Biographical Information


Photo of Hugh Walters Hugh Walters' real name was Walter Llewellyn Hughes. He was born on June 15th 1910 above a furniture shop in Bradley, and was educated at Dudley Grammar School (Dudley was of course the setting of 'The Mohole Mystery') and Wolverhampton College. He became co-director of "Bradsteds", Bradley Bedsteads, which produced iron-framed bedsteads, and ran his own furniture store, Walter Hughes Ltd (illustrated below). He was first married in 1931, to Doris Higgins, and had a son Walter and a daughter Gillian. Doris died in 1965 and in 1978 he married Susan (whose maiden name by coincidence was Hughes!). He passed away on Jan 13th 1993.

From the dustcover of "Passage To Pluto" (US edition): 1975

Hugh Walters has strong feelings about the purpose of a good science-fiction story. "SF stories should be credible and scientifically and technically accurate - young people are a very critical readership today," he says. "I believe a good SF story should (1) entertain, (2) educate painlessly, and (3) inspire the young people of today to be the scientists and technicians of tomorrow. To my surprise, an increasing number of girls are reading my books and writing to me - I am very happy about this."

If anyone knows what constitutes good science fiction, that person should be Hugh Walters, for Mr. Walters has a long list of successful science-fiction novels for young readers to his credit. In addition to writing, he has been managing director of an engineering firm, run a house-furnishings store, and served as a magistrate. He is a widower with two grown children and lives in Bilston, Staffordshire, England.

Photo of Hugh WaltersFrom the dustcover of "Outpost on the Moon" (US edition): 1962
Hugh Walters is the Managing Director of an engineering company in England. He is a member of the British Interplanetary Society and tries to make his stories as credible and factual as possible, so that, as he says, "some of the young people who read them may be persuaded to take up a scientific or technical career, and join the ranks of those highly trained men whom the Western world so badly needs today." Mr Walters is married and the father of two children; a son in the R.A.F. and a daughter who is in nurses' training.

Photo Album and Scrapbook

Age 3
Age 18
Age 21
Born 1910 above this shop. The first picture shows the shop when he was in charge, the second shows the building as it is today.
The former Dudley Grammar School, now Wolverhampton College and probably the fictional "Wolverton College" in "Blast Off At Woomera".
Bradley House
home 1928-1950
Elm Avenue
home 1950-
St. Leonard's Bilston, of which he was warden
Atholl Avenue Nursing Home, where he passed away.
Double life of
a church warden
Walter
and the
appliance
of
science

HW in deerstalker
Walter Hughes with some of his science fiction books for children. In the
background is St Leonard's Church, Bilston, where he is a church warden.
In one of the books he put
Venus in the wrong position
and was inundated with letters.
More recently he introduced
girls into his stories after
complaints from his female
readership.

Supreme
He has been church warden
at St Leonard's in Bilston for
two years but remembers a
time when "if it couldn't be
weighed and measured it didn't
exist."
Space, he says, has restored
his faith in God.
"It's impossible to com-
prehend infinity and the fan-
tastic wonders of space. I
realised there must be a sup-
reme intelligence that
arranged it all."
Now a grandfather of four,
Walter gained valuable early
experience dreaming up inter-
galactic bedtime capers to tell
his children.
Since then subsequent
generations of children have
thrilled to the timeless adven-
tures of young Chris Godfrey
and numerous other heroes.
It's a fantasy world - but
one that in Waler Hughes'
experience has a habit of
coming true.
He says: "I've predicted
many things in my books which
have, in time, become a reality.
"So don't write off science
fantasies - sometimes they're
a lot more fact than fiction."
Church warden Walter Hughes' secret
life has been revealed - by his telephone
answering service.
It goes: "Please leave your number so one of the
humans can ring you back."
For the star-struck 73-year-old from Bilston is also a highly
successful science fiction writer.
His books sell all over Europe and America and are now about
to hit the Philippines and Singapore markets.
But for years the double life of the retired engineering boss was
kept hidden from his business colleagues.
"As I was also a magistrate
and a local councillor I felt it
left me open to ridicule," said
Walter.
"People tend to treat science
fiction as a bit of a joke so I
juggled with my name and
wrote under the pseudonym of
Hugh Walters.
"Not even my family knew
until my first book was pub-
lished."
Walter started writing at the
age of 47 after giving a talk on
space and astronomy at the
Bilston Rotary Club when the
scheduled speaker failed to
turn up.
His report made a paragraph
in the local paper and soon

by
MARION
BRENNAN

afterwards Coseley library
asked him to speak about
science fiction novels during a
special book week.
While researching his topic
Walter decided he could pro-
duce far superior sci-fi stories.
He sat down and wrote Blast
Off at Woomera,
had it
accepted by the first publishers
he approached and is currently
working on his 24th novel.

He believes in technical
accuracy at all times and his
research has even taken him
to Cape Canaveral wher he
witnessed the launch of Apollo
15.
"I'm mindful that I'm writing
for children up to the age of 17
and I'd like to think they learn
from as well as enjoy my
books.
"For example, in one of my
early novels I had the hero
Chris Godfrey landing on the
moon and promptly disap-
pearing under a deep layer of
moon dust.
"We've since learnt that
there's only a slight covering
of dust on the moon surface so
I altered this in later books.
"I follow three basic guide-
lines when writing: to entertain,
first and foremost, to pass on
useful factual information and
hopefully to inspire future
technicians and scientists."
During his working days at
the family business, Bradsteds
Ltd., in Bradley, Walter used
to get up at 7 a.m. and put in
an hour's writing before leav-
ing for the office.
Nowadays he writes "frankly,
when I feel like it,", but turns
out, on average, a book a year.
He also give out-of-this-world
talks at local schools as well
as dealing with a substantial
mailbag from his young fans.
Express and Star, January 30th, 1984

Dudley 'sci-fi' writer
Walter expects his
20th book out soon
One of Dudley
Grammar School's
famous sons is Mr Walter
Hughes who has
established himself as a
foremost science fiction
writer for youngsters.
Mr Hughes, who writes under
the name Hugh Walters, ex-
pects his 20th book to be in the
shops early next year.
He was principal speaker at
the annual dinner of Dudley
Grammar School Old Boys'
Association and was also
recently guest speaker at a
meeting of Dudley Writers'
Club.
He told members that as a
pupil of Dudley Grammar
School his first literary success,
at the age of 15, was a poem in
"The Dudlean" and this started
HW

Mr Walter Hughes.

him on the road to being a
writer.
In the following years he
wrote numerous short stories
but as he usually destroyed
them, none was ever published.
However, throughout his life
he has always held an interest
in space exploration and in 1955
as a member of Rotary, he was
asked by the Bilston Rotary
Club to give a talk on space.
At that time his predictions of
satellites, manned space craft
and even man on the moon,
were received with a lot of leg
pulling and scepticism.
His predictions have, of
course, since come to pass.

PLEASURES

Walter Hughes is a member
of the British Interplanetary
Society and the British
Astronomical Society. He has
visited Houston and Cape
Canaveral, been in space ships
and examined rock samples
from the moon. His interests in
space travel and the promotion
of his books have taken him to
many countries around the
world.
Although his works have been
translated into many
languages, with world-wide
distribution, he said that one of

his greatest pleasures was to be
advised that his work had been
chosen for transcription into
Braille for young people unable
to see.
Research takes up a good
percentage of Mr Hughes's
preparation for his books and he
always keeps within the realms
of probability.
His aims are threefold - to
interest his readers, to project
knowledge, and to inspire them
to become the technicians and
scientists of tomorrow.

THE MOON

An established writer, with
his 20th book in the pipe-line and
a Grasshopper Series for
seven -11-year-olds now being
launched, Mr Hughes's 19th
book, "Last Disaster," was
published in February 1978.
Through his work he has met
many well-known people,
amongst the Patrick Moore of
TV fame, whom he knows
personally.
Mr Hughes is currently
writing another tale entitled
"The Blue Aura" in which he
bases the structure of the plot
upon the German underground
hospital at Guernsey. It depicts
the first family on the moon.
Always, through Mr Hughes's

books there is the thread of
engineering knowledge and
basic technical feasibility.
"In writing for children
today," he says, "you have to
be authentic."
He recalled one of his early
novels - "Expedition Venus" -
when he placed the planet in the
wrong position.
"I didn't half get some let-
ters" he said.

LEG PULLED

His first book was called
"Blast Off At Woomera" and
was really prompted after he
had given his talk to the Rotary
Club on space travel.
"I had my leg pulled and I
thought I might as well take it
seriously and see what I can
do".
But Walter's 16 publications
in Britain, 14 in USA and half a
dozen in Holland, Spain, France
and Italy, are read not only by
teenagers but by many adults.
Mr Hughes said: "There is a
book in everyone - carry on
persistently and never give up
hope."
What is required to get a book
published?
Mr Hughes said: "Five per
cent ability, 45 per cent tenacity
and 50 per cent luck!"

The County Express, August 4th 1978

HW and Lucky
Why cat Lucky is
over the moon . . .
You've heard of space
heroes Dr. Who and
Flash Gordon. Now meet
Lucky - the first cat on
the moon.
Lucky belongs to Bil-
ston science fiction
author Walter Hughes.
And he is the model for
one of the characters in
Mr. Hughes' latest sci-fi
adventure for young
people The Last Disaster.
"The book centres on
the fact that the moon is
on a collision course with
the earth," 67-year-old
Mr Hughes, of Elm
Avenue, explained. "A
Welsh professor who has
invented an anti-gravity
device is sent to the
moon and he takes his
cat - called Morgan in
the book - with him."
And to mark the
occasion Mr. Hughes,
pictured, commissioned a
life-size wood carving of
Lucky from Kidder-
minster artist Mr. Brian
Todd.
"I call it Lucky Mor-
gan," said Mr Hughes.
Express and Star, August 30th 1978

Sci-Fi author sets
course for some
close encounters
Close encounters of
the educational kind
will be taking up time
and space at Wolver-
hampton Adult Col-
lege later this month,
when students discuss
the finer points of
science, both fact and
fiction.
The course is bieng
launched by Bilston science
fiction writer, 68-year-old
Mr Walter Hughes, who has
written 21 books on the
subject - mainly for the 11
to 17 age group.
"I shall be dealing with
the latest developments in
space and UFOs and I will
probably touch on the Ber-
muda Triangle contro-
versy," said Mr Hughes.
He believes that science
fiction films and books and
reported sightings are part
of a plan to gear us for a
real-life close encounter.
"A lot of the things H. G.
Wells wrote about are com-
ing true, and I think it is
nice to feel that some sort of
contact with other beings
may happen one day.
"I shall discuss this pos-
sibility with students,
although I suspect a lot of
them will take a tongue-
in-cheek attitude."
But Mr Hughes, who
recently visited Cape
Canaveral, intends to make
the talks as interesting and
informative as he possibly
can.
Express and Star, September 18th 1978
 
>Unga rymdresenärer Young Space-Travellers
HUGH WALTERS heter
en högst aktningsvärd eng-
elsk SF-författare som gör
sitt för det internationella
samarbetet genom att hålla
sig med ett verkligt mellan-
folkligt sammansatt rymdre-
sarlag; den unge hjälten är
engelsman men hans närmas-
te medhjältar är en ryss, en
annan engelsmanoch en ame-
rikan, och alla rymdfärder
skickas ut av ett FN-organ.
Grabbarna betar sig sakta
men säkert fram genom pla-
netsystemet coh har vid det
här laget hunnit till Jupiter,
som de var snubblande nära
att kollidera med i sin senas
te bok.
Och det fina med serien är
att det här inte bara rör sig
om vanliga enkla aventyr i
svensk pojbokstil - Walters
delar också med varm hand
ut diverse astronomisk hem-
bygdskunskap och besitter
därtill ett icke föraktligt tek-
niskt vetande, som bland an-
nat ger honom möjlighet att
åstadkomma riktigt trovärdi-
ga rymdskepp.

SERIEN är vid det här
laget uppe i sex band och vi-
sar inga tecken till avmatt-
ningö än finns det planeter
kvar, och oanvända storyidé-
er också. Vilket törhända kan
framgå av de sensaste tre ban-
den i serien. I Destina-
tion Mars (Faber & Fa-
ber, 15/---) strävar Chris -
engelsmannen som är över-
hjälte - och hans vänner till
Mars som den andra expedi-

tionen i ordningen, sedan
förste man blivit vansin-
nig efter att ha hört mystis-
ka röster i rymden utanför.
I Terror by Satelli-
te (Faber & Faber, 13/6)
blir en rymdstationschef
maktgalen och hotar att ut-
plåna jordens växtlighet med
hjälp av en svåranvändbar
stråle. Och i hittills senaste
bandet, Journey to Ju-
piter (Faber & Faber,
15/--) sveper Chris & Co i
väg ända till jätteplaneten
Jupiter, men raketen går all-
deles för fort, diverse be-
kymmersamma ting inträffar
och krashlandning hotar. Allt
ordnar sig naturligtvis på
bästa sätt i alla tre böckerna,
för det gör det ju alltid i
ungdomsböcker, men under
tiden slevar Walters som sagt
ut ett icke föraktfullt såväl
astronomisktsom tekniskt
vetande till läsaren - och
därtill är det så skönt med
en trevlig rysk medhjälte i en
västerländsk äventyrsserie.
R A 


HUGH WALTERS is a highly-respected English SF-
writer who does his bit for international co-operation by
creating a composite multinational space travelling team;
the young hero is an Englishman but his fellow heroes are
a Russian, another Englishman, and an American, and all
space journeys are sent out by a UN department.

The chaps graze slowly but surely through the solar
system, and the team has by this time arrived at Jupiter,
which they nearly collided with in his last book.

And the best thing with the series is that it not only reads 
as a standard simple adventure in Swedish boy's-book
style - Walters also warmly imparts diverse astronomical
knowledge, all without contempt, as among other things
he creates the possibility of a spaceship dignified by
[spiritual?] belief.

The series is by now in six parts and shows no sign of
ending - there are planets left and unused story ideas
also. Which maybe can be made clear in the last three
parts in the series. In Destination Mars (Faber & Fa-
ber, 15/---) Chris - the Englishman who is the leading
hero - and his friends strike out to Mars as a second
expedition, since the first man became mad after he
heard mysterious voices in space outside.

In Terror by Satellite (Faber & Faber, 13/6) a space-
station commander becomes power-mad and threatens
to obliterate the Earth's plant life with the help of a
deadly ray, and in the last book to date, Journey to Ju-
piter (Faber & Faber, 15/--) Chris and co sweep out
finally to the giant planet Jupiter, but the rocket goes
slightly too fast, various troubling things happen, and a 
crashlanding threatens. All is alright of course in the good
way of all three books, as it always is in children's books,
but in the meantime Walters ladles, as mentioned, a full
helping of astronomy,as well as technical knowledge to
the reader - and it is so nice to have a good Russian 
co-hero in a Western adventure series.

If you can offer corrections
to this translation they would
be very welcome!

Göteborgs Tidningen, January 26th, 1967


Oxford Mail, Friday August 19th, 1977


Express and Star, Friday October 11th, 1961

Another photo Announcement of his death
Publicity shot
Express and Star Newspaper
Friday Jan 15th 1993.


Family Tree

The original of this family tree was created by Hugh Walters' nephew, Christopher John Branford. If there are any omissions or errors (which may have crept in when it was converted for the website) please contact me.

Family tree


Autograph Book

Walters' own autograph book. Noted SF author Nicolas Fisk is one of many famous autographs here:

Autograph Book


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