The Lone Pine Club 70th Anniversary Poll

 

Frank Shepperd

 

In 2004, the Society ran a ‘Best-loved Malcolm Saville book’ poll, in which 180 people cast a total of 534 votes and The Gay Dolphin Adventure emerged as the clear winner having been chosen by 46% of them. Since those days, many new members have joined us, more of us have access to the Society’s website and we also have exposure on Facebook and Twitter. So we thought it would be fun to run another poll, but on this occasion extend it to six questions and also encourage more non-members to take part.

 

First announced in Acksherley! 49 as the ‘Best-loved Poll 2013’, it was subsequently re-named ‘The Lone Pine Club 70th Anniversary Poll’ to honour the publication of Mystery at Witchend way back in 1943. The poll was open over the winter of 2012/2013, with a closing date of 8th March, and the results were announced on 5th April during the 2013 Annual Gathering at Richmond, North Yorkshire. Voters were asked to nominate their ‘most favourite’ in five categories relating to Malcolm Saville’s books, and their ‘most favourite’ other author, using an online voting form on the Society’s website. There was a splendid response with 183 members and 37 non-members taking part, a total of 220, which represents an increase of over 20% on the 2004 total. Between them, they cast a total of 1146 votes and, once again, The Gay Dolphin Adventure was the winner.

 

The categories were:

 

 

Interestingly, the ‘most favourite’ categories in terms of the number of votes cast and their popularity were different:

 

Category Votes Cast   Category Popularity
Book 216 Illustrator 55.9%
Character 214 Character 42.7%
Other Author 202 Book 19.5%
Cover Illustration 189 Cover Illustration 19.1%
Illustrator 165 Other Author 16.9%
Non-Lone Pine Book    160 Non-Lone Pine Book    10.1%

 

As can be seen, the most popular category was Illustrator. 14 illustrators received 165 votes, with 5 of them awarded 3 or more. The winner by an overwhelming margin was Bertram Prance with 122 votes or 55.9%:

 

1.    Bertram Prance 123
2. Charles Wood 18
3. Peter Archer 5
4. Bernard Bowerman    4
5. Lunt Roberts 3

 

Next was Character. 22 characters received 214 votes, with 10 of them awarded 3 or more. The clear winner was Peter Sterling with 94 votes or 42.7%, followed by Penny Warrender with 49 votes. The remainder were very much ‘also rans’.

 

1.    Peter 94       6. Tom 7
2.    Penny 49 7. Macbeth 6
3. David 13 8. Jon 5
4. Jenny 10 9. The Twins 4
5. Mandy 7 10.    Mary 3

 

This was followed by the voters favourite Book. 28 books, predominantly Lone Pine titles, received 215 votes with 16 of them awarded 3 or more. As in 2004, the winner was The Gay Dolphin Adventure with 43 votes or 19.5%. The 4 Lone Pine titles that failed to make this top 16 each received 1 vote.

 

1.    The Gay Dolphin Adventure    43    9. Rye Royal 5
2. Wings over Witchend 34 10.    Saucers over the Moor 5
3. The Secret of Grey Walls 22 11. Sea Witch Comes Home 5
4. Not Scarlet but Gold 21 12. Man with Three Fingers 4
5. Mystery at Witchend 15 13. The Elusive Grasshopper    4
6. The Neglected Mountain 14 14. The Secret of the Gorge 4
7. Seven White Gates 13 15. Treasure at Amorys 4
8. Lone Pine London 5 16. Lone Pine Five 3

 

33 cover illustrations received 189 votes, with 17 of them awarded 3 or more. The winner was Wings over Witchend with 42 votes or 19.1%. Interestingly, Charles Wood emerges as the most popular front cover illustrator achieving 79 votes, notwithstanding the over all popularity of Bertram Prance:

 

1.    Wings over Witchend (CW) 42    10. Treasure at Amorys (TF) 5
2. Lone Pine London (CW) 20 11. Lone Pine Five (BP) 4
3. The Neglected Mountain (BP) 16 12. Mystery Mine (TF) 4
4. Mystery at Witchend (BP) 14 13 Sea Witch Comes Home (TF) 4
5. The Secret of the Gorge (CW) 13 14. Seven White Gates (CW) 4
6. Saucers over the Moor (BP) 10 15. Seven White Gates (BP) 4
7. The Gay Dolphin Adventure (BP)    8 16. Mystery at Witchend (GB) 3
8. Rye Royal (Unknown) 7 17.    The Secret of Grey Walls (BP)    3
9. The Elusive Grasshopper (1954) 6

 

Sadly, the Non Lone Pine Book category attracted the least interest. 31 books received 160 votes, with 15 of them receiving 3 or more. The winner was Strangers at Snowfell with 24 votes or 10.1%. Although this was a relatively small sample, the indications are that apart from the Lone Pine books, Saville’s other series fiction in order of popularity are Jillies, Buckinghams, Nettleford, Marston Baines and Michael and Mary.

1.    Strangers at Snowfell  24    9. Marston — Super Spy 4
2. Redshanks Warning 20 10.  The Luck of Sallowby 4
3. The Master of Maryknoll  18 11. Three Towers in Tuscany 4
4. Jane's Country Year 16 12. Portrait of Rye 3
5. Two Fair Plaits 14 13. Trouble at Townsend 3
6. Christmas at Nettleford 8 14. The Secret of Buzzard Scar 3
7. The Long Passage 8 15. The Secret of the Villa Rosa   3
8. The Buckinghams at Ravenswyke   5

 

The Other Authors category attracted the largest number of favourites, but many received only 1 vote. 55 authors received 202 votes, with 18 of them awarded 3 or more. The winner was Arthur Ransome with 37 votes or 16.9%, closely followed by Enid Blyton with 34 votes:

 

1.    Arthur Ransome 37    10.    Geoffrey Trease 5
2. Enid Blyton 34 11. C S Lewis 5
3. Monica Edwards 16 12. E Nesbit 4
4. Eleanor Brent Dyer 11 13. Pamela Brown 3
5. Anthony Buckeridge    7 14. Roald Dahl 3
6. Noel Streatfield 7 15. Antonia Forrest 3
7. Richmal Crompton 6 16. William Mayne 3
8. J K Rowling 6 17. Frank Richards 3
9. L M Montgomery 5 18. Rosemary Sutcliff    3