The Enid Blyton Society

Update for Enid Blyton Day

Did you attend the last event? Are you going to the next Day?

Postby Steve Alpe » 15 May 2006, 13:05

Just wanted to add my thanks to Tony, Norman, etc. for a great day. I hope I did not spoil any ones enjoyment when I was listening to the radio during Marcus speech - I did hear some of it. How I managed to keep quiet when the Hammers went one nil up let alone 2 I will never know (maybe it was because my partner had gagged me) - shame about the result but never mind.

Anyway back to the day. Re 'George' - Michelle Gallager' I believe that the Salvation Army will try to trace anyone, anywhere in the world - the cost is about £15. If the person does not want to be 'found' or has died. They will inform you accordingly.

Looking forward to next year.
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Postby puffin62 » 15 May 2006, 19:47

As Raci has said, I'm glad too you've deeply enjoyed this EB day :D

It seems it was a terrific event, you can sense that from your vivid descriptions! Thanks for sharing your memories with us, that is, the ones who could not be present... :(
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Postby Rob Houghton » 15 May 2006, 20:25

Another brilliant 'Day', which i and my three guests (new to the Enid Blyton day experience) thoroughly enjoyed.

Steve: I was sitting behind you during Marcus's talk and I did notice your excitement when the score altered...It didnt put us off one bit! We all thought Marcus's tales about the Famous Five were a deffinate highlight of the day.

We also enjoyed watching Robert Tyndale doing his sketching. It was a pity he wasn't throat-miked though, as it would have been nice to have heard his comments more clearly.

One of the best things about the EB Day for me was seeing all of those original manuscripts, typed with Enid's own hands and with written annotations. To see these was absolutely fantastic, and something perhaps that could be regularly on show on 'Days' to come.

A big congratulations to Tony, Norman, David C etc etc, all of whom helped to make it an enjoyable day.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)

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Postby noddy13 » 17 May 2006, 02:27

Hi there all,

To me, you are no longer names!

Ive managed to put faces to all of you, images worth travelling miles for... (which I guess I did).

For a few privileged hours, may 13th, Ive been fortunate enough to leave my adult life aside, and meet an army of juveniles, a few real, most voluntarily down from their perch of aged wisdom, and Ive discovered that on returning home a few minutes ago (yes just landed back), Ive lost a few years, and more than a few wrinkles.

Tony, you quiet, silent understated man, I have to tell you I heard nothing but universal praise for the way you have run the society selflessly, and conducted this particular day.

George, I can see what the Five mean to you.. and hope your book site goes up soon.

Viv (and your charming mother), thanks for the ginger beer, and I hope Dorset beckons someday.

Mike who made a journey as long as I did, the pub meet remains a vivid memory.

Moonraker, the pleasure likewise, but then I knew your face before I met you...\

Keith, well I can see I have lots of work to do. I think we had a really good dinner review, and I look forward to working with you.

Anita, what can I say. You are as charming as your knowledge is encompassing... an absolute pleasure.

Of course, Ive got to thank those who granted me the privilege of chatting with (some may say monopolising) Gillian.. those were cherished magical moments. And of course Barbara Stoney - as elegant a lady as her writing.

Yes Tony, Ive managed a few pix, and will send it as soon as my travel fog clears... the least I can do.

I managed to come away with the Tyndall illustrations, so if ever any of you want a glimpse, feel free to come to sunny India.
Marcus took away the mushroom however - I grant you, Marcus- some jealousy does exist ...

I hope that in the coming year, I manage to further my contacts with all you EB diehards, and to quote in adaptation - rather outrageously,I may add...

there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever EB!

Cheers all!
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Postby noddy13 » 17 May 2006, 02:29

Norman and David, you were the first I met there, thank you for everything..!
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Postby Lil_Miss_Sexc » 17 May 2006, 03:49

Hi i'm from australia so i obviously didn't attend but i was wondering if anyone could tell some of the stories that Marcus Harris told or anything interesting he said??
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Postby HeatherS » 17 May 2006, 04:12

:cry: :cry: :cry:

I'm so happy you all had such a wonderful day, but so sad I couldn't be there to meet you all. You've all convinced me that I have to try my bestest to get to England for a future Day! And thanks to everybody who's providing the lovely detailed descriptions - please keep them coming so I can at least try to imagine being there!

"Have you held your breath in wonder, at the sky so dark and deep?" - Enid Blyton
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 17 May 2006, 10:27

[Lil_Miss_Sexc:] "i was wondering if anyone could tell some of the stories that Marcus Harris told or anything interesting he said??"

Welcome to the Forum. Marcus Harris gave a very entertaining speech about his time as Julian. He told us how he and the others giggled over a line about a "big screw" in "Smuggler's Top," and how he enjoyed having the opportunity to hold a monkey and stroke an elephant's trunk in some of the stories. For some reason, he also found it thrilling to reverse in a bus in "Go Off in a Caravan," because that's not something one normally does.

The children weren't permitted to do their own stunts. In "Smuggler's Top," Michele Gallagher (George) was looking forward to throwing herself down a deep hole beneath a window-seat but she wasn't allowed. Instead it was done by a man of about her height and build. Apparently, Michele sulked over that (just as George herself would no doubt have done!)

In another episode, Marcus got sunburnt halfway through filming, much to the annoyance of the film crew, especially the lady responsible for continuity. To pay him back, the crew gave him an extra heavy rucksack to carry on his painfully sunburnt shoulders in one of the scenes!

Marcus said that, as an adult, his brother is much smaller than him and he puts that down to the fact that he and the rest of the cast dined on best steak and fresh fish at the hotel where they stayed during the first year of filming, while his brother was at home eating fish fingers! (During the second year of filming, they stayed at a farm which features in some episodes.)

Following his audition for the part of Julian, Marcus had a dream that he'd got the part. In his dream, he saw desks set out in rows and a clock on the wall. The next day, he was in the school hall where the desks were set out in rows for exams, and there was a clock on the wall just like in his dream. He rushed home excitedly after school to meet his agent in the drive, who told him that he was to be Julian!

On a sad note, Marcus told us that Michele Gallagher has not been in touch with any of the others for more than ten years now, and that there are rumours that she has passed away. On the other hand, he has also heard that she may be living in Germany where she has relatives. Let's hope that she is all right and that she will eventually get back in touch with her old friends.

Marcus now runs his own business, Gary Russell (Dick) is a writer and Jennifer Thanisch (Anne) is an RE teacher.

Last edited by Anita Bensoussane on 17 May 2006, 11:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 17 May 2006, 10:48

[Noddy13:] "For a few privileged hours, may 13th, Ive been fortunate enough to leave my adult life aside...Ive lost a few years, and more than a few wrinkles."

What a brilliant advert for the Enid Blyton Day!

[Noddy13:] "Tony, you quiet, silent understated man, I have to tell you I heard nothing but universal praise for the way you have run the society selflessly, and conducted this particular day."

What more can one possibly add?

Noddy13, I'm sure that everyone who met you was impressed by your enthusiasm and joy. There was no need to ask whether you were enjoying the day - it was obvious that you were having a ball!

Here's to next year! (Raises a glass of ginger-beer...)

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EB Day

Postby Tony Summerfield » 17 May 2006, 16:47

Wow!!! I'm speechless :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

I'm delighted you got home okay Prabhu (I can't call you noddy13 here as Robert Tyndall told us he pictured him as a naughty five year-old!) and I can only echo the words that someone else used earlier - 'What a Gent!'

In another post I have just congratulated our 1000th new member, and I will reiterate what I told you on Saturday, in that number you are our only Indian member and further more you are the only member that we have ever had from Asia - I hope this is something that we can put right as I know that this is one of the best selling areas of the world for Enid Blyton books.

I had a long phone conversation with Robert Tyndall yesterday and he was thrilled that you bought all his work (other than the one piece that Marcus Harris went away with). Both he and Marcus Harris, who has also been in touch, enjoyed the Day enormously.

Thank you for making the effort to come all that way, it is this sort of thing that makes the Day really special for me as the organiser.

Best wishes
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Postby noddy13 » 17 May 2006, 17:09

Firstly, Tony.. thanks a lot. At the risk of sounding spoilt rotten, EB day is probably the only place where I CAN act as a naughty 5 yr old... I hope Im permitted that liberty every time I walk in.

Im not sure whether to be glad or sad that Im the only Asian member..but Im definitely surprised. At another risk.. this time of sounding exclusive... I feel that rather than hard marketing, a society such as this should be discovered perhaps more by word of mouth or by accidental research... that means genuine EB lovers... rather than hardsell( this is contrary to my opinion at the Day) ! That may smack of a little more commercialism than this society deserves.

Im very happy to have picked up the Noddy illustrations... that may ofcourse prove that Im even more of a child than the rest of you... and if you are in touch with Robert Tyndall .. could you reassure him that I will be in communication very soon..?

Once again thanks for a great day.. Im eager to start contributing in a more comprehensive manner soon.. but for now, Im just happy that Ive made a few friends.. (hopefully). As I metioned to Anita, all I have to do is practice the Queen's English.. in the King's accent.
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Postby George@Kirrin » 17 May 2006, 19:59

Well, I'm finally getting round to writing my own reply about the day.

What was around a 500 mile round trip was possibly one of the most enjoyable days out I've had for a long long time. I drove home with an idiotic grin for most of the way, and remained in high spirits for the rest of the weekend and into this week (actually to be honest I think I'm still rather more jolly than usual)

Tony, it was lovely to meet you, and thank you so much for making me feel so welcome (I'd barely walked through the door, when I was whisked off to meek Anita "“ it was really super and made this nervous first timer feel at home straight away "“ my thanks)

Anita (and Hannah)"“ well, we've exchanged emails since "“ fantastic to meet you, what a lovely person you are, and I'm determined by next year to have you as dotty about the '78 version as myself! (If indeed that is possible!)

Viv, and Rosey, lovely to meet you, small world that we went to the same uni Viv, and it was great fun in the pub after. I'll hope to visit you if I get any leave this summer"¦

Keith "“ great to meet the master behind the forums and site. I hope to see you at another Blyton Day soon.

Moonraker "“ superb to meet you, lovely chap and I really enjoyed our chats. Shame you couldn't join us in the pub after, perhaps next year?

Noddy13 you've gone down in my book as an ultimate gent, was a delight to meet you and I hope I see you again next year.

Actually, I hope I see you all next year, (Marcus, included and hopefully more of that cast!) If I can get hold of a pantomime horse in time Clopper may well make an appearance!!!

Little surprise to you all that I loved the '78 input from Marcus, and my thanks once again to you Tony for whisking me off to meet him too (time will tell what he made of the mad woman in '78 T shirt"¦)

Of course - I must also mention how charming Gillian Baverstock was - a delightful lady, very approachable and enchanting. Made my day to meet her.

To all of you there who I didn't meet, well done, you did well to avoid the mad one, and to all that didn't make it I hope to terrorise you meet you next year :) Apologies to any people I've omitted "“ I've the cerebral capacity of a goldfish.

Take care to you all, my thanks to you all, and see you all next year :D
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Postby Moonraker » 18 May 2006, 17:50

It was a great pleasure to meet you too, George. I agree with all your comments on fellow members (thank you for your kind words about me! :oops: )

Yes, to me, Marcus' talk was the most interesting of all. I thought I preferred the 90s tv adaptations, as they were set in period. However, I've watched Smuggler's and Caravan, and they do have a certain charm. I think the actors are better - Anne is gorgeous!

Sorry I couldn't make the pub, I definitely will be available for extra-curricular activities next year (steady, boy)!

Like you, I am still on a high. What a grand lashing of Blytonyans we were.

I am proud to be a member.
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Update for Enid Blyton Day

Postby Viking Star » 20 May 2006, 20:31

As I wasn't able to attend the day (I was on holiday on my own Ship of Adventure) I am really grateful to read everyone's reports of the day.

In particular many thanks to Anita for taking the time to summarise Marcus' contribution.

Many thanks. :D
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Postby Keith Robinson » 26 May 2006, 23:33

I feel I'm a bit late writing this, a full 13 days after the Day itself, but since I didn't get home to the USA until the 23rd, and have had a lot to catch up on, it can't really be helped. But anyway...

I was staying at a hotel in Reading during the first week of my holiday in England, and since Twyford is just up the road from there I was able to check out the location of Loddon Hall beforehand. So I was there on Friday 12th May, snooping about, looking for secret passages into the place so I could hide in the rafters and eavesdrop on Tony while he prepared for the Day. Alas I found no secret passages at all, so resigned myself to just turning up on the Saturday like everyone else.

Saturday came at long last, and I drove into the car park in my dad's Skoda (just thought I'd mention that it really was my dad's car, and not mine, and certainly not one I chose to hire). My wife and two-year-old seemed oddly unexcited as we entered the building, but then again, my American wife had never even heard of Enid Blyton before I met her. So while I gasped with wonder at the array of Blyton books around the hall, she merely rolled her eyes and wandered off with Lily to the playing field outside, where she stayed until a friend of ours came by to pick her up as arranged. (Once she was gone, off shopping in Reading, I felt I could relax and enjoy myself without worrying about her being bored!)

The first familiar face/name I met was Tony. The Great Man Himself! One of the first things he did was to present me with his four illustrated bibs, a gift for the work I'd put into the EBS site. I was dumbstruck, and over the moon! Still am - the books are excellent, and a must for any Blyton fan. I had planned on buying them anyway, but now I don't need to. Tony also gave me a CD containing around 500 book cover images, and these will be on the site in the near future - so on the one hand a gift for the work I'd already done, and on the other hand a CD containing more work. Heh. Nicely done, Tony. ;)

Then I met Anita, who had her nose buried deep into the bookshelves, with daughter Hannah by her side. Anita was/is exactly as I imagined her, a delight to talk to. I've always been impressed with her infinite knowledge and excellent reviews/articles, so it was a struggle to refrain from bowing and grovelling at her feet. (She assured me she'd been practising a curtsey just in case I did bow.)

I bumped into Nigel next, and instantly saw that he was not the mad old duffer I thought he was. Well, maybe he is. Yes, on second thoughts, he really is. Maybe not "old" though - he's looking pretty youthful and cool for a 50-something-year-old! This must be the Blyton Effect in action.

I also met Noddy13 (Prabhu), Viv of Ginger Pop (and her mom Rosie), and of course George@Kirrin (Zoe). Prabhu is about as polite and gentlemanly as you can get, and one of those people who manages to integrate himself into everything that's going on without coming across as anything but a really nice guy who you're glad to have around. I think we were instant pals, and he's going to be doing some reviews for over the next few months (if I can drag him kicking and screaming into the age of computers).

Viv is a go-getter, a no-nonsense organizer and leader - and well she should be with all those tours of Corfe Castle. "Take a picture of this map I drew for the Round Robin," she demanded, and of course I hopped to it with a mumbled "Yessum, boss." But I don't take orders from just anyone. Viv is instantly likeable and makes a lot of sense, so I'm happy to obey. :)

And Zoe! What a nice, down-to-earth policewoman she is. Knowing full well that she could easily moderate this post, I'd better not mention that she asked Marcus Harris to sign her Famous Five t-shirt, and when Marcus asked where, she said, "Anywhere." My camera leapt to hand in an instant, and I swear Marcus went red. But, being the gent he is, he signed in a fairly respectable place. But I took a picture anyway, and will post it... if Zoe agrees, that is.

I met others too, and it was my great pleasure to talk to Gillian Baverstock (once I'd plucked up the courage to bother her with silly questions she'd probably been asked a million times already). But she was ever so friendly, as was Barbara Stoney, who'd actually heard of me via Tony. Imagine my delight! Barbara's new biography, a revised edition of the 70s version, should be available in paperback later this year, so I'm told. I believe she said November, all being well.

Lots more to talk about, but I don't want to ramble on too long, so that's all for now. Maybe I'll add some more comments about more general things on the website when I create the Enid Blyton Day page.

After the Day ended, a bunch of us went off to the pub to talk about the Round Robin... and then I dropped Anita and Hannah off at Twyford station and delivered Prabhu to his hotel. But Prabhu suggested a drink in the bar, so we chatted for another hour or so before I finally returned to my own hotel. Thanks for the drink, Prabhu, as well as the nachos and chips!
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