What the “Friend” Means To You

What The Friend Means

Our readers have been sharing their thoughts on what the “Friend” means to them to help celebrate us celebrate our 150th year.

A “Friend” In All Weathers

I have read with interest many of the articles detailing the 150 years of publication of “The People’s Friend”. It is amazing to think that something so down to earth and in tune with current trends has been able to be enjoyed by so many different generations.

This is a photograph of the barometer that belonged to my great, great grandmother. She was born in Shetland in 1835 but settled in Bishopwearmouth Sunderland, where she married in 1854.

I don’t know how she came to have the barometer, would it be a special offer? Or prize? I would be interested to know if there are any others still in use by a household that still receives “The People’s Friend”.

The barometer was gifted to me by my aunt, as she knows I am an avid reader of the “Friend” – long may it continue.

Mrs E.B., Canada.

This picture of “The People’s Friend” barometer caused much excitement here in the office! Our Archives guys would suggest it dates back to 1904. According to the clipping from the magazine shown below, it was sold as a “novelty” item.

The magazine described it like this: “This aneroid, British-made Barometer is mounted on solid polished oak, is of superior workmanship, and handsome appearance.”

The cost? A mere 10s 6d.

Grandma Knows Best

A hearty congratulations to “The People’s Friend” on celebrating 150 years.

My grandma first introduced me and my sisters to the “Friend” when we were all in our teens (we’re now in our eighties), and I particularly love the intriguing serials and variety of short stories. Maddie Grigg’s column and “The Farmer And His Wife” are other favourites.

Grandma, the wife of a farmer, outlived her husband and reached the grand age of one-hundred-and-two years old!

Ms P.D., Dronfield.

Thoroughly Enjoy Magazine

I can’t remember when exactly I first started to read “The People’s Friend”. My mother always had it in the house and I used to love to read it.

In 1961, when my job meant I moved away from home, I started to get it for myself and I now have a subscription which I really appreciate.

I enjoy the serials and travel pages, especially if I’ve visited that particular part of the country shown on the cover. I thoroughly enjoy the magazine, keep up the good work.

Mrs M.S., Harrogate.

Read It From Cover To Cover

I was born on January 13, 1945, so felt rather chuffed that I share “The People’s Friend” birthday.

Growing up in South Africa, my first experience of the “Friend” began in a rather novel fashion. At about the age of six, new people moved in next door and as was my mother’s custom, she baked a cake, set a tea tray and made a large can of coffee to welcome the new neighbours.

Soon my mother and Mrs Turner became firm friends and they began swapping magazines. Mrs Turner and her family had emigrated from Scotland. It was the first time I had ever met anyone from Scotland and I thought they were rather exotic as they spoke differently.

I was allowed to page through the “Friend” once my mother and older sister had finished with it. Since then I have only ever missed a handful of issues.

Having just recently moved to the UK with my British husband to retire here, one of the wonderful things is having the magazine delivered to my door regularly.

Unlike some readers, I am afraid that I cannot just read a single portion every day. I have to sit down with a mug of tea and read it from cover to cover.

Mrs V.F., UK.

How I Learned To Knit

In 1938 I was about five years old and lived with my grandma, as my mother was ill with TB and in an isolation hospital.

Grandma took me to school every morning and in the evenings would teach me to read from a lovely magazine called “The People’s Friend”.

It was delivered to grandma every week. She would read a few lines and get me to write them down and read them back to her. I also learnt to knit from the patterns in the magazine.

My dear grandma died in South Africa aged ninety-two. I’m now eighty-five and still reading your lovely magazine.

Mrs S.P.C., Bexhill-on-Sea.

For more from our readers, click on the tag below.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.