UK Services Editions


Mind the gaps

Posted by Baronbern on February 27, 2014 at 1:10 PM

One of the many problems of collecting Services Editions is to know what you’re looking for. Most book collectors at least know the authors and titles of the books they want to find! For some of the books I’d most like to find, all I know is the publisher, and that they have ‘Services Edition’ written on the front cover.

For some publishers, there are at least series numbers, and a gap in the numbering of the known titles indicates a likely missing book. Collins for instance adopted a numbering system from c201 to c364, although the numbers didn’t actually start appearing on the books until about number c217. Earlier titles carry no numbers in the first printings, although the reprints do. Confusingly Collins separately used numbers with a ‘c’ at the end to indicate crime titles, so that c253 is a Services Edition, but 253c is not.


First editions (unnumbered) and reprints (numbered)

Numbering from c201 to c364 is still a big clue that there are 164 books in the series, and I believe there probably are, although I can connect numbers with titles for only 144 of them. Some books though contain lists of other titles so it’s possible to suggest what else may exist. The lists are not specific that these books are available in Services Editions, but they do seem to match up with the known titles and the number of titles is also consistent. From the first 80 books, I can tie up titles and numbers for 63 of them (see checklist page) and the other 17 books appear to be the following.

Lynn Brock - The stoat

Conyth Little - The black lady

Alice Tilton - The hollow chest

Peter Cheyney - Never a dull moment

Peter Cheyney - The stars are dark

David Hume - Never say live

David Hume - Mick Cardby works overtime

Tex Curran - Riding fool

Peter Dawson - Time to ride

Will Ermine - Watchdog of Thunder River

Ranger Lee - Red shirt

Ranger Lee - The silver train

F. C. Robertson - Rustlers on the loose

F. C. Robertson - Kingdom for a horse

Luke Short - Ride the man down

Wade Smith - Wild country

Bartimeus - Steady as you go

I am not aware of copies of the Services Editions of these books existing in any library or any private collection, although I feel sure that there are copies out there somewhere. Do please let me know if you come across one.

The same goes for the three later gaps, which are for c327, c328 and c330. I have no evidence at all of what these books might be, except that they seem likely to be western novels.


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