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 or

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 or

Alan Cracknell Again

CracknellI’ve come to the end of the identifiable artwork I bought in the summer with this weeks example being from Alan Cracknell.  I’ve one left that is still proving a mystery as I’m sure I recognise it from somewhere but no even a near guess so far. I’ll include it next week just in case someone can help to identify it.

BlytonTodays painting features a title that seems to cause consternation amongst the more vociferous bloggers and tweeters and appears to be on a par with Christie’s “Ten Little Niggers” and is “The Three Golliwogs” by Enid Blyton. I don’t feel the need to apologise for what happened in the past, these titles were of their time and although some have been changed over the years they are what they were.

MayfairI’ve added the artwork to Alan’s page and included a few more non PAN examples of his work included some from men’s magazine ‘Mayfair’ which  I was ‘forced’ to look at to find artwork! (I think he did paintings for four editions) plus the cover of a children’s cookery book. I’ve still not heard back from Alan so either I’ve got the wrong one or, and I find this hard to believe, he just doesn’t want to talk to me. I do have the last resort namely a phone number so maybe next month. Off to do part 3 of our annual Wold’s Way Walk tomorrow then it will be 45 miles down, 45 to go.

Jackie Collins RIP


It was a sad surprise to hear on the radio yesterday morning that Jackie Collins had died. As I get older 77 now seems to be no age at all but unfortunately breast cancer is no respecter of age. I have not met her but I have met people who were present when she visited the PAN offices and they were all unanimous in saying what a charming and unassuming lady she was.



In the top photo she is with Ken Hatherley and George Sharp while below with Peter Tietjen.Jackie[1]I had only just received the latest chapter to her book as a member of her Fan Club and eventually managed to find my dedicated photo. She won at least 5 Golden PAN awards for selling over a million copies of a title.Jackie Collins

I’m sorry to say I do cannot lay my hands on any of her books published by PAN at the moment so have resorted to the net to make the following compilation of examples.

“The Hills Are Alive ……….. with the sound of chuffing”

SoundJust back from a very enjoyable ten days on the continent travelling around using ‘The Little Trains of Austria’ hence this rather brief blog. Looks like we had a narrow escape as I’ve just heard on the news that Germany reinstated border checks with it and Austria yesterday because of the refugee crisis. They must have had a lie in as luckily there was no sign at of anything at around 9:30 when we crossed.

I’ve returned to find I have successful located another one of the many Daphne du Maurier covers which I’ve tacked onto the bottom of her page. It is The Progress of Julius’ and after my moan about not knowing what edition one would get from unhelpful sellers it turned out to actually be the one in the photo.

In the not quite PAN section I have a few more additions sent me from Tomislav in Croatia. He works as a beer salesman and as one of the most popular brands over there is PAN he gets bits and pieces.PANBits
I’m really disappointed in that I didn’t get a shot of the Sun Chemicals Inks Division at Ternat in Belgium. They bought out Coates Brothers who produced the ‘invisible ink’ for the puzzle series from Piccolo to which I’ve added a couple of new covers. We drove passed it and I didn’t manage to get a photo but though “Never mind, that’s what Google Streetview is for” BUT on Google all I get are views of lovely green fields. No wonder I hadn’t noticed it before when we’ve gone that way.

Finally I always like to leave my mark so I helpfully left all the computers in the hotel lobby in Liege logged into an excellent website.Site

All at Sea with PAN Books!

In 1947 there was a paper shortage in the UK for printing books so to get around this PAN had early titles printed in France where paper was more readily available. This gave rise to the problem of transportation so PAN purchased the ex Royal Navy Motor Launch 225 and used it to carry books down the Seine from Paris, across the Channel and then up the Thames to Kingston Wharf. The boat was built in 1941 at Brightlingsea by Aldous and was offered for disposal in October 1945.Bookshop BoatUnfortunately the above cutting got the name of the boat wrong and added an ‘o’. If you click HERE you can see a photo of ‘Lalun’ ( the name of a prostitute in Kipling’s ‘short story ‘On the City Wall’) moored up at Kingston Wharf and as far as I know this may be a world exclusive thanks to Adrian Bott, Alan Bott’s Grandson lending me a photo album, more from which later. Interesting that the article says the books were intended ‘chiefly for export’


Kingston-upon-Thames Wharf

Fellow PAN Fan Jules Burt is looking for funds to purchase equipment so he can produce high quality images for a book. He is probably most well known for his ‘penguinaday’ but he is also going to show other publishers including, and this caught my interest, PAN so if you want to help and find out more go HERE

Finally yet another moan about book sellers who cannot be bothered to check their titles to verify an edition shown with a ‘stock photo’ I’ve used this dealer in the past who has been quite happy to check but now they say “Regrettably I will be unable to confirm this information for you as our warehouse operation is not set up to enable us to. As we carry a very large inventory it is difficult to search for specific information. The listing is generally connected via the ISBN or EAN for media, which should give you all the required information.” Funny how they can find the book quickly enough if I want to buy it and it’s all very well saying I can return it if not happy, I’d just rather they could answer a simple question – does it look like the photo in the listing?