That first issue of Common Stock;
Jim Gilchrist, first [and third] editor of Common Stock, recalls its launch.

When I launched Common Stock in December 1983, feeling that this emergent and somewhat raggle-taggle society of eccentrics, antiquarians, musicians and the merely curious should have some form of journal, it was very much a scissors and paste job – quite literally.
So far as I can remember, initially I typed up the columns myself, cut them out and pasted them on the page with whatever illustrations I could gather or, in some cases, draw myself. A little later on, until it was taken over and run in a far more organised manner by the ever industrious Jock Agnew, I think that the main features at least were typed out for me in more orderly columns by a kind lady at the School of Scottish Studies. Then I pasted them on the page and had the whole thing run off by some obliging printer.
I get a certain degree of satisfaction to see that Common Stock today preserves the masthead I devised for it all these years ago, a combination of my own sketch and Letraset, which was greatly tidied up for me by the obliging John Gahagan, artist, whistle player and early member of the Battlefield Band.
So I use the term “scissors and paste” advisedly – particularly in the light of a dispute over the date of the Society’s first competition which has seemingly run for three decades. Apparently in the electronic copy of that first issue of Common Stock, as archived by Jock, the lead story (haud the front page!), announced that the Society’s first competition would be held in the School of Scottish Studies on Saturday, March 3, 1984. Then on Page 5, a programme of meetings billed the competition as scheduled for February 18, at the Society of Musicians’ Rooms, Belford Road, Edinburgh.
As I recall, if rather vaguely, I must have discovered the discrepancy once Common Stock had been run off, and I do remember changing that first paragraph on the first page by the simply expedient of retyping it and sticking the corrected introductory paragraph over the original. The journal’s circulation, after all, was pretty minimal, and it didn’t take long to correct them all. I can imagine, however, that even a liberal application of Pritt Stick might not guarantee the permanency of the correction and it probably fell off in time. If anyone still has a copy of that first edition, still with a clumsily pasted on correction to that front-page story, I would have thought that would bear the correct date.
Regardless of that conflicting February date, my report of the competition in the next issue, Vol 1, No 2, Nov 1984, certainly referred to the competition as being in March.

The first issue of Common Stock cost £36 to print and £72.36 was spent on postage, according to the first page of the Society's account book.
This issue contained two blank pages. In this reprint we have filled one with Jim Gilchrist’s memories of editing it. To fill this one, here is the report of the inaugural meeting which appeared in Piping Times.