It is with great sadness that we have to inform our customers that Josephine Pullein Thompson, author of Six Ponies, Pony Club Team and many more titles that exemplified the 20th century pony book phenomenon.  Six Ponies was one of my very favourite titles as a child and I still have my battered Armada paperback copy. It wasn’t until about ten years or so ago when I laid hands on a first edition from 1946 that I realised how brutal the editing by Armada had been.

When we set up Fidra Books, Josephine was one of our first authors and I was delighted to meet her.  I went to her house for afternoon tea and we had a delightful time talking about books, horses and generally putting the world to rights.  Less mobile than she used to be she’d also recently taken possession of a mobility scooter, nicknamed The Silver Lady, and she was conjecturing about how fast it could go if she went up to the park and really opened her up. You can take the thoroughbred hunters away from the woman but you’ll never take away the joy of speed. I heard nothing about devastation being wrought in the local park but I have no doubt that she kept the staff and customers of the Fulham branch of Waitrose on their toes.

Josephine was funny and warm and sharp and we will miss her.

(The photograph shows Josephine (centre) with her sisters Diana and Christine. Image copyright Horse and Hound)