The Lone Pine Club

A personal memory.

In 1959 I wrote to Malcolm Saville, telling him how much I'd enjoyed his Lone Pine Books and asked to join the Lone Pine Club.

I was delighted to receive a letter back, from the author himself, on special 'Lone Pine' notepaper.

Along with this came an application form to complete and return, and information on his other books available at the time.

I was over the moon, I filled in the application form and sent it off by return of post.

A Letter from Malcolm Saville. Click to enlarge)
my first letter from Malcolm Saville
Sure enough, a membership card duly arrived, containing a list of Lone Pine Books and a photograph of Malcolm Saville; but that was not all.
a sheet of stamps. Click to enlarge
a sheet of stamps
(recontructed)
There was a Lone Pine badge, circular card with a safety pin taped to the rear and the tree on the front. I think it had 'Lone Pine' like the stamps, or maybe 'Lone Pine Club' but can't be sure now. It disappeared some forty years ago.

There was also postcard with a secret code and a sheet of Lone Pine Stamps. These were to stick on the back of letters to friends; other Lone Pine Club members. There was also, I am sure, some advertising material for one of the latest books.

The application form had asked for my birthdate and, the following April, a Birthday Card arrived.
The front could be detached and the second page used as a bookplate by adding my name. I did this, in my copy of Mystery at Witchend.
On the back of the bookplate was a list of books and a suggestion that they might make excellent birthday presents !
Bookplate. Click to enlarge
Lone Pine Bookplate
(reconstructed)

The stamps ? Yes I still have one, stuck on the corner of the map inside my 'Mystery at Witchend'. I did have two until a few years ago, the second stuck to the cover of a Bartholomews half-inch map of Shropshire; scoured intently in my youth looking for Barton Beach. I seem to have lost the map sometime in the last few years.

I wrote again to Malcolm Saville. He wrote back that he had had to ration himself to one personal reply only for he had so many letters.
Letters to him care of the publishers brought a printed acknowledgement. However, I had learned a trick or two from Dickie and Mary. I sent the next letter to the address at the back of his latest book ! And I had a reply.

In the next few years I had another five letters from him, but then I went to College and lost touch.
however, I still have all his letters, and one or two pieces of 'ephemera' from that happy time.
Click to enlarge
the Lone Pine Shropshire booklet c.1959
photographs by Robert Smart
One of these is this small booklet.

It is a collection of photographs by Robert Smart of the Lone Pine Country of Shropshire which was sent out to members of the Lone Pine Club.
(To examine the booklet click here.)

A recent acquisition is this postcard, sent to me by Michael Whittlesea last year, and no doubt sent out to members of the Lone Pine Club to advertise the publication of Not Scarlet But Gold.
Unfortunately, the photographer is not credited.
Advertising postcard for Not Scarlet But Gold
Advertising postcard for Not Scarlet But Gold
Thanks to Michael Whittlesea


This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created Aug 2003