After being away for few days in North Yorkshire I came back on Thursday, bit the bullet and started the process of obtaining a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate for my website. The first part involved moving the site to a secure server and then issuing the certificate. This seemed to go fairly well but my site still said ‘Not Secure’ I got in touch with the help desk of my hosting company and they said I needed to add extra code to a file in the root directory. This was beginning to be a little outside my comfort zone but after making backups and Googling to find the code I went ahead and it appears to have worked as it now says it is a secure site. Unfortunately, due to my site being 19 years old next month, there is a lot of Legacy coding apparently (mainly frames which were cutting edge in 1999!) so as a work round until the day I update it all(!) the Blog and Search, because they use external links, load into a new window. Before nothing appeared when links to these pages were clicked possibly due to the enhanced security unless anyone knows better?
After speculating on why PAN only published three of Robert Rankin’s Brentford titles I heard from Mike Petty, who took over the Picador list from Caroline Lassalle in 1977 and he kindly offered the following information;
“I can shed some light on your Robert Rankin query. I published the Trilogy at Pan, thanks to some prompting from Alan Aldridge. I can no longer remember why the covers were so different, but I suspect No.1 didn’t sell so they thought they’d try a different approach for No.2. I’d left Pan by the time No.3 came out. You’d have to ask David Larkin or Gary Day-Ellison what the story was.
After a couple of years at Chatto I then moved on to Sphere/Abacus. I kept in touch with Robert, and nothing much was happening for him at Pan, so I published the Trilogy again, in one volume this time, plus No.4, The Sprouts of Wrath.
I then moved to Bloomsbury, where I published Armageddon: The Musical, They Came and Ate Us and The Suburban Book of the Dead. These were picked up in paperback by Corgi, who subsequently republished his backlist and became his primary publishers. I can’t remember how that happened, but ££ probably had something to do with it”
I recently contacted Terry Sandy at Durban High School regarding one of their alumni, artist Stuart (or Steward) Bodek and Terry replied at an amazing speed. He gave me the name and email address of a fellow pupil and artist, David Whitehead, who moved to the UK at the same time a Stuart but I’ve not managed to make contact, does anyone know of him? Stuart was born in South Africa on the 17th of July 1947 and died all to soon in January 1996. I email Cecil Vieweg as he was a fellow South African just on the off chance and he kindly replied;
“Yes! I remember Stuart Bodek very well. I met him on arrival at Artist Partners, fresh faced and full of hope and ambition, but awestruck and humble meeting some of the old pros. Although he had some advertising experience, his knowhow and methods were still be experienced. I took him under my wing and we became good friends. Such a great pity that his life ended at a relatively young age. I’m not to sure about the details, but he died on or shortly after a tennis match. Late eighties, early nineties? He was represented by Artist Partners”
I have since found that Stuart married Carolyn Kaffel in Hendon in the early part of 1979. I’ve put a few of his PAN covers HERE and also included one by Liz Moyes as a place holder. Annoyingly I ordered the 1984 copy of ‘Chalkhill Blue’ a while ago and got the 1988 edition without the ‘PAN Man’ logo and so gave it away as in my new inclusion rule. Last week I ordered the 1988 edition (which broke my new inclusion rule!) as the cover was by Stuart Bodek and this time got the 1984 edition! Hopefully the right one will appear next week.Part cover of ‘Burning Bright’ by Brian Sanders featuring Liz Sanders nee Moyes.