Beachcomber (J.B. Morton)

"By the way"

In 1924, when J. B. Morton took over authorship of the "By the way" column in the Daily Express, he inherited the pseudonym "Beachcomber".

He continued to write this column for over fifty years until its demise in November 1975. The "By the way" column appeared six times a week until 1965 when it became weekly.

Over the years J.B. Morton created several regular characters, some of whom caricatured public figures of the day, for his column. A few of these characters have, like Sherlock Holmes, become more famous than their creator.

Regular characters included Dr. Strabismus (whom God preserve) of Utrecht, Dr. Smart-Allick of Narkover School, Captain Foulenough and the interfering pest Prodnose.

Several items poked fun at the legal profession, and he created for this purpose Mr Justice Cocklecarrot whose legal career was plagued by a number of red-bearded dwarves. One of these dwarves was given the name "Churm Rincewind".

Eighteen books of selections from the "By the way" column were published and J.B. Morton still found time to write another twenty-nine books on a variety of subjects.

John Bingham Morton died in 1979.

The Daily Express has recently revived the "By the way" column and with it the name "Beachcomber".

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