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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Web Page 930

First Picture: The good old Secret Seven

Second Picture: Now girls who remembers wearing clothes like these?

New member today; welcome to Joy Coots.

Lashings of Lemonade.

I expect that you like myself and Pam were all brought up on the stories of Enid Blyton. I know when i was very young I could not wait for the the next Noddy Book to come out and we could go off to the bookshop in Cosham to buy it. I think that during mmy infant and junior school days I must have collected the whole set. At that period of time no one worried that the names Big Ears and Golly were not PC correct we just enjoyed the books.

After Noddy we then progressed onto the Famous Five and then the Secret Seven to us they were just jolly good tales and adventures with ‘lashings of ginger beer and biscuits’.To us there was no threat in the books, this was generated later as the PC world took hold.

However until the television play starring Helena Bonham Carter in 2009, I did not realise what an unusual character she was. She was born on 11 August 1897 in East Dulwich the eldest child of Thomas Carey Blyton, a salesman of cutlery, and his wife, Theresa Mary Harrison. She had two younger brothers, Hanly and Carey who were born after the family had moved to Beckenham, at schoolshe excelled at her leaving as head girl. She enjoyed physical activities along with some academic work, but not maths. She was also a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher. She taught for five years writing in her spare time. Her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. In2August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Pollock the editor of the book department in the publishing firm which published two of her books that year. The couple moved to Beaconsfield to a house named Green Hedges by Enid Blyton's readers following a competition in Sunny Stories. They had two children Gillian who died in 2007 and Imogen.

By 1939 her marriage was in difficulties. In 1941 she met Kenneth Darrell Waters a London surgeon. After each had divorced, they married 20 October 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Major Pollock remarried and had little contact with his daughters thereafter. Blyton's second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor's wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges.

Her husband died in 1967. During the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimers she was moved into a nursing home three months before her death on 28 November 1968, aged 71.

The truuth then came out as her daughter Imogen was quoted as saying "The truth is Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her."
During her lifetime Enid Blyton wrote hundreds of books for young and older children: novels, story collections and some non-fiction. She also filled a large number of magazine pages, particularly the long-running Sunny Stories which were immensely popular among younger children. An estimate puts her total book publication at around 800 titles, not including decades of magazine writing It is said that at one point in her career she regularly produced 10,000 words a day. Such prolific output led many to believe that some of her work was ghost-written Yet, no ghost writers have ever come forward. She used a pseudonym Mary Pollock for a few titles. She also wrote numerous books on nature and Biblical themes.

Her books often mirrored our childhood fantasy’s when we were free to play and explore without adult interference. Adult characters are usually either authority figures (such as policemen, teachers, or parents) or adversaries to be conquered by the children. Her books are generally split into three types. One involves ordinary children in extraordinary situations, having adventures, solving crimes, or otherwise finding themselves in unusual circumstances, eg the Famous Five and Secret Seven, and the Adventure series. The second and more conventional type is the boarding school story, the plots of these have more emphasis on the day-to-day life at school, the world of the midnight feast and the practical jokes eg the Malory Towers stories, the St Clare's series, and the Naughtiest Girl books.
The third type is the fantastical. Children are typically transported into a magical world in which they meet fairies, goblins and elves or other fantasy creatures. lternatively, in many of her short stories, toys are shown to come alive when humans are not around.

Her status as a bestselling author is in spite of disapproval of her works which has led to altered reprints of the books and withdrawals or “bans” from libraries. In the 1990s, Chorion, the owners of Blyton's works, edited her books to remove passages that were deemed racist or sexist.

It was frequently reported (in the 1950s and also from the 1980s onwards) that various children's libraries removed some of her works from the shelves. The history of such "Blyton bans" is confused. There is however no evidence that her books' popularity ever suffered. She was defended by populist journalists, and others. Her response is said to be that she was not interested in the views of critics aged over 12.

In November 2009 it was revealed that the BBC had a longstanding ban on dramatising her books on the radio from the 1930s to the 1950s. Letters and memos from the BBC Archive show that producers and executives at that time described her as a "tenacious second-rater" who wrote "stilted and longwinded" books which were not suitable to be broadcast. She tried to get her work on the radio in 1940, but was again turned down, on the grounds that the stories were not good enough. Eventually, in 1954, her works appeared on air for the first time.

Her books are very much of their time, our time particularly the titles published in the 1950s. Some have suggested the depictions of boys and girls in her books was sexist. For example, a 2005 Guardian article suggested that the Famous Five depicts a power struggle between Julian, Dick and George (Georgina), with the female characters either acting like boys or being heavily put-upon. To me they were just jolly good reads!!!!

Stay in touch,



You Write:
Steve Writes:

Ref: Where in Portsmouth is the picture on the side bar. It looks like Albert Road facing east just beyond the Kings Theatre Southsea.

Masefield was Green as that was my House.

Also a big thanks for reminding me of my past, I left Manor Court over 41 years ago so is its good to remember.

Do you remember David Baker Science Teacher and Mr Tregus English teacher he was my first form teacher at Manor court in the 60s, I can vividly remember old Hodgy the Maths teacher he was a bit keen with the cane.

I sometimes go past the old school when I pay my odd visit back to Portsmouth it has not changed to much just the name, who's idea was it to change to Springfield ???

John adds:

I believe the road may be ALBERT Road in Southsea, If you stand to the left side of the entrance to the Kings Theatre and face east the road does bend at this point. The shops and area does strike a cord with me, but I may be wrong.

I worked at an old family Butchers called MARCHMENTS when I was a lad who were on Albert Road opposite the old Southsea Police Station now long gone, and I also worked as a Traffic Warden at the old nick.

I also believe that MARCHMENTS had a shop in the Drayton area

News and Views:

Keith Fordyce The easy-going host of Ready Steady Go!, which started in 1963 died Devon 15 March 2011. Keith Fordyce Marriott – he was to drop his surname as a professional broadcaster – was born in Lincoln on in 1928. In the forces, he worked as an announcer and producer for the Forces Broadcasting Service, where his commanding officer was Cliff Michelmore.He gained a wide experience in presenting record programmes, which he put to good use in civilian life. After the forces, he studied for a law degree and was president of the University Law Society during 1951-52. On getting his degree, he worked as a football commentator for BBC TV, his first broadcast being on 22 November 1952. He presented Housewives' Choice, for a week in August 1955, and fought a municipal election for the Conservatives and won a seat on Wimbledon Council, but he was to move to Radio Luxembourg as a staff announcer. He presented their weekly Top Twenty programme and stayed with the station for three years. He wrote for New Musical Express and two records by unknowns that he correctly tipped for No 1 were "Diana" by Paul Anka in 1957 and "When" by the Kalin Twins the following year. In 1960, he compared Wham! which featured Billy Fury, Little Tony and Dickie Pride. That was short-lived but he became the original host for Thank Your Lucky Stars and the Sunday morning radio show, Easy Beat. In April 1963 he interviewed the Beatles on the BBC's Pop Inn.

In August 1963 he hosted the first edition of Ready Steady Go! with Cathy McGowan and Michael Aldred. Through the 1960s and '70s, he hosted variety shows and quizzes on television and radio including Come Dancing and Miss World. In 1979, he was the first presenter of Radio 2's Sounds Of The Sixties and on the same day, he presented the quiz show, Beat The Record. During the 1980s, he followed another passion by running the Torbay Aircraft Museum in Paignton. He broadcast locally on Radio Solent and Radio Devon. He wanted to broadcast until he died but he developed Alzheimer's and was forced to retire. He leaves four children.

On this day 17th April 1960-1965.

On 17/04/1960 the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 17/04/1961
the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Budget (All Channels) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Bay of Pigs landings in Cuba.

On 17/04/1962
the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 17/04/1963
the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 17/04/1964
the number one single was Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was The Budget (All Channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Shea Stadium opens in New York.

On 17/04/1965
the number one single was The Minute You're Gone - Cliff Richard and the number one album was Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

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