Known to its members as PP, the correspondence magazine had been doings the rounds since 1955. I joined in 1965 when I was a young mother after answering an advertisement for letter writers published in either Nursery World, Parents or Mother and Baby (I’m not completely sure which magazine it was ). In the days when PP started mothers were mostly housebound so joining a correspondence magazine, with letters written each month, was a wonderful lifeline. The first letter you wrote was an introductory letter, after which letters were written in answer to other members letters; sometime we also discussed various topics of interest. The editor packed all the letters together sending them to the first member on the roster who was only expected to keep the magazine for a couple of days. Once read and replied to, PP was sent off to the next person on the roster and so on until everyone had read it, while replies were sent to the editor for the following months magazine.
I’m still a member of PP although I’m at the opposite side of the world to most members. Once I migrated to Australia I was always last on the roster, initially the letters being sent by surface mail, a concept which must seem very strange to many now in the age of emails. Apart from myself only one other member didn’t live in England; that was Jean Coffin who lived in Nyasaland – later known as Malawi – on a leper colony where her husband worked. I’ve ‘met’ and befriended some very interesting people in what now seems a very old fashioned pursuit – letter writing.