The Braes editorial team calls it a day after a decade at the helm

Margaret Sargent, front left, with the rest of The Braes volunteers, pictured at their Christmas party in December, 2019. NO F15 Braes team
Margaret Sargent, front left, with the rest of The Braes volunteers, pictured at their Christmas party in December, 2019. NO F15 Braes team

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The next issue of The Braes magazine, which brings community news to readers in the Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry areas, will be the last under current editor Margaret Sargent and her five-strong team of volunteers.

It brings to an end a decade for the same editorial team and it is hoped fresh faces will come forward to carry on the community publication, which started 16 years ago.

Margaret told the Lochaber Times this week she was sad to be announcing her retirement, and that of her colleagues, after so long.

‘It is with sadness that I make this announcement. Having completed 10 happy years
of editing The Braes and finding great fulfilment in doing so, the time has now come
for me to step down as editor,’ she explained.

‘As the years move on and age catches up, I believe that it is time for someone else now to take over the reins and continue the work of keeping The Braes alive and well.

‘Sharing similar thoughts are the rest of The Braes team, that small but loyal,
dedicated group of five volunteers who have allowed the magazine to function and
flourish over the past decade, each responsible for different aspects of production
and all contributing to the overall smooth running and success of our magazine.

‘Four of us alone have notched up 42 years of service between us. We do not take this
decision lightly but feel it is best to act now, as a team, and allow a new team, maybe
a younger one, to take The Braes forward in whatever format is decided.

‘The Braes has enjoyed much success and appreciation, evident in its growth from
10 to 24 pages over the 16 years of its life. It has its own page on Facebook and
copies of the magazine are sent online to subscribers, many of whom live in other
countries.

‘In ‘normal’ times, between 260 and 300 hard copies are printed and sold, even though our outlets have diminished in number owing to shop closures. A most successful initiative that has helped finance the burgeoning magazine is the Friends
of The Braes scheme.

‘The generous sponsorship of our Friends has allowed for an increase in the number of colour pages which add so much life and vibrancy to the pictures. We know there are many readers, at home and abroad, who eagerly await their Braes and tell us how much it means to them.’

Even during lockdown, The Braes has appeared every other month, recording the
magnificent response within the community to a year of unprecedented turmoil, pain
and insecurity.

Margaret said it had been doing what it was always intended to do – be a means of
communication between the widespread communities of the three villages and
surrounding area, informing, supporting, celebrating, sharing news, views and
featuring local people and their activities, now and in years gone by.

And she added: ‘We are grateful to all the many people who have bought, contributed to and supported our community magazine and kept The Braes flag flying through thick and thin.

‘We dearly hope there will be a new team of folk willing and able to carry on the work The Braes has faithfully done since its inception in May 2005 – 16 years ago. Please keep
the flag flying.’

If anyone is interested in being part of the next team that carries The Braes forward, Margaret said she would be delighted to have a chat and people are welcome to contact either her or one of the editorial volunteers.