Gavin Scott |
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operation heartbreak
07 Mar

The Beauty of Pan Paperbacks

When I was growing up Penguin books were ubiquitous, elegantly presented and cheap. But also a little bit austere and even - for the under ten set -forbidding. For sheer excitement, on the other hand, Penguin's rival Pan went all out to make their books irresistable on the bookstand, and I still take great delight in their cover art to this day. Even if - perhaps even because - some of the draughtsmanship is rather gloriously bad. Here are three from my collection of Pan books dealing with World War Two adventures, of which there were...

shrine
05 Mar

A quiet place to work

Great Replies of Our Time Volume One: My very talented Production Designer daughter Rebecca Facebooked a picture of the eerie shrine she has just made for a murder show she's working on, and one of her fans asked "Is this something you're building for the TV show?" "No," replied Rebecca within seconds, "I was just looking for a quiet place to work." ...

IMG_8108
04 Mar

A Train called Thomas

Among the cultural event of 1946 we must not forget the appearance of a small blue railway engine. Duncan Forrester did not buy the first in the series, a book called Three Railway Engines by the Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, when it was published in 1945: at that moment he was driving a stolen German motor cycle along a mountain road in Bavaria. But he was back in England for the publication of the Rev. Awdry’s second book, Thomas the Tank Engine, in 1946, and saw it in Brown’s Book Shop,...

ikwig
02 Mar

I Know Where I’m Going

I've been giving some thought to the movies which might have been seen in 1946 by Duncan Forrester, the hero of The Age of Treachery, the detective thriller set in that year which Titan Books and Random House are publishing next month. One of the first he saw, had in fact been released in 1945, but he was still able to catch up with it in early 1946 at the Astoria cinema on Holderness Road in Hull, where his mother lived. The film was I Know Where I'm Going, written...

IMG_8012
01 Mar

The Punch of 1946

The venerable British humorous magazine Punch, which began life in 1841, was still going strong in 1946, the year my novel The Age of Treachery takes place. I've been able to get hold of one of the bound editions of the magazine from that year, and from time to time I'll post things you might find interesting. Nothing, I think, gives a better feel of a period than the things people might have been reading in trains, planes or in taxis, on their way to meet friends and enemies, chuckling gently at the gentle...

28 Jan

The Great Santa Monica Airport Park: video diary number one.

We won the battle over keeping local control of Santa Monica Airport back in 2014, and the Federal Aviation Authority ought to have relinquished their grip on it in July 2015 – but they keep coming up with excuses to keep it going for another eight years. In the meantime local people are trying to turn it into a park  and this video diary is designed to document the battle. Enjoy!  ...

airport park
26 Oct

The Great Santa Monica Airport Controversy

There's a huge battle going on here in Santa Monica, with pilots and jet manufacturers trying to convert what began as a park into a jetport. It's all getting very fraught, so I thought I'd have a bit of fun with it - and even if you don't live in Santa Monica, you might enjoy the resulting video, which even goes so far as to feature me wearing a tuxedo. ...