Pepys and Racey Helps - The Complete Games
Ever since 1951 games illustrated by Racey Helps have been published under the Pepys brand. Woodland Happy Families and Woodland Snap are still in print and available from Gibsons, over 70 years since they were first published.
A total of 10 different games were published; 6 card games, 1 set of dominoes and 3 jigsaws. With renamed and redesigned versions there are 16 distinct versions of the games that are commonly collected.
Click on any game box to see that game's full listing.
Click on any title to see that game's full listing.
Pets 1955 - was rebranded as Family Favourites 1962 - Both games have the same cards.
Farmyard Cries 1952 - Was reissued in a new box in 1961.
Jungle Thrills 1955 was reissued as Safari 1956 - Both games have the same cards.
Woodland Happy Families 1951 continued in print when Gibsons took over the Pepys brand Woodland Happy Families 1984. The game is still in print with minor changes.
Woodland Old Maid 1957 - Was reissued in a new box in the early 1960s.
Woodland Snap 1951 continued in print when Gibsons took over the Pepys brand Woodland Snap 1984. The game is still in print with minor changes.
Woodland Jigsaw Early 1960s - Bubbles
Woodland Jigsaw Early 1960s - Story Time
Woodland Jigsaw Early 1960s - The Woodland Plane
Angus Clifford Racey Helps (1913–1970) was an English children's author and illustrator.
A TV interview with Racey Helps 30th August 1966.
Racey Helps was born in Bristol on 2nd February 1913, to Clifford R. Helps and his wife Dorothy (née Davis) who had married in Cardiff in 1911. He spent his childhood in Chelvey, Somerset. He was privately educated at a vicarage and later at Bristol Cathedral School.
On leaving school he entered the antiquarian book business and attended the West of England College of Art. Helps married Irene Orr on 8th April 1936. A daughter, Anne, was born in July 1937 and a son, Julian Racey, on May 4th 1950.
Racey Helps was first published by Collins. Later his books and illustrations were published as greetings cards and postcards by the Medici Society and others.
The Helps family lived in Shepton Mallet and then Clevedon both in Somerset, then Saltford near Bath and from 1962 in Barnstaple, Devon.
Racey Helps suffered a fatal heart attack at home in Barnstaple in 1970 aged 57.
Racey Helps' biographical details are hard to find, I can't find an interview or obituary in any British newspaper. The above sketch is largely drawn together from a combination of details to be found on the following websites:
Bear Alley Books - This site has a partial bibliography
Wikipedia - Includes another partial bibliography
If you know of any other material on Racey Helps' life or any other Pepys connections please get in touch.