Editor’s Diary: Unforgettable Alvaston


This week in my Editor’s Diary, I’m thinking back to our special anniversary weekend at Warner’s Alvaston Hall Hotel.

It’s not often that the “Friend” team works an entire weekend. But it’s not often a magazine celebrates its 150th birthday, either!

From the moment we arrived at 4 p.m. on the Friday, we were surrounded by love for the “Friend”. It was an experience I will never forget.

Margaret, Lucy, Alan, Jacki and I had made the long drive down from Dundee. At Alvaston, we met our colleagues Andy and Radhica, who had travelled from our London office.

And, of course, we also met up with our friends on the Alvaston staff. Special thanks to Alysha, Dan, Kate, Cathy and General Manager James for making us so welcome.

Welcome drinks with our 200-or-so guests were followed by a swift change for dinner. And then we had the first surprise of the evening. Our lovely Warner friends had made us a stunning birthday cake, decorated by Shop Sue from Alvaston’s gift shop.

Editor's Diary

As you can see, it came complete with fireworks!

Fun and laughter

It set the tone for a fabulous weekend filled with fun and laughter. We were incredibly busy, but it was an honour to meet so many of our readers and contributors.

People like “Riverside” author Glenda Young, novelist Annie Murray and travel writer Neil McAllister were popular with both staff and guests!

And oh, the thrill when singing sensation Paul da Vinci name-checked the “Friend” from the stage on Saturday night!

Then there were the craft workshops, my Q&A session with readers, Margaret’s history talk . . . The whole weekend was action-packed, entertaining and so very rewarding.

The weekend flew past in a flash, but we drove back to Dundee in a warm glow of satisfaction at a job well done.

It had been a party worthy of the occasion, and we can’t wait to meet more of our lovely readers on our next Warner break in November.

For more of Angela’s Editor’s Diary, click the tag below.

Read Alan and Lucy’s blog about our 150th Birthday Bash at Alvaston here.

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Former Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.