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

Piccolo Puzzles, ‘The Thousand Plan’ and Paul Slater’s ‘Racing Stories’ Covers

There were twelve ‘Piccolo Puzzle Books’ by Norman Pulsford with the first six based on the PAN editions. Still need to find firsts of the 3rd and 4th editions. I’ve not found out much about Pulsford apart from some bits and pieces from Ancestry. Norman George Pulsford was born on the 5th December 1902 in West Bromwich and died on the 1st February 1982 in Westminster, Greater London. In 1939 he was living at Heron Court, Richmond and was a journalist as was his wife Margaret nee Harber whom he married in October 1934. In WW2 he was in the Army Pay Corps. Can anyone add any more? I’ll post the Pulsford PAN Puzzle books next week.

I spotted a copy of ‘The Thousand Plan’ by Ralph Barker which I hadn’t seen before and thought it looked different. When I compared it to my two earlier editions I saw why. Those both said ‘Thousand’ on the cover while the later said ‘1,000’ It doesn’t use the numeric any where else in the book and I’ve not found another edition that does. The US edition from Ballantine was retitled ‘The Thousand Plane Raid’ while the film is ‘The 1000 Plane Raid’ from July 1969. Ballantine also change the title of ‘The Ship-Busters’ to ‘Torpedo Bomber!’

Paul Slater is an artist whose name often pops up on a PAN cover and two shown HERE caught my eye as they show his style so well. He was born in Burnley with no knowledge of the formal art world but went on to study at the London College of Art, where he was taught by towering figures of British illustration including Quentin Blake and Sheila Robinson. Slater’s vivid imagination and immaculate technical detail made his work highly sought after and whose eccentric work has been bought by Heston Blumenthal, Damien Hirst and many others.

FOOTNOTE One of those odd coincidences. I am currently ploughing my way through the Mo Hayder titles, which are well worth a read , and didn’t know she played Young Mr Grace’s secretary in ‘Are You Being Served?’ as well as one of ‘Hill’s Angels’ The coincidence is that Ralph Barker’s second wife, Diana Darvey, was also one of ‘Hill’s Angels’

Category: PAN Books
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