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Enid Blyton Society Day - 2006

Stella & Rose's Books were delighted to attend the Enid Blyton Society Day, held this year (2006) on May 13th at Lodden Hall, Twyford, Berkshire . For those Enid Blyton fans who were unable to attend, we hope that this article will give a flavour of the events of the day.

The doors opened for programme holders at 10:30 and there was opportunity for the first hour and a half to browse the thousands of Blyton books and related items displayed by the specialist booksellers.

The first talk of the day was given by Robert Tyndall, one of the original Noddy illustrators. Robert began to illustrate Noddy after Harmsen Van der Beek's untimely death in 1953. The first Noddy book Robert worked on, along with Peter Wienk, was the 9th in the series, Noddy and the Magic Rubber, published in 1954.

Robert explained how he had taken Beek's Noddy, a stiff wooden figure, and gradually given him much more movement and personality. We were delighted to watch Robert in action, sitting at his easel, working with pastels and bringing Noddy and his friends to life with deft strokes of colour. As well as the Noddy books Robert has also illustrated much of the Noddy merchandise that has been produced over the years.

Above Left: Illustrator Robert Tyndall with his daughter and granddaughters.

Lunch was next with more opportunity to browse the colourful stands, to talk with Robert, and to meet Enid Blyton's older daughter Gillian Baverstock. 

Gillian is Patron of the Society, along with her sisten, Imogen Smallwood and Enid 's biographer Barbara Stoney (Above Right)

After lunch another treat was in store for us. Marcus Harris, who played Julian in the Famous Five series produced by Southern TV in 1978, regaled us with the antics the children got up to during the filming of the programmes (Below Left).

We learnt that none of the main cast, Gary Russell (Dick), Jennifer Thanisch (Anne) and Michelle Gallagher (George), remain in the acting profession, although Gary Russell should be a familiar name to Doctor Who fans, having written a number of Dr Who books. A clip from one of the programmes was also shown, bringing back many happy memories for lots of us.

The final event of the day was the screening of the Danish film version of Five Go Adventuring Again. Luckily the dialogue was in English. One aspect that struck me as we watched was that the children ran, everywhere, all the time. Sadly we don't see too many children running around happily today, free as birds, so again it was a wonderful trip down memory lane.

The day was thoroughly enjoyable, very informative and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. Stella & Rose's Books were delighted to be able support this event and we look forward to the next meeting of the Enid Blyton Society in 2007!

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