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Reynolds News, Sunday 29 October 1950

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  • #61
    Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post
    Sorry for the misunderstanding, Chris! I still think it highly unusual for someone to name a person after a race horse, as generally it is the race horse that is named after a person, legend or event? But perhaps I'm just being a pedant! I think it worthwhile to remember that Robertson fled to South Africa after his release from prison, not returning until 1949; and that his wife, Olgalita was an accomplished dancing showgirl in the theatres of the West End of London in the early 1950s, where for instance Peter Pan was staged at the Scala theatre in 1951 with the lead role of Peter Pan being played by Fay Compton, so there we have a proper Fairy Fay in the 'Wendy Hut'. So I think it just as likely that as Robertson was concocting his Jack the Ripper story in his study at home, he might have called out to Olgalita "Got a name for this new victim of Jack the Ripper that I've just invented?' And the good lady may well have replied: 'Fairy Fay might do the trick!' We actually do not know!
    Presumably the horse’s name came originally from a fictional character of some kind, as had that of the dog of the same name who appeared regularly in the press long before Barrie penned Peter Pan.

    Have you found examples of ‘FF’ in a Peter Pan context in the press in the late 40s-1952? Was it on everybody’s Lips?

    Is Fairy Fay even a character in Peter Pan?





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    • #62
      AP,

      Are you sure Fay Compton was in the 1951 production of Peter Pan? She had played the title role in 1917.

      Gary

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
        AP,

        Are you sure Fay Compton was in the 1951 production of Peter Pan? She had played the title role in 1917.

        Gary
        Oh, you are most likely right, Gary, as I was skimming the archives at the time in a dreadful hurry to get to the beach, as sun was shining, and weather was sweet, so I might have got somewhat discombobulated! However, I remember in that flighty search that one stalwart had played that role for almost fifty years? Sounds unbelievable but I'll go back and check. And yes, 'Wendy's Hut' was serialised for many years in various newspapers throughout that time period. 'Wendy' is obviously from Peter Pan, and the fairy in the serialised version could obviously not be called 'Tinkerbell' so she was instead called 'Fairy Fay', one assumes to avoid any sort of copyright issue with Barrie, but there are also reports from various newspaper in the 1890s of a 'Fairy Fay' on the stage of many amateur productions, prior to Barrie's creation, so perhaps not on everybody's lips, but certainly very well known and recognised by many. Could Robertson merely have been employing that gossip column cheek of his to actually call the supposed victim of his Jack the Ripper article by the name of someone from Fairy Land, in other words, owning up to those in the know, that is was just another one of his many spoofs to sell a few papers? I suspect so. Hands up who still has a 'Wendy house' in the garden?

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