The adventures of Sir Harvey Helicopter, the Whirling Detective, and his Assistant, Single-Rotor Samson

Adventure 1: Sir Harvey Goes Fishing

Jim completed four Sir Harvey Helicopter stories. He had plans for others but they were never written. He wrote them for children aged between 6 and 8 years old and he envisaged them published as illustrated books rather like the Rev Awdry's "Thomas the Tank Engine" stories. He wrote: "Revised from fairy tales to more modern version May 1968." The early fairy stories have not survived. This is the first story: Sir Harvey Goes Fishing.

Sir Harvey Helicopter - the whirling detective - sat with his Lady Hilda high up in the heliport garden - a lovely land of red roses on the tallest building in Big City.

Sir Harvey twizzled his monster moustache and sipped his favourite drink: strong tea with four lumps! Lady Hilda was knitting. His friend, Single Rotor Samson, sat at the sky-radio, waiting for news from the Wide Wide World. Sudden crackling on the sky-radio made Samson leap from his pad. It was Big-Whiskers Edward - Chief of Police in Big City Below. As usual, he sounded very excited and, as usual, he got very mixed up.

'Big Edward calling,' he said. 'Big Edward calling Sir Helly Harvey-Copter,' he spluttered, 'I mean Sir Harvey Helicopter.'

'He does sound excited,' said Samson.

Big Edward went on, spluttering through his whiskers. 'A strange person has captured our sky-friend Kenneth Kite. He has been taken to Black River.'

Before Big Edward had finished spluttering through his nest of whiskers, there was a honking made by a flock of geese.

'You honky old geese - you've spoiled the message,' shouted Samson.

'Calm, Samson,' said Sir Harvey. 'There's no use in shouting at silly honky geese. We must do something.'

He waved goodbye to Lady Hilda Helicopter and whirled off into the afternoon sky. Single Rotor Samson whirled off after him.

Now, as all the heavens know, helicopters are friendly with every creature in the sky - with aeroplanes, balloons, kites, jets, clouds and birds, even with fog and mist. You wouldn't think that fog and mist would be friendly, would you?

Soon Sir Harvey caught up with the honking geese.

'Good afternoon, geese,' he called.

The geese stopped their honking. 'Good afternoon whirling friend and wizard,' honked Leader Goose.

They liked Sir Harvey and were always ready to have a chatty honk with him. But Sir Harvey was very serious today.

'Kenneth Kite has been kidnapped by a strange person and taken to Black River. Can you help me find him?'

'Not today,' honked the goose. 'It's spring and we're off to the Northlands, but Freddy Fog might help you. He's been hanging around the river all day.' Sir Harvey found Freddy floating gently over Black River.

'Are you hiding a strange person in one of your foggy pockets?' asked Sir Harvey.

'No,' said Freddie, 'but there's a strange fish in Grey Harbour.'

'Interesting,' said Sir Harvey twizzling his moustaches. 'Now please do me a favour and roll your fog away from Grey Harbour so that I can examine this unusual fish.

Immediately Freddy lifted the fog and let Jaffa Sun do some shining. The sky became blue. Sir Harvey could see the peculiar fish, right in the middle of Grey Harbour.

'It's a whale,' said Single Rotor Samson.

'You're whirling to silly conclusions again,' said Sir Harvey. 'I think it's a submarine.'

'By all the thunder in the Wide Wide World, you're right!' said Samson.

'We must stop it,' said Sir Harvey. 'It's moving out to sea; perhaps Kenneth Kite is in it.'

'But how can we stop it?' asked Samson, looking puzzled as usual. Sir Harvey, the whirling wizard, was always being asked to solve great sky-crimes. He began to think.

Whenever he was thinking, he hovered; his great rotor blades moving round slowly. After a few minutes hovering, he twizzled his moustache and said quickly, 'The answer is, if it's a peculiar fish we'll fish it out.' Samson looked puzzled again.

'Oh do stop looking puzzled Samson,' he said, 'do me a job instead. Ask all our sky-friends, especially the balloons and kites, to come to Grey Harbour immediately.

Samson scratched his rotor blades and whirled off, still looking puzzled. Sir Harvey flew to Super Store where he bought rope and magnets.

When the kites and balloons had gathered over Grey Harbour, he tied ropes to them and at the end of each rope dangled a magnet. Sir Harvey directed them over the submarine. The magnets stuck to it and, with a big heave, the submarine was lifted out of Black River.

What a sight - a submarine dangling in the air! Sir Harvey peered in through the small round windows. Inside he could see Kenneth tied to a chair. There was someone else - who was it? Sir Harvey hovered, thinking very hard. At last he remembered. It was Kerry the Kidnapper, from Bally Big.

When Kenneth was safe he threw a party in Sir Harvey's rose garden at the heliport.

'Friends,' he said to all the people whom he had invited, 'you will never believe me. I went to sea in a submarine and saw birds flying past the portholes.'

The sky-people, who are a laughing lot, laughed and laughed.

'I never knew that I was being rescued by Sir Harvey,' said Kenneth.

'Three cheers for the whirling wizard,' shouted the sky-people.

But Sir Harvey had gone; whirled off to another adventure. He had just received another excited message from Big-Whiskers Edward in Big City Below....


L. J. Hyde