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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Brian Brason

Brian Brason, a regular contributor to Swift Annual, writing anonymously for volumes 3 through 8 (1956-61). Unfortunately, I've no clue as to what he wrote. Brason was possibly the author of a single booklet, The Story of Port Sunlight (Port Sunlight, Lever Brothers, 1953), a heavily illustrated history of Lever Brothers/Unilever's research and development department at Port Sunlight, on the Wirral between Chester and Liverpool.

The only Brian Brason I've been able to trace in geneological records (although I've only done a brief search) is Brian Luke Brason (b. 18 August 1920, d. 31 December 1983, aged 63, in Aylesbury, Bucks.). Brian Luke Brason lived in North Harrow in the 1950s and 1960s. The surname Brason is rather uncommon, so there's a good chance the Swift Annual author and Brian Luke Brason are one and the same.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are right, one and the same (he was my grandad). I think I remember my nan saying his first name was Luke. So he was Luke Brian Brason, but known to all as Brian.

Steve said...

You're absolutely right. Luke B. Brason is how his birth was registered (in South Shields).

Do you know anything more about Brian? Was he a journalist? Did he write any comics? Or was he, perhaps, a PR man for Lever Bros.?

Any further information would be most welcome.

Thanks for getting in touch.

Regards,

Steve.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm short on specifics. I know he worked for some of the big advertising agencies but not sure on their names. I think he came up with the following slogans:

'Wilkinson sword, the name on the finest blade' and 'A Mars a day helps you work rest and play' (although I think this one may have been Murray Walker?).

He never went to uni as he came from a working class background, but his passion (and ability) for english literature was amazing and he worked his way up. He was a huge cricket fan and liked a good game of chess.

There's other related Brason's who have had literary work published too. His daughter, Gillian Brason, wrote a book 'The Ungreen Park' http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?&isbn=0370300882&nsa=1, and John Brason who worked on Secret Army was either a cousin or brother.

Apologies if I'm wrong on any of the above. He died when I was young so I never really knew him. Next time I see my nan I'll ask her for some more info - nice to hear of someone who appreciates his work!

Steve said...

I'm always intrigued by writers, especially when little is known about them. You never know what alleyways you're going to be exploring when you start digging into the life of any author.

If your nan can add any details, I'll revamp the main entry to take in all the information you have sent.

According to a website I found (www.adslogans.co.uk/), the slogan "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play" was created by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles advertising agency in 1965. An article in The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4376062,00.html) reveals the phrase actually came into use in 1959.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Mars Bar, Murray Walker didn't write the slogan but worked for the advertising company that is credited with creating it.

However, I've also found this site (pigpog.com/node/2436) which has a message from "pigpogm" which discusses how his/her grandmother, Rose Randall, coined the phrase as a competition tiebreaker.

You can see what I mean when I said you never know what alleyway you're going to end up exploring!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I spoke to my nan at the weekend to try & clarify a few things (we met over lunch and as I thought it would be rude to start writing while we ate I've had to try and commit as much to memory as possible!)...

She confirmed that Brian used to work for i) Unlilever and ii) Coleman, Prentice and Porter and that he worked on TV advertising (no radio and no print). I also think he may have worked for D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

For Swift he didn't write any comics - just stories. My nan said he wrote under his own name and that she also wrote with him under his name. I got a copy of the Swift Annual 1961 which was the first year they started writing for the Blueton Press. In this 'The Secret of the big store' was theirs and I think Mr Binkle became a regular character for them.

Also, John Brason of Secret Army was a cousin and not a brother (although to confuse things one of Brian's brothers was called John as well!).

I'll post back if I find out any more - glad I found your blog as it's inspired me to find out more about my Grandfather! I came across your site when I googled my own name as I'm also a Luke Brason; although I am not as talented as my namesake and have a slightly dull job in IT!

kind regards, Luke