Last week, a reader donated this copy of the “Friend” from October 8, 1949 to our Archive collection.
It’s in excellent condition for its age and we are very happy to have it. We have bound volumes containing a complete run of our issues from 1869. However, loose copies are quite rare, especially of much older issues like this one.
It features a J. Campbell Kerr painting of Holy Loch on the front cover. This is a very early J. Campbell Kerr, and it’s quite simple in style.
Inside is the first instalment of a new serial. “The Restless Years” by Catherine Airlie is billed as “a splendid new story of ‘The Wild Macraes’.”
There’s also a feature called “What Other Folk Do”, which looks at typical occupations of the time. Imagine my delight to see that the person featured this week was Mr John Gilchrist of Dundee. He was a “chapper-up”, meaning it was his job to see that Dundee folk got to work on time in the morning.
The “chapper” he uses is a short wooden club
“The day for John Gilchrist begins at 4.15 a.m., when he picks up his ‘chapper’ and starts on his rounds,” the article explains. “The ‘chapper’ he uses is a short wooden club, something like a potato masher. Actually, it is part of the equipment of an old spinning frame, and he has been using the same one ever since he started.”
It’s a fascinating insight into a vanished way of life. The article explains that though most folk owned alarm clocks, they preferred the services of the chapper-up as “he goes on knocking till he gets an answer.”
Mr Gilchrist toured the streets, knocking on front doors to waken bakers, railwaymen, posties and cleaners. He hadn’t missed a day through illness in over 40 years.
You’ll find many more wonderful stories from our Archive Collection in “The People’s Friend” 150th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition, on sale now priced £6.99