Saturday, 13 May 2017

Raymond Sheppard and Gunby Hadath

GUNBY HADATH (1871-1954)

Raymond Sheppard from Boy's Own Paper April 1940
In my first Sheppard blog article I showed a lovely colour cover by Sheppard of a charging tiger. I was wondering what to write about next and realised I haven't returned to Boy's Own Paper (BOP). Collecting magazines like BOP one starts to get to know artists very well but also author names (turn up again and again). One that appears a lot in the issues where Sheppard began illustrating is Gunby Hadath (1871–1954), or John Edward Gunby Hadath as he was christened. He also had pseudonyms, such as John Mowbray, Shepherd [or Shepperd] Pearson, James Duncan, and Felix O’Grady and was born in Owersby, Lincolnshire. Caistor, is also in one account but this is incorrect. However, both towns are roughly eight miles apart so one can understand why this confusion occurs. He began as a journalist, a correspondent for provincial papers, then London correspondent for the Italian press. He also wrote many lyrics to music (five of which are mentioned on the Havergal Brian Society pages as being 'lost') and 46 catalogued in the cooperative WorldCat.  He also wrote a number of songs such as 'Today and Tomorrow' [c1895-6], 'At Candlelight', 'Without You' and 'Song of Betrothal' and his most lasting, "Down the vale"

Raymond Sheppard Boy's Own Paper July 1938, p. 492

However he is best known for his public school stories as well as his adventure stories (as was another name seen with Hadath, Percy F. Westerman - more on him another day!). The British Library, at a very quick glance, lists 67 books with annuals, compilations etc, attributed to him and I suspect there's a lot more. Some sites quote 100 titles. If we add the "Pamela" series of books written under his female pseudonym, Florence Gunby Hadath (his wife's name, thus causing a lot of confusion for bibliophiles!) we easily get a bigger total and that leaves out all the short stories that were not reprinted in book form! He wrote "in periodicals such as ChumsHappy Mag., and The Captain". From: http://www.crimefictioniv.com/Part_34.html. He also had stories serialized in The Children's Newspaper.

He was athletic, and Captain of his school, St. Edmund's Canterbury and won College Colours for cricket, rugby and soccer at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University and was awarded his Master of Arts on January 16, 1896 (see Times 17 Jan. 1896, p.6). He followed a sporting career until his trial for Paignton Rugby Club when he had an accident which put paid to his sporting career.  He became Senior Classical Mas­ter at the Guildford Grammar School *.

Raymond Sheppard Boy's Own Paper July 1938, p. 494
"Planting his feet, he stationed himself in front of her, gripping his stick"

The Musical Times (1 August 1900 p.528) contains an appeal and update on a collection for Signor Piccolomini "the well known song composer, is, we are sorry to learn, seriously and distressingly ill. He is sixty-six years of age and, through the misfortunes of ill-health and failing powers, he is unfortunately without means. As his wife and her three young children are totally unprovided for, a fund has been started with a view of procuring a livelihood for Madame Piccolomini and her little ones, and of providing a home for her husband should he become sufficiently restored to be able to return to it. Nine donations already received, amounting to forty-two guineas, have given the fund a good impetus, and further subscriptions will be gratefully received and acknowledged by Mr. Gunby Hadath, 39, Chichele Road, Cricklewood, N.W" In the same year, he played cricket for the Authors against the Publishers at Lord's in 1911 and 1912 as well as appearing in a charity match for W. Strutt-Cavell's XI against XVIII of Twickenham in 1900.

Boy's Own Paper April 1940 p.307
"There had slipped out, brushing greasy elbows with him, two men who were whispering together"
After teaching for a while he appears to have been declared bankrupt in 1910. "The bankrupt had been a schoolmaster, the secretary of companies, a director of companies and journalist and since 1896 had earned between £1,300 and £1,400 by song-writing" The Times of February 11 1910 goes on to say "the bankrupt stated his failure was due to him having lost £1,985 17s 5d. through speculating on the Stock Exchange". In July (29th) that year it was further reported that despite clearing a lot of the outstanding debt the Registrar suspended the discharge for two years.

I like to think this is what prompted Gunby Hadath to start writing stories about his happier (?) times as a schoolmaster. Jack Cox writes in his history of BOP (Take a Cold Tub, Sir!) "His first story, "Buffle's Brolly" was published by Hutchinson in [...] 1909-10 and his last, "The decent old bird", was written for me [as Editor] in late 1953"

Boy's Own Paper April 1940 p.308-309
"Within the space of a breath the reptile had moved and wound its coils 
into a spiral, with neck extended and vicious head reared and swaying"
He also wrote to the Observer (February 18, 1923) requesting that London be given a "cleaning and painting" in honour of Sir Christopher Wren's bi-centennial
A somewhat unusual distinction has just come the way of Mr. Gunby Hadath, the writer for young people, who has been presented with the Freedom of St. Gervais-les-Bains, in Savoy, at the foot of Mont Blanc. Mr. Hadath resides on Mont Blanc during the summer months, and his "St. Palfry's Cross," which depicts the neighbourhood, has sold largely in America and Scandanavia, and is now being translated into French by Madame de Sailly.  From:P-P, De V. (1933), "Words confused and misused", The Bookman, vol. 83, no. 497, pp. 445.
Boy's Own Paper April 1940 p.308-309
"With the eerie sensation of being under inspection 
Michael called up that he had come in search of a room"
In the Collector's Digest March 1954 (Vol 8:87, pp62-63) a tribute appeared for Hadath:
There recently died Gunby Hadath who for a great many years was. in the front rank of authors for boys. He was particularly popular with his school stories. He started to write for "The Captain" in 1909 and continued to do so until its end in 1924. Later he wrote for "Chums". Practically all his serials were afterwards published in book form. Probably his best known story was "Sparrow in Search of Expulsion."
In his youth he was a well known cricket and rugger player. He rose to the rank of major in the First World War. He also wrote many popular lyrics, including "Down the Vale," which had a great vogue. I well remember a busker who used to sing it outside the old Bradford Empire 40 years ago. It was apparently the only song he knew. 
In a tribute which appeared in "The Times" Feb. 1st, "A.S.M." said he was in Gunby Hadath's form at a private school in Devon, where he was an assistant master just down from Cambridge. They started a friendship, which lasted right to Hadath's death. He concludes: "Of irrepressible vivacity and high spirits, come weal or woe, he was one of those usually dreadful people who are "hearty" at breakfast, that meal at which the characteristic Englishman sits dourly over his newspaper glowering upon all who make chatter, much less joke - but not upon old Gunby. I have known him burst into such a glum assembly wearing a bowler hat, boxing gloves, and Father Christmas white beard. With his passing much laughter has gone out of the lives of all who knew him; profoundest sadness descended upon his wife, who, alone able to read his handwriting, typed all his inimitable school stories and upon her twin sister, long time matron at Dulwich, who joined with them to make the happiest trio to which I have had the privilege of admission."
Gunby Hadath lived at Cricklewood but spent winter in the French Alps for many years. He must have been in his early eighties at the time of his death.
The Times 18 January 1954, (p. 8) announce his death and the following day a fuller obituary appeared in which it states he died at 82 years of age and was born on April 30 1871

OBITUARY:
MR. GUNBY HADATH whose contributions to the Boy's Own Paper and other publications of a similar nature will be recalled, died on Sunday in hospital in London at the age of 82, as briefly reported yesterday.
John Edward Gunby Hadath was born on April 30, 1871, the son of the late Rev. E. E. Hadath, sometime rector of Owersby, Lincolnshire. He was educated at St. Edmund's School, Canterbury, and Peterhouse. Cambridge, and began his career as a schoolmaster. His gift for clear exposition was soon manifested in writing, and he was able in due course to give up the classroom and transfer his work to the study, so that in time his name became one of the best known and best loved of those who aim to instruct as well as entertain youth. Many of his numerous stories appeared in serial form in the Boy's Own Paper,and were later republished as books to delight many generations of boys to whom Brent of Gatehouse, Last of his Line, Outlaws of St. Martyn's, Won by a Try and Schoolboy Grit have been household words for years. Besides his articles and stories, he wrote a number of lyrics, the best known of which is "Down the Vale" which in its musical setting had many years of popularity, and he also wrote for the theatre. For some years past he had divided his time between this country and France and since 1932 had been a Citoyen d'Honneur of the Commune of St. Gervaise-les-Bains, Haute Savoie.He married Florence Annie, the youngest daughter of the late William Webber, who survives him.
Let's get started with the Sheppard illustrated stories. The first I've found is "The mountain's dread hour" by Gunby Hadath (Boy's Own Paper July 1938). The two illustrations (shown above) are of a mountain eagle and it attacking two people on a ledge. All the other illustrations here are from Boy's Own Paper April 1940, Sheppard drew images to accompany Hadath's story "In search of a kingdom". Both stories are based on Hadath's experiences in the mountains of France.

Boy's Own Paper April 1940 p.315
NEXT: More of "In search of a kingdom"
===============================
* A lot of the early biography is adapted from Leonard M. Allen's article in The Story Book Collector No 33 January 1949

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Raymond Sheppard and Pony Club Annuals

Pony Club Annual Number 3 p78
"The Fox Cubs" by Raymond Sheppard
THE PONY CLUB
The Pony Club started in 1929 and its website states:

The Pony Club is an international voluntary youth organisation for young people interested in ponies and riding. Founded in England in 1929, and granted independent charitable status on 1st January 1997, there are around 345 Branches and 480 Centres in the UK alone. The Pony Club has been the starting point for a large majority of equestrian team members and medal winners.
The Pony Club is represented in no less than 27 countries with a worldwide membership exceeding 110,000 making it the largest association of young riders in the world.
It had 8,350 members in 103 UK branches in 1934 and reached a height of 43,817 members in 365 UK branches in 1982 then fell to its not insignificant current level of 30,674 in 345 branches in 2012.


THE PONY CLUB ANNUAL / BOOKS
Jane Badger Books has a full history of the Annual and I can't add anything here but to say Jane Badger Books also has a lovely listing of the annuals and books which is interesting in itself. many thanks to Jane for allowing me to use materials from her site.

Pony Club Annual Number 3 (1952)

RAYMOND SHEPPARD
The illustration at the top of this article comes from Pony Club Annual, number 3 (1952) and accompanied Frances Pitt's story "The Fox Cubs". The following year Sheppard illustrated another piece by Pitt, "Summer Ride" but this time the reader had to guess the animals and birds. Have a go and I'll reveal the answers at the bottom of this article. I think this Frances Pitt must be the author mentioned in the Wikipedia article. She appears to have written many academic papers as well as some Brooke Bond tea cards album which was ironically illustrated by Sheppard's contemporary Tunnicliffe. A list of her books are on Amazon.

Pony Club Annual Number 4 (1953)

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p111

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p112

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p113

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p114

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p115

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p116

Pony Club Annual Number 4 p119

Now I hope you are playing along!


The next annual Sheppard's work appeared in was Number 6 (1955). "Sure Magic" was written by Monica Edwards (8 November 1912 – 18 January 1998). The story is about a boy called Paul who is desperate to buy a pony but realises that it's near impossible with his pocket money. But a horse called Calluna and Paul's fates are intertwined. The story has been reprinted many times and a quick search of the Internet shows me that John Allsup's fascinating Monica Edwards site lists these as does Clare Noble's site PonyMadBookLovers which I enjoyed browsing for the visuals of covers!

"Staring past him at the snow" - Paul holds horse while snow falls
Pony Club Annual Number 6 p23

"..on long stilty legs" Young foal takes first steps
Pony Club Annual Number 6 p27

"She trotted along willingly enough" - Paul walks goat
Pony Club Annual Number 6 p34

The next was the renamed Pony Club Book, according to Jane Badger as "people might think the articles and stories had appeared elsewhere, when they were all specially commissioned.to a feeling that 'annual'". Sheppard's contribution is printed both on the cover (which I do not own so thank you to Jane Badger for allowing me to use her cover)
Pony Club Book Number 7 (1956)
The image comes from the "Do-this-yourself" feature. This sets a competition to write a story around a Sheppard illustration. Ironically - for me - the editor, I presume, mentions losing the cover or dustjacket, which is what's happened with a lot of copies as I've never seen one before until I nabbed this from Jane Badger's website.

Pony Club Book Number 7 p.50


"She trotted along willingly enough" - Paul walks goat
Pony Club Book Number 7 p51


Pony Club Book Number 8 (1957)
Pony Club Book Number 8 p10
The illustration accompanying "Holiday Ploughboy"

"Holiday Ploughboy", sub-titled "Team-work with the horses on a New Zealand farm" appears uncredited in Pony Club Book number 8 and according to the acknowledgements at the front of this book, appeared in The Times. Because I know you'd want me to track it down, it actually appeared The Times, Saturday, Dec 17, 1955 p.8 and the author is "From a correspondent"!

In addition the picture from the previous book appears again (on p.72) in this volume, where Wendy Ward (of Littlehampton) - 10 to 12 age group- and Selena Fisher (of Ashton, Northampton) - in the 14 and over category- had their stories printed.

NALDRETT PRESS
I wondered about Naldrett Press, who first published these books and found the Open Library shows a graph with publications predominantly between 1949-1956, but the British Library shows 1948 as the likely start date with books on football, including How to be a referee, cars, cricket, brewing topics, which extend from brewing to the wonderfully named Inn-signia which I guess is a pub signs book. They ventured into autobiography with Fabian of the Yard and the last two books in 1960 are on football. Anyone know anything about them? The Pony Club Annuals/Books, from numbers 6-11 (when publishing moved to Heinemann), were co-published with "The World’s Work (1913) Ltd" with Naldrett.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well here's the moment you've been waiting for,  the solutions to the questions raised earlier:

Pony Club Annual number 4 p158


p. 110 onwards: Moorhen, Heron, Water-vole, Redstart, Grey Squirrel, Fox
p.119: Rooks, Carrion Crow, Yellow Hammer, Pipit, Great Spotted Woodpecker

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Raymond Sheppard and Watch With Mother

A recent picture by Janet and Ann Grahame-Johnstone uploaded by "Philcom55" to ComicsUK Forum reminded me to write a little about Raymond Sheppard's drawings for "Watch with Mother".

Ann & Janet Grahame-Johnstone's artwork
As far as I can see there were very few books published using this popular TV programme's title as the theme. The series title appears in Andy Pandy  and also Rag, Tag and Bobtail pop-up books in the fifties  and a few story books in the sixties and then The Herbs, The Pogles and Teddy Edwards in the seventies. A few odds and ends were published later but I guess because of the 'naivety' of brand knowledge in the 1950s the - what would now be called - 'franchise' was not extensively used in books. The characters individually had many titles published, it's just "Watch with Mother" that didn't.  So I'm lucky to have a copy of this rarity. Sheppard's signature is missing from all his artwork in the book but his style speaks for itself.
The title page states:
Watch With Mother : Pictures, Stories, Puzzles, and Games based on 
Watch With Mother Programmes 
by arrangement with the BBC
Edited by Freda Lingstrom. 
The rest of the details are London: Publicity Products and bless the British Library who have [1955] as the date (in their case the date of receipt which is as close as I can get)

The White Squirrel by Maria Bird p.6


The stories - all credited - are by Maria Bird (3), Freda Lingstrom (2), Sam Williams, Louise Cochrane (3) and Marjorie Perraton. 
 
Maria Bird, who wrote the first Sheppard illustrated story, is mentioned on Wikipedia and together with Freda Lingstrom, lost her fiance in the war and lived together in a working relationship in the cottage next to Chartwell in Kent. Once again Steve Holland has captured plenty of information here on Bird, who apparently was not only as a producer, scriptwriter and wrote the lyrics for the early episodes of Andy Pandy but also narrated early episodes of a lot of Watch With Mother.


The artists listed (with no clues to which stories are theirs) are:
Raymond Sheppard, Reginald Jeffryes, Phlis Ladyman, Sam and Elizabeth Williams, Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone, Matvyn Wright, Monique Partridge, Kathleen Dance, 'Tim'. The latter drew many serials for Blue Peter in the sixties and his full name was William Timym, MBE (1901-1990) (or Wilhelm Timym as he was named at birth in Austria). He was an accomplished sculpture too - I well remember helping my son climb on the bronze statue of Guy The Gorilla at London Zoo. Read more here. Take a little while to visit Peter Richardson's overview of Anne and Janet here.

How many of these animals do you know?
The answer was published on the opposite page:


The beginnings of Watch with Mother were mid-1950 when Andy Pandy (created by Freda Lingstrom and Mary Adams) was broadcast. In 1952 the very fondly remembered “Flower Pot Men” were broadcast. Neither of these two children’s programmes came under the Watch with Mother umbrella until 1953, when, together with Rag, Tag and Bobtail, the broadcast went out 3 times a week. When two more were added in 1955, Watch With Mother  went out five times a week. There were others added to the series later (Tales Of The Riverbank, 1960 voiced by the wonderful Johnny Morris).
To tackle a mis-conception, apparently Muffin the Mule started in 1946 and was aimed at all children not just Watch With Mother's audience of pre-school toddlers and was not part of the package.

The Polite Monkeys by Marjorie Perraton, p51

p. 52

p.53

p.54

I couldn't find much about Marjorie Perraton besides her appearance as a writer for the BBC (mentioned on the wonderful BBC Genome Project)

In researching Watch with Mother Malcy B.’s website is referenced by many others, but is now no longer around. But God bless the Wayback Engine on archive.org - the last thing Malcy B. added to the Yahoo Group mentioned on the Wayback Engine captured page page was in 2008, so I wonder whether Malcy is no longer with us. 

Before I go, I ought to mention that Raymond Sheppard appeared on the BBC at least twice:

From the BBC Genome Project
I have checked using my contacts and neither are archived unfortunately. But that's what has been said about Doctor Who and many others and they have appeared, so who knows maybe we might still get to see Sheppard 'live'.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Raymond Sheppard and William Joseph Blyton (W. J. Blyton) (Part Two)

English Cavalcade is the focus of this second article on W. J. Blyton. (the first being here on Rolling Year).

English Cavalcade Dustjacket

English Cavalcade Dustjacket

CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS



Saturday Review 20 February 1937 p135-136
Stanley B. James, for The Catholic Herald reviewed this work as its book of the week, 2 April 1937 (p.4) under the title  "Men And Shires: Geographical Approach To Literature"

Facing Page One of this pleasant book is a map of Great Britain bearing the first headline of this article. The idea of this map, which is the idea of the book, is brilliantly conceived. Instead of counties and towns one sees, scribbled in, the names of poets, novelists, essayists, etc., giving a bird's-eye view of the country viewed from the standpoint of one whose interests are tied up, at least for the time being, only with masters of the pen.
And if we have maps showing density of population or the mineral resources of our land, why should we not have one drawn to illustrate the associations of the various shires with our national literature? We frequently speak of Bookland; well, here it is, superimposed on and, as Euclid taught us to say, coinciding with, the contour of our island home. There follow pages packed with a surprising wealth of literary gossip and apt quotation interwoven with sketches of the country through which we are passing, the whole being charmingly illustrated by the author and Raymond Sheppard,
If the literary approach to geography is new, so is the geographical approach to literature. Moreover, it is not only a legitimate way in which to traverse Bookland but also, as Mr. Blyton enables us to see, a very entertaining way. Local colour is an important factor in the sort of writings here enumerated. It might be argued indeed that a love of the shires gives us the best key to an understanding of the national genius. Such a book as this does but apply to literature the test of local patriotism as expounded in, say, The Napoleon of Notting Hill. Critics might do worse than adopt categories which would enable us to leave the lecture-room behind while we took an open-air jaunt. In fact they came near doing this when they classified certain of our poets as The Lake School.
Borrow did something of the same kind for Wild Wales. The itinerary of that hefty pedestrian is almost entirely dictated by his interest in the poets of the Principality. He is happiest when, standing by some pile of litchened stones, he can recite verses from the poet of whose home they once formed a part. His narrative forms a running commentary on the bards through whose former haunts he is passing. He counted himself specially fortunate if he could meet with descendants of the famous dead or encounter in some wayside inn, as he sometimes did. -drover or cobbler or farmer who could cap quotation with quotation from the works of the local hero.
The ground Borrow covered was restricted compared with the realm in which the author of English Cavalcade moves. But what his account lost in variety it gained in intimacy. His story is that of a personal experience which has the character of a pilgrimage. More than that: for the greater part of the way he used his own stout legs to carry him over the hills. Thus he was enabled to get to close quarters with his subject and to linger, where he chose to do so, long enough to collect unrecorded local 'legend.
In days when it has become the fashion for descriptive journalists intent on Seeing Britain to take us on a scamper covering the length and breadth of the land this would he accounted a slow method unworthy of the age of express trains travelling at over sixty miles an hour and motor coaches which whirl us 'through a county at a pace which makes detailed observation impossible. Mr. Blyton's style (small blame to him seeing how much ground he must get over in 311 pages) reflects these altered conditions. We rejoice in the bird's-eye view he gives us but we miss the leisurely pedestrianism which was able to enjoy chats by the wayside with the actual folk of the countryside.
Unfortunately our author has missed one advantage which his comprehensiveness might have given him. A concluding section of his book treating generally of the relations -between our national genius and its climatic and topographical setting would have been a valuable addition. It would have been interesting to note in such a chapter the effect of foreign travel on writers of our race. The difference between Wordsworth and - say- Shelly or Byron is surely due in part to  difference of environment. But such discussions we may concede, might have robbed the book of that discursive character which is one of its charms. In these pages we are, and are meant to be literally-minded sightseers, not philosophers.
There is need of a volume of this kind. Borrow, if I may refer to him once more, concludes an account of a conversation he had with a miller in this way, " 'What a difference,' said I to my wife after we had departed, 'between a Welshman and an Englishman of the lower class.What would a Suffolk miller's swain have said if I had repeated to him verses out of Beowulf or even Chaucer, and had asked him about the residence of Skelton?'". None of us will have difficulty in answering that question and our answer will emphasise the purpose that may be served by so brightly written and informative a study of the relations between the men and shires of Britain.
 I have emboldened the only comment in this long review of Sheppard's artwork and as can be seen, Blyton also did some of the illustrations. I have reproduced these for completeness on my Visual Rants blog along with another review which doesn't mention the illustrations at all beyond "There are many satisfactory woodcuts" .

The New Zealand Herald 17 April 1937 inserted one image from the book in its review column with no actual review beyond the following text:


There are other reviews, (for example Illustrated London News, Saturday, April 24 1937 p.706) but none mention Sheppard's illustrations just Blyton's omissions in his text.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS:
p.1

p.53

p.86

p.118

p.154

p.183

p.233

p.259

p.311