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

Sam Peffer, Terrance Dicks and another ‘How Much!’

Last Monday, Jackie and I paid a visit to Sam Peffer’s relatives, Kathy and Pat, down in Oxfordshire  and I’ll leave Sam to tell you how they are all related in this extract below from his biography.

We were there for several hours constantly plied with tea and sandwiches which were much appreciated. We would have stayed longer but we were due to park up with the camper in a farmers field twenty miles away before 6:00. We are already planning the return visit as there was so much to look through. On leaving Kathy very kindly gave me a bag of negatives for photos that Sam took of mainly relatives but also some actors, posing for characters on covers. It will take a while to go through them all but I’ll put some up now and again if I can work out which was for what cover?
Here they are and the one you can see is very easily identified, can you name that cover?

I was going to mention Terrance Dicks who passed away at the end of August but I seemed to have missed this as I had already written the blogs knowing that I would be elsewhere. He wrote at least ten titles for the ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’ series but only three were published under the Piccolo imprint. He also co-wrote ‘The Making of Doctor Who’

Occasionally I look around at the silly prices that sellers are asking for ‘rare’ titles and in this case it was for a copy of ‘You Only Live Twice’ with the film tie-in dust jacket. Looks like I’m nearly two thousand pounds richer if that’s the going rate, mind you it has been there a while …….!

Hans Helweg, Oscar Marzaroli photos and ‘Book Month’

Last Monday I made a return visit to Sue, Hans Helweg’s widow, down in Hay-on-Wye which meant I could have another look around the bookshops whilst returning the material she lent me. Got a couple of Puffin editions of ‘Olga da Polga’ with cover artwork by Hans that are now on his page of children’s titles.
I was amazed to hear Sue had sold all the Hans originals that I had seen last month, envious, me! They went to a book dealer in Gloucestershire and I shall be keeping an eye on his website to see if they appear. Just as I was leaving Sue said she still had one cover that had been overlooked and would I like it? Well it would have been rude of me if I had said ‘No’

Last week I had an email from Jules Burt with a link to the BBC News website where Glasgow Caledonian University has been donated thousands of photos of Glasgow by Oscar Marzaroli. Jules thought there was one I might be interested in and it was of John Smith’s Book Shop, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, from 1962. Can you see what he saw?

I think there are nine PAN titles propped up and I have identified three easily My Wicked, Wicked Ways‘, ‘Zoo Quest for a Dragon‘ and ‘A Town Like Alice’ which was the 1000th title published by PAN. I am currently trying to identify the others. . The University is raising funds by auctioning off prints and this one had a guide price of £700 to £1,000. It sold for ……..

On the way back from Hay-on-Wye I stopped of at Berrington Hall to have a look at their secondhand books and the very friendly lady asked if I knew it was NT Book Month? I said that I didn’t and she replied that I could fill a carrier bag for a £1.00 but I said I didn’t have one. She then popped behind the counter and came up with a huge cardboard box and said fill this! Unfortunately, and I know this is hard to believe, I failed as a lot of the books were duplicates we had donated earlier in the year.

NT Properties, Steve Turner, Sheldon and a moan!

Now back from a very enjoyable and event packed few days in Kent with our son and daughter-in-law (and the little one on the way) but sorry to say there is no addition to the section ‘PAN as seen in a NT property’ Knole has 365 rooms but not even a secondhand book shop (it has a new books shop) whereas Quebec House with only 8 rooms at least had secondhand books in the cafe. 

I contacted Steve Turner recently to update him to confirm the PAN edition of ‘On The Road‘ was by Hans Helweg which he painted in May 1960 and for which he was paid £50.80. As I’ve mention before Steve is hoping to publish a book on Kerouac and the places he visited mentioned in the book. He kindly sent me another photo saying;
“Last year I met up with Al Hinkle who was fictionalised as Ed Dunkel in On the Road. He called himself ‘The Last Man Standing’ as he was the only person still living who was portrayed in the novel. Sadly he died a few months later. He asked me to sign a copy of my Kerouac biography Angelheaded Hipster for him and he in turned signed my Pan paperback of OTR”

I’ve also heard from Stuart Webb to say he has discovered another ‘Sheldon’ cover since he wrote his article just over a year ago He said:
“I found another Sheldon (Louis Shabner) Pan book cover at the weekend, which I didn’t know was one of his until I spotted the signature, whilst rummaging through a line of Pans in a bookshop. It is ‘Come Back Miranda’ by Anne Duffield (G486, 1961)”

Finally another moan about booksellers. (when am I not you ask?) which this time is about four titles in the PAN ‘An Introduction to 50 …. ”  series I bought to add to a page as they are examples of what I think should be really unappealing covers but I quite like them. They came with a tracking number which after 15 business days still said ‘Dispatched’ but that was all.  I contacted the seller who told me allow 10 business days from dispatch even though I had said it was already 15 days so I gave it another 5 before contacting again. They came back to say they had duplicate copies and would I like them resent or my money back? I had already checked they had multiple copies of them all, not being uncommon titles, and “Yes” I would like them resent. Now a week later I have just got an email to thank me for requesting a refund which they will now process! I’ll give it a couple of weeks and try again.