue’s content. We do still receive a good few emails to ‘David & Emma’ – which is very sweet, although Emma technically stopped working for the magazine back in early 2012 when she was offered more hours in her position with a local charity.

One crucial role we’ve utilised since the beginning is that of a proofreader. Lindfield resident (who also happens to be my mother-in-law) Heather Barling took on the task since the very early days of Lindfield Life – and her razor-sharp attention to detail is much appreciated.

In 2012 we hired journalist Claire Cooper, who I am very pleased to say is still with us today. Claire’s part-time role is Editorial Assistant, and it’s her job to write up news stories and feature articles, as well as responding to emails which are sent to the - plus keeping her ear very close to the ground for all the latest Lindfield news of course!

After running Lindfield Life for nearly three years I decided, at the end of 2012, to branch out and produce another community magazine for the nearby village of Cuckfield. Even at that stage, I had begun to see the powerful effects that a local magazine could have on the community it served – and so I was keen to see if it worked elsewhere.

Fortunately it did, and I have since been building that business. In April 2015 I started another title for Hurstpierpoint – so life in the office became very busy! 

As any business owner will tell you, it’s about getting the right people in the right roles. I’m very grateful to have Lindfield resident Natasha Hannah (not available on the day of the photoshoot) as my bookkeeper for nearly five years – keeping the books straight!

Local student Annika Beadle handles all our social media posts and has done so for some time – which is really helpful. We use Twitter and Facebook as a way of sharing events and stories from within the magazine during the month, but also to allow us to be more responsive than the restraints of our usual monthly deadlines.

I also soon realised that I needed help in the office as the demands of an ever-increasing customer base became greater. Another Lindfield resident, Emily Billson, took over that role in December 2015 and she’s really made it her own. Emily’s part-time role as Office Administrator sees her covering everything from taking phone calls and booking in advertisers through to creating advertising/content schedules for each issue. Her organisational skills are legendary and keep me in check!

Our most recent addition to the team is Creative Artworker Justin Ross. Justin is a freelancer and has taken on the task of creating the first proof of the magazine. Essentially, he turns it from a stack load of Word files and pictures to the cleanly set pages you see – all in the Lindfield Life house style. 

Ian Taylor and his distribution team, supported by Niamh Hannah in Scaynes Hill, take on the door-to-door deliveries for us – and do a great job. 

By now you may well be asking: ‘What about you?’! Well, I have input specifically on adverts’ artwork and design where necessary, I also deal with making changes and sending each issue to print. I do still write – although not as much as I used to. I take some photos and also keep abreast of the emails to the editor account.

During the month we each take responsibility for our own areas, and then come together once a month for our editorial meetings at our offices in Haywards Heath.  At this meeting we decide which stories are going in and what more needs to be done in order to create our first proof.

So there you have it. That’s how we do it! It may not be rocket science, but it’s a great job and we love doing it.