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Billy Bunter's Centenary - Billy Bunter first appeared in print in the Magnet on 15th February 1908. Hamilton had actually created the character a number of years earlier but when an Editor turned down Bunter Hamilton slipped him back into his pocket and Bunter was placed on hold for a time. A few articles of interest are listed below-
A brief article celebrating 100 years of Billy Bunter appeared in the Metro on 15th Feb 2008. You can read the article here.
A Times Online article on Bunter's Centenary can be found here. (will only open with Internet Explorer)
A Telegraph Online article on Bunter's Centenary can be found here. (will only open with Internet Explorer)
Saga Magazine published an article on Bunter's Centenary in the December 2009 issue. You can read the article here.
George Orwell wrote an essay for the Horizon magazine in 1940 in which his views on the works of Hamilton could hardly be described as complimentary. He went as far as to suggest that a number of writers must be involved as it was not possible for one man to produce so much output. The essay can be read here and Hamilton's reply here. A 'sequel' appeared in June 1940 where 'Professional Writer' Harold A. Albert expressed an opinion that the stories were recycled every 8 years or so. The full article including Hamilton's rather barbed reply can be found here.
On his retirement as President from the Private Libraries association in 1974 the author Raymond Lister addressed the audience with "Charles Hamilton, Greyfriars and Myself". You can read it here.
The "Picture Post" of 11th May 1946 carried an article by Sidney Jacobson entitled "Do you remember Billy Bunter?" It is claimed that Charles Skilton read this article in a hotel in Oban while on his Honeymoon and decided to approach Hamilton about reviving Greyfriars. You can read the article here.
Frank Richards was asked to write an article on his work for the Saturday Book which was published by Hutchinson in 1945. The article can be found here. In 1948 an abridged version of this article appeared in Hamilton's local Parish magazine. You can find it here.
A brief article describing the works of Charles Hamilton and the exhibition of his work for the "Celebrity Connections" festival of 1998 and 1999 appeared in the magazine "Bygone Kent" in 2001. You can read the article here.
Following the death of Charles Hamilton at the age of 85 on Christmas Eve 1961 a number of newspapers published obituaries. You can read some of them by clicking the links below.
Most of the newspapers reported Hamilton as being aged 86 when he died, he was actually 85. You can see copies of his birth and death certificates here.
The Daily Mail 27th Dec 1961 here.
Guardian 27th and 28th Dec 1961 here.
Times 27th Dec 1961 here and a follow up article on 1st Jan 1962 by Charles Skilton here.
Daily Telegraph 27th Dec 1961 here.
Una Hamilton Wright, Niece of Charles Hamilton passed away on 16th June 2009 aged 86. You can read the Times online obituary here. (will only open with Internet Explorer)
After GR Samways died at the age of 101 in 1996 a number of obituaries were published, you can read them here.
Daily Telegraph 26th August 1996. You can read it here.
The Independent 24th Aug 1996, you can read it here.
After his death at the age of 65 on obituary to Howard Baker appeared in The Times on 16th Feb 1991. You can read it here.
The Story Paper Collector was the fore runner of the Collectors Digest and was incorporated into the CD when Bill Gander died in 1966. Bill was plagued by ill health for many years and had decided that issue 100 would be the last but unfortunately he passed away suddenly after the publication of issue 95. You can read an obituary from an unidentified Canadian newspaper here.
In the Radio Times dated 20-26th Aug 1994 an article entitled "That was the Week" featured the Billy Bunter TV show from 1958. You can read it here.
On the 27th Dec 1961 an article featuring Peter Bridgemont and the play "Billy Bunter Shipwrecked" appeared in the Daily Telegraph. You can read it here.
Keith Waterhouse featured Bunter and the Co in his column in the Derby Evening Telegraph on 26th Jan 1995. You can read it here.
Maurice Hall was a huge fan on the works of Charles Hamilton and spent 18 years producing one of, if not the best biography of them all. Unfortunately he breached copyright by using extracts from Hamilton's diaries and after legal action by Hamilton's niece the books were withdrawn and pulped. You can read the story from the Daily Telegraph dated 20th May 1991 here.
You can read a review of the book from the Times of 19th May 1990 here.
In 1982 Quiller press decided to reprint an updated version of four of the Cassell books. Kay King was asked to edit them for a more modern audience. The books were a failure, they didn't appeal to either new or old readers. An article in The Times on 18th Dec 1982 compares both formats. You can read the article here.
In 1970 the chief librarian at Ipswich Library decided that the Bunter books were not suitable reading for children so they were removed from the shelves. A meeting of the Libraries committee later had them restored. You can read the both the original article article from The 13th Feb 1970 and the follow up article from 12th March 1970 here.
In a short article in the Sunday Telegraph on Sept 19th 1962 John Wernham reveals his plans to start a Hamilton Museum. You can read the article here.
At the age of 90 CH Chapman thought that Bunter should be brought back! you can read the article here.
An obituary to CH Chapman appeared in The Times on 18th July 1972, you can read it here
Norman Shaw allegedly had the largest collection of Children's books and Story Papers in the world. You can read a few newspaper articles about his collection here, here and here.
An interesting article on Charles Hamilton and the 'All Blacks' can be found here. (will only open with Internet Explorer)
A light hearted article from the Yorkshire post on the 27th Oct 2007 suggests that Frank Richards may have based the character of Henry Quelch on local schoolmaster William Quelch. You can read the article here.
Two articles appeared in the Guardian on 11th July 2002 following the death of Gerald Campion at the age of 81. The first article, the obituary can be read here. In a separate article Michael Simkins recalls an evening spent at the French home of the former fat owl of the Remove, you can read it here.
Twenty five years after the death of Frank Richards the BBC and Saturday Night Theatre adapted the fifth of the Cassell books the classic tale of Billy Bunter's Christmas party. You can read the preview from the Radio Times here and you can listen to the play here.
In 1979 the Guardian published an article on Bessie Bunter at 60 by Mary Cadogan and Patricia Craig. You can read the article here.
In an article from December 1984 issue of the Ephemerist magazine entitled 'Sex and the 1930's Schoolgirl' Mary Cadogan reviews the matter as reflected - often only obliquely- in the ephemeral literature of the time. You can read the article here.
Jack Murtagh was a well known collector from New Zealand. Not only did he have a huge collection of story papers, he also had the largest collection of cigarette cards in the world. In 1962 the Daily Telegraph published an article on his collection. You can read the article here.
An article in the "Punch" from 1960 by Frank Richards explains how he would shake up the Ministry of Education given the chance. Thanks to Naveed you can read the article here.
Tom Ebbage was a well known Australian book collector who kept a scrapbook with newspaper clippings relating to his hobby. The scrapbook is now the property of John Tipper, creator of the collecting books and magazines website www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com. John has kindly scanned some of the articles and they are listed below.
Bartlett Telegraph 11th Feb 1950
FR Obit Sunday Telegraph 9th September 1962
Snow Sydney Herald 14th June 1952
Sunday Telegraph 29th May 1977
Sydney Telegraph 25th Sept 1976
Kenneth Allsop Book Column 1971
If you would like to know a little more about Tom Ebbage then have a look at http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/auscol.html
A 1935 issue of the "Popular Flying" magazine contained an article by C. M. Down on his wartime experiences with a hot air baloon. You can read the article here.
C. M Down was on the staff of the Companion papers from the very first episode of the Magnet and Gem until the closure in 1940. He was the controlling editor of the Companion Papers from 1919 to 1940.
In 1949 an article appeared in an Australian newspaper entitled "Memories of Billy Bunter". On discovering Charles Hamilton was still alive and kicking three South Australian fans sent him a food parcel for Christmas as a token of their appreciation. The newspaper published the story and Hamilton's amusing reply. You can find the article here.