My late father was an avid reader of The Farmer’s Weekly and once I could read well I enjoyed reading the articles too, gathering quite a lot of incidental information along the way! A column called The Hitching Post delighted the older me – tickled by the messages posted by people seeking companions. This column is still going strong: advertisements claim that ‘hundreds of couples have found love’ or companionship as a result of submitting their profile to the magazine. There was also a supplement aimed at women that was called The Homestead and in this was a page devoted to the interests of young children. This was called Aunt Betty’s Corner. I must have been around five or six when I became a member.

I was very interested in the Corner and it was there that I found addresses for pen-friends – which fed my abiding joy in writing letters. I also loved entering competitions when the opportunity arose. During my primary school years I won about three writing competitions – the prize was usually a postal order for about two shillings. This ‘success’ spurred me on to write ever since – though I don’t earn a cent from it, although ‘scribbling’ gives me a lot of joy.

27 thoughts on “AUNT BETTY’S CORNER

  1. I remember pen-pals being popular when I was in grade school. My sister signed up and was assigned a pen-pal in England. Those pale blue air letters went back and forth, until the day when the 13 yr old pen pals decided they should meet in person! Travel was not the way it is today, so no visit ensued, quashed by the parents realism, and the letters dwindled away. By the time I was old enough to have a penpal, the program had ended. Blogging is kind of like having pen-pals all over the world – you get to see what other people’s lives are like and to know a little bit about them and their interests. PS. Of course you would have won writing contests. Our talents shine through early!


    • Thank you for this interesting contribution, Joni. I never see ‘pen-pal’ notices anymore. Perhaps the whole concept has dried up as different forms of communication have taken over.


  2. Love that member card, it harkens back to more innocent times. When we were kids, I think pen pal programs were seen as a way to promote literacy and cultural exchange. Nowadays, computers and the internet have changed the way we interact with the world, for better or worse.


    • I think you are right about the promotion of pen pals. The membership card definitely harks back to more innocent times – and they were innocent times then. I imagine we were sheltered from much of what was going on in the world because we had to rely on newspapers and the radio to inform us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, your mention of “postal orders” has triggered some childhood memories. And then I discovered the exciting world of International Reply Coupons when I got interested in listening to short-wave radio stations from far-off lands…



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