How it Happend!

This little publication came into being. in October 1971. A local doctor attended a patient in Stourbridge whose life was drawing to an end.She had founded and edited the little 12-page Anchored Magazine seven years earlier and felt that her 2,750 readers wanted it to continue. He showed me a copy. I felt that it had a rather personal, almost affectionate touch, and seemed to attract elderly and lonely readers as well as circulating at women's meetings, mainly in Britain.

There was a spiritual but friendly, homely tone in the contents. Poems contributed by readers, short stories of their experiences, friendly readers' letters and competitions followed. I was asked to visit Miss Nellie Hulme, the editor, as early as possible. She was in the early eighties and on her sickbed. I had to decline as my husband and I were flying to Philadelphia next day to take part in a friend's marriage. "I'll get in touch when I return in three weeks," I offered. He shook his head, "I'm afraid she'll be gone by then." I did not like to disappoint this friendly doctor, but had to assume that this was 'not for me'. However, when we returned we found that Miss Hulme was still living.

Our doctor friend took me to her next day. I felt that she and I were very different in temperament and circumstances and that I could hardly follow this gentle maiden lady with her musical and artistic talents. I was middle-aged myself, a mother of three, though family responsibilities were not too demanding at that time. The editorship was offered to me and I agreed to take it on for a year to see what the response was. It was pleasing that Miss Hulme lived to see the first edition which I published in January 1972.

I mentioned to a minister friend that I had inherited an aged readership and that I did not expect to carry on this editorship for long. He cheerfully responded "Don't worry - they would leave a forwarding address if they could!" During that year the feedback (a fellow editor's phrase) was surprisingly warm, the £450 bank credit transferred to me as a reserve against expenses had not been touched (neither has it to this day) . It was not long before my husband and I were invited to visit readers from as far away as Canada. We happily responded and travelled westwards along the 3,500 mile Trans Canada Highway, dropping off at several readers' homes and addressing a few meetings en route. Then - over the Rocky Mountains to the west coast and crossing to Vancouver Island to meet the family who had visited England in 1966 and had planned the founding of 'Anchored' while staying with Miss Hulme.

The circulation is now 14,600. Because I have exceptional health I have not yet needed to ask our doctor friend to introduce me to a likely successor.

Kathleen Lawrence-Smith


anchored magazine