PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at  www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

Ralph Holmes Vernon-Hunt 1

While sorting through some PAN related bits and pieces I came across the last will and testament of Ralph Holmes Vernon-Hunt (as you do) in which he leaves all to his wife or in the event of his wife predeceasing him, his children. Included with this was the letter to the right on PAN Books headed notepaper because at the time he was Sales Director who later became the Managing Director but he is more famous for another reason.
He was the model for the James Bond found on the covers of several titles from the early 1960’s. He even appears on one cover when he shouldn’t! Click here to find out which one has the mistake.

Ralph Holmes Vernon-Hunt May 23rd 1923 > Nov 10th 1987
Sales Director PAN Books 1947 > 1962 & 1969 > 1982
Nephew of Alan John Bott > Founder of PAN Books

Finally I was out walking a long distance footpath over the last couple of days some of which included the towpath of the Staffs and Worcs Canal. One of the moored narrow boats had a couple of boxes of paperbacks  by it. They were 10p each and in one was, at a quick look, a complete set of James Bond PANs from the 60’s. I was very tempted but as I was only 15 miles into the 41 I had to cover I regrettably decided not to this time which was probably a sensible decision.

Category: PAN Related
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June Read
June Read
August 16, 2015 4:17 pm

Gentlemen, I joined Pan books around 1971 when the offices were on Tothill Street. I was hired as the secretary to Tony Bowen-Davis (art director) and when he left, then David Larkin.
Ralph had a series of secretaries ( he was a tough guy to please) so when he invited me to become his executive Secretary I was frank in telling him that I loved the company and if we did not get along, I asked him to promise me he would find me another opportunity in the company. I never went back to the art department. Ralph was one of the best, funniest, most irreverent people I ever worked with. A tough guy exterior but with marshmallow feelings.
When my husband and I moved back to Canada (3 years later) Ralph and the Pan crew held me a going away party and presented me with a jade ring, beautiful watch and an original caricature card (of Ralph) illustrated by one of the chaps in the art department.
The people at Pan were wonderful and the experience of working with Ralph still rates as fun and memorable.

June Read
June Read
July 20, 2017 2:38 pm
Reply to  tikitnet

Hi Tim, I apologize for not getting back to you but as I was sorting through a number of old photos, I came across my Pan memorabilia and so I can scan and send to you now if you still want them.

Also, last weekend at a flea market here in Calgary, I acquired postcards of the Bond books that had our beloved Ralph on the cover… synchronicity at its best.

George Vernon-Hunt
George Vernon-Hunt
February 20, 2015 11:23 pm

Hi Tim. Ralph was my Grandfather, but unfortunately I never got the chance to meet him, as he died in 1987; 5 years before I was born. I often hear about his works at Pan – especially him featuring on the cover of the James Bond books. It would be great to see any photos that you do manage to find of him. Regards, George.

Sebastian Keep
Sebastian Keep
February 26, 2018 7:10 am

Hello George, I remember your Grandfather very well indeed. He and my father were best friends and as children we spent a lot of time in your house in the Vineyard in Twickenham. What happened to your father and Joffa and Victoria ? Please give them my regards. I live in Westminster close to Buckingham Palace so if they are ever in the area we could meet up for a cup of tea or perhaps something stronger. I hope this reaches you,
Kind regards,
Sebastian Keep.

Gareth Powell
August 27, 2014 9:13 am

Ah yes, I remember him well. I first met him in 1956 when I was working with Smith Trade News. He was a total charmer. He introduced me to Paul Hamlyn and treated me as if we were equals. We were nothing of the sort. I was then a trade journalist but it mattered not.
I have always had a soft spot for Ralph Vernon Hunt and remember meeting him for the last time in, of all places Mumbai which was Bombay then.
Gareth Powell
Sorgai.com

Gareth Powell
September 4, 2014 12:01 am
Reply to  tikitnet

Sadly he is, as Alexander McCall Smith would write, late. He died, I think, but will check, around ten years ago. I last met him in Mumbai when sorting out book distribution problems in India. I was a great admirer of Ralph who was, indeed, a sort of James Bond character. That was when publishing was full of characters like Ralph. Where have the all gone? To the big remainder book market in the sky. Sadly, I have no pictures with Ralph in. I have some pictures and my scanner arrives today so I will be scanning and searching happily for the next few months.– Gareth