Pat Davidson writes to the blog

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.

Alan Davidson, author of various Jinty stories such as "Jackie's Two Lives"
Alan Davidson, author of various Jinty stories such as “Jackie’s Two Lives”

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.

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8 thoughts on “Pat Davidson writes to the blog

  1. If you wouldn’t have had this blog, this information would probably have been lost forever. It would be great if Pat Davidson would be willing to compile a complete list of the stories her husband wrote. And perhaps she knows who was the artist for ‘Gwen’s stolen glory’.

    1. I certainly want to follow up on the question of what other stories Alan Davidson may have written; if his records are complete then we could potentially do a really good comics bibliography of his work, which would be great. The name of the artist on “Gwen” would be lovely to find out, but of course we know that artists and writers often didn’t have much information about each other, so that is a bit of a long shot in any case. Good thought though!

  2. Malcolm Shaw wrote The Robot Who Cried, remember?

    He also wrote The Sentinels for Misty, and Tammy credits list several Malcolm Shaw stories. I’ll look them up when I have a chance. Tammy at least ran credits for a couple of years, but they stopped a few weeks before the Princess merger.

    Maybe we should have a Valley of Shining Mist entry now we have the writer. But I don’t have enough episodes for one.

    1. We certainly need a Malcolm Shaw writer page, of course. A “Valley of Shining Mist” entry would be great too, though I’m not sure without checking whether I have a complete run or not.

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