The afternoon did the magazine proud and the staff who had travelled from Dundee were every bit as friendly as we'd expected. The Storytelling Centre is featuring The People's Friend Exhibition from 10th to 25th May so it's worth having a look if you're in Edinburgh. The event I was at on Saturday was held downstairs in one of the theatres and we were treated to a wonderful history of the magazine from its first issue in 1869. We were all given a replica copy of this edition and the writing is so tiny, it's a wonder it could be read!
The editor, Angela Gilchrist, introduced the programme before sub-editor Margaret Scott took us on a fascinating journey through the past, present and future. This was followed by an enjoyable reading from one of their story writers, Jane Tulloch. Assistant archivist, Barry Sullivan, then took us up to the break with his portrait of WC Honeyman, a man who deserves greater recognition.
The final sessions were equally fascinating. A young PhD student, Charlotte Lauder, presented a snapshot of what the magazine has meant to women over the years, uncovering some previously unknown information. I was amazed to hear about one of the first female journalists and editors and her support of women in the 19th century.
Another enjoyable reading was given by Edinburgh writer, Kate Blackadder. This was followed by a presentation from archivist David Powell who reminded us that the Archives don't stop in 1918! We had time for a couple of questions before we left satisfied with an informative and entertaining afternoon.
Thank you People's Friend for bringing so much pleasure to so many people 150 years on.