On 17 October, we celebrated 50 years of Osprey Publishing with a party at Rhodes House, Oxford. This was a fantastic event, which brought together current and former staff members, authors, illustrators, cartographers, indexers and friends of the imprint. Some of these contributors had worked together for years but never actually met and others had not seen each other in years, so it was a great opportunity to finally meet or catch up after so long.
Osprey’s legacy was celebrated in speeches from Jonathan Glasspool, Managing Director of Bloomsbury’s Academic & Professional division, Richard Sullivan, Managing Director of Osprey Publishing, and Martin Windrow, a British historian, editor, author and long-time editor of the iconic Men-at-Arms series.
Richard Sullivan described the history of the company, finishing by saying:
‘Since its creation in 1968, Osprey Publishing has had five owners, seven premises and lived in three cities. It thrives now, as part of Bloomsbury Publishing, with a vibrant programme of frontlist titles, a strong, deep backlist and good results, all created, managed, produced, marketed and sold by a wonderful bunch of people.’
Martin Windrow was presented with an engraved tankard to honour his long service and incredible dedication to the company. Richard said of Martin:
‘When I arrived around 13 years ago he told me, very diplomatically, that I was the rookie officer, new to the fort and the dangers outside. He was the grizzled old Indian scout, sitting outside the fort, probably in a battered lean-to, and he would take me out into the Badlands to teach me proper campaigning. He proceeded to do so, with wit, kindness and tact. He has done this for a huge number of Osprey employees over the years, alongside building two of the most successful series in the imprint. He has been instrumental in the creation of the Osprey we know today. He has been editor, mentor, confidant and friend to employees, authors and illustrators alike for almost 50 years.’
After the speeches had finished and the wine had gone, the party continued in the pub, where toasts were drunk, stories were told and old friends caught up properly. Needless to say, there were a few hangovers in the morning!
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