In Memoriam: Dave Westaway – A Tribute by John Ridgway

Dave Westaway, a much respected British comics archivist, has passed. Photo courtesy Des Shaw/Spaceship Away

Dave Westaway, a much respected British comics archivist, has passed. Photo courtesy Des Shaw/Spaceship Away


We’re saddened to report the passing of Eagle afficianado and comic collector and archivist Dave Westaway, a name that may only be familiar to a few reading this but whose contributions to the work of various groups, preserving and promoting British comics and characters, has been a vital part of UK fandom for many years.

He was a key member of the All Devon Comic Collectors Club until 2011, dedicated to locating  and preserving good quality copies of British newspaper strips such as “Garth” and a keen collector of Eagle ephemera, including the sculpted Head of Christ created by the Dan Dare studios for Frank Hampson to draw Jesus for his Eagle, strip “The Road of Courage”.


Matt Marriott: The Empress Garters-1-BW

Matt Marriott: The Empress Garters-2-BW

Matt Marriott: The Empress Garters-1-Colour

Matt Marriott: The Empress Garters-2-Colour

Working with Dave Westaway, John Ridgway coloured these episodes of the famous “Matt Marriott” strip published in the London Evening News, written by Jim Edgar and drawn by Tony Weare


Artist John Ridgway has very kindly sent us the following tribute, along with some coloured “Matt Marriott” newspaper strips he created especially for Dave as part of their determined efforts to try and get them back in print…

I never met Dave face to face. We live at opposite ends of the country – he in a Devon I remember from sunny holidays as a child, me in rainy Manchester. He was a voice on the phone and we spoke quite often. He had been in ill health for a long time, having had a major surgery on his kidneys and dialysis treatment three times a week thereafter. He was sometimes down – but not for long.

Dave was a comics enthusiast – enthusiastically producing limited runs reprinting mainly newspaper strips – many of them long forgotten except for people like me. He sent me several “Garth” stories drawn by Frank Bellamy and Martin Asbury, “Matt Marriott” by Tony Weare, “Wes Slade” by George Stokes, “Romeo Brown” by Jim Holdaway, Geoff Campion’s “Jet Ace Logan”, David Wright’s “Carol Day“, Alfred Sindall’s “Tug Transom” (written by Julian Phipps and Peter O’Donnell) and he introduced me to Sydney Jordan’s “Earthspace” strips.

Dave kept their work alive, and when I look at those booklets Dave will, for me, still be alive in spirit.

The last time I spoke to him he was still hoping for a transplant, but he no-longer had the strength to carry on producing his booklets. I was going to phone him again before Christmas.

Now it is too late.

• Charity donations in Dave’s memory may be made to Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare or via Richard Gegg, Funeral Director, 47 Rolle St, Exmouth EX8 2RS. Tel: 01395 222444

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Newspaper Strips, downthetubes Comics News, Obituaries

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4 replies

  1. Sorry to hear this. I have a few of Dave’s ‘archive adventure’ comic reprint booklets which made accessible otherwise forgotten stories. They are a treasured part of my collection and its only thanks to Dave and his friends, I was able to experience them.

  2. John, thanks for alerting us to this sad, sad, news. He did so much to get our heritage newspaper strips preserved. I emailed him quite a few times and he kindly shared how he was doing and I was only thinking of him the other day – Christmas time is that sort of time! My sympathies and best wishes go to his family and friends, Norman

  3. Shocking news! I will always remember him fondly!

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