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Memory lane: A look back at 55 years of The Bulletin

Dec 21, 2017
The Bulletin has been part of the expat community since 1962. As we look back at 55 years of publishing, do you recognise any of these faces and covers?

Monique Ackroyd launches eight-page newsletter The Bulletin from the basement of her home in Uccle. The magazine costs 5 Belgian francs.

The Bulletin meets Magritte at his Etterbeek home, just one of many high-profile interviews in the magazine’s history.

Aislinn Dulanty becomes editor; Nato moves to Brussels and The Bulletin’s readership grows substantially.

The Bulletin leads the charge to transform the Grand Place from a car park to a pedestrian area with its protest picnic. It’s another 10 years before the square is finally cleared of vehicles.

The Ackroyd Publications portfolio begins to grow with the launch of the What’s On entertainment supplement.

John Stuyck becomes managing director.

Launch of the twice-yearly Newcomer magazine.

Dulanty’s daughter Brigid Graumann takes over as editor.

The Bulletin’s website is launched.

Flemish publishing company Corelio (now Mediahuis) buys Ackroyd Publications; Derek Blyth becomes editor-in-chief.

The magazine moves to Corelio HQ in Groot-Bijgaarden, just outside Brussels.

The Bulletin relaunches as a monthly title, with weekly going-out guide Brussels Unlimited.

Deputy editor Deborah Forsyth and then features editor Tamara Gausi take over as editor-in-chief as the magazine becomes a fortnightly publication.

The final edition of the fortnightly Bulletin magazine rolls off the presses as the focus shifts to digital. A revamped Newcomer continues.

The new-look Bulletin magazine is launched, with four editions a year and Sarah Crew as editor-in-chief.

The last word: John Stuyck, publisher of The Bulletin and son of founder Monique Ackroyd

It’s the smell I remember. The smell of the drying ink on the early copies of The Bulletin way back in the 1960s.

We were living in a small house in Uccle, and copies of the magazine cluttered the entrance hall, staircase and the office in the basement. Monique Ackroyd would carry them to newsagents, shops and anyone who was ready to sell them. The Volkswagen she drove would serve as delivery van, mobile office and nursery for her younger children.

Later, the smell would stay with us when, each Tuesday morning, sitting at the printers waiting for proofs from the galleys, we’d listen to the rhythm of the linotypes and the rumble of the presses. Then the first photo typesetting machines came along, and the world started to change.

It was amazing how influential The Bulletin became, holding the great and the good to account, spurring politicians and business leaders into action and helping in the cultural promotion of this country. Many said we were bantam boxers fighting in the heavyweight category.

Later, the internet brought new challenges, opening up new markets, new opportunities. We found new partners who helped in the transition, strengthening the brand, expanding the audience and attracting more readers.

And of course there are the people, the ones who made all this possible over the years. From the early days with Aislinn Dulanty to the hundreds of contributors and employees who have played their part in one way or another. Some brought their children to work, others had their dogs in the office, and all of them helped make The Bulletin happen, week after week, year after year.

For us, entering our 56th year is not just about looking in the mirror. It’s also an encouragement to continue serving Belgium’s growing international community and helping it get the representation it deserves.

This article first appeared in The Bulletin winter 2017. Browse the magazine here, pick up a copy in newsagents or subscribe today..

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