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

Falconhurst, a £100 note? and the PAN Record.

I recently bought a bulk collection of Lance Horner novels. I only wanted one but couldn’t find it anywhere else on it’s own but was really pleased to also find it included a variant on a title I already had. It was very subtle and I nearly missed it plus I found I had a third and they can be seen HERE

This is not PAN related but I am working my way through Clive Cussler novels as our library, sorry ‘The Book Exchange’, has a fine run of them. I had just read a few pages of ‘Odessa Sea’ when I had to flick back to check it did say what I thought it said.

A hundred pound note? The Bank of England doesn’t issue one although the Banks of Scotland and Northern Ireland do but no one would want one of those as it’s difficult enough trying use one of their £5 notes let alone a £100.

I have said for a while I would scan in all my ‘PAN Record’ magazines and make them into Flash powered books but as Flash seems old hat I thought I’d try PDF but have finally just resorted to scanning and putting on a page as in this example for Number 30

Lydia Monks, a PAN Flyer and Alexander Knox

While looking through Twitter feeds from various sources I came across a reference to Lydia Monks being awarded a ‘Golden PAN Award’ on the 26th February in the foyer of the PAN offices. It was for illustrating ‘The Ladybird Who Heard’ with text by another winner, Julia Donaldson.


Another PAN related item I found on Twitter was an image of one of the PAN flyers from 1962. It’s just a pity they didn’t do a better job and get it all in!

I’ve emailed them to ask if they could kindly let me have a photo or scan to show all of the flyer. I’ll report back as soon as I have any further news.


In keeping with my intention to feature an author who was born or who died in the week of the blog, this time is is the turn of Alexander Knox. He was born on the 16th January 1907 in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada and died on the 25th April 1995 at Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the UK. He was probably better know for his role as an actor than as an author, credited with 93 appearance in films or on TV but only writing 6 books. As far as I can ascertain PAN only published two of his novels which can be seen HERE

Antoine de Saint-Expury, Colin Dexter and Peter McGinn

Well here we are a week after all the updates and my website seems to have survived. It is now telling me there is an update to my theme but as it has been saying that for a long time I will ignore it as I think I’d lose all the changes I’ve made to it’s appearance over the years.

Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was a French aviator who disappeared during WW2. He had three of his works published by PAN, two concerned with flying ‘Wind, Sand and Stars’ and Flight to Arras plus his children’s book ‘The Little Prince’ I was reminded of these as the first two have covers with GDA on them for Gino d’Achille.

Not a true PAN Colin Dexter but I did pick up ‘As Good as Gold’ which was a ‘give away’ by Kodak but published by PAN. An added bonus, which I didn’t realise at the time, was that it is inscribed and signed by Colin.

Last week one of the Hammer Horror books had a cover by Peter McGinn and I’m pleased to say, thanks to the help of his son John, who is also an artist, I made contact. John is currently in Hong Kong but gave me his father’s phone number in the States and I rang Peter and had a very long chat with him at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Although 87 and ‘retired’ he still paints.

Last week one of the Hammer Horror books had a cover by Peter McGinn and I’m pleased to say, thanks to the help of his son John, who is also an artist, I made contact. John is currently in Hong Kong but gave me his father’s phone number in the States and I rang Peter and had a very long chat with him at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Although 87 and ‘retired’ he still paints.

Although the Hammer one might be the only cover Peter did for PAN he painted many for other publishers. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art, was involved with the Edinburgh International Festival , he worked in the middle east as an ETV production designer and schools programming//designer/instuctor for the BBC, he worked in Poland making films for which he had to learn Polish, was Professor of Figure Drawing and Painting/ Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design, collaborator with John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art plus many more jobs. I hope to have another chat with him one day as he said he’d love to go out for a drink and compare notes on people at PAN.

John Burke, Golden PAN Awards and a Plastic Cover

John Burke, who wrote over thirty titles for PAN under different names, also appeared on the BBC TV programme ‘Mastermind’ He got through to the semi-finals as did his wife Jean who was also on ‘Brain of Britain’ Thanks to the BBC Genome Project you can find the listings which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009.
HERE are the listing relating to John and Jean plus of one of his plays.

After putting on details for Adam Kay and his well deserved ‘Golden PAN Awards’ I’ve been updating the page for these awards. The the link can always be found at the top of this page.

A while ago I put on three PAN titles which were slightly larger than a paperback and which had plastic covers. I’ve now added a fourth, ‘The Personal Computer Handbook’ but for the the life of me I can’t work out why you might need a wipe clean book about computing!

Back in the day when I was a real teacher we were the first authority in the UK  to have a computer in every classroom including the nursery schools. I’m not saying there is a connection but a certain computing giant (this was back in 1980) did have it’s UK headquarters about half a mile away from our Education Department. The company is listed in in the above mentioned book.

Janet Sandison aka Jane Duncan, Dexter additions and raw fingers!

After falling off a ladder last week in our side passage and managing to run the fingers of my hands down both brick walls trying to brace myself I have nicely skinned all my finger tips. This is making typing and using a mouse a little painfully but on the plus side it has got me out of a lot of other things!

I eventually got the last title in the ‘An Apology for the Life of Jean Robinson’ series by Elizabeth Jane Cameron who wrote as Jane Duncan writing as Janet Sandison! Janet Sandison was the name of the main heroine in her ‘My Friends” series in which there were nineteen titles with fourteen of them published by PAN. I’ve not found artists for the first three titles but I did find a reference to the fourth being by Jooce Garrett and I’ve sent him an email to see if this is correct.

I also picked up another three editions in the Colin Dexter ‘Morse’ series that have the PAN Man logo on them from 1983 and 1984 (LBTW, TSWONQ, TROTTM) They might be seen as the ‘International’ editions as they are not TV tie-ins for countries where the series was probably not broadcast and on the plus side I don’t think they’ve ever been read.

If the fingers are up to it I’ll try and re scan all the Jane Duncan ‘My Friends’ titles and put them on one page as they are still under their PAN numbers at the moment.

UPDATE Have just heard back from Jooce Garrett to say that the Sandison cover is his and was the first one he did. Have also heard from Paul Wright who asked me to remind him which PAN covers were his which I’ve done and awaiting further communication.

PAN’s 70th Birthday Bash Part 1

Last Tuesday was a first for my wife and myself, mixing with the literati in London and having to put up with a constant stream of alcohol and sausages! It was really good to meet up with Gordian Young and his fiancée Chrissie after communicating by email for nearly 12 months. They were staying at the same hotel as us so we walked round to Foyles together and afterwards went back for a meal and a long chat.

Gordon said he blamed me for getting him into all of this but I know he was secretly very pleased to be there and to be able to tell his story. He emailed me later to say “I have been wandering around in a slight daze since getting home on Wednesday but am beginning to be my normal laid back self again. Despite my early misgivings and reluctance to come up to London, I am pleased that we made the effort”

Here is Gordon with PAN archivist Alysoun (right) and Harriet from the Collector’s Library. Gordon was looking very naval and wearing a vintage PAN tie.

Since then Alysoun Sanders has been down to the south coast to visit Gordon and has made recordings of him talking about his work back then which will go into the PAN archives along with the flag from the boat the ‘Laloun’ Alysoun has invited me along to the archives so I may get to see this flag.

I was going to write more but I have got four articles that appeared on line the next day so I’ve included them HERE. As the webpages were in danger of disappearing I made screen grabs which made largish files so hope they don’t take too long to load in. There were many more photos taken by a professional photographer on the evening and I know it sounds egotistical but I hope I’m in at least one of them to prove I was there! Just awaiting site logon details.

I’ll add more next week about the six Golden PAN’s awarded but in the meantime here is a photo of Julia Donaldson of ‘The Gruffalo’ fame who very kindly posed for me and of her own volition held up one of my cards (I know it’s upside down but I’m more than happy with what I got)

The Man From ? and a couple of deaths.

Not PAN but I feel they missed a chance when I spotted these two titles. How good would it have been to have ‘The Man From PAN’ Maybe I need to write it?

Sorry to say there were two deaths last week, both on the 30th May and both with a PAN connection.

Wendell Ray Burton (July 21, 1947 – May 30, 2017) was an American television executive and former actor. He is best known for his co-starring role as Jerry Payne with Liza Minnelli in the 1969 film ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ with the book of the film being published by PAN in 1970 It was renamed “Pookie” in the UK after the character played by Minnelli.~

Molly Peters (15 March 1942 – 30 May 2017) was an English actress probably best known for her role as nurse Patricia Fearing in the James Bond film Thunderball. She features in the middle cell on the back cover of the 1965 edition. Just noticed on both of my copies they don’t have a UK price just the Australian one although they are both UK printings?

The Eric Tenney (non PAN) painting arrived last week and in spite of the best efforts of the seller to protect it, the carrier managed to smash the glass. Luckily the picture is fine and I was going to change the frame anyway.Finally had some great news this week in that we have at last got permission to go out on our local disused railway track to start clearing vegetation as we want to open it up as a leisure greenway. We walked it with the new Land Manger responsible for it and he was so enthusiastic I think we are still in shock after all the negativity we’ve had in the past. He even thought my hare-brained scheme was a good idea, namely to put back just a token piece of track (art installation?) All I need now is some rails, some sleepers and some very strong people!

A moan about bookshops plus these aren’t PAN paperbacks!

Last month, while looking for a book on line I found a sellers description for a PAN copy of OHMSS which left me a bit puzzled. I forwarded it to Bazeer Flumore to see what he made of it. It said;

Small 8vo. or.pict. wrap. depicting Ian Fleming on the rear cover and a painting in colour on the front. OCTAVO SIZE. WRAPPERED EDITION. PAGES: (240pages). James Bond / 007 thriller. The fourth James Bond film produced and starring Sean Connery. Pan X350. SPECIAL AUSTRALIAN EDITION as noted on the copyright page and first edition thus and one of the truly rare Pan editions to procure. Creasing to covers, spine rubbed, pages browned. #AAA1

Bazeer contacted the seller and got the following response with photos;

A wrappered edition is just a bookseller’s term for a paperback…, and that’s the only format that Pan ever published their books in.

The photos show it is the 1965 4th printing edition with the Hawkey style cover. This is wrong on so many levels. I tried to find a definition of ‘wrappered’ which I think was a term used in Victorian times but the closest was of the International league of Antiquarian Booksellers website which said;

Abbreviated as “wraps”, wrappers are the paper covers of a pamphlet, often of a paper of heavier weight than the text paper; when you see “wrappers” you know the item is not a hard bound book, but is instead a pamphlet or magazine with paper covers; usually not used to refer to 20th century paperback books which are called “soft bound” (with paper covers).

It does not have a painting on the front, it is not a first and is not particularly rare but I agree it is an Australian edition. They have two copies with one at £198 and the other at £376!

The seller also states that PAN only published paperbacks which as any fan knows is just not true. They published hardbacks and even some with plastic covers. Here are a couple of links to show examples, ‘Chances’ by Jackie Collins (which I just happened to have to hand) in hardback and softback and three titles ‘wrappered’ in PVC.

And talking of booksellers, why can’t they stick to their opening hours? While in Warwick last week I had done my research on my favourite site HERE and found two bookshops in the same street, one open until 5:00 the other 5:30. As it was 3:30 I though we had plenty of time so called in to the first one we passed. Leaving there about 4:00 we went to the next to find the one supposedly open until 5:00 had closed at 4:00 according to the bit of card on the door. No explanation as to why.

Hedger (not Edgar) Wallace and another PAN boat.

I recently bought a ‘bumper bundle’ of bits relating to the book ‘End Quiet War’ by Hedger Wallace. Wallace was born in Winchester on the 14th October 1927 and died in Fulham in February 2000. IMDB has credited him with 56 appearances in films and on TV. In the package was a signed copy of the PAN edition, plus a letter included with the contract, the contract itself, a couple of photos and the original typed manuscript. The cover is by Paul Simmons who coincidently a while ago kindly sent me a photo of covers which included this title.

I also came across a book “Coming Down The Seine’ by Robert Gibbings which mentions Alan Bott and a different boat to the ‘Laloun’ which was also, apparently, used for shipping books from France. In September to coincide with the 70th anniversary of PAN issuing book numbered ‘1’ and the next 9 which were all printed in France I’ve got a great article from Gordon who was the mate on the ‘Laloun’ carry those first copies. I’ve tried to get PAN interested in his really entertaining memories but disappointingly they’ve not reacted so far.
I’ve asked Gordon if this might be a photo of the ‘Yarvik’ or just one with the same name although it is the right length and was built for war work. I’ll hopefully have an answer soon but Gordon is presently touring around on the continent.

Finally I’ve been emailing Linda who runs the entertaining ‘Catherine’ site. I knew of her via the ‘Angelique’ site run by Anna who mentioned it to me. Interestingly Linda has three PAN editions which are the same as the UK ones but are all printed in Canada. I mentioned to her I would need to contact my wife’s cousin who lives in Oakville (the same Oakville from where came Eric Monkman fans of University Challenge) to go out scouting for me. Linda is Swiss but actually learnt her English while living in Hamilton, literally next door to Oakville.

UPDATE: Gordon has just replied “Yes” same boat, more when he gets back from Bruges.

Rubik’s PAN Connection

Erno Rubik first came up with the idea of his ‘Cube’ in 1974 but it didn’t really take off until 1981 when it won several international toy awards. Suddenly everyone was cashing in on its popularity by publishing books on how to solve it. PAN, to be different, published their ‘Not Another Cube Book’ in 1981which was also published by Ballantine in the States at the same time.

Rubik later went on to develop his ‘Snake’, his ‘Tangle’, his ‘360’, his ‘Magic’ and his ‘Clock’ As far as I can see PAN ignored the first four but did publish the authorized edition of ‘Rubik’s Clock – A Quick Solution’ by Angus Lavery. This is a very thin publication, in fact I thought the padded envelope it arrived in was empty, which was another PAN printed in Australia in 1988 by The Book Printer, Maryborough, Victoria. I presume The Book Printer is part of the McPherson’s Printing Group as they share an address and say on their site:

“……. now, more than 60 years later, that same company is the leading book printer in Australia, with big names like Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, CCH, Scholastic and Harlequin among its many loyal clients”

Hopefully someone ‘down under’ can confirm this – Bill?

…. and finally if you want an instant collection  of PAN books here’s one Bazaar Fullmore spotted. I’ve scrutinised it very closely and can’t spot anything I’m after so feel free to bid.