William Matthew Scott
|William Matthew Scott|
Will Scott, 1925
William Matthew Scott|
30 September 1893
7 May 1964 (age 70)|
Herne Bay, Kent
|Pen name||Will Scott|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer, playwright, children's writer|
|Genre||Detective, thriller, mystery, children's, short story|
|Notable works||The Cherrys series, Disher Detective, The Limping Man|
William Matthew Scott (born Leeds 30 September 1893; d. Herne Bay 7 May 1964), pen name Will Scott, was a British author of stories and books for adults and children, published from 1920 to 1965. Towards the end of his life he was best known for The Cherrys series, written for children and published between 1952 and 1965. However, in earlier years he was known for his detective novels, his stage plays which were made into films, notably The Limping Man in 1931 and 1936, and for the 2,000 short stories that he contributed to magazines and newspapers; believed to be a record for the United Kingdom during his lifetime. As of 2011, his books are out of print.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Short stories
- 4 Plays
- 5 Novels
- 6 Children's books: The Cherrys series
- 6.1 First: The Cherrys of River House (1952)
- 6.2 Second: The Cherrys and Company (1953)
- 6.3 Third: The Cherrys by the Sea (1954)
- 6.4 Fourth: The Cherrys and the Pringles (1955)
- 6.5 Fifth: The Cherrys and the Galleon (1956)
- 6.6 Sixth: The Cherrys and the Double Arrow (1957)
- 6.7 Seventh: The Cherrys on Indoor Island (1958)
- 6.8 Eighth: The Cherrys on Zigzag Trail (1959)
- 6.9 Ninth: The Cherrys’ Mystery Holiday (1960)
- 6.10 Tenth: The Cherrys and Silent Sam (1961)
- 6.11 Eleventh: The Cherrys’ Famous Case (1962)
- 6.12 Twelfth: The Cherrys to the Rescue (1963)
- 6.13 Thirteenth: The Cherrys in the Snow (1964)
- 6.14 Fourteenth: The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon (1965)
- 7 Other children's books
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
Ancestry and youth
William Matthew Scott was born at 128 Camp Road (now Oatland Lane) in Little London, Leeds, Yorkshire on 30 September 1893. Camp Road was demolished in the 1960s. His place of birth was next to the poor Jewish immigrant area of tailors and shoemakers, called the Leylands, in the All Souls district of Leeds. At least until 1911 Scott lived in the working-class areas of Little London and Woodhouse, next to Meanwood Beck. The area has a history of poverty, and within living memory were the Woodhouse cholera epidemic of the 1840s, and the typhoid epidemic in nearby Headingley of 1889. When Scott was born, the middens and ashpits which had nurtured the diseases were being replaced by communal water closets. That meant that inhabitants of the back-to-backs had to walk to the end of the row to use the lavatory or empty a chamber pot but they would not catch cholera; communal outside lavatories and cobbled streets with washing lines overhead persisted while Scott lived there. However it should be remembered that street communities were strong, public transport was efficient and good quality education and libraries were available for working people. All the addresses at which Scott lived in his youth were demolished in the early 1960s slum clearances to make way for new council estates, but it should be remembered that many of these buildings were known to be repairable, so that "slum" was often a misnomer.
His father was William Scott, a joiner, born in Leeds in 1861. His mother was Eliza Anne (or Eliza Annie) Scott nee Hibbard, born in Nottinghamshire in 1864. In 1891 the couple were living alone at 4 Clayfield Street in the All Souls parish of north Leeds, and Eliza Anne was a tailoress. This street of Victorian back-to-backs ran between Cambridge Road and Ashfield Leather Works; the area is now a playing field. This tannery would have been odiferous during smog or to houses downwind of it; also the nearby Meanwood Beck had in those days a history of industrial pollution. This may be the reason why William and Eliza Anne Scott took over the tobaconnist's from Samuel Cooper at 128 Camp Road in 1893 and their son was born there.
However the 1901 Census records W.M. Scott aged seven years with his parents and no siblings close to the tannery again at 20 Stonefield Terrace, in the All Souls parish of north Leeds, Yorkshire, and only four streets away from the Scotts' previous home in Clayfield Street. It was a four-room corner house in a back-to-back row on the corner with Cambridge Road. This was a street of back-to-back houses, but is now a row of trees on a playing field. In the 1911 Census he was aged 17 years, he had no siblings and he was a lithographic artist apprentice, living with his parents in a back-to-back house at 49 Ganton Mount at Woodhouse, Leeds; the street is now rebuilt as modern houses. In 1911 his father was a journeyman joiner, and his mother a housewife. The 1911 census enumerator recorded that the house had eight rooms instead of the regular back-to-back four rooms, so no. 49 must have been a larger corner house.
His World War I services are not known, but a dozen William Scotts are recorded in the armed services at this time. In 1915 he married Lily Edmundson (born 19 August 1891) in Leeds Register Office; she was a tailoress and the daughter of George Edmundson, a machine fitter in 1891 and electrical engineer in 1915. Scott was at that time an artist and caricaturist, living at 79 Buslingthorpe Lane, Leeds; his mother was one of the witnesses at the wedding. They had two daughters: the first was Patricia Shirley born at 1 Highfield Terrace, Golder's Green on 28 September 1919 when Scott described himself as a black and white artist. The second was Marjory Sylvia born at St Edwards maternity home, Station Road, Herne Bay on 4 January 1921. At this point Scott was describing himself as a journalist and living at Roldale House, Selsea Avenue, Herne Bay.
So he was living in Herne Bay, Kent by 1921, and he was already familiar with the area by 1925 when he published Disher, Detective, which has his detective's assistant discovering a black stamp washed up at Hampton. In 1928 he was at St Minver Cottage in Salisbury Drive. From 1929 to 1932 he was living at Crown Hill Cottage, West Cliff Drive. From 1933 to 1935 he lived at The Old Cottage, a 17th-century listed building, at 125 Grand Drive. From 1935 to the end of his life he lived with his wife at Windermere in High View Avenue, at the top of Westcliff overlooking Hampton-on-Sea. He was living there when he wrote Herne Bay Pageant in 1937, and all his children's books were written there from about 1951 to 1964. The surroundings of all his Kentish residences are reflected in the settings of his books: notably in Half-Term Trail, 1955, which was written at Windermere and is set in Herne Bay and Hampton. While he was living at Windermere he had grandchildren for whom he wrote The Cherrys series.
He was a private person, said to have "shunned the limelight". However he contributed to the life of Herne Bay by directing its amateur dramatic society The Mask Players from 1930 to 1940, and he wrote the 1939 Town Guide "in his own idiosyncratic way". He created a logo for Herne Bay, showing its heron symbol, its clock tower, Reculver Towers and the sea. He died of a stroke at Nunnery Fields Hospital, Canterbury, on 7 May 1964; his death certificate describes him as a journalist. He was cremated at Barham Crematorium on 12 May 1964; his ashes were scattered in the grounds there, and there is no headstone or memorial. In 1998 the Herne Bay Gazette said, "Mr Scott was a true citizen of Herne Bay who had not received due recognition."
His Times obituary says that he began in London as a caricaturist for the Performer magazine, drawing George Robey, Wilkie Bard, and Fred Kitchen from the film Old Mother Riley Overseas. However he was already working as a caricaturist in Leeds by 1915 when he was twenty-one. He was briefly the art editor of Pan magazine in London, but then moved to Herne Bay to become a full-time writer. The dust jacket of the first edition of The Cherrys series says:
"After being a cartoonist, an art critic, an art editor and a drama critic, Will Scott settled down as a fiction writer. He has written over 2,000 short stories, which is believed to be a record for this country. When his own daughters were small he wrote plays and books, all for grown ups. It was grandchildren who turned his thoughts to books for young readers. He says they are 'the greatest fun in the world'".
Mask Players (The)
The Mask Players was the amateur Herne Bay drama group started for charity purposes by Edward Anstee in March 1930, with twelve or twenty-four founder members; this number had risen to 300 by 1935. Between 1930 and 1940, 673 people had contributed to the group and 176 acting members had taken part in 179 performances and two thousand rehearsals. There was a monthly show called "Green Room Night". Will Scott was involved with this society as director for most of its life. The group celebrated its tenth anniversary and 63rd green room night on 28 March 1940 at St John's Hall in Herne Bay, although the previous cast of hundreds had been whittled down to dozens by the war. On this occasion the entertainment consisted of variety sketches and turns, including and accompanied by "a breezy pianoforte selection". It also included a rare speech by Scott, who was known to "shun the limelight". The group was named after Scott's play, The Mask, its first play which opened on 28 March 1930 at the King's Hall and produced a £42 donation for a local charity. The Players regularly performed yearly Christmas pantomimes, the early ones starring a disguised Eileen Wilson as principal boy. It also functioned as a social club for the players, with garden parties at Beltinge. The Players continued to entertain at least until 1940, although other entertainment societies had to close; for example The Mask Players Girls performed a variety concert in aid of a wartime charity at St Johns Hall on 31 October 1940, charging 6d entry fee. By 1945 The Mask Players had disbanded due to war operations, and the group was succeeded by Theatrecraft.
His first short story was published in 1920. He wrote over 2,000 stories; he specialised in the short, short story and contributed many of these to the magazines Pan, 20-Story, The Passing Show, John Bull, Illustrated, Everybody's Magazine, John O' London's Weekly, London Opinion, The Humorist, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The Star as well as The Strand Magazine and The Evening News to which he contributed 94 stories. His stories were also published in summer and Christmas annuals. The short, short stories tend to rely for effect on the audience's expectation being trumped by a clever twist at the end. Although the short stories are long out of print, one by Will Scott was reprinted in 1992, in The Folio Anthology of Humour, this being a reprint of a P.G. Wodehouse's A Century of Humour collections of 1935 and 1936.
The Daily Express Cameo Tale series
The ninth story in the series was Will Scott's Old Bus, which appeared on 30 September 1930: a shaggy dog tale about twenty years in the life of a limousine. It is set in London, and in a fictional Sunnysands which may have been suggested by Herne Bay.
Passing Show (The) Magazine
Where Men Are Men (1926) is a humorous tale about a henpecked husband. The Fingerprint (1926) is a detective story about an unsolved crime where the evidence consists of unusually large thumbprints. The Ten Year Smile (1927) is a murder mystery in which a felon explains why he is pleased with himself.
It has been said that "his real love was the theatre". He wrote comedies and thrillers for the stage.
The Mask, performed 1930
The Limping Man, filmed 1931 and 1936
Will Scott's thriller drama, The Limping Man was called an "outstanding success", the character of Disher being expanded onstage by Franklin Dyall. The plot begins with a man suffering victimisation after inheriting an estate, and enlisting a detective to find out why. This play was a development of Scott's 1928 novel, Shadows. The play was revived onstage and made into two films: Creeping Shadows (1931) and The Limping Man (1936). This is not the same story as Frances D. Grierson's The Limping Man (1924). The play went on tour and then debuted in London on Monday 19 January 1931 at the Royalty Theatre, starring Franklin Dyall, Eve Gray, Miriam Lewes and Arthur Hardy. It was copyrighted in the same year as a play in three acts in the United States. The Times review was printed the following day. The Daily Express review said:
"Will Scott, an artist and author, has written in The Limping Man a comedy thriller which is far above the average if only for the reason that it contains at least a score of very amusing lines. There is a valuable Rembrandt, a Henry VIII mansion, mysterious footsteps, a bell that rings by itself, a suspicious-looking butler, Americans, a man murdered at the crossroads – all sorts of ingredients that would mix up into a stage mystery. The solution is by no means an obvious one. Franklin Dyall is a modern man of mystery – a being who wanders all over the globe solving crimes that baffle every one else. Arthur Hardy, who has been acting in this play on tour for some months, has some admirable lines as a fashionable physician . . . If The Limping Man had been produced two years ago I should have promised it a long run."
His Wife's Mother, filmed 1932
The Umbrella Man, filmed 1937
This stage play was filmed as London by Night (1937); an atmospheric thriller in which a series of murders occurs in a foggy London square. However the plot of the film may differ from the original play, which is a comedy about crooks with jewellery hidden in an umbrella.
Herne Bay Pageant, 1937
This is The Herne Bay Pageant In Celebration of the Coronation of their Majesties King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth which was written and directed by Will Scott for performance in Herne Bay on 13 and 14 May 1937. It consists of an introduction and six single-scene episodes showing how the town celebrated previous coronations and events, each representing eras of Herne Bay's history: 1821, 1831, 1838, 1902, 1911 and 1937. Some scenes reveal historical moments: for example the 1911 episode mentions fields laid out for development on Westcliff. Some of the scenes are humorous: for example the 1838 episode includes a light mockery of reactionary attitudes, showing an elderly resident worrying that the new clock tower is déclassé. The 1937 episode includes a parade of individuals carrying placards representing all the institutions, groups and societies of Herne Bay. The entire pageant promotes pride in Herne Bay through understanding of its development from a fishing village to a complex town and tourist attraction. Lawrence Noble, who took part in the pageant in 1937, recalled in 1998: "He was a shy and modest man. He wrote the pageant script, directed, assembled the cast and humoured and persuaded all the disparate elements. Will Scott loved Herne Bay."
Disher, Detective (1925) or The Black Stamp (1926)
Disher, Detective was the UK title. This book is dedicated to "my friend Albert Bailey". Two editions of The Black Stamp were produced in the United States in 1926. The book retailed at 7s 6d in the UK, and The Sunday Times review of May 1925 said: "The reader will be unusually thrilled by Mr Scott's brilliantly conceived story – really a little masterpiece of ingenuity." This is the first of three novels by Scott in which the hero is Disher: a fat and lazy detective who is given to spouting witty aphorisms on the subject of contemporary society. The setting of the plot ranges from Seasalter with its neighbouring north Kent coastal towns and the Isle of Sheppey, via London and New York to Canterbury and Blean Woods and back again to Seasalter. The story begins with the classic scenario of the locked room mystery, and moves thence to the morality of worldwide contemporary politics. However, before the tale is halfway through, Scott puts into the mouth of his detective a suggestion that the tight detective fiction genre of clues, detection and denouement is already exhausted by 1925:
"Heaven is the place where the last chapter will be torn out of the finest story that ever will be written. And it is a heaven to me unattainable. Believe me, I never want to solve any of these so-called mysteries with which my name is associated. But I always do solve them. I can't help it. The greatest thing that my present career could hold for me would be a case that was utterly beyond my powers . . . if there were someone else who could do my job as well as I can do it, I'd drop it at once and go in for some inexact science that leads to nowhere and nothing. But there isn't."
The 1928 Philadelphia edition is dedicated to "my friend W.A. Williamson, Skipper of the Good Ship Passing Show of London, who, also, thinks an Adventure in the Armchair is worth two in the Bush." Five editions were published 1928–1931 in English and German. The British Library holds two reference copies. The 1928 dust jacket is illustrated in art deco style. It shows a bright orange silhouette of the haunted house on a hill against a grey sky with full moon, and below it are black shadows of trees on the base of the hill. At the top and bottom of this picture it says: "Disher solves another mystery / Shadows / by Will Scott / author of The Black Stamp". The dustjacket illustrates the fictional setting of the book at a grand and ancient house on a hill, called Tinker's Revel, described on page 12:
"the Revel on its hill. . . Against a background of tall black trees the Revel stood up, a brilliant red silhouette, a haphazard collection of corners and gables and curly chimney-pots and stepped terraces . . ."
This location may have been suggested by Castle Hill in Kent. The novel is a mystery melodrama featuring the detective Disher and written almost in the form of a screenplay or stage play. Most of the characterisation and plot stem from the conversation, the description of the setting and the characters' movements which could be read as stage directions. As in a stage melodrama, almost all of the action takes place in one room, although there are one or two brief garden scenes. At the novel's dénouement on page 294 is possibly one of the earliest usages of the word, "happenings", employed loosely in the sense of prearranged events, here compared with the scandalous plays of the Naughty Nineties: "These aren't the happenings for an old man to be dropped into. I got past this kind of thing in the 'nineties!"
The Mask (1929)
Three editions were published 1929–1931 in English and German. The British Library holds a reference copy. In this whodunit novel, private detective Will Disher is described as suave, plump, astute and bored, but Scotland Yard still asks him for help in solving the mystery. The plot begins with the masked-murderer scenario, this one being a toff in evening dress. Much of the plot takes place in an English country house, and some of it is set in London, but the general setting is the marshland just south of Herne Bay and Birchington in Kent. Real local place names such as Maypole, Whitstable and Stodmarsh are transmuted into fictional places with names such as the Hope Poles Inn, Winstonlea and Stodmere Farm, and a chase through countryside at night evokes the true atmosphere of the marshes around the rivers Stour and Wantsum with their dykes or banked drainage trenches, twisting lanes and dark woods.
However this novel also offers glimpses of the area just before the beginning of the Great Depression when many local farmers and innkeepers went bankrupt and their land was sold for very little to itinerant farm labourers, as happened at Shelvingford and Marshside. The character Wilks the farmer with his Kentish dialect could be taken to represent the existing peasantry in the area, as a contrast with the upper class in the novel's Georgian House. However it may be that Scott identifies with this character. The author's roots are after all in a poor suburb of Leeds; he began life speaking a Loiner dialect; as a writer he identified with the observing-neighbour character Wilks in his Cherrys series, saying that "Wilks" was a half-synonym for the beginning of "Will Sc-ott".
There are moments in The Mask which capture this landscape just as it was changing from that of the horse to that of the motor car. The farmer Wilks still has a horse and cart. However the taxi driver was a ploughman fifteen years before, and the local smithy is now a garage and petrol station. The bus, the train and walking are still preferred methods of travel for the majority, though, and even the car-owning gentry at the Georgian House are familiar with public transport timetables.
The Man (1930)
Children's books: The Cherrys series
The Cherrys series consists of 14 books, published from 1952 to 1965, the last being published after Will Scott died. Numbers 1–12 in the series were illustrated by Lilian Buchanan who also illustrated some of Enid Blyton's children's books. Numbers 1–12 in the series contain various pictorial maps of the stories' fictional settings, for example Market Cray and River House, on the end papers. These twelve books are illustrated throughout with black and white drawings. The stories are about a family of children whose middle-class parents, especially the father, play with them and encourage adventures, some of which are imaginary. The series is aimed at a reading age of about 10 years in the middle classes of the 1950s to 1960s era. Many of the stories are set in the fictional village of Market Cray, which may have some reference to St Mary Cray, or even an indirect or hidden reference to St. Mary Mead, the fictional home of Agatha Christie's sleuth Miss Marple. The characters are: Captain and Mrs Cherry; Jimmy Cherry; Jane Cherry; Roy Cherry; Pam Cherry; Mr Watson the monkey; Joseph the parrot; Mr and Mrs Wilks the neighbours; Sally Wilks; Mr Wilks’ brother from the Isle of Wight; Mr and Mrs. Pringle; Joe Pringle; Betty Pringle; Mrs. Pearl the cleaner from Marigold Cottages; Mr Mount the baker. The fictional father Captain Cherry is a retired explorer whose name may be a reference to Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
First: The Cherrys of River House (1952)
The dedication says, "A book for Mike to remind him of the days when all of us – and Daisy's sister – dashed about, like The Cherrys themselves, all over the place, from the beginning of Kent to the end of the Windrush, having a high old time". The story is about children who have happenings "as they called their adventures", and this may be the first written example of the usage of the word, "happening" in this way. This book was published in French by Editions G. P. in 1962 under the title La famille Cherry de la maison sur la Riviere, translated by Genevieve Meker and illustrated in colour by Pierre Le Guen. Happenings: (1) Their first happening (Orienteering in setting inspired by Dawes Folly at East Blean Woods near Dargate, Kent); (2) Through hostile territory (Escaping under cover, set at fictional St Mary Cray); (3) Treasure Island (bivouacking up a tree, set in St Mary Cray, mentions 1951 Great Exhibition); (4) If only we’re in time! (Car rally quiz, fictional St Dennis Bay setting inspired by Minnis Bay at Birchington-on-Sea, first Black Jack story); (5) Nothing at all to do (sending messages via animals, set in St Mary Cray); (6) Find me who can! (First manhunt for Black Jack, set in St Mary Cray, dares); (7) He must be somebody (second manhunt for Black Jack, set in St Mary Cray, keeping covert watch); (8) Black Jack strikes again! (third manhunt for Black Jack, set in St Mary Cray, treasure map); (9) Clue upon clue (fourth manhunt for Black Jack, set in St Mary Cray, fingerprints); Unmasked! (final instalment of Black Jack story, set in St Mary Cray, disguises).
Second: The Cherrys and Company (1953)
This edition was reprinted four times, in 1953, 1956, 1957 and 1961. The dust jacket carries a quotation from The Times Literary Supplement, "The Cherrys are a lively, likeable family of four children, their mother and their father, a retired explorer, who thinks he likes a quiet life in the country, and is constantly inventing "Happenings" which keep the family on the move round the countryside in their old car". This book was published by American Book Company in 1962 in French under the title Les Cherry Et Compagnie; illustrated by Pierre Le Guen. Happenings: (1) The games they get up to (the game of left-right, set in fictional St Mary Cray); (2) Man in armour (description of gale inspired by North Sea flood of 1953); (3) Adventure on See-Saw Mountain (polar conditions and relief expedition, set in St Mary Cray); (4) Disappearing trick (first instalment of Black Jack Junior story, set in St Mary Cray, setting false trails); (5) Black Jack Junior, Pirate (second instalment of Black Jack Junior story, set in St Mary Cray, boat-chase) (6) Kidnapped (pirates, set in St Mary Cray); (7) Mystery of See-Saw Mountain (mountain-climbing, set in St Mary Cray); (8) The Empty House (night-searches, set in St Mary Cray); (9) Little clue, big clue (intruder identified, set in St Mary Cray); (10) Biggest clue of all (blindfolded Mystery tour).
Third: The Cherrys by the Sea (1954)
The happenings or adventures all take place at the fictional St Denis Bay, inspired by Minnis Bay at Birchington-on-Sea, which setting may be partly informed by Scott's residence nearby at Herne Bay. The map of St Denis Bay on the book's endpapers, possibly by Scott himself, shows similarity to Minnis Bay along the beach, but the town is imaginary. The stories start with a message in a bottle and end with a haunted sea front. It was published in French in 1963 by Rouge et Or Dauphine as Les Cherry au Bord de la Mer, illustrated by Pierre Le Guen. In 1970 it was published by Estudios Cor in Portuguese as Uma aventura na praia (A Familia Cherry). Happenings: The message in the bottle; The watch on the coast (coastguarding); On the trail of the Oozlum (reference to Oozlum bird, description of wanted man and manhunt, coastguarding); Alone on a desert isle (shipwreck and rescue); Follow my leader (how the Cherrys met the Pringles, inspired by the Woozle story by A. A. Milne, i.e. people tracking each other in a circuit); Look out for Smiths! (avoiding an imaginary fifth column made up of people called Smith); The slap-dash carnival (probably inspired by the 1950s Herne Bay Carnival; story includes hostile characters typical of contemporary children's comic strip tales); This way or that? (cipher); Seaside Christmas (children fund purchase of their dinghy, the Sandman); The haunted sea front (red herrings).
Fourth: The Cherrys and the Pringles (1955)
The Cherry children are joined by their new friends, the Pringle children, and their father Captain invents happenings or adventures for them. All stories are set in fictional St Mary Cray. Happenings: The great reception (the children lay on a reception committee greeting); Let it rain! (snakes and ladders game on the staircase); Mr. Pringle has a go (attempt by Pringle to create a happening); The Crocotosh (the children hide under a raincoat); Early birds (following a newspaper trail); The other house (the first Littles and Bigs story - the children leave a clue to a prize for the adults); The torn treasure chart (the Bigs and Littles each receive two quarters of the chart - each must fight for the other two quarters to find the treasure); The battle Of Bigs And Littles (Bigs and Littles creep up on each other to see the pieces of chart); Let them have it! (Roy gives the Littles' pieces of chart to the Bigs); I know where! (the race to the buried treasure).
Fifth: The Cherrys and the Galleon (1956)
An island becomes a make-believe galleon, with a pictorial map on the endpapers showing the island. Happenings: The get-on-with-its; The great cross-over; The well-I-never place; The seaside at home; The peculiar periscope; The famous think; The big idea; The big mystery; The big work; The big day. There could be literary references in these subtitles to ancient ideas of transition and perception.
Sixth: The Cherrys and the Double Arrow (1957)
The story starts with Captain Cherry organising the children to find an elm tree in a wood; written before the second wave of Dutch elm disease in 1967 caused most of these to be lost in the UK. There were 3 editions of the book in 1957–1973, including two impressions in 1957 and 1961. It was published in French in 1963 by Rouge et Or Dauphine as Les Cherry et la Double Fleche, illustrated by Pierre Le Guen. Happenings: This way to anywhere; The double arrow; Adventures of Jimmy's party; Adventures of Joe's party; Again and again; Roy in his own; Public notice; After him!; Strange disappearance of Mr Wilks; This way to the Bang Kwit.
Seventh: The Cherrys on Indoor Island (1958)
This is perhaps the definitive Cherrys series happening: a rainy day on which the interior of River House becomes an imaginary indoor island for the children, organised as an adventure for the children by their father Captain Cherry. Happenings: The wreck; The castaways; The cave; Exploring the jungle; Mountain rescue; The mysterious footprint; Yes, it’s pirates!; A sail! A sail!; But where can it be?; Buried treasure.
Eighth: The Cherrys on Zigzag Trail (1959)
There were two impressions in 1959 and 1962. The story starts with a game of Silly Golf, which may have been informed by the crazy golf entertainment at Hampton-on-Sea near to Will Scott's home at Herne Bay. Happenings: Mr Wilks cries ‘Look!’; Mr. Nobody; Nothing but mysteries; The standstill race; The Society For Finding Things Out; Old sailor from over the water; Away they go; Smart work; The same-sounding words; The end if the trail.
Ninth: The Cherrys’ Mystery Holiday (1960)
One edition was published in English in 1960. The title may have been informed by the novelty of the mystery tours being run by coach companies at the time. Passengers paid for a day out at an unknown destination which could be a pleasant surprise but which sometimes brought them to their home area. Happenings: Keep your eyes open; The mystery of Mr Wotherspoon; The mystery of the pirate chief; Spik no English!; The great seaweed mystery; The writing in the sand; The mystery of the Jumping Jacks; The mystery of Neptune Island; Most mysterious of all; It’s a mystery!
Tenth: The Cherrys and Silent Sam (1961)
This story is based on the mystery-man plot. Happenings: A very peculiar affair; He must be watched; Red hot news!; The next move; At it again; Caught!; What a surprise!; Then who is it?; I know who it is; Oh no, it isn’t!
Eleventh: The Cherrys’ Famous Case (1962)
Two editions were published in 1962 and 1972, in English and another language. The story starts by examining the idea of clues and evidence. Happenings: The day that woke up; Missing!; The Home-made Police-Force; Hot on the trail; The footprint again; The light in the window; That third clue; Clue all the time; Action!; Portrait of the Queen.
Twelfth: The Cherrys to the Rescue (1963)
It was published in English in 1963 and reprinted in 1970. This story is a follow-my-leader tracking game. The pictorial map on the endpapers has some reference to Winnie-the-Pooh and the Woozle story in which Pooh and Piglet are following their own footprints. Happenings: Where has he got to?; To the rescue!; Strange tale from a stranger; Which way now?; Here’s your jungle!; Escape!; False trail; All meet at One-Tree Hill; Lost in the fog; Rescue!
Thirteenth: The Cherrys in the Snow (1964)
It was published in English in 1964 and reprinted in 1970. The British Library holds a reference copy. In the winter of 1962–1963 there was an unusually thick snowfall and the surface of the sea froze along the shoreline close to Scott's house, Windermere, on Westcliff at Herne Bay. It is possible that this book was a response to that winter. Happenings: Nothing but nothing; Enter Mr. Misery; The start of a rumour; The search from end to end; You’d never guess!; "Keep him out of sight!"; Tell-tale trail; If only it works; Vanished!; Away again.
Fourteenth: The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon (1965)
A posthumous publication. The phrase, "last appearance" in the final chapter heading may be significant. The British Library holds a reference copy. Happenings: First appearance of the blue balloon; What the littles thought; What the bigs thought; But what did the man think?; Watched; Where is Augustus?; The amazing truth; The light in the window; The night watch; Last appearance of the blue balloon.
Other children's books
Half-Term Trail (1955)
This book is llustrated by Mary Willett. The British Library holds a reference copy. It is set in a recognisable version of Herne Bay, Kent and Hampton-on-Sea. These are given the fictional names of Sandilands and West Bay respectively, and bear no resemblance to Sandilands in Lincolnshire. Herne Bay's clock tower and adjoining public gardens appear in the story, as do Hampton-on-Sea's jetty, concrete shelter, the beach and the boating lake as it was in 1955. Swalecliffe Avenue appears in the story under the name of Matchbox Lane, and as of 2011 the area of scrub mentioned in the book still exists. Pleasant Cottage (later called Hampton Bungalow) in Swalecliffe Avenue appears in the story as Dilly Dally cottage in Matchbox Lane. Mary Willett's drawings within the book bear little or no resemblance to Herne Bay or Hampton-on-Sea, but the hand-drawn map at the end of the book – possibly by Will Scott – is clearly derived from OS maps of Hampton-on-Sea. The endpapers-drawing shows an idealised Swalecliffe Avenue. Two names used in the story, Bottle and Sticky, may have been suggested by local Herne Bay names, although the characterisations are fictional. In the 1950s there was an antique shop in Herne Bay High Street called Len Pottle, and the caretaker at Hampton Primary School was Mr Stickels. Chapter headings: The Very Beginning; The Tuckers and the Tanners; Mystery!; And More Mystery!; The Knife; First Clue to Tim; Rings Round Dilly Dally; Surprises; Sticky's Story; The Chase Begins; Big Clue to Mary; The Trail of the Chalk Crosses; Tim Alone; Only One Missing; "I've got it!"; The Case is closed; Map of West Bay, Sandilands.
The story follows the attempts of five children to clear the name of their friend Sticky by trailing and catching a homeless thief with disagreeable manners; a "ghastly type" to be identified by his brown boots. The boots are possibly a reference to the 1931 monologue Brahn Boots by Stanley Holloway, which was still regularly played on BBC Home Service radio in the 1950s. The song's lyrics describe the apparent low-class taste of a man clad in brown boots, but he is too modest to say that he has given his good black boots away to the poor; it is really a parable on the subject of unquestioning snobbery. An obvious clue not followed by the children is that the thief initially enters the shop asking for the previous Wednesday's newspaper. The book's publication in 1955 and the timing of the plot during the June half-term holiday possibly indicate the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act of 6 June 1955. If this is so, then the disagreeable man could be taken to be the author's characterisation of D. C. Thomson & Co., or its cartoonist Bill Holroyd, who published children's cartoons such as Jack Silver and His Dog Black. This cartoon was later lampooned by Viz as Jack Black and his Dog Silver. It is perhaps also significant in this context that the publication of Half-Term Trail in 1955 follows press commentary on the first few books of The Cherrys series, and that Scott did not like to be compared with Enid Blyton. In Will Scott's story, the children pursue the brown-booted man unquestioningly, and they are described thus:
". . . and if you'd done something you shouldn't have done they were the last people you'd have liked to have looking at you. They looked really dangerous."
The children douse the brown-booted man with red paint at the end; this could be understood as a symbolic killing as the paint is blood-coloured. We never find out what has driven him to steal or why he is bad-tempered. This aspect suggests that the apparently simple children's tale has a moral depth which is possibly intended to undermine its own plot and thus to bring into question the moral basis of some other children's detective tales of the era.
The Great Expedition (1962)
The author intended this to be the thirteenth in The Cherrys series, but the agent discouraged the idea of a thirteenth novel for children, and the new publisher declined to produce a matching cover for the previous series. The British Library holds a reference copy. The book contains 13 coloured and black and white illustrations in the text, one frontispiece and a cover illustration, all by C. Clixby Watson, plus 4 coloured and black and white maps by Henry West and others. The dust-jacket summary says: "A wise old night-watchman convinced Dick, Mick and Henry that any unvisited place is uncharted territory – and that there was no need to climb Everest or track through dark jungles to enjoy the thrill of discovery. In fact, they found the tracing of an unnamed river to its source a most exciting adventure." The story is set near Newbury, Berkshire. Chapters: 1. Somewhere – But Where? 2. The End of Somewhere; 3. The Beginning of Nowhere; 4. Several Questions; 5. The Second Camp; 6. The Relief Expedition; 7. The Rising at Million Bridges; 8. The Expedition Moves On; 9. The Last Camp; 10. Green Hat's Game; 11. No Time to Lose; 12. The Last Lap; 13. The Top of All; 14. Back to Somewhere.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- GRO index reference: 1964; William M Scott; age 70; Canterbury; vol 5(H?); p.231
- "Obituary of William Matthew Scott, 1893–1964". The Times. 19 May 1964. p. 15.
- Scott, Will (1954). The Cherrys by the Sea. 3rd of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- "Leodis". Aerial View, Meanwood Road, Camp Road. Leeds City Council. 1963. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Leodis". Lovell Road, nos. 10–18, Camp Road. Leeds City Council. 1956. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Leodis". Aerial View, Meanwood Road, Camp Road. LCC. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Leodis". Back Devon Road, New Camp Road nos. 99, 99a. LCC. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Leodis". Albert Grove no 85. LCC. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Leodis". Aerial View, Meanwood Road, Camp Road. LCC. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Arthur J. Taylor (1980). "Victorian Leeds: an overview, chapter XV". In Derek Fraser. A History of Modern Leeds (1 ed.). Manchester University Press. pp. 389–407. ISBN 9780719007811. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Derek Fraser (1980). "XVIII; part V". In Derek Fraser. A History of Modern Leeds. Modern Leeds: a postscript (1 ed.). Manchester University Press. pp. 447–450. ISBN 9780719007811. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "1901 census online". Ref. RG13, Piece 4232, Folio 115, p.7, Schedule no.38. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- See 2011 images of site of Clayfield Street: File:Site of Clayfield Street Leeds 002.jpg and File:Sites of Clayfield St and Stonefield Terr Leeds 003.jpg
- 1891 Census RG12/3701
- "Leodis". Cambridge Road 12A, Clayfield Terrace 16, 18, 20, 22. 1967. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- Borough of Leeds Register of Electors 1893 Part 1; Central division polling district 7, no.7221; 128 Camp Road (house) Samuel Cooper
- Kelly: Leeds Street Directory 1893, p.82; 128 Camp Road, Cooper Samuel
- Whites: Leeds Street Directory 1894: 128 Camp Road, Scott William, tobaconnist, p.690
- Borough of Leeds Ward Rolls 1893-4 Part 2, Brunswick Ward no.2 division; polling district 7: 1603 Scott William Clayfields Terrace dwelling house, 128 Camp Road – successive
- "Leodis". Cambridge Road no 1, Stonefield Terrace. 1967. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- See 2011 image of site of Stonefield Terrace here: File:Sites of Clayfield St and Stonefield Terr Leeds 003.jpg and File:Site of Stonefield Terrace Leeds 004.jpg
- "1901 Census Online". Search 1901 census – details for William M Scott, 1894. 2000–2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Tracks in Time: The Leeds Tithe Map Project". Ordnance Survey map 1910; modern map. 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "1901 Census Online". 1911 census: Reference RG14PN27012 RG78PN1548B RD500 SD3 ED31 SN308. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- See 2011 images of site of Ganton Mount here: File:Glossop Street Leeds 006.jpg and File:Ganton Close Leeds 009.jpg
- "Leeds City Council". Family history – Leeds Absent Voters List 1914–18 War. LCC. 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Lily Edmundson Sep 1891 Leeds 9B 542 "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- William M Scott m Lily Edmundson Jun 1915 Leeds 9b 1165 "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Patricia S Scott b Hendon Dec 1919 3a 712 "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Marjory S Scott b Blean Mar 1921 2a 1802 "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Scott, Will (1 January 1925). Disher, Detective (1 ed.). London: Cassell. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Blue Book street directory 1929, at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- Blue Book street directories 1930/31 and 1931/32, at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- "British Listed Buildings". The Old Cottage 125, Herne Bay: Listing NGR: TR1604167917. 14 May 1976. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Blue Book street directories 1934 and 1935, at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- Blue Book street directories 1936–38, at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- Kelly's street directories 1939 and 1940 at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- Electoral Rolls 1945–64 at Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- "Remember when?". Herne Bay Gazette. Herne Bay library. 8 January 1998.
- Now Kent and Canterbury Hospital
- "Woollard & Kent Crematorium Guide". Kent County crematorium – Barham. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- "The Mask Players (advertisement)". Herne Bay Press. 23 March 1940.
- "The tenth milestone: roll of acting members inaugurated; Mask Players' birthday gathering". Herne Bay Press. 6 April 1940.
- "Mask Players Girls: forthcoming variety concert". Herne Bay Press. 26 October 1940.
- "Theatrecraft". What came before. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "GADetection". Scott, Will. PBWorks. 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- Simms, Richard (2006). "The Evening News short story index: miscellany and trivia". The forty most prolific authors. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- Simms, Richard (2006). "The Evening News short story index: author biographies". Will Scott (1893–1964). Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- "PhilSP.com – Homeville". The Fiction Mags Index: SCOTT, WILL(iam Matthew) (1893–1964). Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- P.G. Wodehouse, ed. (1992). The Folio Anthology of Humour. London: Folio Society. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Cameo tale: Old Bus by Will Scott". The Daily Express archive. 30 September 1930. p. 4. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1 May 1926). "Where Men Are Men". The Passing Show. 23 (611). Odhams Press Ltd. pp. 14–15.
- Scott, Will (27 November 1926). "The Fingerprint". The Passing Show. 24 (640). Odhams Press Ltd. pp. 14–15.
- Scott, Will (28 May 1927). "The Ten Year Smile". The Passing Show. 25 (666). Odhams Press Ltd. pp. 20–21.
- Scott, Will (1924). Giglamps. London: Cassell & Co.
- "The British Library". Full record: Giglamps by Will Scott. Retrieved 24 February 2011.[dead link]
- Scott, Will (1929). The Mask (1 ed.). Philadelphia: Macrae Smith Company.
- "Answers.com". The Limping Man. 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1928). Shadows. Philadelphia: Macrae Smith Company (A.L. Burt Company).
- "Fandango". Will Scott filmography. 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- "IMDb". Creeping Shadows (1931). IMDb. 1990–2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- "IMDb". The Limping Man (1936). IMDb. 1990–2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- "Hodder & Stoughton ad for The Limping Man by Grierson 1924". The Times, issue 43707. 18 July 1924. p. 19; col.A. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Tellers of Weird Tales: Francis D. Grierson (1888-1972) Retrieved 3 December 2013
- "Entertainment: The theatres: many changes this week". The Times, issue 45724. 19 January 1931. p. 10; col.B. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "Entertainments: The theatres: many changes this week". The Times Digital Archive 1785–1985 Issue 45724. 19 January 1931. p. 10; col.B. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1931, Part 1 By Library of Congress. Copyright Office, United States. Dept. of the Treasury
- "Royalty Theatre: The Limping Man by Will Scott". The Times Digital Archive 1785 to 1985: issue 45725. 20 January 1931. p. 10; col. C. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "Another stage thriller: footsteps, hidden bells and murder!". The Daily Express. p. 9; col.2. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Arthur Lloyd". Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Theatre Memorabilia". Image of theatre bill for Saville Theatre, advertising The Limping Man, 1936. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "IMDb". His Wife's Mother (1932). IMDb. 1990–2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- "IMDb". London by Night (1937). Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Turner Classic Movies". London by Night (1937): embedded trailer. TCM. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Fandango". Umbrella (stage play). 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Ref C020300757. Reference copies are held at (1) Herne Bay Library, Herne Bay, Kent, and (2) the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone, Kent
- "WorldCat". Scott, Will. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- "Advertisement: Cassell's new books". The Times Digital Archive 1785–1985: Issue 43956. 8 May 1925. p. 9; col.A. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Grost, Mike. "MikeGrost.com". A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection Home Page: Will Scott. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1925). Disher, Detective (1 ed.). London: Cassell & Company Ltd. pp. 101–02. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "British Library". Full record: Shadows by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "The British Library". Full record: Shadows (Cassell 1928) by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1928). Shadows. Philadelphia: Macrae Smith Company (A.L. Burt Company). p. 294.
- "The British Library". Full record: The Mask by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.[dead link]
- Conversation with J. Spashett in 1963 when she thanked him for giving a set of The Cherrys books to her children
- "The British Library". Full record: Clues (detective stories) 1941. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.[dead link]
- Clues (detective stories) Vol. 30. no. 5-Vol. 45. no. 2. Oct. 1933 – July 1941. New York. 1933.
- Scott, Will (1930). The Man. London: Stanley Paul & Co.
- "The British Library". Full record: The Man by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Collecting books and magazines: British 1950s series". Cherrys. Australia. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- "Heather's Blyton Pages". Lilian Buchanan (13 Jan 1914). Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- AurelArkad (2009–2010). "Library Thing". Children's Fiction: Will Scott's 14-book Cherrys Series. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1952). The Cherrys of River House. 1st of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press Ltd.
- Scott, Will (1953). The Cherrys and Company. 2nd of The Cherrys Series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Will Scott (1963), Les Cherry au Bord de la Mer, Rouge et Or Dauphine, France.
- Scott, Will (1955). The Cherrys and the Pringles. 4th of the Cherrys Series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1956). The Cherrys and the Galleon. 5th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1957). The Cherrys and the Double Arrow. 6th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Will Scott (1963), Les Cherry et la Double Fleche, Rouge et Or Dauphine, France.
- Scott, Will (1958). The Cherrys on Indoor Island. 7th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1959). The Cherrys on Zigzag Trail. 8th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1960). The Cherrys' Mystery Holiday. 9th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1961). The Cherrys and Silent Sam. 10th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1962). The Cherrys' Famous Case. 11th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1963). The Cherrys to the Rescue. 12th of The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press.
- Scott, Will (1970). The Cherrys to the Rescue. London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. ISBN 0-340-03262-6.
- Milne, A. A. (1976). "III". The World of Pooh (12 ed.). London: Methuen Children's Books. pp. 44–51. ISBN 0-416-61050-1.
- Scott, Will (1970). The Cherrys in the snow. The Cherrys series (1 ed.). Leicester: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 0-340-03257-X.
- "The British Library". Full record: The Cherrys in the Snow. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (December 1965). The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon. The Cherrys series (1 ed.). London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-03255-3.
- "British Library". Full record: The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Scott, Will (1955). Half Term Trail (1 ed.). London: Blackie.
- "The British Library". Full record: Half Term Trail by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Bnet". Herne Bay Times: Girl who loved beach will tan people all over. Northcliffe Newspapers Group Limited. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- See hand-drawn map of Hampton-on-Sea based on 1978 OS map: File:Hampton 1978 001b.jpg
- Scott, Will (1955). Half Term Trail (1 ed.). London: Blackie. p. 15.
- Weston & Lee (1931). "Make 'Em Laugh". Stanley Holloway: Brahn Boots. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Herald Scotland". Final frame in a lifetime of Dandy cartoon creation. Herald & Times Group. 16 March 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Word IQ". Jack Black (VIZ) – Definition. 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Will Scott told his neighbour J. Spashett in 1963 that he objected to his work being compared with that of Enid Blyton.
- Scott, Will (1955). Half Term Trail (1 ed.). London: Blackie. p. 97.
- This was commented on in the comic strip Jack Black in Viz (comic)
- Scott, Will (1962). The Great Expedition (1 ed.). London: University of London Press Ltd.
- Told by Will Scott to his neighbour J. Spashett in 1963 when she thanked him for this book. He ordered this himself from his publishers, and the delivery note 009884, dated 18 April 1963, shows that he was charged the full six-shilling price of the book.
- "The British Library". Full Record: The Great Expedition by Will Scott. The British Library Board. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Steventon, K. and Ford J., Will Scott & Herne Bay, Herne Bay Past Series no. 9 (Herne Bay Historical Records Society, March 2013) (ISBN 9781909164086: illustrated with historical photographs; written by two granddaughters of Will Scott)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Will Scott.|
- Webpage listing short stories by Will Scott and the magazines they appeared in
- The British Library (holds reference copies of all Will Scott's children's books and most of the novels: see listings above)