WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

The Lady on the move

11 October, 2019 — By The Xtra Diary

The Lady editor Sam Taylor’s Twitter page @sametaylor

SO, farewell then, The Lady, the much-loved old bird of a magazine is finally, Diary hears, leaving its West End base for pastures new.

It has been based at its Bedford Street offices since 1885, but the society fortnightly, whose “situations vacant” column still carries ads for butlers and maids, is upping sticks for the environs of Boreham­wood in Hertfordshire.

According to its owner, Ben Budworth, they simply no longer have any need for their Charing Cross address and, with times as they are, some rethinking is in order.

Not all staff are happy. Editor Sam Taylor told the Press Gazette she would be leaving and it was solely because of the move. The magazine’s creative director has also decided not to follow The Lady up the A10, either.

“We all love this building,” Taylor told the Gazette.

“The building and the magazine are inextricably linked in a way. The Mitford sisters were in this building. Would Nancy Mitford have gone to Borehamwood? The answer to that is no.”

The offices have been sold to property company Capital and County for £12.4million at auction, the Gazette reports, by the title’s proprietor.

Intriguingly, and sounding more and more like a plot from Downtown Abbey, it is reported that Mr Budworth’s mother, Julia Budworth, is also not thrilled by the sale.

“It was very much a family firm,” Mrs Budworth told the Gazette. “But it has been dragged away from us,” adding that her views on the sale were possibly unprintable and she had not been made aware of the sale until it was completed.

“It’s a handsome building and it epitomises Englishness and English honesty, I hope, and a certain amount of stability and good sense. It’s sad to see it broken up in this way,” she added.

Mr Budworth said the move would help secure the magazine’s future and thanked staff who would not be making the journey with them for their “remarkable” work and effort they had put into the magazine.

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