I am very excited to say that Pat Davidson has written in to reply to the comments made by Malcolm Shaw’s wife, Brenda Ellis. She clarifies that, contrary to the information previously supplied by Pat Mills, Pat Davidson did not write for Jinty herself, and indeed did not write the classic “Little Miss Nothing” which she has been wrongly credited with. Here are her own words to explain:
How much I agree with Mrs Shaw that – like her late husband Malcolm – some, at least, of the men who wrote for Jinty took their work seriously, writing stories of real quality. And I know how hard they worked. In the 1970s, when we too had a mortgage to pay – and four children under eight – my husband Alan Davidson wrote many wonderful stories for Jinty, including “The Valley of Shining Mist”, “Fran of the Floods“, “Gwen’s Stolen Glory” and – one of Jinty’s all-time favourites – “Jackie’s Two Lives“. In earlier years, he had written the breakthrough “Little Miss Nothing” which was often reprinted and became the template for a stream of ‘Cinderella’ stories written (in my opinion) by lesser writers.
After Jinty, Alan wrote many successful books for children in various genres, including humour and no doubt Malcolm Shaw, had he lived, would have done likewise. IPC’s policy not to credit writers or artists was a disgrace and I’m grateful that Alan kept careful records, including copies of all his scripts together with his invoice books (IPC tending to be rather late-payers)! Although I remember Alan mentioning Malcolm’s name as a fine writer, sadly I have no knowledge of which stories he wrote. Perhaps someone else will remember for Mrs Shaw? I do hope so.
Pat Davidson also kindly sent in a photo of the young Alan Davidson.
I hope that this blog will be able to follow up this very interesting contact and to give further details on other stories written by Alan Davidson. On a personal note, I am particularly happy to know the authorship of “The Valley of Shining Mist”, which is a story that lived on in my memory from reading it as a child.