Molly Parkin (born Molly Noyle Thomas, 1932), is a Welsh painter, novelist and journalist, who became most famous for her work on Nova, newspapers and television in the 1960s.
Parkin was born in 1932, the second of two daughters, in Pontycymer in the Garw Valley, Glamorgan, Wales. She and her family moved to London to live with her grandparents when the Second World War began in 1939. Parkin passed her eleven plus exam and went to Willesden County Grammar School (now Capital City Academy). During the war, without her parents’ knowledge, at the age of 12 she worked on a paper round in Dollis Hill, London, in the evenings. She told her mother that she was studying art after-hours at school. Her grandfather saw her delivering papers, however, and reported this to her mother who prevented her from continuing with the job and punished her by making her do housework. After this she earned a little money from a Mr Hill, their lodger, who took pity on her and paid her to clean his room. She idolised Hill, whom she thought was a gentleman, and many years later saw similar characteristics in the actor James Robertson Justice. Later the family bought a tobacconist’s and newsagent shop, which employed four paperboys. When one of the paperboys was caught stealing money, her mother—needing to fill his shift quickly—made Parkin, then aged 14, do his paper round instead. On her first day, a car knocked her off her bicycle and she hit her head on the kerb. She was knocked unconscious, hospitalised, and spent about a year off school, convalescing. Parkin spent much of this period alone in her room above the shop, drawing and painting. This developed into an interest in the arts.