Wednesday, 18 April 2018

#HistoryBeyondTrauma "It could be said that speaking to oneself is where literature begins"

Tweeting about History Beyond Trauma late evening 16Apr16 from Ch2.3:

History Beyond Trauma

In Praise of… Comics Writer William (Willie) Patterson: @johnfreeman_DTT

'In Praise of… Comics Writer William (Willie) Patterson' by John Freeman on 

Thanks to John for promoting my blog post 'in recognition of my Dad Willie Patterson; scriptwriter of Jeff Hawke; Daily Express & Titan Books' and adding more information about his 1960's comic strip writing which I didn't know about.

Here are some excerpts, additions to my post:

"Sydney Jordan is widely recognised as the creator of the critically-acclaimed “Jeff Hawke” newspaper strip first published in the Daily Express. However, it’s also generally felt that the strips written by William (Willie) Patterson through the 1960s – including those collected in the past by Titan Books (such as “Overlord” and “Wondrous Lamp”) as well as The Jeff Hawke Club and several Italian publishers – show the long-running series its best. 

Here, Willie’s daughter Chrys Muirhead pays tribute to her father, the man behind those acclaimed credits, revealing the family man behind those fondly-remembered stories.

We are grateful to her for letting us post this tribute to an author whose life has been little documented, but whose work played such a significant part in the development of a much-loved comic character worldwide…"

screenshot from

"Some of father’s “Jeff Hawke” scripts have been republished twice by Titan Books. Originally working on the Children’s Encyclopedia for Amalgamated Press, according to strip creator Sydney Jordan, my Dad started as script writer with the Daily Express in 1956. Alongside his work on “Jeff Hawke” for the Express, he also wrote “Caroline Baker – Barrister at Law“, drawn by Jose Moya Ortiz.

He also wrote other stories for Fleetway Publications, including war stories, strips for Tiger and is credited as the writer of one Dan Dare story, “Mission to the Stars”, drawn by Don Harley, published in the Sunday People in 1964, collected in The Dan Dare Dossier, published by Hawk Books."

"Chrys would welcome memories of her father. Visit her blog for more about her own work and writing, most recently as a mental health writer, activist and human rights campaigner, whistleblowing about locked seclusion room abuses in Stratheden Hospital, NHS Fife, winning an Ombudsman complaint in September 2014 and a written apology from Fife Health Board"

Finally, screenshots and excerpts from including new information about my Father's work which I wasn't aware of, very interesting to see it:

Jeff Hawke

Widely considered one of the most important science fiction comic strips ever published, Jeff Hawke is a benchmark in intelligent, adult-oriented storytelling and he is not your average space-hero. Focused on reasoning, diplomacy and moral virtues instead of brute force, he is frequently forced to be the ambassador – rather than the saviour – of mankind!

His universe is populated with alien species that meet humankind by accident or for commerce, but hardly ever for invasion. Willie Patterson’s subtle wit makes the strip’s plots and characters as fascinating as they are amusing, and Jordan’s highly expressive style fully captures the strangeness of the weird and wonderful aliens of Jeff’s universe!

The Jeff Hawke stories were published in the Daily Express, launching on 15th February 1955 and ending on 18th April 1974. There were a total of 69 stories, with an average of 94 daily strips in each story.

Willie Patterson began to contribute ideas for stories and co-wrote on an ad hoc basis from 1956 onwards but by 1960, he was a full-time scriptwriter for the feature, until 1969. Chrys outlines her understanding of his departure above.
Syd and Willie’s partnership developed an in-joke by creating two characters to introduce each story, taking on the shapes of Mephisto (Willie) and the Troll (Sydney).

“Jeff Hawke was a science-fiction strip designed to emphasise if not pacifism, then the most principled of restraint matched with the most rigorous of thought,” notes Colin Smith in article for Sequart in 2012. “And for all that Hawke might seem to the casual glance to be an entirely familiar fighting lead, he was actually the exact opposite to the breed. In that, he was the rarest of science-fiction types; the diplomat as hero, the peace-maker as protagonist, the man of ideals and science who really would rather rely upon his conscience and his mind before reaching for a conveniently big gun.”

The British Jeff Hawke Club began reprinting Jeff Hawke in its journal, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos, in 2003. Each issue includes story notes on the science featured in the story, and commentary on the origins of the tales from creator Sydney Jordan. In addition to the regular magazine, several special editions have also been published.

Jeff Hawke Stories by Willie Patterson

• Sanctuary (co-writer)
Published – 1956-06-26 – 1956-10-27 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos, Volume 2 Number 2

 • Unquiet Island
Published – 1956-10-29 – 1957-03-16 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 1
• The Castaway
Published – 1957-03-18 – 1957-10-03 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 2
• Poles Apart (co-writer)
Published – 1958-09-24 – 1959-03-13 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 3 Number 2

• Overlord
Published – 1960-02-10 – 1960-06-20 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3

• Survival
Published – 1960-06-21 – 1960-09-12 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 1
• Wondrous Lamp
Published – 1960-09-13 – 1961-03-11 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 2
• Counsel For The Defense
Published – 1961-03-13 – 1961-08-02 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 2
• Pastmaster
Published – 1961-08-03 – 1961-10-18 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos: Lunar 10
• Immortal Toys
Published – 1961-10-19 – 1962-04-05 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3

• The Ambassadors
Published – 1962-04-06 – 1962-07-13 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3
• The Gamesman
Published – 1962-07-14 – 1962-09-23 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 3 Number 3
• A Test Case
Published – 1962-09-24 – 1963-01-02 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 4 Number 1

• Find out more at

Titan Books published two collections, firstly in 1985, plans for a third dropped due to disappointing sales. The collections were republished in 2008.

Jeff Hawke: Overlord 
Jeff Hawke: Overlord

Author: Willie Patterson
Artist: Sydney Jordan
Cover: Brian Bolland
Publisher: Titan Books, 2008
ISBN: 9781845765972

Collects “Overlord”, “Survival”, “Wondrous Lamp” and “Counsel for the Defence”

“Willie Patterson [joins] artist Sydney Jordan for some remarkably inventive and clever tales of alien law and morality. The art’s a downright treat.” – Hipster Dad

Jeff Hawke: The Ambassadors 
Jeff Hawke: The Ambassadors
Author: Willie Patterson
Artist: Sydney Jordan
Cover: Brian Bolland
Publisher: Titan Books, 2008
ISBN: 9781845765989

Collects “The Ambassadors”, “Pastmaster”, “The Immortal Toys”, “The Gamesman” and “A Test Case”

“Patterson and Jordan’s solutions to the very unusual challenges are reasoned and rational, with very little violence or wild action, leading to very entertaining stories with unexpected resolutions. Jordan’s artwork is gorgeously detailed, with a believable and consistent design for the far-flung future of the 1990s.” – Hipster Dad 

The 1986 Jeff Hawke Book One 1986 featured “Overlord”, “Survival” and Wondrous Lamp and the 1987 Jeff Hawke Book Two featured “Counsel For The Defence”, “Pastmaster” and “Immortal Toys”)

There’s a complete list of “Jeff Hawke” strips including writer credits on Wikipedia

 Phantom Patrol

“Phantom Patrol” was first published in Swift, companion paper to Eagle, between the issues cover dated 3rd February – 14th July 1963. Written by Willie Patterson and drawn by Gerry Embleton, it was reprinted several times, including in WHAM! (as “Ghost Patrol”) and 2000AD and Starlord annuals.

The story told the adventures of Sergeant Joe Trimm and his platoon who discover a crashed UFO on the island of Crete in 1941. Pinned down by the Nazis, they escape by means of a time-travel device purloined from the flying saucer. With a tank, a landing craft, a handful of guns and a captured Nazi, the British infantry unit find themselves in the midst of the Trojan Wars – and a series of further bizarre adventures, joined by robot dog Fergus and future cop Cornelius Kerrigan along the way.

Sadly, this strip has never been collected, although Steve Holland did nearly manage it back in 2009, commissioning a stunning cover by Chris Weston.

Boy’s World

Launched by Odhams Press in January 1963, Willie Patterson was one of the writers for this title, alongside Harry Harrison, Michael Moorcock and Tom Tully. Artists included Frank Bellamy, Luis Bermejo, Harry Bishop, John M. Burns, Ron and his brother Gerry Embleton, Gerald Haylock, Frank Langford and Brian Lewis.

Willie’s known credits are as follows…

“What Would You Do” cover feature issues V1N1 – V1N6 + V1N10 (Jan to Mar 1963) with art by Brian Lewis, Gerry Embleton & Harry Winslade

“Mini Mystery” feature issue V1N7 (Mar 1963) with art by Harry Lindfield

“What’s In A Name / Do You Know Your Name” feature issues V1N1 – V1N6 (Jan to Mar 1963) with art by James McConnell

“John Brody” (strip) issues V1N1-V1N23 “What Is Exhibit X?” full 1st story (Jan – June 1963) with art by Colin Andrew

“Wrath Of The Gods” (strip) all issues V1N1 to V2N40 Jan 1963 to Oct 1964) with art by Ron Embleton and John M Burns

“What Is My Name?” (strip) issues V2N22 to V2N40 (May – Oct 1964)  with art by Colin Andrew

• Steve Holland has told the story of Boy’s World in the thoroughly recommended book Boy’s World – Ticket to Adventure!

 Examples of “Caroline Baker – Barrister at Law”, written by Willie Patterson, drawn by Jose Ortiz. Via Bear Alley © Daily Express

Caroline Baker, Barrister at Law

Published in the Daily Express from 1962, Steve Holland has featured a number of “Caroline Baker, Barrister at Law”, written by Willie Patterson and drawn by Jose Ortiz on Bear Alley.

“Mission to the Stars”, a Dan Dare strip written by Willie Patterson, drawn by Don Harley for the Sunday People. Via the Jeff Hawke Club

Dan Dare

Willie wrote one Dan Dare story, “Mission to the Stars”, drawn by Don Harley, published in the Sunday People in 1964, collected in The Dan Dare Dossier, published by Hawk Books.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

my family are special 😍

[the same goes for other families]

I just wanted to sing the praises of my family, how special we all are, not least because 8 of us, that I know of, have survived psychosis/psychiatry and have been/are being productive in our lives.  That's something to be very proud of,  in my opinion, and I'm entitled to say what I think regardless of well paid academics taking a potshot at me because of it.  πŸ˜’

So many achievements along the way: my two wee sisters at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) 1970's/80's, studying woodwind instruments (clarinet, oboe), singing, piano, after my youngest sister a boarder at St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh, funded by Perth & Kinross Social Work; my Mother coming through various psychiatric treatments (ECT, neurotoxins) working FT at Babygro factory in North Muirton, Perth on a Depixol depot injection; my Father writing Jeff Hawke sci-fi daily comic strip in the Daily Express from 1956-69, for many of these years the one in charge, directing, producing; my sons carrying on the family tradition of psychiatric engagement, music, educational achievements, working in various settings, procreative, humorous, caring, compassionate.  😊

Here is a flavour of our lives in pictures, with comments alongside (will update later):

my Mum & me with Teddy 1953 on back step of Granny's house Kingswell Terr, Perth

Notice my Mother's lovely dress and cardi, her makeup and tidy hairdo, her care of me, holding my pink Teddy, smiling for the camera. Juxtaposed with the mop against the wall next to back door which is needing a coat of paint.

me aged about 4, rumpled kilt & socks, blonde hair tied back, knitted cardi, smiling

Not sure who took this photo, probably an Auntie, flat roofed house in background probably my Granny and Grandpa's at Kingswell Terrace, Perth, maybe after we had all moved to Dunsinane Drive, Letham, Perth, into two council flats, numbers 81 and 57.

my Mum's photo, she typed Rare Birds on it, taken outside Pomarium Flats c1972

My Mother had this photo pinned on the wall at her Pomarium Flat number 70 and then it was in her possessions after she died on 19 March 1998 which I inherited.  Me with my two wee sisters before they went into foster care when my Mum had another nervous breakdown.  

my oldest 2 sons Angus on left, Edwin on right, on inlaws farm, having fun

We lived in a residential caravan on my husband's folks' farm for about 18mths before getting a council house in Rigside, Lanarkshire.  I had my first puerperal psychosis about 3mths after Angus was born, went voluntarily into Hartwoodhill psychiatric hospital to be forcibly injected with Chlorpromazine and threatened with ECT.  Fortunately I was able to take charge of my own mental health, come off the neurotoxins and make a full recovery, supported by my husband.

youngest son Daniel in 1985, I was on Chlorpromazine again, 4x100mgs
I was drugged up when this photo was taken, on neurotoxins, it felt like being in a dark tunnel with no light at the end.  This was due to the antipsychotics which depressed me.  My husband supported me in and out of hospital.  Again the neurotoxins had been forced in but by 1984 they weren't giving Mothers with puerperal psychosis ECT, or at least they didn't try to threaten me with it in Hartwoodhill.  I managed to get off the drugs within the year again and make a full recovery.

July 1998 with my 3 sons, in Cupar photographer's studio
I'm wearing my Mother's watch and butterfly necklace which was in her possessions, a gift from New Zealand, unworn, in a box.  My oldest son had recently graduated with a First in Mechanical Engineering from Abertay University, Dundee, having survived psychosis/psychiatry episode, Stratheden Hospital, including a critical incident with ECT, in 1995/6.  I supported him in/out of hospital.  1998 I also graduated, with a Postgrad Diploma in Community Education from Northern College, Dundee.

with oldest son Edwin July 1998, graduates, son 1st class Hon Mech Eng
middle sister's wedding 1999
with grandson Edinburgh Xmas time 2006 😍
grandchildren in our house 2010
to be updated ...

Saturday, 14 April 2018

in recognition of my Dad Willie Patterson; scriptwriter of Jeff Hawke; Daily Express & Titan Books

Willie Patterson, selfie c1963
My Father William Cunningham Patterson, born 22 May 1929 in Perth, Scotland, was a larger than life character from my memories as the oldest of 3 daughters, an only child for 9 years so I knew him the most of any of us girls, remembering his taking me to see CoCo the Clown when I was about 5yrs old, shaking his hand from a ringside Circus seat.  Two wonderful birthday parties when I was 5 and 12yrs old, having started Caledonian Road Primary School and Perth Academy, respectively.  My Dad was a gentleman, could be autocratic and over-protective but he wasn't a disciplinarian and I had freedom as a child, to explore, have adventures and a safe house at home to return to.

I remember him organising a community Fireworks display where we lived at Pomarium Flats, Perth, in around 1963, on the wasteground where the bus station now stands. Auntie Margaret (Dad's older sister) and Uncle, Jim Page lived on Cross St, also overlooking the wasteground.  My bedroom window looked out on this ground, my favourite tree for climbing is still there, photo taken on Good Friday this year, Queen's Hotel in background where I worked as a Chambermaid summer of 1971:

our balcony on 4th floor number 70 Pomarium 1960-70 when I lived there
My Father's Jeff Hawke scripts have been republished twice by Titan Books, in 1986/7 and 2008.  According to strip creator Sydney Jordan, my Dad started as scriptwriter with the Daily Express in 1956 while also writing other stories for Fleetway Publications, including war stories, Dan Dare, Caroline Baker Barrister at Law, originally doing Children's Encyclopedias.

testimonial written by Sydney Jordan November 1986 in Jeff Hawke Book Two

Jordan sent me copies of Jeff Hawke Book One & Two after my Father's death 9 October 1986.  My middle sister and I had attended his funeral in Kensal Green, London, after being informed about it by Sydney Jordan.  Who says in this testimonial about my Dad in Jeff Hawke Book Two: "Of the two of us, his was the unique talent and what was to come cannot detract from what had been. ... Willie was a man who saw beyond the skies to the stars".

My Mother's telling of the story about my Father's contract with the Daily Express being terminated in 1969 is that they wanted him to put more women in the script but my Dad resisted.  Mum (Anne Patterson) died on 19 March 1998 so I can't ask her for more detail however I do know that my Father never came back to Perth after 1969.  I think he feared incarceration at Murray Royal psychiatric Hospital as he'd formerly been an inpatient there, maybe around 1963/4, after walking naked down Tay St when having a complete breakdown.  Again this is a story remembered, not talked about because of the shame.

Family photos passed on to me by my Mother:

photo of my Mum & Dad taken August 1952, Perth, I was born in the September
selfie by my Dad
Mum & Dad with me 1953 at my Grandparent's house in Kingswell Terrace, Letham, Perth
my Dad holding me 1953 Kingswell Terrace
my Mum taken by my Dad in our Pomarium flat, Perth
My Father was a family man and also a science fiction writer in London, and I think the latter put stress on the former, thinking back to the 1960's and my Dad scriptwriting through the night on his electric typewriter in our 4th floor 2 bedroom Council flat, sending them off by Courier for the deadline.  My Mother tried living in London for a while in the late 1950's before my middle sister was born, I stayed with my Dad's parents, Granny and Grandpa Patterson, in their 81 Dunsinane Drive flat along from ours at 57 (we'll all moved out of Kingswell Terrace by then).  But the big city didn't suit my Mother.  So we all lived in Perth while my Dad travelled up and down to London, my younger sisters born in 1961 and 1966.  It wasn't ideal.  By 1970 the family had fractured, following another one of my Mother's nervous breakdowns and my Granny's death that July.  Social work intervened and my sisters were fostered. 

I plan to self publish a book about my Father and our family, memories, stories, photos, as a legacy to my children and grandchildren, to keep a record of our achievements.  

Recently I donated copies of the 2 Jeff Hawke books republished by Titan Books in 2008 to Fife Cultural Trust for the East Fife Mobile Library which we use in Springfield, Tarvit Terrace, on a fortnightly basis when it visits:

handing over Jeff Hawke books to June Souter in East Fife Mobile Library Springfield 27Oct17


My Father William Cunningham Patterson received the King's Badge in 1948, disabled as a result of war service when in the RAF briefly as an Aircraftsman, second class aged 17yrs.   

I am very proud of my parents, both of them heroes in my eyes, flawed as all of us are, but outstanding in their own ways.  I am glad to say that we have inherited their broad range of creative skills eg writing, craftswomenship, music, sporting achievements, homemaking, imaginative pursuits and an ability to resist "lifelong mental illness" and it's narrow corridors, being productive in spite of disabling drug treatment and coercive space invasion.  Thank God.

South Inch Perth
photo of me taken by my Dad c1963

2017 was a difficult year; grateful for self esteem and to feel empowered

After waking this morning I was thinking how grateful I am to have self esteem, to know my worth, and to feel, and be, empowered to write, travel, speak out with confidence, stating an opinion, at 65yrs old/young, depending how you look at it.

2017 was very difficult (most years have been since 2012 locked seclusion room abuses Stratheden IPCU, thinking back) in particular the engagement with DClinPsy academics, the PhD withdrawal, being set up to fail after having expectations raised then dashed.  Academics said I could be a research fellow, could get a paid job as researcher, could be the first survivor Professor and so on.  Either wishful thinking or a windup.  None of that transpired and I was dumped by them all.  How cruel.

I'm not a mindreader so don't know what their intentions were, these well paid academics, compared to me on a basic state pension.  Whether they cared at all about my situation.  I have my doubts and think they are more concerned about their own positions and career.  Otherwise they would have done more to keep me onboard, engaged, supported in my action research into Safe Houses for Psychosis.  They said it was a good idea and should be done but when push came to shove they dropped me like a ton of bricks.

You/I really want a therapist or mentor or friend or advocate who will stick with you through thick and thin, put their money (power) where their mouth is, who will be faithful whatever the challenges and who will demonstrate congruence, loyality, honesty, straight speaking and reliability.  That's what I look for and aim for in my own practice.  

I'm glad that Psychiatry was wrong in their labelling of me with Schizoaffective Disorder in 2002 and that I was able to taper Risperidone, max dose Venlafaxine and 800mg/day Lithium to make a full recovery.  I'm also glad that in 2015/16 I was able to prove, by living it, that psychosis is a journey, a transition, an escape, useful and necessary, enjoyable when coming to terms with altered mind states, reasoning out any perceived threats.  

I befriended Attachment Theory Prof Gumley virtually when coming through this psychosis in 2015, didn't tell him my altered perceptions (eg insects, secret agents) at the time but I did involve him in my imaginary world, for his own benefit because of compassion, thought he had health issues or other stressors, following an engagement we had 25Jun15 after the Schizophrenia event at 50 George Square, Edinburgh.

I sang this song for Andrew Gumley in September 2015, also sharing it with my friend Peter Gordon.  And so I journeyed through another psychosis and was stronger for coming through the experience, avoiding psychiatric treatment.  It was enjoyable, emotional, spiritual, existential and painful.  

Prof Gumley hasn't been speaking to me since July 2017 and now has blocked me on twitter, which is fine, it's actually a relief.  I can let go of him as a friend.  The friendship was on my side and didn't require reciprocation.  The academic mentoring re PhD was a different relationship and should have been mutual but it didn't follow through and I was dumped by Schwannauer, Stenhouse and Gumley.  Then I was excluded from Glasgow DClinPsy by McLeod, Programme Director and have retreated from Edinburgh DClinPsy involvement, had enough of being marginalised and bullied, faced with misogyny. 

I've come to terms with being dumped, it's not as painful now when thinking of it.  Gillanders at Edinburgh DClinPsy had recommended Rosie Stenhouse for PhD after I asked him to be my supervisor.  But after deciding that Schwannauer and Stenhouse supervision wasn't working then no-one at Edinburgh would take me on.  I did ask Gumley and he agreed to supervise me but it wasn't viable, I had no funding guaranteed, so I gave up the PhD quest.  I didn't want to risk another round of hopes being dashed, being set up to fail.  There's a limit, I'm not Superwoman.

Now I'm actively researching Safe Houses for Psychosis on my own, self funded, aiming to gather information and stories, travelling to different places, within my budget.  New blog set up to gather and store findings, eventually aiming to write a report for presenting to Scottish Government.

link to blog

Off to Ireland on Wednesday, Dublin first (European Society for Research on Internet Interventions conference) then Belfast, back home on Sunday.  Then Cardiff, Wales, in May for Mental Health Today conference.  I've had a flu type virus affecting my throat and glands, fortunately it's retreating and I should make Ireland OK.

I do feel let down by academics in respect of my Safe haven crisis House research, had expected more from them, so I will no doubt continue at times to complain, grump about their unfaithfulness and lack of solidarity.  Clinical Psychology trainees deserve the best of teaching and mentoring, from what I've had to go through I don't think they will be getting it.

Friday, 13 April 2018

snapshots of Pitlochry by River Tummel over suspension bridge & Dam 12Apr18

A braw day out by bus to Ladybank then train to Pitlochry, blue sky chilly views, remembering childhood visit to salmon ladder with Granny and Grandpa Patterson in their red Mini.

in front of salmon ladder
view from Dam
Heathergems Dragonfly earrings purchase!