Thursday, June 30, 2011
People know him as a hotel night porter and maintenance man but David Motton’s claim to fame was bringing to life comic heroes including Dan Dare. Now Richard Watts tells his unusual story.
He was getting a bit old for this sort of thing, he thought. One day when working in the loft he decided that at 79 it was time to retire from the George Hotel at Swaffham, where he had been maintenance man and night porter for 16 years.
He had made many good friends at The George, but even his closest mates had no idea that he is a famous, sought-after and much-discussed writer, his whereabouts until now a mystery. Some even thought him dead.
For David Motton had guarded his previous professional life closely. Yes, they all knew that he had worked for a nursery in Methwold for 10 years. Yes, they all knew he had retired to Swaffham from north London where he had lived for 30 years.
But he was always quite evasive about his working life in London.
But now he is happy to tell his tale.
David, for 30 years, was one of the most important authors of comic strips in Britain, having written the adventures of Dan Dare and literally dozens, maybe even hundreds, of famous strip cartoon characters in the days when kids queued every Friday to buy their comics, and The Eagle, and others like it, sold more than a million.
The George Hotel is creating David Motton’s Corner, an exhibition of his scripts with the printed comics recording his history as one of the country’s most famous writers.
The material, currently being put together, will prove a talking point in the bar where David still frequently drinks his Guinness. Having decided to tell his life story, he had agreed to share his memories with others and is now compiling a lecture on his work on British comics.
For the full story about David writing himself into comic history see the EDP Sunday supplement in this Saturday’s EDP.