The TankArd: The History of Ardchreag’s Newsletter/Blog

Maister Colyne stewart, updated Dec AS XXXVII, updated July AS LIII

The chronicle of the canton of Ardchreag has gone through many changes over the years. Most of us only know it as The TankArd, though it did at times have other names.

Ardchreag’s first newsletter, under the name The Incipient Canton of Ard Creag, was published in October/November AS XXVII (1992). The Chronicler was Sam Redbeard (later known as Sam Forkbeard). It consisted mostly of maps and meeting schedules. The newsletter used this name for only one issue.

This was followed in December AS XXVII (1992) by The Red Arrow. Like its predecessor, The Red Arrow contained maps and meeting schedules.

There then follows a gap of a year, with the first issue of The TankArd appearing in December AS XXVIII (inaccurately labeled as AS XVIII). Sam Forkbeard is still Chronicler, and it is decided to count this as issue 3 overall, rather than start the numbering over (though no numbering system is as yet included in the publication itself). This is the first issue to feature articles (in this case, bow making, mead making and how to make a leather bottle). Issue 4 quickly followed in February AS XXVIII. (Again, inaccurately labeled as XVIII.)

Issues 5 and 6 were published in May and August AS XXIX (1994), with Brighid listed as Chronicler. #6 features the TankArd’s first article (‘Travels through Medieval Paris’, by Leodegraunce of the Tower) and its first column (‘Conner’s Commentary’, by Conner Falluin Liath).

The TankArd archive’s next issue is still unnumbered, but would be #7 overall. It was published in November/December AS XXIX (1994). Raffe Scholemaystre is now listed as Chronicler. Raffe introduces regular columns and begins to put game boards on the center page spread to facilitate their use. He also creates and continues to use a distinctive (though at times hard to read) layout. Publication then continues on a regular bi-monthly schedule, with Raffe as Chronicler, until Issue #24 in July/August AS XXXII (1997). (Though there is no issue #12. Issue #13 follows #11.)

There is a lapse of a few months, and issue #25 picks up in January/February AS XXXII (1998). Publication remains regular until #28 in July/August AS XXXIII (1998).

No TankArds are printed for almost a year. June AS XXXIV (1999) sees the printing of issue #29, with ‘Elf’ listed as Acting Chronicler. She completely revamps The TankArd’s layout and makes it a very classy looking publication. She includes the transcripts from a Canton moot. Elf would produce only one more issue in July AS XXXIV (1999).

There then follows a year and a half where Ardchreag went without a newsletter. Finally, in January/February AS XXXV (2001) Raffe again steps up as Chronicler to produce issue #31. He changes the layout back to his prior design and publishes until issue #32 in March/April of the same year.

No issue is published for May/June. Then, in July/August AS XXXVI (2001), Colyne Stewart becomes Chronicler with issue #33. His first issue is a special memorial to Lord Ulrich van der See (Markus Grunwaldt), a member of the Cantons of Ardchreag and Greenhithe. Colyne changes The TankArd’s layout for this issue, and decides to work with it, rather than use an existing design, in his future issues.

After putting out the September/October issue, Colyne decides to take The TankArd from a bi-monthly to a monthly schedule. Submissions to the newsletter increase and Colyne begins to publish many stories and poems written by the people of Ardchreag. Submissions are so numerous he takes The TankArd from a 12-page publication (issue #33) to 16 pages in issue #34.

In issue #36 (November AS XXXVI, 2001) the page count grows again, now to 24. This issue contains a transcript of a Canton moot. In issue #37 the layout is again changed, eliminating borders. It is based on Elf’s moot report in issue #29. It aids in readability and is met with much enthusiasm.

During this time Colyne is introduced to Adobe Acrobat and he converts all the issues he has produced into pdf documents and has them put on the Canton’s website as downloadable documents. On Þorfinna gráfeldr’s suggestion, Colyne adds a Sayeth What feature where canton members are encouraged to create captions for interesting photos of members of the populace.

Issue #39 (February AS XXXVI, 2002) sees The TankArd grow to 28 pages.

In April of AS XXXVI (2002) two issues were produced. #41 was the standard monthly issue, while #41.5 was a special April Fool’s issue.

Also around this time Colyne Stewart and the Canton’s Seneschal/Web Minister Eirik Andersen scrounge up all the past issues of The TankArd, including some that were thought lost forever (such as #5 and 6). Eirik then scans the old issues to include them on the Canton’s website as downloadable pdf documents. In this year the TankArd was nominated for best newsletter for the William Blackfox Awards (Society level chronicling awards).

Colyne would stay on as Chronicler until issue #45 in August AS XXXVII (2002). At this time he becomes the Septentrian Baronial Chronicler and Mahault van der Eych takes the reins of The TankArd. To date Mahault has printed four issues, and introduced such new columns as Uncle Berend’s Bad Advice, Period Riddles and garb patterns. She maintains many of the features Colyne introduced, including Sayeth What, Birthdays in the Keep, and Awards and Authorizations. Though Colyne had expanded the page count of The TankArd in the past, Mahault nearly doubled his best when issue #49 (Dec XXXVII, 2002) featured a hefty fifty-four pages!

Þorfinna gráfeldr became chronicler in time to produce the 50th issue. In April XXXVII (2003) Þorfinna produced a full colour April Fool’s edition.

In September AS XXXVIII, word came of the nominations for the annual William Blackfox Awards (Society level chronicling awards). Þorfinna was nominated for best overall newsletter for her work on the TankArd, while Mahault was nominated for best theme issue (her Christmas issue of the TankArd).

Records past this point become spotty.

In September AS XXXIX Eirik Andersen became chronicler.

In August 2006, Þorfinna gráfeldr’s article “My First A-frame” which appeared in the TankArd was nominated for best article.

At some point the TankArd stopped being produced as more and more communication was done via the internet.

Around 2010, Þorfinna gráfeldr attempted to revamp the TankArd as a blog, but a lack of submissions caused its rapid demise.

Now (July AS LIII, 2018), the TankArd will once again be reborn as a blog on the new Ard Chreag website.



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