“Here’s To The Next 150 years!”

Liz from the Features Team is retiring today!

Liz has been responsible for all things knitting, craft and crochet on the “Friend” for nearly nine years, and one thing’s for sure – she’ll be missed. Fiction Team’s Lucy caught her on her way out the door to ask about her time on the “Friend”, how working on a magazine has changed over the years, and her plans for the future.

When did you join DC Thomson?

Straight from school, on June 28, 1976, aged 17.

Which other magazines did you work on, before you joined the “Friend”?

I started off on letterpress, working for a few months on ‘Red Star’ weekly, followed by my first stint on “The People’s Friend”, where I worked for two and a half years. I then moved on to ‘My Weekly’ before taking on my first Knitting Editor role on the monthly magazine, ‘Annabel’. I did another stint on ‘My Weekly’ and then helped launch the embroidery magazine ‘Classic Stitches’ where I worked for 16 years. This brought me full circle to the “Friend” again, where I’ve been for almost nine years – on Production for the first few months, then on Features.

Tell us about some of the changes you’ve seen in your time here.

When I started, we shared manual typewriters, and there were two phones for the whole office. We proof read galley proofs and we had a long lead time – over three months. Nowadays, everything is computerised and we work with a lead time of less than a month. We all have our own phones, but actually, email is the main form of communication.

What has your job involved, on a day-to-day basis?

I’ve worked on the knitting, crochet and craft, making sure the patterns are correct, the garments photographed and checking that the designers are briefed on what we need for the following season. I’ve also worked on general features and interviews, and have worked a lot with the travel writers and the Manse Window contributors. Gillian Thornton is a writer I’ve worked with for over 30 years.

Has your job always been desk-based, or has it involved any travelling?

Yes, on Classic Stitches I set up exhibitions in Atlanta, US and Toronto, which was very exciting. I have also enjoyed press trips to Paris, Venice (twice) and more locally, Shetland, Belfast and many UK towns.

What have you enjoyed most?

I have enjoyed working with some lovely, talented and clever people. I’m always amazed at the skill of the staff around me and count many of them as friends.

What are your retirement plans?

I shall be doing some very part time work and plan to have lots of holidays. I’m sure I’ll see a bit more of my grandchildren, and my garden is needing attention. Let’s hope for a temperate summer so I can give it some TLC.

Any thoughts on the “Friend” in its 150th Anniversary year?

The “Friend” has always had a great relationship with its readers and I hope that continues. Here’s to another 150 years!

Meet the rest of the team!

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!