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Secret Passages

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Secret Passages

Postby Ali » 31 Oct 2005, 22:39

I seemed to spend a childhood dreaming about all the exciting secret passages, tunnels, and hiding places that children in Enid Blyton's stories used to find. Even as an adult it is a known fact in our family that I would like a house with a secret passage! Goodness knows what I imagine I would do with one but just knowing it was there would be nice - of course having one built is not the same as discovering one! :lol:

As for children dissapearing down wells etc I don't think I would be very calm if I thought my children were hanging down wells looking for secret tunnels, if fact they are positively banned from this :!: Of couse as an adult rather than thinking of these places as a great adventure I would be thinking more of the spiders and pitch blackness to be found in these places. What does everyone else think? Anyone lucky enough to have a secret passage on their property?
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Re: Secret Passages

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 01 Nov 2005, 06:16

It's always been a dream of mine to find a secret passage (my sister and I searched our house for one as children, even though we lived in a modern bungalow!) but, as an adult, I couldn't just plunge in recklessly with nothing more than a pocket torch. I'd be aware of the health risks for one thing - the possibility of rats, damp, mould, stale air, etc.

One of the most dangerous things that characters do in Blyton books is to swim through rocky underground passages that are completely filled with water, in the hope that they'll be able to come up for air in time :shock: . Pure madness! I recall that Mafumu and Jack do that in The Secret Mountain and then proceed to explore the underground chambers of the mountain, still in their sopping wet clothes (not that Mafumu wears many clothes). They must be freezing!

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Postby Ali » 01 Nov 2005, 20:44

Good Grief!!! I had forgotton about the underground caverns with water to the ceilings, I seem to remember as a child practicing holding my breath just in case I came accross such a cave, fortunately none in our area, although I know that I never would have dared try it. I read an Anthony Horowitz book a while ago in the Alex Rider series and the main character did that as well - I can only imagine that Anthony Horowitz has been reading Enid Blyton! Oh, and yes my children have been banned from swimming through areas where the water touches the ceiling LOL
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Secret passages

Postby Viv of Ginger Pop » 01 Nov 2005, 21:39

I am astonished at just how many varities of Secret Passage Blyton was able to get the Famous Five to explore.

Passages under the sea (that weren't waterlogged), passages between castle walls, caves, both at the sea and inland, railway tunnels...

They must have been an element in the stories that children said they enjoyed, and so she endeavoured to fit one in whenever she could! :D

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Postby Ali » 01 Nov 2005, 23:46

I am sure that children the world over like to think they have found a special place that adults don't know about, or perhaps the era the books were written it made children feel safe to think they had a means to escape or hide from the enemy/baddies; besides there is always the chance that you might find treasure in some long lost hidden place.
We do not live in an old house so no chance of finding hidden passages here, several years ago we talked about building a house and I was keen to have a secret something (room, passage) built into the house, alas the extra cost involved made my secret room just not viable and of course being an adult now even I could see how unpractical it was to build this feature into a house, besides we never did go ahead with a build but every now and again when we revisit the idea my 13 year old tells us how much she wants a secret room or passage in the house - the Blyton magic is working through the generations!
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Postby Guest » 06 Nov 2005, 23:54

Oh the memories, the flagstones I heaved up in relations gardens, the wood panelling I tapped, the cellars I searched!

I did actually find a 'secret passage' in my grandmother's garden - she lived in an old monastery for a period! There was a tunnel which lead to a local chapel. I was far too scared to explore with a torch in case it fell in on me. In real life you'd have to be very brave/foolhardy to venture into such a potentially dangerous situation.

A friend and I also found a bricked up passage in her cellar. Stephen, my friend, suggested we manufactured some explosive from rat poision and sugar and tried to blow up the bricked up arch. He was serious but fortunately I backed out at the last minute! EB would have had a lot to answer for had we been successful!

Recently I read Barbara Stoney's biography and was interested to hear about the house Enid used to stay at as a young woman. It had some sort of ancient gallery and secret passages, priest holes etc, I think.

It would be interesting to make a list of all the 'secret passages' in EB's books. I'll start if you like, from memory:

Famous Five

'Secret' cave - Five Run Away Together
Kirrin Farm - Five Go Adventuring Again
Kirrin Island - tunnel to cellars - book?
Tunnel under lighthouse - Five Go to Demon's Rocks
Spring - Five on a Secret Trail
Window Seat - Five Go to Smuggler's Top

Must be loads more!

Adventure Series

Fern fronded cave with access to waterfall - Valley
Rock pool with bizarre sunken handle in middle - Moutain
Secret Room with access to hillside - Castle


Anymore?
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Postby Bill Smugs » 11 Nov 2005, 22:31

My favourite was always the secret passage in "Five go adventuring again". This left a big impression on me as a child. No wardrobe would go unchecked - just in case!
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Secret passages

Postby booklover » 13 Nov 2005, 10:24

Guest said:

"I did actually find a 'secret passage' in my grandmother's garden - she lived in an old monastery for a period! There was a tunnel which lead to a local chapel."

Gosh, this sounds like Five on Finniston Farm! You should have kept going! You don't know what you might have found! :)

I absolutely love secret passages/tunnels! The more the better, I say! For this reason, two of my all-time favourites are:

The Island of Adventure - this has just about everything you could want: - a secret passage from the sea caves into the cellars under the children's house; an underground copper mine on the island; a well shaft on the mainland AND an undersea tunnel connecting the well to the mine! Fantastic!

The Secret of Spiggy Holes - this is also a double-whammy with a tunnel from the sea caves to the children's boarding house, and another secret passage inside the building's walls to the old house nearby.

I could go on but I know other people will no doubt have their favourites that they may wish to contribute.

I would add that Enid Blyton's ability to clearly describe events occurring in closed spaces (eg tunnels, passages etc), often in darkness, was one of her (many) great abilities as a writer. The children may be in the dark but the reader always has a wonderful awareness of what's happening.
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Postby Moonraker » 13 Nov 2005, 12:50

Anonymous wrote:I did actually find a 'secret passage' in my grandmother's garden - she lived in an old monastery for a period! There was a tunnel which lead to a local chapel. I was far too scared to explore with a torch in case it fell in on me. In real life you'd have to be very brave/foolhardy to venture into such a potentially dangerous situation.



I would most certainly have had to explore this tunnel - taking as much care as was practical, of course! Did you never explore it at a later date?
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Re: Secret passages

Postby Icecream342 » 01 Jan 2011, 19:28

In Five go off in a carravan, The children go into the big hill and find stolen goods and in five go to smuggler's top, There are tons of secret passages undernearth in the house.
We Really want to help Mrs Philpot
Five go to Finniston Farm


I am Icecream342 but everyone can call me Icey or popsicleCheck out my blog- the big big blog at; http://thebigbigblog.wordpress.com/
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Re: Secret passages

Postby Lucky Star » 01 Jan 2011, 20:28

So which is your favourite secret passage IceCream? :D
"If Hugo's treasure you would see, look for a door where none should be".
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Re: Secret Passages

Postby Viv of Ginger Pop » 12 Mar 2011, 08:43

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Re: Secret Passages

Postby Lucky Star » 12 Mar 2011, 11:07

"Built to avoid the staff"? Heaven forbid that the gentry should have had to see the great unwashed. :lol: :lol: What a great discovery, I bet there are simply hundreds of these passages dotted around the great houses and also under the former sites of great houses and castles.
"If Hugo's treasure you would see, look for a door where none should be".
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Re: Secret Passages

Postby Aussie Sue » 12 Mar 2011, 11:40

Thanks for this Viv, very exciting find, straight out of a blyton book. I must admit the various blyton characters finding secret passages/tunnels always had my heart pumping. It was of those things my girlfriend and I always hoped would happen to us but new it wouldn't.

Amazing how something like this take me straight back that time when at every chance I was curled up in the corner with an Enid Blyton book fantasising about some exciting different place.

cheers
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Re: Secret Passages

Postby pete9012S » 12 Mar 2011, 16:35

Viv of Ginger Pop wrote:Secret Passage found! :D

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-t ... l-12717639

Viv


That was a fantastic link...thanks for posting it here :D

I shall never,never forget our island,”said Nora.It’s the loveliest place in the world.Good-night, secret island! Wait for us till we come again!”Good-night, secret island!”


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