Sunday, 29 July 2018

Raymond Sheppard and Fire in the flint

Dustjacket by Raymond Sheppard
A flint, chipped by an ancient Briton, to serve as a weapon against Roman invaders, is the link between the seven incidents in this story, which is set in Norfolk. From Roman times we follow its adventures until the day during the last war when it is lost for ever under the sea. Raymond Sheppard has drawn the jacket and contributed some brilliant illustrations.
This description is on the flyleaf of the dustjacket to this lovely book, which is similar to BB's "Lord of the forest" in that we track through history around a single object. In the latter it's the story told about an oak tree's life; in the former, it's a piece of flint.

Fire in the flint p.10
Ancient Briton's boat sinks as Roman galley approaches

In a review of another book, the Times ("Shorter Notices." 23 Oct. 1936: p.9) notes that with Robertson's book Zambesi Days that "Mr Roberston's experiences occurred in a fast passing age: he lived them unemotionally but appreciatively, and he has a natural gift of writing, a combination resulting in a most attractive volume". The SF Encyclopedia has biographical dates for Robertson:

Wilfrid Robertson
born Bakewell, Derbyshire: 22 April 1892
died Oxford, Oxfordshire: 5 April 1973

Beyond that I couldn't find any information on this author who was quite prolific in "big game hunter" and boy's adventure stories. He was obviously writing about the former from experience and, I would guess, having written so much about Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and other southern African countries, he might well have lived there for a period.

Fire in the flint p.20-21
The Icenis storm the Roman fort / Spear with flint attached

The first chapter follows the Iceni in "The finding of the flint" followed by "The heel of the Norman".
Fire in the flint p.26
Pushing blocks of stone uphill to build Norman castle

Fire in the flint p.37
Torfrid and Edgar save Norman knight from the marshes

Fire in the flint p.41
Norman knight rides off waving thanks

The expression "the fire in the flint" comes from Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (Act 1. Scene 1,30-31) "The fire in the flint Shows not till it be struck" and talks of the possibility of someone/something. Spurgeon, the evangelical preacher used the expression in some thoughts on the Book of Job "There's fire in the flint, cool as it looks; wait till the steel gets a knock at it, and you will see"

The next story "The country folk rise" tells of the Peasant Revolt
Fire in the flint p.48
The peasant's uprising in Norwich

Fire in the flint p.56
Two men jump into the moat

Fire in the flint p.61
The flint knife is broken
 This book contains a narrative following a single piece of flint through the ages, starting with the Iceni tribes in Norfolk and the Romans, and rapidly moves onto the rise and oppression of the Norman. Next comes the Peasant's Revolt.

The chapter called "The church breakers" tells of Cromwell's time and what was fascinating to me was that the churches in question are ones I have visited for an earlier blog series

Fire in the flint p.67
A farmer is ploughing when he hears the church bells pealing a warning

Fire in the flint p.75
Cromwell's sympathisers fall in the marshes

Fire in the flint p.78
A round-towered church (resembling Haddiscoechurch)
The next story "The harnessing of the marshes" tells of the draining and return to farmland of the marshes.
Fire in the flint p.82
He uses his spyglass to watch a boat sailing down the Yare river

Fire in the flint p.90
The workers escape the King's men in the fog

Fire in the flint p.92
The flint, stored in a caseing saves a gentleman's life
 "The wildfowlers" tells of those living on the marshes  and uses local dialect which reads beautifully.

Fire in the flint p.97
Two men catch "lemon sole" by a windmill

Fire in the flint p.105
Two men catch a thief

Fire in the flint p.106
The flint resides in a rifle

The last tale is "The losing of the flint"  and takes place during World War Two. Two German fighter pilots are captured by a fenlander, waving his old flintlock at them. He and a friend take the prisoners downriver and are in collison with their rescuers!

Fire in the flint p.109
A German plane crashes and its occupants captured

Fire in the flint p.111
A rescue launch, with no lights, collides with the row boat
The final illustration shows trout swimming over the flintlock whose "last remaining portion of the flint found a permanent resting-place beneath the primeval ooze"

A Hunter talks. London: A.H. Stockwell, 1930
The Mountain of Gold. London; Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1935.
Rhodesian Rancher. [Autobiographical reminiscences. With plates.]London; Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1935.
Zambezi days  London; Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1936.
The Painted Pool. London: Oxford University Press, 1936.
Raiders from the Bush. London: Oxford University Press, 1937.
The Black Planes [Illustrated by Jack Nicolle]. London: Oxford University Press, 1938.
The Scar on the Film, [Cover by Jack Nicolle] London: Oxford University Press, 1939. [a novel in which a civilization of ancient Phoenicians is discovered in Africa]
The day of Rorke's drift January 22, 1879 London: Oxford University Press, 1940.
Gold over the Border London : Oxford University Press, 1940.
The defence of Mafeking [Series: Great Exploits] London: Oxford University Press, 1941.
Wings over the Zambesi, London: Oxford University Press, 1941.
Dunkirk Dunes to Libyan Sand, London: Oxford University Press, 1941.
The Island Plot.[Illustrated by Lewis Lupton] London: Oxford University Press, [1942]
Lorraine Cross and Southern Cross London: Oxford University Press, [1943]
The Emperor's Ring. A story of the campaign in Abyssinia London: Oxford University Press, 1944.
The Affair of A.20. A story of the campaign in Madagascar London: Oxford University Press, 1945.
The Lost Gold Bars [Illustrated by S. Drigin]. London: Oxford University Press, 1946.
The Missing Legatee [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1947.
Coaster's Mate; An African Adventure  [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1949.
Trant of Makati London: Oxford University Press, 1949.
Bush Patrol [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1950.
The Storm of '96: a tale of the Mashona Rising [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1951.
The Zakana Gold Affair [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1952.
The Lost Mines of Chikova [Illustrated by Jack Mathew] London: Oxford University Press, 1954.
The Young Traveller in Tropical Africa. [With a map and 31 photographs]. London: Phoenix House, 1954.
The House on the Broads London: Quality Press, 1954.
Wagons rolling North : a story of Cecil Rhodes [Illustrated by J. S. Goodall] London: Phoenix House, 1954
The Blue Wagon [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1955.
Jack and the Elephant Bull. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1955
Queer Doings at Quantham. London; New York: Frederick Warne & Co., [1956]
Mandala Trail [Illustrated by Jack Matthew] London: Oxford University Press, 1956.
The Village by the Stones [Illustrated by Fred Exell] London: Phoenix House, 1957.
Snow on the Wold. London; New York: Frederick Warne & Co., [1957]
Mystery at Manthorpe London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1957.
Fire in the Flint. A tale in seven scenes [Illustrated by Raymond Sheppard]. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957.
Black Meg's London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1958.
Shadow of a Rope  London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1960.
Safari. London; Glasgow: Collins, 1961.
Coaster's Mate. London; Glasgow: Collins, 1961.
The House on the Headland [Illustrated by Geoffrey Whittam]. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1962.

 Waiting (ss) The Oxford Annual for Boys 1935
“One White Night” (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) May 3 1949
Better Value (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) May 19 1949
Distant Fields Are Green (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Jun 17 1949
No Complaints (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Oct 5 1949
Floating Assets (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Oct 10 1949
Spice to Life (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Oct 20 1949
A Case for Compensation (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Jan 13 1950
Off the Ration (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Jan 25 1950
Black Outlook (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Feb 28 1950
Thought for the Morrow (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Mar 13 1950
The Porridge Pot (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Mar 17 1950
Guest Who Guessed (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Apr 13 1950
Labels Sometimes Lie (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) May 23 1950
Patchwork Quilt (ss) The Citizen (Gloucester) Jun 26 1950 The above from the FiictionMags Index

 "Camp Craft in the African Wilds" in The Big Book for Boys. London: Humphrey Milford /Oxford University Press, 1937
[Unknown] in The Boys V for Victory Book 7. London: Oxford University Press, 1942
"Wet journey" in The Treasure Book of Comics. London: Odhams Press, 1955
[Unknown] in Stirring Stories for Girls. [Ed: Eric Duthie] London: Odhams Press, 1963

"Madui's Curse" in Wide World Magazine, [Month unknown] 1933.
[Unknown] in Wide World Magazine, March 1944

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Raymond Sheppard and Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge

I wrote in 2012 how I was pointed to some - till then - unidentified artwork by Frank Bellamy which led to me discovering the two titles "The Pictorial Encyclopedia" and "The Pictorial History Book"

Well, a recent routine search led me to seeing, rather than reading about some Sheppard artwork about which I knew nothing and it appears in "The Pictorial Encylopaedia of Scientific Knowledge". I saw it in black and white, but knew, if it was the same series as mentioned, it would be in that strange "off colour", when it arrived. I ordered a copy - God bless Abebooks! I couldn't find a copy of one with its dustjacket, but online, in Spain of all places, I saw this:

Dustjacket and book

The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge (Editorial board: Dr. Montagu H. Clifford, I. S. Dear,  Charles Harvey, E S Wolff) London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., [1956]

The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, p6
This shows Sheppard credited

The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, p225

The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, p226

The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, p227
The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, p228

If you look very clearly, after clicking to enlarge the images, Sheppard clearly signed the work leaving me in no doubt!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Raymond Sheppard and Paynocil advertising

Christine Sheppard has, in her cuttings file of her father's work, some advertising which I thought I'd reproduce one day. In research terms ephemera like advertising brochures are so valuable but so elusive. The UK has had legal deposit on books and journals (or magazines) for decades, but ephemera is another matter.Sometimes it's a piece of luck that exposes these to the world! In my work I often test databases by using familiar terms and yes, "Raymond Sheppard" is one of them. So imagine my surprise when searching the Wellcome Trust's Library catalogue! Here's the link to all 6 in the series which I have reproduced below with permission.

Water buffalo and cattle egrets
The series of adverts were produced for C.L. Bencard Limited for their aspirin variant called Paynocil - see the other parts of the leaflet below. The Wellcome Library describe the leaflet as "folded sheet (4 unnumbered pages) :colour ;14 x 33 cm folded to 14 x 21 cm". below are the other parts of the above.

A search on the Internet soon told me these appeared around 1956 for example in The Chemist and Druggist (May 12 p.13). It describes itself as "The weekly newspaper for pharmacy and all sections of the drug, pharmaceutical and fine chemical, cosmetic, and allied industries, Official organ of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland".

Sources state that the company C.L. Bencard Limited was founded in 1934 in Devon and began specializing in allergy medicines, such as for hay-fever and asthma. In 1949 Beecham Group Limited acquired C.L. Bencard, "a company specialising in allergy vaccines". In 1998 there was a management buy-out of Bencard from Smithkline Beecham. However, strangely, there is an entry in the London Gazette (3 April 1934) which states that at an extraordinary meeting of the company, on 28 March 1934 "that the company be wound up voluntarily, and that Christian Louis Bencard, of 8, Cavendish Drive, Canons Park, Middlesex, Merchant, be and he is hereby appointed Liquidator for the purposes of such winding-up"

Back to the rest of series of adverts which include

  1. Egyptian plover and the crocodile
  2. Pilot fish
  3. Ox-pecker
  4. Prairie dog and burrowing owl
  5. Hermit crab and the sea anemone
Egyptian Plover (also known as the Crocodile Bird)

There's a 13 second video of this cleaning process and a lovely video of the birds on YouTube

Pilot fish and shark

Pilot fish are described on Wikipedia as even been seen around the British Isles, which surprised me!

The Ox-Pecker and Rhinocerous

You can read about ox-peckers on Wikipedia. Paul Weeks outlines how the relationship between ox-peckers and the fact we believe they reduce tick numbers may actually be too simplistic.

Prairie Dog and Burrowing Owl

There is a lovely Native American myth around why the two animals live so happily together on the Internet Sacred Myths site, but the relationship is a lot more prosaic - a sharing of tunnels and safety together.

Hermit crab and Sea Anemone

As a child in Malta I often played with Hermit Crabs but never saw this relationship with an anemone which is fascinating. I've left this image to last as I wasn't certain it is Sheppard. The shell certainly looks like his work as does the hermit crab but then I wondered about the rest. The others are all signed but this one appeared not.

Until I asked Felicity Crentsil, the very kind Library Assistant at the Wellcome Library to check for me to see if she could see any signature which was cropped from the image. It's obvious she must be younger than me as she spotted the signature at the bottom left overlaid over the three limpet shells in a colour similar to their background and therefore not very legible. Thanks to Felicity (and her unnamed colleague!). As I always say, get to know your local librarians whether in a public library or work or academic library. They love helping, as do I! 

Thank you so much to the staff of Wellcome Library for sharing these wonderful images in the first place and for cataloguing minute detail so I could find them. If I sound like a over-thrilled 60 year old, you now know why!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Raymond Sheppard and ICI Magazine

ICI Magazine February 1951

Recently a copy of an ICI Magazine came up on eBay which led to me being able to get copies/photocopies of some more artwork by Raymond Sheppard and to be able to pin down where and when they appeared. Christine Sheppard's cuttings files of her father's work contained all those below and I have not found any more despite ploughing through a lot of copies.

Wikipedia tells us that:
In the 1920s and 30s, the company [Imperial Chemical Industries - ICI] played a key role in the development of new chemical products, including the dyestuff phthalocyanine (1929), the acrylic plastic Perspex (1932),[4] Dulux paints (1932, co-developed with DuPont), polyethylene (1937), and polyethylene terephthalate fibre known as Terylene (1941). In 1940, ICI started British Nylon Spinners as a joint venture with Courtaulds. 
The "house organ" as the internal works magazines/papers were called in the day,  ICI Magazine ran from January 1928 to August 1939. It then continued in 1947 after the war until 1987 when the name changed to The Roundel which ended in 1993. Why The Roundel? That's explained in the first issue in 1987

 Which brings us to our masthead., The ICI Magazine now is to be called The Roundel. Why? Because this reflects more accurately the image of ICI and therefore its flagship magazine.

The rather well produced magazine shows people in different branches of the company at home and abroad - even one "Mr Sheppard" (no relation as far as I know) having to move his leadership of the China operation to Hong Kong after the Communists took over! There are articles on the history of separate companies that went to make up ICI, there are well-written chemical explanations, as well as cartoons and, as time goes on, articles on employees' hobbies. My primary interest is in the illustrator and their illustrations. It's obvious ICI spent money on this magazine hiring many names of the day as well as using employees' artwork (I'll blog lots of interesting art on my other blog soon)

ICI Magazine September 1947
"Silver birches in Ashdown Forest" by "courtesy of The Times"

The first illustrated by Raymond Sheppard, which I have found, is in September 1947 on pages 210-213. The article, written by "E.F.Wood (Dyestuffs Division Blackley)" is called "Butterflies and Moths". I have reproduced the whole article from a scanned PDF so please forgive the resolution

ICI Magazine September 1947, pp210-211

ICI Magazine September 1947, pp212-213
There's no caption for the first full page in black and white with one colour used for the butterfly in amongst flowers.  But the three other illustrations' captions read: "Found...the caterpillar is stroked by the ant"; "Off to the brood chamber"; "A beautiful blue butterfly crawls through dark passages into a world of sunshine and flowers"
ICI Magazine February 1951
"Seagulls at Polzeath" by Miss E. Atkins

The next of our Raymond Sheppard illustrated features in ICI Magazine February 1951, (pp 61-63) in an article by J. M. Blackwood, who apparently worked in the "Southern Region". He writes lovingly about his hobby of "Bird watching from my window"

ICI Magazine February 1951, p61

ICI Magazine February 1951, p62

ICI Magazine February 1951, p63

The first illustration shows a tit being cjhased by a Nuthatch and then pages 62 and 63 read "There was a Bluetit ...who tried to drive off the other birds"; "The Great tit visited the board next"; "The Nuthatch pickaxed away until he got them all out";  "The only other visitor for a while was the Missel Thrush". Here we can see Sheppard's years of study put to good use - it's very unlikely anyone would find a reference photo of the first illustration! Also his two books on drawing birds first published by The Studio Publications show his skills in construction and execution of bird drawings.

ICI Magazine March 1956
"The Rohtang Pass" by M. J. Hackney
The last example in ICI Magazine of Sheppard's art is in March 1956, so long gaps between assignments perhaps reflecting the publicity department's need to use their budget amongst various contributors - including their employees who contributed. This is the copy I own, bound in a volume, thus the slight cropping on the right hand side!

ICI Magazine March 1956, p.74

"Birds of the Tees Estuary" is written by Charles W. Armstrong, (Billingham Division) and when one realises that the Billingham Division was based in Stockton-on-Tees, this is obviously by a local worker and enthusiast who must have been extremely proud to see Sheppard illustrating his few words!The six birds shown are Cormorant, Curlew, Herring Gull, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, and Mallard

So having read through all of the available online versions and many at the British Library I still haven't seen every issue so there may be more out there of Sheppard's work for the ICI Magazine

I must say a huge thank you and promote the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre (Mersey Road,  Widnes, Cheshire WA8 0DF Telephone 0151 420 1121) and highlight Paul Meara who provided so much information to me which I shall use in a later article on my other blog and Judith (sorry I don't have your surname - get in touch and let me rectify that) who started me on this journey by being so helpful. Judith is a volunteer archivist at Discovery Centre, which she tells me is "The very building where John Brunner and Ludwig Mond (two of ICI founders) first met in the 1860s!" You can also find these lovely people on Facebook and I also learned they are winners of the Chemicals Northwest ‘Charity of the Year Award’ 2016 and as if that's not enough Winner of the Chemical Industries Association ‘Reputation Award’ 2016. Next time I'm up that way, I'll certainly call in and say a personal thank you.