Our Thoughts On “Reading Between The Lines”

reading between the lines

The first season of “Reading Between The Lines”, our story podcast in association with the Oddfellows, has now come to an end.

Our episodes have been downloaded nearly 5000 times to date, and we couldn’t be more pleased! We hope that more and more of our readers discover these little audio gems. And subscribe for the upcoming season two!

Our thoughts

From podcast experts to archivists, fiction aficionados to features writers, we’ve had a lot of contributors this season.

We’re asking them all for their thoughts on how our series is going so far. Here are some of their responses . . .

Photograph by Marion McGivern.

Barry Sullivan (centre, above)

Barry is Assistant Archivist at DC Thomson, and is responsible for some of the fascinating insights into the history of our magazine.

“Having never taken part in a podcast before, the last few months have been a real learning curve for me. Not just in terms of the nuts ‘n’ bolts and logistics behind creating a podcast, but also with respects to ‘The People’s Friend’ archives; an area I thought I already knew quite well.

“In particular, some of the stories we’ve listened to and discussed have been real revelations, and I’ve had a lot of fun researching some very talented writers.

“It will come as no surprise to the rest of the team involved with ‘Reading Between the Lines’ that my favourite among these is AP MacDonald, whose ‘MacPeevers’ Wrangles’ were amongst the first we encountered.

“In fact, I was so taken with these that I’m in the process of doing some more in-depth research on the writer. Very much looking forward to sharing the fruits of my labours with everyone once my contacts in America are able to provide me with what I hope will be some interesting information.

“As well as the research, the actual podcast recordings have been really good fun, with lots of lively, opinionated (but always friendly), informative discussion about the merits (or otherwise!) of the stories in question.

“The actual recording sessions themselves always seem to pass really quickly, but I’m usually exhausted by the end of the day – it might not always sound like it, but they require a lot of brain ‘processing power’. I suspect this may have something to do with the ‘performative’ aspect of being on a show which will be broadcast as far and wide as ‘Reading Between the Lines’.

“Whatever the case, this is definitely NOT something which we covered on the archives course!

“Although I’ve enjoyed each show for different reasons, I reckon my own contribution peaked at the end of the recording of our pilot episode, when a somewhat throwaway comment I made about ‘The People’s Friend’ having its own theme song somehow led to the producers collaborating with Neil Brand; someone whose work I’ve enjoyed at film festivals.

“As well as fitting so well with the podcast, it also feels so in keeping with the show that it begins and ends with material pulled from the magazine’s extensive archive.”

Tracey from the “Friend” Fiction team

“I loved doing this!

“It really brought it home just how long the Friend has been around and been part of people’s lives for generations.

“A good story is a good story regardless of when it’s written. It was lovely to give a nod to authors of yesteryear too.”

reading between the lines

Image by Iain McDonald.

“Reading Between The Lines” episodes

Here’s a list of all our season one episodes. Just click the titles to open the episodes automatically in a podcast app you have installed on your computer, phone or tablet.

Episode 1: “A Night Among Robbers: An American Adventure” (1871), by anon.

Narrated by Alex, with a panel of Alex, IainMairi and David.

Episode 2: “The MacPeevers’ Christmas Cards” (1906), by A.P. Macdonald.

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Marion and Barry.

Episode 3: “The Story Of A Masterpiece: An Artist’s Romance” (1905), by Agnes Grozier Herbertson.

Narrated by Alex, with a panel of Iain, Alex, Mairi and David.

Episode 4: “The MacPeever Wrangles: The Secrets Of Freemasonry” (1906), by A.P. Macdonald.

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Abbie and Barry.

Episode 5: “Love And Pride” (1927), by Rachel Monroe.

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Abbie and Barry.

Episode 6: “The MacPeever Wrangles: The Burglar” (1906), by A.P. Macdonald.

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Angela and Barry.

Episode 7: “The Girl Engine Driver: A Tale Of A Race With A Forest Fire” (1916), by W.D. Morris

Narrated by Marion, with a panel of Iain, Marion, Tracey and Barry.

Episode 8: “Caroline Wickham” (1910), by Herbert Jamieson

Narrated by Marion, with a panel of Iain, Marion, Tracey and Barry.

Episode 9: “The Black Sheep Of The Family: A Tale Of A Fancy Dress Ball” (1911), by Evelyn Hope

Narrated by Marion, with a panel of Iain, Marion, Tracey and Barry.

Episode 10: “Stella And The Spy: The Romance Of A Spring Holiday” (1917), by Margaret Douglas

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Marion and David.

Episode 11: “A Marked Man” (1911), by Paul Herring

Narrated by Judey, with a panel of Iain, Judey, Marion and David.

Episode 12: “My Connemara Ghost” (1910), by J.E.M.

Narrated by Lucy, with a panel of Iain, Lucy, Angela and Barry.

For more on “Reading Between The Lines”, click the tag below.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.