The Alvaston Hall Experience


Last weekend, Lucy and I had the pleasure of attending “The People’s Friend” 150th birthday party at Warner’s Leisure Hotels Alvaston Hall in Cheshire. We were joined by Editor Angela and other “Friend” colleagues, all excited for a full weekend packed with fun activities.

Now we have been back for a few days and had time to ruminate, what did Lucy and I think of the big birthday bash weekend . . .


I loved my time at Alvaston Hall. We were promoting what the magazine does best – focusing on our readers.

It was a busy weekend, but a rewarding one, too. And when readers share what a great time they had, you soon forget about your sore feet. A smile has the ability to do that – and our readers’ smiles are the biggest!

I’m proud to be part of a magazine that is 150 years old; its values, which have played a major part in making the magazine special over the years, continue to shine through, and will forever be reflected in the hearts and minds of our readers.

It was a privilege and humbling experience to be part of a special weekend.


When we had our 150th Celebration here in Dundee in January, we were joined by two readers who had won our competition to be part of the evening. When I asked if they were enjoying the party, they were all smiles.

“Of course!” They said. “Everyone’s made us feel welcome — we feel right at home. But we knew it would be like this — it’s the ‘Friend’!”

Our 150th weekend at Alvaston Hall was just like that. Everyone felt “among friends” and had a lovely weekend, making new friends while celebrating a very old one. Perfect!

You’ll find some pictures from the “Friend” 150th Birthday Bash on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.