A Yorkshire magazine is celebrating its silver anniversary with birthday greetings from Her Majesty The Queen.
Down Your Way was launched by Averil Thornton in January 1995. She was disabled and needed a means of making money from home. Initially it was produced in the back bedroom of her home in Easingwold, but it quickly outgrew that space and moved to offices at Sutton-on-the-Forest.
Originally it was a lifestyle magazine, incorporating the York Diocese’s Aspects in Seen. At the beginning of the new millennium, the main focus moved to nostalgia.
It became part of the Dalesman stable of magazines in 2005, with Averil staying as editor until 2011. Sadly, she died last year.
The vast majority of the magazine is made up of reader contributions, with memories from the 1930s right through to the 1980s. It embraces any subject, from the austerity of the war years to the nightclubs of Leeds. It is pure nostalgia from start to finish.
Editor Lindsey Moore said: “It is an absolute privilege editing Down Your Way and sharing the memories of our family of readers. It is social history at its best.”
The magazine has twice been named Community Publication of the Year at the O2 Media Awards for Yorkshire and the Humber, with the judges saying it had charm. This year, it was highly commended in the community and specialist publication section. “It makes me feel all fuzzy and warm…what a brilliant publication,” said the citation.
In response to a letter from Down Your Way, Buckingham Palace’s loyal greetings officer Miranda Hansen Lise said Her Majesty was interested to learn of the magazine’s aims and content celebrating the people and places of Yorkshire.
The letter added: “The Queen sends her best wishes to the magazine’s readers in the United Kingdom and around the world, its contributors, those responsible for its publication and for its continued success.”
To acknowledge the magazine’s silver jubilee, a poll was launched to find the greatest Yorkshire personality of the twentieth century. It was won by York-born Dame Judi Dench, with Leeds-born Alan Bennett as runner-up and Sheffield-born Sir Michael Palin in third spot.
And, in the February issue of Down Your Way, celebrities reveal who gets their vote, with contributors including Sir Michael Parkinson, Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Titchmarsh, John Craven, Peter Wright, Christopher Timothy, and Barbara Taylor Bradford.