Dunblane and Positive Health Forever Etched in my Memory

While listening to programmes and interviews prior to this year’s Wimbledon Men’s Final on Sunday 8 July, there were frequent mention of Dunblane and inclusion of children, teachers and coaches of Andy Murray, where Andy Murray grew up and went to school.

Where does this have any connection with Positive Health, you may ask? Well, actually, the memory of Dunblane is forever seared into my memory, and the story is an interesting piece of technological memorabilia from the beginning days of Positive Health, Issue 11 to be exact, the April/May 1996 issue.

Prior to Issue 10, believe it or not, we used a dtp typesetting program and produced text on paste-up boards which were then printed in black and white by our local printers in Bristol. For Issue 10, we used Quark Xpress and still printed the magazine in black and white. And, starting with Issue 11, we switched to Quark Xpress in colour, exported the Quark files, sent them to a pre-press reprographic company who then produced film which was then printed at a larger printer on a web rather than a sheet printer.

13 March 1996 was the very first time I had to export the Quark files and copy them onto floppy disks. I spent several hours throughout the morning, intensely concentrating on the process. Finally, at about 1 pm the driver from the pre-press company arrived to collect the floppy disks. Having been so absorbed in the task, I need to relax and switched on the television at home. These were the very early days of Positive Health, prior to our Queen Square offices in Bristol.

What I saw on the television was the horribly shocking Dunblane massacre. I realized that having spent the entire morning in the world of computer and IT stuff, I had been isolated from the ‘real’ grisly world of murder and mayhem in Dunblane Scotland.

So now, every time I hear Dunblane mentioned, it brings to mind that day of copying the disks from Issue 11 of Positive Health and then discovering about the Dunblane massacre.

So even Andy Murray reaching the finals of Wimbledon brought me back to an early memory of Positive Health.