The Archive Guys: Special Branch

Another delve into our wonderful archives with The Archive Guys!

Although I’m sure many could argue that all of “The People’s Friend” archive collection is special, there’s only one area that will have that actual designation.

These days “The Friend’s” specials are a far more common sight, with one issue every three weeks or so, but back in 1981 they were pretty rare.  Beginning with the ‘Super-Saving Cook Book’ above, there were only 57 specials in the original series which ended in 2002.  These included Summer and Holiday Reading Specials as well as several covering various aspects of knitting such as soft toy making, and Christmas Specials which, to my surprise, started as late as 1994.

Interesting items

As with many older publications, there are a couple of ‘interesting’ items which can be viewed as being ‘of their time’, but would probably raise eyebrows now.  The entry regarding ‘Notes for Working Wives’ being one that probably wouldn’t be included nowadays:

However, as much as the differences between what was acceptable in the early 1980s and now are sometimes jarring, for the most part what always amazes me about when looking back through older editions is just how much stays the same.  People are always looking for ways to feed themselves well, but within a budget, and I bet many of the recipes featured here would be enjoyed today.

To give you an idea of what I mean, I’ll leave you with the first set of recipes from the inaugural Cook Book Special. Bon appitit from 1981!

Guest Contributor