Friday, 10 February 2012

Woman's Weekly was a blast from the past, even in the late 1960s when my best friend's gran used to save back copies for us.
I can't say we were enthralled by 'famed for its knitting,' and Mary Marryat's ladylike problem page wasn't a patch on Cathy and Claire in Jackie (which was banned by the nuns at school.)
But we were magazine addicts and read anything we could get our hands on from cover to cover. There was a running battle with my mum who thought Petticoat was depraved. Mum used to take Woman and Woman's Own, which I'd grab before she had the chance to sit down with them. But we had art student lodgers who kept a blissful stack of back copies of She magazine, Honey (my favourite) and Nova - how brilliant is this cover, streets ahead of any women's mags today - far too cutting-edge for 12-year-old me, but I read it anyway.
Who would have thought that Woman's Weekly would have survived into a new millennium ... long after the demise of Petticoat, Honey et al. Maybe they did Catch their Death in those mini-skirts and the way to longevity is knitting your own sensible knickers. Woman's Weekly readers really did knit their own lingerie. This programme yesterday was a hoot.

22 comments:

Sue said...

My granny used to get it (that and The People's Friend). I liked the Robins on the children's page. Thanks for reminding me of Cathy and Claire and Honey.

Darlene said...

Looking forward to listening to that programme in its entirety later on today. And really, Mary, it's far too early in the day here to have images of early patterns for men's swimming trunks refreshed in my memory! I'm sure those wooly things must have sucked up at least a gallon of ocean with each venture in.

mary said...

I'd forgotten about the Robins until they got a radio mention, Sue. And I was naively shocked that the Man Who Sees didn't really exist.

And moth holes, Darlene ...

Toffeeapple said...

My Mother used to have that and occasionally she would be given copies of Woman and Home, that one had dressing-up dolls and I used to love to cut them out and play with them. I think knitted underwear might be very appropriate at the moment...

mary said...

I remember dressing-up dolls in Bunty, but I can't recall them in Woman and Home, Toffeeapple - but that was quite a posh one for us, so I only saw it occasionally.

Sue said...

I loved the Bunty dressing up dolls. Anyone remember Twinkle?

mary said...

Bunty wore some weird clothes! I wonder who designed them? My little sister used to get Twinkle, Sue.

Cait O'Connor said...

I loved Petticoat, Honey and then Cosmo which was very progressive, remember that?

mary said...

I think Cosmo was probably the most exciting thing that ever happened to me, Cait; I'd be counting the days to a new issue.
Today's magazines are so boring. I don't bother buying them any more.

Eggs on the Roof said...

When I was 6 I was asked by the now defunct Woman's Mirror to list what I liked to eat at parties, for a feature they were doing. I wrote down what I thought said 'cheese sandwiches' and 'pineapple on sticks'. But it actually said 'tseez sbwtz' and 'pinaple on steeks'. I was the only child who needed a special translation to be printed alongside - very humiliating.

mary said...

I see you started out very young as a food writer, Charlie!

moleymakes said...

My mum used to get Woman's Weekly on a regular basis. I always found it to be a bit quaint and old fashioned, especially the problem pages. It did have some good craft projects and recipes though.

I used to read Twinkle, then progressed to Jackie, FAB 208, Mates then straight onto Cosmopolitan before settling on Best for a few years till the kids came along. I never had much time for magazines then and now I've sadly lost the habit.

mary said...

Hello again, Ruby. It was as quaint in its way as The Lady, wasn't it? I've completely kicked my magazine habit, too. Seems silly buying them when a book is the same price.

callmemadam said...

I loved Woman’s Weekly when I was a child and wrote about it here almost exactly three years ago. I still pick up old copies when I can. I forgot to listen to the programme so thanks for the heads up.

mary said...

Wouldn't you love to sit down with a glass of Sanatogen tonic wine for a good read! Love those old adverts you used, Callmemadam.

Vintage Reading said...

Ah, Jackie, Diane, Honey and (blush) Cosmopolitan, bliss. My mum still gets Woman's Weekly and I like to browse - they had a pattern for a Cath Kidston bag this week!

mary said...

It's kind of reassuring to know that it survives, isn't it, Nicola.

Emma Lee-Potter said...

This post takes me back to my youth. I loved my mum's copies of Nova (wish I still had them) and adored Petticoat and Honey. 19 was pretty good too - I seem to remember reading Jilly Cooper's early fiction in that mag.

mary said...

I wish I had a stack of them now, Emma. I can remember Jilly Cooper doing ads for Sanderson wallpaper, and of course her Sunday Times columns but I can't remember her magazine stories. Though there was a Charlotte Bingham serial in Jackie that I adored ... it was Coronet Among the Weeds. Very much of its time, I discovered when I found a copy in a charity shop a few years ago.

galant said...

My parents had a newsagent's shop and therefore from as early as 4 or 5 I was able to read anything I could get my mitts on, provided I could return it to the counter in mint condition. When I began to read magazines I always thought Woman's Weekly totally naff (although the word hadn't then been coined) and I wouldn't have bene seen dead reading it, ditto things like Home Chat and Home Notes. I much preferred the monthly style mags, such as Homes & Gardens, House & Garden, and Ideal Home. I was delighted, though, when Honey came on the market - I remember the first edition - and absolutely loved it. Then, soon after I married, along came Nova and what a cracking read that was, so avant garde. It was from a totally different magazine planet from Woman's Weekly

mary said...

How brilliant, having access to absolutely everything, Galant.

galant said...

I'm still hooked on magazines, namely Period Ideas, Period Living, Homes & Antiques, The English Home and zillions more!
Margaret P