Blog: June 2019

The birth of Windfall magazine

Back in 2008 I posted about Windfall magazine (the predecessor to Apple User) after finding a few copies on a boot sale. The post sparked comments from quite a few of the original Windfall editorial team adding their recollections. Fast-forward to earlier this year and I had the pleasure of receiving an email from Peter F Bramfeld, sharing with me his memories of the birth of Windfall magazine, the people involved in its early development and some of his collection of early Apple marketing.

Here's the story in Peter's own words...

Hello all,
I have just stumbled across this thread and feel that I can add some background to what has already been quoted above [comments on the original post], as I am 75 years old I thought I should attempt to make this contribution before life takes its natural course.
Early 1980 whilst I was working as an experimental officer at UMIST, I received funding to purchase a personal computer. Everyone else had gone for Commodore pets, but I was attracted by the ease of interfacing external devices to the Apple 2, so I use my funding to buy an Apple.
At that time there was a national Commodore user's club, but there was no such organisation for the users of Apple, so I decided that I would start one, the Manchester Evening News got hold of the activity, via the PR department of the University, which resulted in the rather grandiose headline in the evening news "Manchester University shows American company how to use their technology".
I decided that I would advertise for Apple users to attend an evening meeting at the University so we could have a meeting of minds, at that meeting I suggested a subscription of £10 a year to the user group, for which each member would receive a monthly magazine.
The initial meeting far exceeded our expectations, and it was attended by over 200 people, at the end of the meeting I had loads of money, but an obligation to publish a magazine.
I was supported in my endeavours by my good friend and fellow university employee, Max Parrott, Max and I struggled to write the first couple of monthly magazines. In the audience had been one Derek Meakin, he approached us and said he would produce the magazine for nothing if we would supply the editorial, well this was Manna from Heaven, in addition we were both offered a fee of £100 a month for our trouble, life is too good to be true!
In the fullness of time I left the university, and joined Derek making as editor-in-chief, and from the beginning of Windfall grew a computer specific magazine stable of I think seven titles.
As to who deserves the accolade of the person responsible for the magazine, I feel that belongs to myself, and my colleague Max Parrott. David was the first editor and indeed was responsible for setting the editorial tone which was very successful in ensuring the magazine appealed to a wide readership.
If anyone would like to contact me as a consequence of this posting I would love to hear from them.

Peter F Brameld

If any of the original team wish to contact Peter, please get in touch with me and I will pass along his details as he has requested.

Tue 18 Jun 2019

Posted under: Ephemera , Magazine

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