Editor’s Diary: The History Of The “Friend”

Scan of "The People's Friend" team illustration working at desk from 1901

As regular readers of this Editor’s Diary know, the “Friend” team have been enjoying Tuesdays in the office for several months now.

It’s so nice to see everyone in person again! While working from home has its advantages, there’s no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

We all get together just once a week, so we try to make every second count.

That includes catching up on news, swapping books, eating cake — and going out for lunch!

We also make a point of brushing up on our skills and increasing our knowledge.

Recently, for example, Design Editor Jaclyn treated us all to a presentation on design basics. It was fascinating!

New team members

We have a few team members who joined us just before or during lockdown. And it struck me that they might not have the same knowledge of the history of the “Friend” as the rest of us.

Many of us were part of the unforgettable celebrations of the magazine’s 150th anniversary back in 2019. So we’re pretty familiar with our story. But others are less so.

That’s why I decided to use one of our Team Tuesdays to give a talk on the history of the “Friend”. It’s something we do at every Warner holiday we run. And it always goes down well!

The “Friend” launched in 1869, so we have plenty history to talk about. And there are some fabulous images to share, too.

One of my favourite is at the top of this post. It shows the “Friend” Literary Department hard at work in 1901.

The office they are in was just across the road from our current premises. In fact, we can see the building from our window in Dundee!

I wonder what they would have thought of the modern high-tech office we occupy today?

Read Angela’s previous diary entries.

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.