Well I've just got home from another superb EBS Day. The sun came out and shone for the first time in about two weeks as if it too was excited by the coming events. I arrived in Lodden Hall about 11 o clock and promptly met Anita, Eddie, Chick and Daisy. We soon fell into conversation and then I quickly met Lenoir and Julie also. It was wonderful to see all the familiar faces again in that marvellous setting.
I took a browse around the bookstalls which were filled to bursting with hundreds of old, rare, beautiful books and memorabilia. We were soon all absorbed in browsing, indeed several stalls had almost got queues formed at them.
At 12 Norman Wright called us to sit down and welcomed us. The first speaker was Sarah Lawrence from the Seven Stories organisation who gave us a fascinating overview of what Seven Stories does and then got onto an in depth discussion of the Blyton archive that they recently acquired. This was accompanied by some mouthwatering pictures of old manuscripts etc and everyone was most enthused when she told us of the new Blyton exhibition they have planned for 2013.
Next up was Jon Appleton from Hodder who have just taken over the Enid Blyton brand from Chorion. He was very positive and upbeat about the future of Enid's catalogue and, as Pam Alley was to say later, I think it is probably in good hands.
Lunch break followed and more chattinmg and browsing. I bought a couple of nice books and a couple of Tony's reprinted booklets and saw some brisk business going on around the stalls. Then Georgina Hargreaves got up and entertained us with a wonderful presentation of drawings and anecdotes from her long career as an illustrator. She was truly funny and a great success. A final book browse and then Pam Alley got up to give us a fascinating journey through the history of Darrell Waters PLC, Enid BLyton LTD and Chorion. The history of the business side of the Blyton world. Pam has probably forgotten more than the average Blyton fan will ever know about those days and it was great to hear such a personal story.
As always it seemed that the day was over almost before it had begun. The hall was quickly cleared and then we piled into cars to head off to the picnic. We arrived at Dinton Pastures and found ourselves a wonderful spot to lay out a spread that the Famous Five themselves would have had trouble demolishing. Sausages, pies, sandwiches, cakes, macaroons, jam tarts, biscuits, crisps.... you name it, it was there. And yes, it was all washed down with lashings of ginger beer. Many thanks to Eddie and Chick for giving me a lift there and back. In the car we briefly abandoned Blyton for a good old Rock n Roll discussion and I have a great new CD to listen to courtesy of Eddie.
It was great to see many old friends including Anita, Tony, Eddie and Chick, Nigel and Jane, Julie and Stephen, Viv and Rosie, Wolfgang, Sue Webster, Pippa Stef, Zoe, Daisy, David Cook and Shadow and to meet great new friends like Lenoir, 7up, Fiona, Katherine, Francis, Sally and Faraway Tree. I've probably forgotten several people; my apologies if so. It was all such a whirlwind of faces and chats.
Special thanks as ever go to Tony for his superb organising of the whole event. It ran as smoothly as it always does, the speakers were varied and interesting, the atmosphere was jolly and lighthearted and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It is a rare gift to be able to make so many people come from so far away and all to have a wonderful time and it was much appreciated by all.
There will no doubt be loads more reports coming in soon. I look forward to seeing them all tomorrow.