Detective work can be inspiring!

I said this blog would be intermittent, I add things as they come across my pile of scanning, things which I don’t want to get lost and want to be seen by others. Of my three blogs this one gets some great responses! That makes me feel happy! Here is one such email from Morgan Wallace:

While trying to research some original art, I found your site when looking up “They Make Us Smile” by Bradshaw, because one of my pieces is by Gilbert Wilkinson, and another by Mervyn Wilson. I have four other pieces that I’ve yet to trace.
Here’s the full story:
I own about two dozen assorted pieces, dating from 1941-1944, and they are all original commission pieces, done for a Lt. Davis, apparently, as a few of them are made out to him.  Most are English artists, but, I found one to be an American whom might have been in England when created, one French, one Italian, both of whom submitted works to English outlets during the war.
Of the pieces I have identified, several contributed to publications such as PUNCH and other humor outlets. Others were newspaper illustrators, doing political and war art for the period.
One is a post card artist. A few others were comic strip artists. Yet another reportedly worked for Walt Disney Studios and returned to the UK before the war (Chas. Cole) but I can’t prove that he actually worked there. Newspapers from the period indicate that he did. [shrug] Any clues?
Now, to the four that I’ve yet to nail down….
The JIZ signature is clear and obvious but I don’t know who used the initials. JIZ authored and illustrated “Really, Miss Henderson” in 1946. Beyond that, I’ve not found anything else on JIZ.


By the artist ‘JIZ’

Regarding the clearly legible PALMER, one by that name is noted to have been in 1946 “Pick of Punch” covering July 1945 through June 1946, and contributed to “I Couldn’t Help Laughing! an Anthology of

War-Time Humour” edited by D. B. Wyndham Lewis, in 1941, reprinted 1944. A “Palmer” also was a Spanish comic strip artist, but, not sure if this is one-and-the-same, there, either. I have no access to the above publications, so can’t research them further to see if any details are given.


By the artist ‘Palmer’

The illegible signatures appear to be Keve and Guder, which all must be wrong, since I can’t find a single thing on these guesses. So, clearly I’m wrong on those.


By the artist ‘Keve’?


by the artist ‘Guder’?

I hope you can assist and also please share these images with anyone you know in the field that might know. I’ve just finished asking Chris Beetles and he eliminated one for me at a quick glance, being Gilbert Wilkinson. The signature looks nothing like the name, but, Chris is of course correct. So, I’m down to only four unidentified pieces.
I’d deeply love to know who they were, as I do enjoy all the pieces. A little history and knowledge on them goes a long way.
Morgan Wallace

I asked Morgan for permission to publish this in the hope that someone may have a clue and at the same time could he foprward the names of the other artists – as that might give some further clues (serendipity is a legitimate form of research in my book!)

No problem.

Chas. Cole is one I mentioned before. He is more famously known after WW2 as “Windy Blow,” the clown that blew up balloons into all sort of shapes, etc. Before the war, apparently, I’m guessing in the 1930s, he was hired by Walt Disney Studios, but I don’t know who to contact to prove this. British newspapers have his name mentioned, that he and other artists traveled the UK doing shows and such. During the war, apparently he was injured, lost a lung, and that led to the balloons, to develop his one good lung. I can’t find any proof that he WAS enlisted during the war, however. Maybe he simply was injured DURING the war, and not actually a soldier, then? Who knows….real name was David Cecil born 1910.

Other relevant artists to this search included are below. How they signed the artwork I have is listed first before their full name. You’ll note five below contributed to PUNCH, so, possibly that some of the un-identified pieces might too have come from PUNCH or some other humour publications.

I hope all this information is helpful.

  • A. Harvec (Andrea Harvec)–French artist, syndicated in the UK’s THE DAILY MIRROR.
  • Acanthus (Harold Frank Hoar)–appeared in PUNCH and numerous newspapers, MEN ONLY, etc.
  • Alf. Jackson (Alfred Jackson)–contributed to PUNCH, etc?
  • L. B. M. (Leonard Bradshaw Martin)–contributed to PUNCH, etc?
  • Maurice Hall–contributed to PUNCH, UNION JACK, and reportedly to PUCK, etc?
  • Mervyn Wilson–contributed to PUNCH, etc?
  • Arthur D. J. Potts (Arthur Potts)–joined THE DAILY MAIL in 1945, revived TEDDY TAIL strip At least, I think “D. J.” are the initials featured, but I can’t find that information elsewhere
  •  D. P. Millar (David Philip Millar)–appeared in THE DAILY MIRROR, in Razzle, and Blighty mags. Became famous as a postcard artist
  •  Ian Peterson (I have no clue where this artist came from, though I’ve found the name here and there) might have worked for THE SUNDAY CHRONICLE or THE DAILY HERALD. Supposedly racy cartoons to the Razzle mag during the 1930s, though I’ve yet to see them, but he does appear alongside “P. Millar” (David P. Millar above!) in the Razzle 1935 Annual. Oddly, he turns up in tons of French publications and books, too, making me wonder if this name is an alias.


I’ve been sent the following by Colin West which shows a Guder drawing was auctioned in 2009 and credited  – so it looks as if Morgan’s guess was right – thanks Chris


“But Captain there’ll be just as nice a tide tomorrow.” by GUDER

But Chris goes on and says “There was a Lilian Palmer who did one or two books containing her own cartoons in 1950. Looking at the Beauty Queen cartoon, looks like it could be by a female hand”

Well off you go and do your stuff. Let us know via comments or by email and let’s see if we can track any of these down for Morgan

BBC Uncle Mac and Children’s Hour in books

Children's Hour Annual 1929

Children’s Hour Annual 1929


Firstly, let’s get out of the way the fact that there was a Children’s Hour in America and in Australia – both saw Annuals published (the Americans had Uncle Arthur); the latter saw three annuals that I can find for the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s programme – 1956-1958.

This article is about the BBC production which started on radio and transitioned to TV. I have trawled the Internet and used details – only after checking and double checking facts about contents and dates – but please forgive me if I have erred and do get in contact so I can make corrections – as I’m sure there will be mistakes! I have included these details because, just like with Blackie and Son story books from this era it can be hard to date them!

The first annual I have found with the name of the BBC radio programme was published in 1929  – The Children’s Hour Annual: A Book of Stories and Poems for Boys and Girls contained work by E. F. Benson, Desmond MacCarthy, C. Fox Smith, L. Du Garde Peach, Madeleine Nightingale J. C. Stobart, Christine Chaundler, Hugh Chesterman, Eric Parker, C. E. Hodges, C. A. Dawson Scott, Ralph De Rohan, Antonia White, Philip Carmichael and others, published by Partridge, London. This earliest Children’s Hour Annual had 127 pages and the artists include C. T. Nightingale, A. H. Watson,  Ernest Aris, H. J. Ford, Marian Allen, Hugh Chesterman, Joyce Dennys, John Dixon, Eleanor Lambert, A. E. Horn and simply “Johns”.  There is also evidence (but I have not seen most of these books in person) of another “The Children’s Hour; Picture and Story Book” book published in London by  Juvenile Productions with 61 pages and significantly its first story is “The little whiner” by Enid Blyton, as later we have evidence that Blyton was not welcome on “Children’s Hour”. There are many older books with “Children’s Hour” in the title, after all it comes from Longfellow.


Pre-1930, Anything to do with the BBC?

I can’t find any evidence of another ‘annual’ before ‘Uncle Mac’s’ time. He joined the BBC in 1926 and Children’s Hour  in 1930






Children's Hour Annual 1937

Children’s Hour Annual 1937 (Thanks to Tim Ahern)


Children’s Hour Annual 1937 – #3 – see dustjacket flap. Thanks to Tim for the scan

The British Library lists The Children’s Hour Annual (and we must be precise about these titles) edited by “Uncle Mac” of the B.B.C. (Derek McCulloch) as starting in 1935. I can confirm this as I have a copy of the 2nd annual, dated “Copyright 1936” in which, in his “Hullo Children” preface, McCulloch says “In presenting the second Children’s Hour Annual, […] he couldn’t believe 12 months had passed so quickly, so the copyright date will be 1935 for the first. Although I am missing the dustjacket, research on the Internet shows this is correct – see above. And the earliest Raymond Sheppard published work I have found so far appears in the 1936 book. I also own another which ‘Uncle Mac’ says is the third one therefore must be 1937 and Tim Ahern has provided the dustjacket which shows we have the correct jacket. The first story is ‘Reminiscences’ by Commander Stephen King-Hall- which might help differentiate these books.

Children’s Hour Annual 1936, Title Page

Children's Hour Annual 1936, Contents Page

Children’s Hour Annual 1936, Contents Page

Children's Hour Annual 1937, Title Page

Children’s Hour Annual 1937, Title Page

Children's Hour Annual 1937, Contents Page

Children’s Hour Annual 1937, Contents Page

Children's Hour1944_crop

The Children’s Hour (dated 1944 by an Etsy seller)

To keep this article in chronological order is difficult due to the lack of publication dates and a lot of erroneous guesses on the part of booksellers (and maybe myself!). So let’s take a break for a moment and rest in 1940.

You can listen to the 13 October 1940  broadcast of Derek McCulloch and “the 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth sends her best wishes to the children who have been evacuated from Britain to America, Canada and elsewhere. Princess Margaret joins her to wish all children goodnight. This is the earliest recording of the future Queen in the BBC archives.Duration 4 minutes 18 seconds. This was one of ‘Uncle Mac’s’ proudest moments apparently.

A now-defunct BBC page (see end of article) stated that “Children’s Hour ran on BBC Radio from 1922 to 1964, […] Derek McCulloch took charge of Children’s Hour in 1933, and as ‘Uncle Mac’ presided over the show on air, giving it its famous sign off ‘Goodnight children, everywhere’

Derek McCulloch / "Uncle Mac"

Derek McCulloch / “Uncle Mac”

McCulloch’s full name was Derek Ivor Breashur [performing name Uncle Mac] (1897–1967). McCulloch lost his left eye at the Battle of the Somme and a leg as the result of an unfortunate car accident near his home. He joined the BBC in 1926 (and wrote Nonsericks for Methuen, as “Uncle Mac” in 1928) and was second-in-command (1931) and took over Children’s Hour 1933. It was in 1950 that he gave up the Children’s Hour role to dedicate more time to writing (and later he broadcast again on Children’s Favourites until 1964). Martin Parsons (on a now defunct website) spoke at the Winchester Archaeological Rescue Group after researching Children’s Hour. His special interest is the way in which war has affected the lives of children, with special reference to the evacuation process in World War II.  He found, from his research, that the “curmudgeonly old geezer” was very autocratic in his role, but felt this might be due to the constant pain he was in from his wounds. The significance to children scattered far and wide during the war, of his sign-off (“Goodnight children…everywhere”) with those most important pause cannot be exaggerated. You’ll find a fascinating piece called “A Day in the life of the chief Radio “Uncle”- Radio Pictorial April 26, 1935″ here  (Archived page). It would be remiss of me to mention that ‘Uncle Mac’s’ name has now been besmirched.  The least sensationalist article I’ve found on the matter is by Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books  and makes very depressing reading. You’ve been warned!

Back to the Annuals.



Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Book [1948?]

I own the above copy (orange background and ‘red’ spine) and this has Raymond Sheppard’s signature clearly legible in the bottom right hand corner of the endpapers and more of his work inside (read more here ).  The first story is “King Arthur’s Tree” by Alison Uttley. It’s published by Sampson Low: London with no obvious date markings.

I have seen a copy of the ‘yellow version’ with the green spine but although it contains the same material inside, interestingly the artwork is noticeably different. The subtle linework has been simplified throughout and a single colour applied to ‘lift’ pictures a bit more than its black and white predecessor. Again read more at the above link.

I think the Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Story Book was first published in 1947 (according to the British Library) but this where it all falls apart.


[1948 2nd version?]

[1948? 'Flattened linework inside]

[1948? dustjacket]

One bookseller states VERY certainly Purnell & Sons Ltd [1950], London, 1950. First Edition



The above was published by Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., (1949) and has a red cloth spine. The first story is “Bill Aylesbury at the Circus” and it has illustrated endpapers by Helen Jacobs. Authors are Derek McCulloch, Geoffrey Dearmer, Antonia Ridge, Peter Scott, Harry Farjeon, Bernard Newman, Jack Lester, Olive Dehn, W A Rathkey, W R Dalzell, E H Carkeet-James, Brian Vesey Fitzgerald, H Mortimer Batten, Ken Francis, Meryon Vance, Alan K Taylor & George Baker. Illustrators include Helen Jacobs, Weiss, Barbara C Freeman, Alex Jardine, Cicely Steed, Lowell, Gale & Bruce.





[1947 with dustjacket?]

This edition, with a Chinaman and a Long John Silver lookalike, has a blue and an orange cloth spine. One bookseller says it’s 1947 (based on signed and dated illustrations).  The first story is titled “The Creaky Caravan”  by Ken Francis and contributors include, amongst others, a Bird Watching article by Eric Hosking, stories by Derek MacCulloch, Meryon Vance, Norah Lewis, Rosemary Tonks, Gerald Bullett & Olive Dehn. It includes: “The Green Veil” by Lieut. Commander RT Gould and ends with “The Crocodile who had Terrible Toothache” by Eileen Poynder. Artists include Norman Meredith, Helen Jacobs, Astrid, Willett


Uncle Mac’s Children’s Hour Story Book 1947?


[1951? Price £7/6d Collins]

This pantomime cover version appears to be published in London: Collins. No date c.1951. It’s illustrated in colour, pictorial endpapers in colour (by D. L. Mays) with stories by Peter Scott, Alison Uttley, Antonia Ridge, Noel Streatfield, Barbara E. Todd and others. The dustjacket covers a red-spined hardback. The back flap of the dust jacket advertises 3 Collins books but all are in series so none gives a specific clue to this book’s date. [They are Collins Children’s Annual, Collins Film Book and Collins Magazine Annual for Boys and Girls]


The roller-coaster cover appears to me to be a bit worrying in the light of recent developments, but anyway. This one is published by Collins and has no date and the first story is ‘The British Private’ by Sheila Steen. Illustrators in this book include  Jeanne Farrar, Barbara C. Freeman, A. H. Watson




The cover of this book is signed by Mary Kendal Lee and is published by Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd,  and two records I found on Abebooks showed inscriptions (God bless Grannies giving gifts!) of 1949 and also ‘Xmas 1950’. 10 stories including: Snow White, Thumbelina, The Nightingale, The Goose Girl, Princess Goldilocks, The Shepherdess and the Sweep, Three Little Pigs, The Magic Snuff-Box, The Ugly Duckling,  and The Enchanted Locket. Illustrated by Grace Lodge, Hilda Boswell, Louis Ward, Barbara Freeman, Cyril Cowell, Helen Jacobs, Joyce L.Davies, and John H.Bruce. I’m guessing as ‘Uncle Mac’ left Children’s Hour in 1950 this might be the first story book using his name but keeping a low profile for the Children’s Hour brand. Interestingly there is also an “Uncle Mac’s Fairy Tale Book” which I would guess might mirror the contents above!


The British Library lists the BBC Children’s Hour Annual. (B.B.C. Children’s Annual.). as starting in 1951.



The 1952 Annual is collectable especially for the Frank Bellamy illustrations. The dustjacket is by Gilbert Dunlop and the end-papers are illustrated by Derrick Harris with E.M. Hatt poem, “The Kitten on the Quay” Features and stories, some based on familiar Children’s Hour characters such as ‘Jennings’, and ‘Norman and Henry Bones’. Authors include Alison Uttley, Anthony Buckeridge, Benedict Ellis, W. R. Dalzell, Ralph Whitlock, Colin Clemak, Noel Streatfield, David Scott Danniell, James Fisher, Peter Ling, Anthony C. Wilson, Angus McVicar, Bertha Lonsdale, Aubery Feist, Olive Dehn, Patricia Lynch, L. Hugh Newman, Ken Francis, Lavinia Derwent, John Stratten, Tudur Watkins, Jean Marsh, and Modwena Sedgwick.
One bookseller lists the authors of some content for the BBC Children’s Hour Annual Published by Burke London, 1954 which features Anthony Buckeridge, Nigel Kneale (really?), George Cansdale, Gilbert Hackforth-Jones and others .  BBC Children’s Hour Annual: Features from Radio & Television May E Jenkin [Elizabeth] – Editor Burke Publishing Co Ltd, London, 1954. William Stobbs, Eric Wade, Ann Rochester et al (illustrator). stories by Anthony Buckeridge, George Cansdale, Ross Salmon, Barbara Todd et al; Another seller says BBC Children’s Hour Annual Jenkin , May E. (Ed) Burke, London, 1954. Stories include ‘The Flowerpot Men and the Scarecrow’ by Maria Bird, and ‘Jennings Amazing Record’ by Anthony Buckeridge. Another states:  1954. Includes “Jenning’s amazing record” by Buckeridge, & stories by Mary Norton, Joyce Lankester Brisley, Angus MacVicar. Gilbert Hackforth-Jones and others.

Then we see a change as BBC Children’s Hour Annual is now edited by Peggy Bacon  – still published by Burke. One – no date – starts with a poem “The Train to Glasgow” by Wilma Horsbrugh, then  “Biffer” by Elf Lewis Clarke. Pictorial endpapers-front Miss Clara Chuff, rear montage of stills fom Children’s Hour. Strangely one seller states “owner’s inscription dated Xmas 1952”, so as you can see this has all gone into meltdown!

And finally here is a set of the later annuals from a Flickr collection


Edited by May  E. Jenkin 1954








Edited by Ursula Eason – 1959



* Jeff Walden, ‘McCulloch, Derek Ivor Breashur [Uncle Mac] (1897–1967)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 23 Feb 2014]. The defunct BBC page mentioned above is not archived at but for the record was