A TRIBUTE TO Lieut.Col. D.A. GRIST, O.B.E.
Founder and Editor of Alresford Displayed.
Alresford was indeed fortunate when Digby Grist decided to make his home at Cranley in Broad Street when retiring from his command of a battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, and quickly became involved in the activities of the Town.
He soon developed a keen interest and concern, not only in the day to day circumstances of this small country town, but also for its long and varied history stretching back to the coming of Christianity to Wessex. Digby decided that positive action was necessary.
In the mid-seventies, after long talks with many local people, a decision was made to produce and publish a local journal or magazine containing articles written by local people on Alresford matters for the interest of local knowledge. In 1976 'Alresford Displayed' was published by the Working Party under the editorship of Digby Grist. The great ambition thus became a reality and today its annual publication is supported, with much interest, by the Alresford townsfolk. Many matters, i.e. Historical events to buildings and people to activities have been faithfully chronicled by Alresford residents, and today sixty four papers have been written by some twenty seven local residents.
Over the years Digby gradually reduced his active participation in local affairs followed by relinquishing the editorship at the publication of No. 9 in 1985. However, always ready and keen to discuss and advise he is reported to have said "Come along any morning and you will be welcome to talk over a cup of coffee, but remember, if you knock after lunch you shall find the door locked and bolted for then it is my siesta time".
'Alresford Displayed' has been accepted quite happily into the local pattern of life in Alresford, its annual publication perhaps acknowledging the Town's approval of Digby's great inspiration. The magazine is self financed and should remain so for the foreseeable future. In addition, copies are distributed each year throughout Hampshire by the County Library, thus giving a wider circulation and greater publicity.
We feel sure that in the fullness of time, this unique enterprise, created by Digby to re-vitalize and correlate detailed study and recording of the history and events of'Alresford will become-more and more appreciated by the townsfolk and students alike. By the continuing publication of 'Alresford Displayed' much will be chronicled and learned in the years to come.
The Working Party wish to offer this publication as a worthy tribute and memorial to our founder, Digby Grist, with many thanks for his enthusiasm and zeal. Sadly we will all miss him.
The Working Party February 1990.