This magazine was produced by a mutual improvement class based at Eastville Free Methodist Church, which was located on Fishponds Road in Eastville (northeast of Bristol). (For a brief history of this church see ‘Eastville Methodist Church (now Pentecostal City Mission), Eastville, Fishponds‘ on the Places of Worship Database website.) The lists of members at the front of the extant 1893 and 1894 issues have 26 and 24 names respectively. It was a mixed-gender class with perhaps a fairly equal number of men and women (there are several names on these lists where only the surname is given). No addresses are given after these names, but these can be found by consulting the entries for the parents in the church register, also available in the archives. The group members were pro-temperance, and two pieces by different authors in their magazine mention attending a Band of Hope meeting. (For more information about the Band of Hope, see the article, ‘Band of Hope‘ on the Spartacus Educational website.)
There are only two extant issues of the manuscript magazine that this class produced. These are roughly A5 in size, with a brown paper cover and are hand-stitched. It is unclear if there was a set production date for each issue (e.g. monthly, bi-monthly, etc.), but it might have been tied to the semester schedule. The format of the contributions vary: some are written solely on one side of the paper, whilst others are on both front and back, which is a bit usual for these magazines. All the contributions — the majority of which are essays on a variety of topics — are in the authors’ own handwriting. With few exceptions, all of the contributors and reviewers use their own initials. There is no original poetry and no illustrations or artwork in either issue. Readers were allowed one week to view the magazine.
The issues are compact not only in size but in the number of contributions: there are 68 pages (unpaginated) in total in the 1893 issue with 7 contributions followed by four readers’ responses over 10 pages in the ‘Notes and Comments’ section, and 30 pages with 5 contributions in the 1894 issue. Interestingly, whilst there are also a number of blank pages left for readers to provide their responses in the ‘Notes and Comments’ section in the later issue, none of the readers chose to use this space.
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Eastville Free Methodist Mutual Improvement Class
Date of Existence
Date of Magazine
No. 1, October 1893 and No. 5, October 1894
Number of Issues
Contents and Contributions
Annotations; Articles (non-fiction); Circulation Lists; Editorials; Essays; Extracts of published works; Letters to Editor; Magazine Rules; Poems (republished material); Readers’ Criticisms; Serial articles/stories; Tables of Contents; Title pages
Bristol Archives & Record Office