Where did that magazine come from?

Posted October 06 2014

It's great to hear stories behind the magazines we discover - this one is the perfect example. We received this sweet note in a package a few weeks ago:

"Thanks for your purchase of Queen. I bought this either in Charing Cross Road or Trafalgar Square kiosks as I was on my travels to live in the West Indies for a while and this cover picture caught my eye with its article on Jamaica. I had 3 and a half months in Jamaica but managed to get work in The Cayman Islands editing/managing a weekly newspaper. Queen is a good magazine for articles and ads. Hope you find all ok. Best wishes, Alan"

We're consistently curious about the history behind each and every part of our collection but don't always have the privilege of finding out. Thank you to Alan for letting us share his story:

He worked in the offices at Ford Motor Co., Dagenham in the early 60s and would often look out of the window and dream of tropical shores. He never did like cold weather too much and the dreadful winter of 1962/63 prompted him to be serious about going. He left Ford in 1964 to work at Mount Pleasant Post Office in Holborn, where a friend said he could earn good money with the overtime available. He would need to finance himself for a year without work if none was available. Alan met quite a few overseas people at the Post Office - one particular friend - a Portuguese Jamaican wrote to his sister in Kingston and arranged for him to stay with a someone she knew. He didn't find work in Jamaica, but some English teachers he met there told him there was a chance he might in The Cayman Islands. 

Alan loved Jamaica, he describes it as "a beautiful island, like Wales with sunshine! Cayman, amazing place. Lovely people. Lots of happy memories"

Alan's story and magazine have been added to the Elegantly Papered Archive - an extra special addition even if we do say so ourselves!