Monday, November 20, 2006

Noel B. Ranns and Stella Ranns

Stella Ranns was credited with a contribution to Swift Annual 1 (1954) while Noel B. Ranns contributed to Swift Annual 2 (1955). Stella Jean Ranns (b. 26 May 1919) died in October 2003, aged 84, but I'm pleased to say that her husband Noel is still with us and has replied to a letter I sent a few days ago, although he tells me he moved house two weeks ago, so I was lucky to have the letter forwarded.

Noel was a book publisher's Production Manager by trade and worked for Hulton Press in the mid-1950s in their book department. As such he was partly responsible for the Swift Annual and tells me that neither he nor his wife were regular writers. "I cannot remember what our contributions were about... I can only imagine that my wife and I were filling an empty page!"

He was not connected with the Periodical Division which was responsible for the weekly magazines, although his sons, both born in the 1940s , were raised on Swift, Robin and Eagle.

He later worked as a printer salesman for Taylor, Garnett, Evans and was production manager for Anthony Blond Ltd.

Update: 6 January 2010
I've received a note from Peter Morris, whose parents lodged with Noel Ranns in the 1950s, to say he has learned that Noel Ranns died on 17 July 2009, aged around 91.

All I can add to the above is that he was born in 1917 in Durham (his birth registered in the Sunderland district) and he was married twice: to Stella Jean Dockeray at Hyde, Cheshire, in 1942 and then (following her death) to Nina Margaret Wilson-Turner in November 2003 in North Walsham, Norfolk. She died in November 2005, aged 85.

He lived at 4 Vancouver Road, Forest Hill, S.E.23 between at least 1948-61; then 7 The Glebe, Chislehurst [1963/66]; then Burwood Farm, Rotherfield [1970/71]. When I contacted Ranns in 2006, he had just moved into sheltered accommodation.

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