Mogridge, Stephen (Stevens, Jill)

About the author

Stephen Mogridge wrote a series of pony adventure stories based in the New Forest. The books feature the same cast of characters: Patricia, Bill, Ti, Freddy, Fiona and Julia. Patricia is the most manic pony owner, of the set, being the devoted owner of Star, a foal she adopts in the first book.

Stephen Mogridge also wrote under the pseudonym Jill Stevens, under which name he wrote a story for younger children about a donkey.

Finding the books
Adventure, Discoveries, Exploits, and Mystery are all relatively easy to find, and usually reasonably priced. Pirates and Smugglers are a little more expensive. Spies, Vagabonds, Quest, Detectives and Treasure are all very much harder to find, and can be very expensive indeed.

Links and sources
Jim Mackenzie’s article on Stephen Mogridge
A blog article on Stephen Mogridge (which is a repeat of the article above, but with some additional pictures)
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau, Ivan Tammas and Julie Makin for all their help with this section.


The Showing series

Bibliography (pony books only)

New Forest Adventure

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1953, 213 pp.  Illus Winslade
Thomas Nelson and Sons, Junior Nelson, 1960, 213 pp.
Nelson & Sons, pb, 1961

“Patricia and Bill are spending their holidays in the New Forest, that land of wild ponies. Patricia “adopts” a foal, which she names Star. It soon becomes apparent, however, that others have their eyes on star, too -unpleasant eyes; cold, calculating eyes; eyes which judge horseflesh simply on its potential value as meat…  So, aided by two new friends, Fiona and Freddy, they determine not only to save Star but to put an end to the whole nasty business altogether — and in doing so (thanks largely to the inventive Freddy’s wonderful radio contrivance) find that they have stopped something that was far, far bigger than they knew.”

New Forest Mystery

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1954,  230 pp.  Illus Winslade
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1958

The blurb:

“Patricia and Bill, Fiona and Frec – the four friends are together again, and soon find themselves involved in another more than satisfying mystery. It all begins with a Breton onion-seller and an underground passage beneath a charcoal-burner’s mound in the forest. The scene switches to the waterside, to one of those same strings of onions, fallen now into the river, and to the quite frenzied attempts to recover it – absurdly frenzied for a mere string of onions! But the inventive Frec has all the apparatus for underwater salvage, so….”

New Forest Quest

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1955,  214 pp.  Illus Winslade

The blurb:

“The quest began with a little old book picked up at a sale; and “picked up” is true, since it disappeared into the pocket of a most undesirable person. Thenceforward the quest was partly for the book itself, partly for what the book might lead to, and partly for very big things indeed….”

New Forest Exploits

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1956,  214 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1960

The blurb:

“Vicky believed that she was a great painter. Well, wouldn’t you, if you lived in the country and a London dealer called especially to buy your paintings? But…”

New Forest Discoveries

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1957,  212 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, Nelson Juniors, 1959, 212 pp.
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, Nelson Juniors, 1961

A brief review of New Forest Discoveries

The blurb:

“Elaine is a horrid child; her elaborate politeness to the grown-up world and her general beastliness to other children earn the hearty dislike of Pat and Bill, Freddy and Fiona – especially when she frightens their ponies. The Deverills and the Guises, with their friends Julia and Ann, need no introduction of course. The affair of Mustard – an ancient car owned by the dashing Smith brothers with whom Elaine is so friendly – is told in this, their latest New Forest adventure.”

New Forest Smugglers

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1958,  215 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1963

The blurb:

“A stray budgerigar brings Bill and his friends to Major Briant’s house, where they meet the Sutton family; and even Patricia, who is so friendly with Kitty Sutton, has to admit that Kitty’s parents’ behaviour is distinctly odd. The Deverills and the Guises, to say nothing of Ann and Julia, are used to Bill’s detective instincts but this time he really seems to be on to something….”

New Forest Pirates

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1959,  216 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1960
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1962

The blurb:

“Pirates! Yes, real pirates, even though they do operate on land rather than at sea – and when their activities bring them into the New Forest, here is naturally a mystery which Bill Deverill, that enthusiastic would-be amateur detective, considers worthy his attention.  And when those activities come still nearer home, and involve Patricia’s adored pony, Star – why, then all the Deverills and all their friends unite to wage ruthless warfare.”

New Forest Vagabond

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1960,  213 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson

The blurb:

A small girl came into the stableyard carrying an attaché case and a blue cardigan, and announced she had come to stay with you ‘out of the blue’.’ All Bill’s detective instincts were aroused, but “Felicity” was impervious to questioning and nobody could find out anything about her at all. Was she in any way connected with the forged pound notes that were being circulated in the district?

New Forest Detectives

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1962, 151 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson

The blurb:

“Though it is true that detection, as always, is at the back of Bill’s mind as he sets out one morning to try to get a photograph of a green woodpecker, he doesn’t really expect to find himself at once on the trail of a suspect: but what could be more suspicious than a man who has a beard one moment and is clean-shaven the next? 

The indomitable Julia (and her boat), Freddy, whose latest invention proves to be invaluable, and even The Mug, supercilious though he might be at first, are all drawn into the case. The results of their investigations may not be quite what Bill expected, but nevertheless Inspector Foster has reason to be grateful for their enterprise.”

New Forest Treasure

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1963,  207 pp.  Illus Robert Hodgson

“Freddy’s latest invention is a ‘see-through set’, which can give a picture of what is underground. This device vastly interests different people for different reasons. Naturally Derek, Freddy’s friend, whose subject is archaeology, foresees all kinds of advantages in such a set; and then there is Bill, who prides himself on detective talents, and who, that very summer, is suddenly convinced that Roman gold is hidden beneath Beaulieu Heath. Together these three friends pool together their interests and plan a treasure-hunt. But their best laid plans are wrecked by the sudden theft of their valuable set…”

New Forest Spies

Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, 1964,  208 pp.  Illus Drake Brookshaw

The blurb:

“Bill Deverill is always on the lookout for really ‘suspicious suspects’, but for once he is taken by surprise, and it is Freddy who draws his attention to the man photographing a house in the distance – or the people on the terrace – by means of a power telephoto lens fitted to his camera. The peaceful New Forest and the river at Beaulieu is suddenly filled with so many strangers watching each other, and being watched watching, that Bill finds himself perplexed. The only stable thing in all this is that Sven Melvik, Swedish chemical engineer, is the object of all the espionage and subterfuge.”

Bibliography – as Jill Stevens

Jane’s Lonely Donkey

Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd, London, 1958, illus Dick Hart
Reprinted 1959

Whenever Paula and Jane exercise Paula’s new pony, Sunspot, Percy the donkey has to go too. Paula has promised not to separate the two, but she soon begins to wonder if she really has to keep her promise.