Once Upon a Lunchtime, several years ago, a group of friends were reminiscing about the exciting lives they lead as young female journalists working on top selling pop and women’s magazines in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
It all came flooding back, the incredible interviews, the ground-breaking features, the photo shoots, the dramas, the drugs, the creativity, the opportunities, the freedom, the glitz and the glamour and the sheer excitement about being part of the explosive magazine world in the most crazy and attitude-changing decades.
‘We should write a book’, they said. And they did.
Top photo: The Magazine Girls left to right: Penny, Linda, Shirley, Sandie and Jan.
The Magazine Girls took six years from possibility to publication, during which time they saw four Prime Ministers, battled with Brexit and struggled with Covid, losing loved-ones along the way, but overcame the trials and particularly the distance and time difference between them, being scattered between Epsom and Sutton, London and Loughton, Herefordshire, Hampshire and Montreal, where co-author Jan Iles-Kaluza has lived and raised her family for many years. Now in their ‘70s, the seven authors of The Magazine Girls-The inside story, are still firm friends and celebrated the launch of their book with bubbles, nibbles and sparkling repartee at a signing event in Waterstones Epsom on Sunday 23rd April.
‘None of this would have been possible without learning that essential new skill – Zooming –says co-author Jan Collier. ‘It kept us on track and united in our determination as we made important democratic decisions, which to be fair weren’t always easy and we did have our differences at times.’
One of the greatest bonuses for the girls, says Jan, who volunteers with Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper for the blind and visually impaired, was learning about and working with Calibre-Audio. The national charity started in the 70s and brings the written word to life via audiobook, free of charge, for those members who are visually impaired or have any form of disability that makes reading print difficult. ‘We are so pleased and proud that members of Calibre-Audio will soon be able to hear our ‘inside story’ and hope it will bring back happy memories of those iconic decades to all who lived through them.’
Former Editor of Rave Magazine who worked with the girls in the late ‘60s, esteemed comedy writer Colin Bostock-Smith adds ‘’The magazine girls made my life mad –and magical. They were sweetly feminine and tough as old boots. Stunningly sane and frequently quite cuckoo. They were a riot. And judging from this great book, they still are.’’