Some Lessons From The Past

the past

I came across my old work address book recently, which got me thinking about the publishing industry of the past.

After all, this was the book given to everyone who started in an office at DC Thomson all through the last century!

Books, phones and cuttings

An address book? Well, yes! You see, back then there was no such thing as the internet, or even email.

You used to have to phone people to be able to get on with your work. On teenage magazines that meant PRs, photographers, press officers . . . everyone.

You were also supplied with above two booklets, which employees of a certain vintage still have.

To get a magazine out back then, you really had to plan ahead. If you were writing a feature on someone, there was no internet to help you garner your copy. Instead, we relied on a department called “Cuttings”.

This was a cavernous area in the office where literally every person or event you could think of was allocated a large brown envelope. Inside, the Cuttings department team would keep any press or magazine mention of that person/event.

Not only that, but good old fashioned research meant a trip to the library! It was carefully guarded by two very organised — sometimes scary — ladies, who would phone the office if you were even a minute over handing any books back.

So looking back, things took longer to come together. But the magazines always went to press.

We’ll get the “Friend” to you

Which sort of brings me to our current situation. We have all the best technology to work from home, but things are taking just a little bit longer to get done. It all feels a little nostalgic!

There are a handful of us on the “Friend” who worked together back on the heady days of “Jackie” magazine. We wrote our copy on paper (there was only one typewriter in each office), before passing it on to the office typist and to be “set”.

Even working from home is quicker than our office process was in the past.

We’re getting closer to things being back to normal, although there are still some unavoidable delays.

It’s been lovely to reminisce, though. And no matter what, we’ll do everything we can to get the “Friend” out to you.

If you’re worried about getting out to buy your copy, remember that you can subscribe. We have a really good offer at the moment aimed at making this as affordable as possible.

Click here for all the details.

For more from the team, read our blog here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!