Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?]

I started writing about the BBC annuals in a previous post and felt it was getting too big, so have decided to focus on each book separately.

Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – Cover
Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – Contents Page

It’s unfortunate that there is no publication or copyright date on this annual. It’s published by Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. Ltd and apparently edited by Uncle Mac himself – Derek McCulloch. I say apparently only because I would think he was far too busy to edit this himself, but I might be wrong! The Contents page has gorgeous artwork decorating the border drawn by Helen Jacobs. The endpapers are by her as well with her wonderful identifying signature in a ribbon.

I’m adding this as text so it’s findable by search engines and future historians!


  • Bill Aylesbury at the Circus Parties by Geoffrey Dearmer
  • Parties that go by Derek McCulloch
  • Competitions by Derek McCulloch
  • A Piano for Jean-Jacques by Antonia Ridge
  • The Mystery of Migration by Lt. Cmdr Peter Scott MBE, DSC
  • Anna’s Christmas by Harry Farjeon
  • With George in the Balkans by Bernard Newman
  • Ponds are Wonderful by Jack Lester FZS
  • Four Poems by Olive Dehn
  • Monday the Rabbit by W. A. Rathkey
  • Sketching is Good Fun by W. R. Dalzell
  • H.M. Tower of London by Col. E. H. Carkeet-James O.B.E., M.C.
  • Lear Cottage by Olive Dehn
  • Two Creatures of the Night by Brian Vesey FitzGerald FLS
  • Rinloon the Hare by H. Mortimer Batten
  • The Yellow Balloon. by Ken Francis
  • “Jezebel” by Meryon Vance
  • Paddy and His Cat by Alan K. Taylor
  • Odds-Bobs-and-Mackerel by George Baker

Illustrators include Helen Jacobs, Weiss, Barbara C Freeman, Alex Jardine, Cicely Steed, Lowell, Gale & Bruce.

I’d love to be certain of who this artist is. This page faces Uncle Mac himself with the artist’s signature If anyone wants to hazard a guess I’d be grateful – it looks like Weiss to me.:

Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – Title page – Who is THAT artist who has signed their work??
Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.90 illustration by Alex Jardine

I’d never heard of Alex Jardine – or more accurately I remember nothing about this name – and his work, which can be found easily online. He was born Alexander William Jardine (1913-1987) in Essex, where he attended Brentwood School. Jardine studied at St. Martin’s School of Art and in Brussels. He was responsible for a river fish series of stamps for the General Post Office (1983), also completing commissions for Imperial Chemical Industries, Bakelite Ltd, Swedish Travel Bureau and publishers such as Collins, Eyre & Spottiswoode and Hutchinson. He was a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and Society for Wildlife Art of the Nations and showed widely internationally. Lived in Chislet, Kent.

He appears to have little listed in magazines, although that may be an indexing issue, and many dustjackets for novels, particularly, early on in his career, crime fiction. One wonders whether Ethelind Fearon requested him to do the art for her books as he seems to have illustrated at least seven of her titles


  • The Adventures of a Gadabout, George W. Houghton, London: Selwyn & Blount, 1936
  • The Case of the Bonfire Body, Christopher Bush, London: Cassell, 1936
  • Mystery at the Rectory, A. Fielding, London:Collins Crime Club, 1936
  • Black Cats are Lucky, A. Fielding, London:Collins Crime Club, 1937
  • The First Adventure Featuring Woozy, a Thing Found by Jane and Pip lying by the Roadside., F. A. M. Webster, London: Juvenile Productions 1937
  • Jewels in the Dust, Joan Conquest, London: Jarrolds, 1937
  • Cafe Royal Cocktail Book W. J. Tarling, London: Pall Mall Ltd.,1937
  • The Quest for Lost Legend, F. A. M. Webster, London: Juvenile Productions, 1937
  • These Names Make Clues, E.C.R. Lorac, London:Collins Crime Club, 1937
  • Island of Spies, J. M. Walsh, London: Collins Crime Club, 1937
  • The Six Queer Things, C. St. John Sprigg, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1937
  • Octagon House, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, London: Collins Crime Club, 1938
  • The Red Mirror Mystery, Gret Lane, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Nine Doctors and a Madman, Elizabeth Curtiss, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Lessinger Laughs Last, Richard Essex, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Mrs Warrenders Profession, G.D.H. & M. Cole, London: Collins Crime Club, 1938
  • Murder in the Dispensary Jolyon Carr, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Keep on Dancing, F.E. Baily, London: Odhams, 1938
  • The Marrowby Myth, Wyndham Martyn, London: Herbert Jenkins., 1938
  • Scotland Yard Alibi, Don Betteridge, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Figure Away (An Asey Mayo Mystery) Phoebe Atwood Taylor, London: Collins, The Crime Club., 1938
  • Freak Museum, R. R. Ryan, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1938
  • Raven among the Rooks S. P. B Mais, (Stuart Petre Brodie), London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1939.
  • Freedom for Two, Jolyon Carr, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1939
  • Secret Errand, Norman Deane, London: Hurst & Blackett, 1939
  • Slow Poison, John Rowland, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1939
  • Death Visits the Summer-House, Gret Lane, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1939
  • The Man who Murdered Goliath, Geoffrey Homes, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1940
  • Stop that Man, Robert ladline, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1940
  • Broadcast, Michael Hayes, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1940.
  • Murder At Night, James Corbett, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1940
  • Dark Nights. Thomas Burke, London: Herbert Jenkins 1944
  • Shake Hands For Ever, Edward Woodward, London: John Long, 1946
  • Ladysfingers, A. A. Thomson, Falkland L. Cary, London: Herbert Jenkins., 1947
  • Murder Too Late, Gordon Ashe, London: John Long, 1947
  • The Unfolding Years, Arthur Gask, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1947
  • House of Mist, Maria-Luisa Bombal, London: Cassell, 1948
  • Dark Mystery, Gordon Ashe, London: John Long, 1948
  • “The Story of the Circus”, W. Buchanan-Taylor in Christmas Pie [December 1948]
  • “Drink and the Devil” L. R. Burrage in Summer Pie [June 1948]
  • The Fairy Tradition In Britain, Lewis Spence Rider and Company, 1948
  • The Making of a Garden Ethelind Fearon, London: Macdonald, 1948.
  • At Dawn I Die, James Corbett, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1949
  • Mascarade: Four Short Stories, Gabriel Chevallier, London: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd., 1950
  • Itchen Memories G. E. M Skues, (George Edward Mackenzie), London: Herbert Jenkins, 1951.
  • The Survivor. Jules Supervielle (Translated from the French by John Russell). London: Martin Secker and Warburg Limited, 1951
  • Murder Out of School, Miles Burton, London: Collins Crime Club, 1951
  • The Wild Swans and other tales based on the ancient Irish. Ethel Mannin, London: Jarrolds, 1952.
  • The Reluctant Gardener Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1952.
  • The Reluctant Cook Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1953.
  • Luron for Angling, Published by I.C.I. Ltd. Welwyn Garden City, Herts. 48 pages with 5 full-page illustrations by Alex Jardine, vignettes & drawings of knots 1953.
  • Murder with Roses, Adeline McElfresh, London: Foulsham, 1953
  • The Reluctant Hostess, Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1954.
  • The Face Of Innocence, William Sansom, Reprint Society, 1954
  • Jules Verne, Marguerite Allotte De La Fuye, Staples,1954
  • For poachers only, and, the Giles stories. Jack Chance, London: Adam & Charles Black, 1955.
  • How we got our flowers. Formerly entitled: The Coming of the Flowers. A. W. Anderson, London: Ernest Benn., 1956
  • How to keep Pace with your Daughter Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1958.
  • A geography of Canada, Elmer Sager, Toronto: [s.n.], 1960.
  • Flower Growing for Ungardeners Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1963.
  • A Privy in the Cactus Ethelind Fearon, London: Herbert Jenkins, 1965.
  • Shooting Woodpigeons, Published by Birmingham: Imperial Metal Industries (Kynoch) Ltd. 1966.
  • A Bird in my hands G. M Glaskin, (Gerald Marcus), London: Herbert Jenkins, 1967.
  • Forestry and Pheasants (Eley Game Advisory Station Booklet 15. Shooting booklet.), Fordingbridge: Eley Game Advisory Station. 1967
  • Travels in the Balkans, John Higgins, The Travel Book Club., 1973
  • Country calendar. Godfrey Baseley, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1975.
  • A country compendium, Godfrey Baseley, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1977.
  • Fishing with Terry and son: from the Daily Express, Conrad Frost. Illustrated by Ronald Embleton and Alex Jardine, London: Express Newspapers, c1987.
Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.28 illustration by Alex Jardine
Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.29 illustration by Peter Scott

Interestingly, this is the only date I could find in this annual – 1948. So we can definitely say it was published after 1948!!

Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.39 illustration by Helen Jacobs

A lovely piece here by Helen Jacobs for the story “Anna’s Christmas”

Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.74 illustration by Unknown

Here again I feel I should know who this artist is. The image accompanies “Lear Cottage” and a lovely focus on the picture – crucial to the story. But who drew it?

Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1950?] – p.120 illustration by “Bruce”

This last image shows our old Children’s Hour favourite Odds-Bobs-and-Mackerel. The artwork is very detailed and signed “Bruce”

Leslie Caswell continued

I’ve posted a few things by and about Leslie Caswell and even had contact with his son and daughter which is so gratifying for a lone blogger! Today I wanted to just post his wonderful art which appeared in John Bull magazine in the early 50s. I’m not claiming to have methodically found all his work in this magazine, but you can see how extensive it was. I even detect some of he influence Mike Noble – his co-worker in the cooper Studio – took from Caswell in the lighting and figure work. I’ve deliberately left each image on the published page as that’s how I like to see them – in context.

So without further ado from me….

John Bull-1952-01-26-p15
John Bull 26 Jan 1952 p.15
John Bull 14 Nov 1953 p.7
John Bull 6 Dec 1952, p7
John Bull 5 Dec 1953 p.11

They scribbled on their copybooks – Cartoonists from the Daily Mail

Barbara ran March House Books for 20 years but still runs a blog on which she posted a listing of sorts for the contents of the Daily Mail Annuals which is something I’d thought about doing. It’s always interesting to see what people highlight. I’m always on the look out for artists and illustrations, which often get overlooked.

I tripped over a picture on ebay that I thought worth preserving here which, until or if I ever get a copy of the 1947 Annual, can be replaced.

Daily Mail Annual 1947 Cover
Daily Mail Annual 1947 Cover
Daily Mail Annual 1947 pp118-119
Daily Mail Annual 1947 pp.118-119

Here we see various Daily Mail artists: Illingworth, “Trog”, “Spot”, “Neb”, Glenn and Phipps with examples of their work. I’ve written a bit about Leslie Illingworth before and if you want to buy an original self-portrait, The Political Cartoon Gallery have one . “Trog” is of course, Wally Fawkes who created the newspaper strip “Flook”. The next one is “Spot” and the clue here is the mouse, the once famous “Teddy Tail of the Daily Mail” drawn by Arthur Potts in one of Teddy’s later incarnations. Then we have Ronald Niebour “Neb” – who drew a strip in the London Evening News called “Mr. Midge”. Next, William St. John Glenn, signing himself as “Glenn”. Lastly “Phipps” is Julian Phipps, husband of MI5 agent Joan Miller (Mrs. Joanna Phipps).

Educated at Lancing College and Oxford, Phipps started with the Daily Mail straight from university in 1929. At one stage he drew fashion drawings and then a strip ‘Judy’ for the Evening Standard. He was Art Editor of the Daily Mirror from 1949 to 1953, and then rejoined Associated Newspapers as Art Editor. (Information from Richard Ford’s site).

Leslie Caswell – additional piece

I’m always humbled when writing a little piece and sharing images, when I get responses!

Recently I have some correspondence with Peter Jones regarding Leslie Caswell and wanted to share what he said:

I have a fine pencil drawing by their father of the bust of Nefertiti in Berlin dated 1940. It belonged to my father who worked in the Admiralty during the war and the family story was that it was by someone he knew at that time. I found this blog today and it’s the first time I knew anything about Leslie Caswell. Thank you. Peter Jones

and then , after asking him if I could share the image, Peter said:

I have attached a photo of the drawing by Leslie Caswell of the ancient Egyptian sculpture of Nefertiti that is in Berlin. I don’t want to get the drawing out of its sealed glazed frame and it won’t fit on my scanner, so a photo with reflections will have to do for now. Sorry about that. I rather doubt Leslie Caswell could have been behind the scenes in Berlin in 1940 (or is there a story to be told?) so I wonder what prompted the drawing and what model he used. Best wishes Peter Jones

I searched and found Wikipedia has a nice article on this icon and I’ve pointed to the relevant section which tells us the bust was first displayed to the public in 1923 and then stored, during the war, in Berlin but in a secure location to avoid the British bombings. I’ve read The Berlin Diaries 1940-1945 of Marie Missie Vassiltchikov recently and they certainly make the reader feel the oppression of bombings. So the bust was first stored in the vault of the Prussian Governmental Bank (Die Preussische-staatsbank) which was dissolved by the Allies in 1947 (there’s some current speculation regarding the loss of the equity held in the bank at that time) and then moved in 1941 to a Flak Tower bunker – presumably in the Tiergarten. At the end of the war it was moved by the Americans from a salt mine at Merkers/ Kaiseroda to Wiesbaden. In 1956 it was returned to West Berlin.

Now the question is when did Caswell see the bust of Nefertiti? Did he visit Germany between 1923 and 1939 (the start of the War)? In 1937 he was in the Slade School of Art and in the summer of 1938 received his degree at the University of London. Is it feasible that, so close to the appeasement and then declaration of war, he was in Berlin? Then we know from his children he served initially in the Royal Artillery in Burma but “was slightly deafened by the 25 pounder guns under his command. He was reassigned as an official war artist in India recording the actions and personnel in the Burma campaign and also drew and painted many members of the British Forces, African regiments, Gurkhas, Indian scenes, beggars, villagers, Mahrajas and beautiful Tibetan women.” ~Hamilton Caswell

So I suspect it’s more likely Leslie Caswell saw it in a magazine or journal, as it was a ‘recent’ discovery – for the public at least – when he was studying at the Slade. A quick search of the Illustrated London News shows at least 27 articles mentioning the bust during 1930-1939 and the image below appeared in issue dated 6 May 1933 (and no, the image mentions the cover but that’s different from the version Caswell drew above!)

Thanks so much to Peter Jones for sharing this image.

The Women of Peasenhall

The Women of Peasenhall
The Women of Peasenhall


“If, as people were saying, the new century was to be the century of the common people, the Peasenhall case was an appropriate overture. The victim was a servant girl, the accused was a workman, the witnesses were, almost without exception, villagers”
This novel is based on a famous real-life murder in Suffolk in 1902. Rose Harsent, a young housemaid, was found with her throat cut in the kitchen of Providence House, Peasenhall, early on a Sunday morning in June.
She was pregnant, and there had been some attempt to set fire to the body. All the evidence pointed clearly to the guilt of William Gardiner, a leading figure at the chapel where she worshipped. There had been strong rumours about Gardiner and Rose.
Gardiner’s little house, where he lived with his expectant wife, Georgina and six children, was only a stone’s throw away from Providence House, and a letter of assignation for the night of her death was found in Rose’s bedroom. Gardiner was put on trial for wilful murder.

To this strange story Mr. White brings the perception and wit that made his earlier novel, The Smartest Grave, so outstanding.
He conjures up the ‘Silly Suffolk’ of a bygone age, its characters and its oddities: such as the ‘pikers’, the ‘bible bangers’ and the ‘proxymater’ (a wife-substitute for a man during his real wife’s pregnancy). And he provides a new and plausible solution to the nagging mystery of who really killed Rose Harsent.

R. J. WHITE has been a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, for some twenty years. He has also served in his College as Dean and Librarian. Since the end of the Second World War he has been a University Lecturer in History.

This book came to my attention because of its Sixties cover plus the fact I spent some lovely holidays in a cottage in Peasenhall during the early to mid-Eighties. I have to admit we didn’t stay in the village itself much as Aldeburgh, Southwold and Dunwich called. When people talk of ‘sleepy’ Suffolk we totally agreed with this summary. It was wonderful driving at a lower speed limit and sitting on shingle beaches with an ice cream and frequenting secondhand bookshops, such as the one in Yoxford itself, just up the road from Peasenhall.

The cover design was by Bentley, Farrell and Burnett, a rather famous trio, it turns out. For years I have owned another cover by them, the Hunter Davies Beatles biography. Mike Dempsey’s article from Eye (no. 93 vol. 24, 2017) is available and will tell you more on the trio (Mike’s blog is a great read too).

The complete dustjacket

This novel – and it is a novel – recounts “the free reconstruction upon the facts of the Peasenhall crime of 1902”. It is based on William Henderson’s volume “Trial of William Gardiner” (1935) and John Rowland’s “The Peasenhall Mystery” which was published in 1962 and might be why White became interested in the story. Unsolved murders are always intriguing and this one is no exception. A quick search on the Internet for “Rose Harsent”, the victim, shows many hits all regurgitating the few facts. Forensic science was not very well developed at the start of the 20th century and Sherlock Holmes was fictional too, but many others have tried explaining the case – Wikipedia alone has a citation index containing 28 entries. White’s conclusion, put in the mouth of his policeman is interesting and chimes with some people’s view of village life.


Peasenhall is a village on the Yoxford road, 6 miles from Halesworth and 5 from Saxmundham. The night of 31 May saw a typical Suffolk storm arise, soaking all in the village. On the following morning of 1 June 1902 Rose Harsent’s body, a housemaid for the Crisps, was found by her father who always brought her clean linen on a Sunday. She was found at the foot of the stairs in the kitchen with her throat cut and her body partially burnt. A medicine bottle was found which belonged to Mrs Gardiner which had contained medicine until being filled with paraffin. Three letters were found in Rose’s bedroom, all of which were quite obscene. Frederick Davis, confessed he was the author of them, and had written them at Rose’s request as she liked the titillation.

More importantly an unsigned note found, read:
“Dear R, I will try to see you tonight at 12 o’clock at your place. If you put a light in your window at ten for about ten minutes, then you can put it out again. Do not have a light in your room at 12 as I will come round the back way.”

Rose’s character was well known and access to her upstairs room in the Crisps’ house was via a rear entrance which according to local knowledge was well used.

Contrasting Rose, was her alleged murderer, the main suspect throughout, William Gardiner, a father of 7 children and a member of the Primitive Methodists. He worked as a carpenter and foreman for Smyth & Sons in the village, producers of seed-drills and was known to be of good character. William Gardiner’s wife, knew of the allegations made about a sexual encounter between Gardiner and Rose which resulted in a recent inquiry in the chapel, but knew them to be rubbish.

On the night of the storm, at about 10pm, Gardiner was seen outside with neighbour Harry Burgess, discussing a thunderstorm heading their way and sure enough around 11.30pm, it began in force. The Gardiners visited their next-door neighbour, Rose Dickinson, and left her house around 1am to 2am after which Gardiner claimed he slept until about 8.30am Sunday morning. His wife claimed she had been feeling unwell and gone downstairs. A neighbour corroborated this as the walls between the cottages were thin. She returned to bed at 4am.

In terms of evidence, that morning brought firstly the testimony of James Morriss, a gamekeeper who claimed he saw footprints between Providence House and the Gardiners’ home in the rain on the road. This, of course was not able to be verified after the village awoke and the sun came out.
A neighbour backing onto the Gardiner’s property saw the fire roaring smoke early on the morning and the suspicion led to the police wondering if bloodied clothes had been disposed of.
The issue of the candle has been raised. A later voice made out that Gardiner could not see it from his nearby cottage because of the angle of the buildings to each other.
Handwriting experts disagreed about whether the important letter was written by Gardiner and Georgina agreed it looked somewhat like his hand, but no, it wasn’t.

A post-mortem examination showed Rose had been stabbed in the chest, had a bruise on her face and jaw, and had hand injuries that suggested she’d tried to fight off a knife attack and more importantly Rose was six months pregnant.

Gardiner had his knife on him and it had traces of blood – explained by Gardiner simply as obvious, he caught rabbits and skinned them with it. Why did he not dispose of such an incontrovertible clue when he did ‘burn his bloody clothes’? Inconsistency and circumstantial evidence appear to have been the order of the day in these trials. Some people changed their testimonies – maybe having had time to consider what they were doing.

Strangely, or maybe not, when one considers the investigating policeman had never handled a murder before, the police considered this a suicide and neglected to arrest their chief suspect until the 3 June – two days later. His trial began on 4 November that year in Ipswich and the jury returned a verdict of indecision – 11 guilty; one not guilty which led to the re-trial in which, ironically, the jury came back with the reverse: 11 not guilty; 1 guilty! It’s likely that by this time (21-24 January 1903) that poor Rose, being dead and buried, was not as in evidence as the poor man and his wife dragged before the courts once again. The judge decided to issue a “Nolle prosequi” – meaning, although not acquitted of murder, the judge did not feel inclined to further pursue the case against the defendant.

Gardiner and family disappeared afterwards to make a new life in London and Rose was buried in Peasenhall where her grave can still be seen – online too.

I have scanned the photographic postcard I found in the book which, after some investigation is of Providence House – which is not named after the religious concept but after the insurance company.

Providence House, Peasenhall
Providence House, Peasenhall looking East

Thelwell in Lilliput continued

Thelwell drew illustrations for a series called “When the fighting was thinnest” – and as the explanation goes in episode 1 in Lilliput March 1956:

“The time has come to report on the lunatic war as experienced by 95 per cent of the nation 95 per cent of the time. In Lilliput, well-known writers will reveal what took place “When the fighting was thinnest””

The problem was that the series was not always clearly labelled so I’ve added images from several that I think should be from this series but not necessarily all of them. If you need to know more let know

Thelwell in Lilliput magazine

I’ve been scanning artwork for my other blogs from the Lilliput magazines I won and thought I’d share these Thelwell illustrations as they are not well known. rather than label them all individually I’ll say they are from 1955-1957, some accompany a long story; some a series with different authors; some individual articles. If you want more details, just ask!

Robin Jacques in Lilliput and Radio Times

We know quite a bit about Robin Jacques (brother of Hattie apparently!) so I shan’t say much just share some lovely illustrations I found while browsing some magazines. The first gallery comes from Lilliput between 1953-1955 just because I own them. If I find more I shall add them here.

The second batch come from the Radio Times – again there’s no logic to why they appear – except I like his work – and these are not ALL the images from the Radio Times!

The Watchmakers of Switzerland

I’ve scanned a lot of artwork I like in the Lilliput magazine and here are a series that appeared over a few years between 1951-1953. There were others but I love this woodcut-like appearance. The last one has a signature that looks like “Rose”. They come from:


How are these drawn and reproduced? – I’m happy to be educated!

Are you the cartoonist type?

I discovered while browsing some Eagle comics the following two page feature which I thought I’d share

Here we see photos of Terence “Larry” Parkes, Brian Blake, David Langdon, Norman Thelwell, Carl Giles, and Ronald Searle plus an image of their work. Apparently something here was ‘reproduced by permission of Punch‘ but I wonder what – the Larry joke?

Eagle 2 March 1963
Eagle Vol.14:9 (2 March 1963), p16
Eagle Vol.14:9 (2 March 1963), p17