Roberta Leigh

Baby boomers will probably remember the following popular puppet series on ITV:  “Torchy the Battery Boy”, “The Adventures of Twizzle”, “Space Patrol” and “Sara and Hoppity”.

r leigh“Space Patrol” 1963

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The creator of these popular puppet series was Roberta Leigh, an assumed name for Janey Scott Lewin, who was educated at St. Mary’s Convent, Rhyl.  Roberta Leigh passed away on December 19th, 2014 and below is an extract from her obituary in the Daily Telegraph:

“Roberta Leigh began as a romantic fiction writer, and she did so at the age of 14 while still a schoolgirl at St Mary’s convent in Rhyl, after being evacuated to nearby Prestatyn during the war. There, as she recalled in a newspaper article in 1976, she had established a reputation among her friends for her ability to compose an instant plot, a facility that sometimes landed her in trouble: “The school was always freezing and I was standing by the radiator under the window when I saw Sister Mary Angela, the games mistress I loathed – she was always hoisting her habit with her rosary and running down the hockey field – walking arm-in-arm with a nice little priest half her size. For the benefit of my friends I made up a story that they were going to jump over the wall and be condemned to Hades, and the Pope wouldn’t be at all pleased. Suddenly icy fingers gripped my throat. Our adorable headmistress informed me that Sister Angela was merely out walking with her brother.”

Visiting the local library aged 14, Roberta Leigh noticed that women always seemed to congregate around the romantic fiction shelves. So she telephoned the publishers Collins and volunteered her services as a writer. They told her that they always needed romantic fiction and that they paid £1 per 1,000 words.  She became the youngest writer to be given a Foyles literary lunch”

r leigh 2

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Although she would not publish her first novel until 1950, she began scribbling away by torchlight under her bedclothes. By the end of her life Roberta Leigh had published more than 160 titles for Harlequin and Mills & Boon.”

To read the full obituary click:



Filed under People

2 responses to “Roberta Leigh

  1. Maggi

    Well, I never knew that !!

  2. Ann

    Nor me! Excellent!

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