Julian’s News, prequel

For a long time now I have been interested in Enid Blyton fan-fiction, namely ones involving the Famous Five and Malory Towers. Sites sometimes have some distinctly non-Blyton fan fiction on them, but that’s not something I have a huge issue with (as you will see if you continue reading!) The problem I have with fan fiction is if the characters that have been written deviate too much from those in the original creation.

In this way, my own fan-fiction efforts were born. I decided to create a story and some short pieces based on Blyton, and I’ve tried to use her characters as they were written by her.

I have taken some liberties in this piece: Julian has grown-up, very un-Blyton like I know, and is off to university, the same university as Darrell and Sally are supposed to attend. There is a hint of romance in the air, again un-Blyton like, but I hope to have kept to the personalities of the characters.

So please, give it a chance, and let me know what you think of my little story!

(Just as a note, this is a St Andrews Story but it was written before The Mystery of the Missing Papers, and doesn’t fit into the canon which is then followed by all our other St Andrews Stories.)


Summary: Julian Kirrin is on a trip up to the University of St Andrews in Scotland to their open day just before school starts again in September. During his visit to the town and university he meets a very pretty young lady. So does St Andrew’s meet the standards of the Famous Five’s oldest member? Find out! One Shot. Famous Five and Malory Towers cross over.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Characters part of Enid Blyton’s imagination! The story line is my own however.

Julian Kirrin felt the bus jolt to a stop in the sleepy old town of St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland. The bus was full of final year students from various boarding schools all over the country who had made their way up to the small town to attend the open day for one of the oldest universities in Britain.

Julian and his parents had travelled up to Scotland by train the day before and were staying in the small town of Leuchars, a few miles from St Andrews. Julian was attending the open day on his own, promising his parents that if he liked it in St Andrew’s then he would return there with them the next day, so that they could look around and voice their thoughts.

On the bus Julian and realised that he had made the right choice: not many of the people visiting St Andrews had brought their parents. He was glad that he wasn’t going to stick out like a sore thumb. The bus from the university had been specially commissioned to collect the prospective students. Julian had bought his ticket from the driver and sat down on the bus behind two girls. One had lovely light-blonde hair that caught the light, whenever the sun shone on it, and the other had striking short dark hair with curls. They were chatting away animatedly as they waited for the bus to set off. Julian overheard them discussing their school in Cornwall, so guessed correctly that they were friends already.

The journey from Leuchars only took half an hour and the students were taken straight to the main reception to sign in and be grouped off for tours. Julian lost sight of the two girls who had been sitting in front of him on the bus. He was too busy being grouped with the boys who, like him, were interested in the science subjects most notably biology and physics. They were shown around the state-of-the-art laboratories and then the library and the boy’s dormitories on the other side of the town.

By the time it came to a break for lunch, before talks from the principle and lecturers, Julian was chatting amiably to some of the boys he had been grouped with and was finding himself very much at home amongst these like-minded people.

During the lunch break, however, Julian wandered out of the lunch hall to take a closer look at the buildings around him; his interest spiked by the history of the buildings and how old they were. If he was lucky there would be lots of secret tunnels to explore when he came up next year; if he was fortunate enough to pass his exams, that was.

He arrived outside the campus chapel, St Salvador’s, and stood outside looking at the craftsmanship of the building. He was so busy studying the gargoyles on the roof of the Chapel  that he didn’t notice anything else until  someone spoke.

“Nice looking place, isn’t it?”

Julian looked over his shoulder and spotted the blonde haired girl he had sat behind on the bus from Leuchars. She was alone, her friend must have been eating, thought Julian.

“Yes, certainly grand,” Julian said, turning around to talk to her. He stretched out his hand in greeting. “Julian Kirrin,” he said politely.

“Sally Hope,” the girl said, holding out her own hand to shake his. She smiled shyly at him. “I thought I recognised you from on the bus when you sat behind us. You’ve been in the paper haven’t you? I swear you have!” She laughed a little nervously, not usually so forthright.

Julian smiled a little, feeling a touch awkward.

“Once or twice,” he said carefully, a small laugh escaping his lips. “So what do you think of St Andrew’s then?” he asked, steering the conversation away from himself and his past adventures with his brother, sister and cousin.

“Oh, I like it,” Sally said, with a smile, flicking a strand of blonde hair back from her face. “It has character, just like my current school. I like that in a place. I think I could love it here; though that is hard to think of when I love where I am now, as much as I do.” She laughed a little. “I must sound like a frightful bore. I am sorry,” she said, with a smile.

‘She’s got a pretty smile,’ Julian thought, smiling back at her with warmth and charm.

“No, not at all,” he said aloud. “It is nice to hear other people’s thoughts. I think you’re right though. It is a place with character, a proper adventure town, with these old buildings and the sea, coves and caves,” he added. He had done his research before he had come up for the open day. This part of the coast had many tales of smugglers and ghosts connected with it.

“Most certainly,” Sally said in agreement. “I don’t think I could study anywhere in-land after my boarding school. We’re down in Cornwall, you see, right on a cliff, overlooking the sea and it is the most magnificent view. A wonderful blue in the summer and stormy and moody in the winter.” Sally smiled bashfully. “Darrell must have been rubbing off on me; I’m beginning to sound like a writer.”

“Who would Darrell be then?” Julian asked, feeling a little nosy.

“Oh, Darrell is my best friend – the girl I was sitting with on the bus. We’ve been at boarding school together for the last six years,” Sally explained. “She’s awfully decent and has such a way with words. She’s awfully modest about it, but she’s frightfully good at writing and creating stories. She wrote our form pantomime only last year; it brought the house down. I know she’d never say it herself, but I expect she’ll make an excellent writer one of these days.” There was pride in her voice as Sally spoke about her friend with great warmth.

“Sounds wonderful,” Julian said, with a genuine smile. “And your boarding school sounds like it’s in a jolly good place. I spend a lot of time by the sea as well. My cousin lives in Kirrin, by the sea. Perhaps you know it?”

“Kirrin, yes, I think that’s a little way up the coast from us in Cornwall,” Sally said, wrinkling her brow as she thought about it. “I think we go through the station where the connection to Kirrin starts when we head down to Cornwall on the train.” She smiled at him. “Most interesting that you should have the same name as the place your cousin lives in.”

Julian smiled at her and looked down at the floor bashfully.

“Yes, it is certainly rather odd,” he said, with a chuckle. He looked at his watch after a moment of companionable silence and noted that it was almost time to head back for the afternoon talks. He looked carefully at Sally, taking in her fair skin, bright blue eyes and blonde hair. She really was very pretty. He blushed when she caught him looking at her.

“Sorry,” he said bashfully. “I was just thinking how pretty you are. I didn’t mean to stare, that was rude of me.” He turned his head to look back up at the chapel and smiled ruefully to himself.

Sally felt herself blushing. She found herself staring at him as he looked away from her, apologising for his own bout of staring.

“You’re too kind,” she said softly, when he said that she was pretty. She didn’t really think herself as anything above plain. She had always been plain, polite little Sally Hope; Darrell was the vivacious one, full of life and sparkling. Sally had never considered herself to be pretty, but here was this boy she’d barely met saying that she was. The red blush in her cheeks flushed once more as she tore her eyes away from him in a mixture of thrill and embarrassment. She was thrilled that he could think that of her and embarrassed that she’d caught herself thinking that he was quite handsome as well.

She made a point of wrapping the scarf around her neck and the lower half of her face a little tighter, to try and hide the blush.

“Yes, it is a bit cold standing here, isn’t it?” Julian said, misinterpreting her blush as a reaction to the cold wind from off the sea. “Perhaps we should move back inside. It is almost time for the afternoon talks anyway.” There was a touch of reluctance in his voice, he was quite enjoying his quiet conversation with Sally. There was something about her that, he was beginning to realise, was attractive to him. She seemed very grounded and sensible, something he liked.

“Yes, I suppose we should. It’s a shame that there’s so much to cram into today,” Sally said briskly, although her voice was muffled by the scarf.

“Just a bit,” Julian said, with a warm smile. “Are you staying anywhere this evening, or are you heading back down to where-ever it is that you need to go, to get home?” he asked carefully. “I was just thinking that if you were staying somewhere around here, maybe we could go for a coffee after the talks and get to know each other a little better?”

They had started walking back towards the main campus block, where that afternoon’s talks were being held. Sally was glad that they had to watch where they were heading, because her cheeks had suddenly flamed bright red again.

“I wish I was, so very much,” Sally said reluctantly, as the wind buffeted around them, cold and crisp off the North Sea. “However, Darrell and I are booked on an overnight train from Edinburgh down to London, so we have to leave rather swiftly at the end of the talks. I mean, we’ll get the bus back to Leuchars with everyone, but we can’t hang around, unfortunately. I would have liked to have got to know you a bit better, Mr Kirrin. ”  She finished speaking just as they reached the front entrance. Julian gave a smile, which made Sally’s heart thump against her chest.

“Well, that will just have to be enough; knowing that if you’d had the time, we could have spent a little time talking, later,” he said, grinning.

Sally chuckled and linked her arm through his in a bold move for her.

“You’re a smooth talker, Julian, did you know that?” she asked, with a grin, freeing her face from the confines of her scarf and shaking her hair free. As she noted Darrell making a beeline for her, she gave his arm a squeeze and asked “Would you care to sit with us during the talks?” She didn’t want to move too far away from him right now. She felt oddly comfortable around him; there was something about him that made her feel like there was nothing to worry about and that this was right.

Julian smiled down at her and nodded at Darrell as she arrived at her friend’s shoulder. “I would be delighted to. That is as long as your friend doesn’t mind,” he added, with a smile at Darrell.

“What might I mind, Sally?” Darrell asked her friend. She smiled back at Julian.

“Oh, I’ve just asked Julian to sit with us during these talks,” Sally said a little bashfully. “I hope you don’t mind Darrell?  We’ve been having a most fabulous conversation, standing outside admiring St Salvador’s chapel.”

“Of course I don’t mind, whatever gave you the impression that I might mind?” Darrell asked, with a laugh. “You’re more than welcome to sit with us… Julian, wasn’t it?” Darrell asked, holding out her hand to shake.

Julian smiled and nodded. “Yes it was, Julian Kirrin,” he said, shaking her hand. “Thank you, Miss…”

“Rivers,” Darrell said, with a laugh. “Although, call me Darrell. I suspect that is how Sally’s referred to me, if at all,” she teased her friend. “And I sincerely doubt that you’ve been calling Sally, ‘Miss Hope’ for the last half an hour or so.” Darrell smiled easily and it made her incredibly easy to like. Julian smiled back at her.

“Good news all around then.” He nodded at the open double doors of the hall. “We should go and find some seats.” he said, standing back to let the girls head through first. Darrell took Sally’s arm and they walked through, both throwing Julian a smile as they did so.

As they found seats and made themselves comfortable, Darrell managed to say to Sally “He’s very nice; handsome too. I like him.”

Sally smiled at her friend as they sat down.   Julian, sat on one side of her, and Darrell on the other.  Sally felt Darrell squeeze her arm as silence fell around them and the talks began.

The talks were about the university, what they expected from their students, the fees and accommodation and were trying to give the students an overall idea as to life at St Andrews’ university. The audience was busy scribbling down the various pieces of information that they would need to consider. Towards the end of these talks there was a little talk from the president of the student body which didn’t have information that they had to write down so they could just listen.  Sally noticed Julian flipping to the back of his note book and scribbling something down on the paper. When he moved his hand, Sally could read the little note.

Can we write to each other?

Sally reached for the pad, and with her own pen wrote, ‘Yes! Of course!‘ and continued to scribble down her two addresses: her home address and the address for Malory Towers. She proffered her own pad to Julian, who took it and flipped to the back. He scribbled down his two addresses as well, smiling broadly.

Darrell had noticed the activity and she saw the page of Sally’s notebook, as Julian handed it back to her.  She grinned widely, rolled her eyes, and tried not to laugh at their impatience; in a few moments the talk would have finished anyway.

She raised her hand to her mouth and rested her hand against her lips to try and stop herself from laughing out loud. Sally looked at her in confusion. Darrell shook her head to tell Sally that it wasn’t worth it.

After the talks had finished, Darrell said to them both; “You couldn’t have waited to exchange addresses until we’d finished?” Julian shrugged good naturedly, with a small smile. “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said, with a grin. Darrell and Sally laughed a little.

“Time to go and get the bus then, I suppose,” Darrell said, with a sigh, her arm through Sally’s again. “Are you heading home today, Julian?” Darrell asked before Sally could.

“No, actually my parents and I are staying in Leuchars. They thought it would be a good idea to have a little break while we were up here, so we’ve been here a few days already. We’ll head down to Edinburgh tomorrow night, I think, and then down to London the day after,” Julian explained. “We were down here yesterday, on the golf course. I had a look around while they played a game.”

“I wish we’d thought to do something like that,” Sally said, before Darrell could speak. She was walking at Julian’s side, rather than her friend’s. She felt a strange connection with this boy; there was something about him that drew her in, and the idea that she wouldn’t see him again, possibly at all, was quietly distressing her. “It would have been nice to get a proper feeling for the place. Not that our little stop-over in Edinburgh wasn’t pleasant enough, but it would have been nice to spend a little more time in St Andrews where, touch wood, next September we will be living.”

“Well, I’d say that if St Andrews hasn’t sold itself to you by now, it may not be the university for you,” Julian said, with a wink,  giving her arm a squeeze.

Julian was sure that he wasn’t ready to leave her company. It was strange really; he was good at making friends and having instant connections with people, but this was different, deeper.

“I would say it’s done more than that,” Darrell said joining in. “I must say, the prospect of moving here is certainly making the idea of leaving Malory Towers feel easier.”

Sally nodded in agreement at her friend’s words, as they climbed on the bus that would take them back to Leuchars train station. The idea of having to leave Julian left Sally with an icy feeling in her chest.

Darrell wasn’t surprised when Sally sat quietly down next to Julian on the bus back. Julian did look a little shocked, but pleased as well. Darrell sat in front and was soon sitting next to one of the girls she had been in a group with earlier.   While she chatted away happily, Julian and Sally exchanged some quiet words.

“Thank you for your address,” Julian said, patting the pocket where his notebook was with a smile. Sally blushed again.

“Not at all, I look forward to receiving some letters from you,” she said quietly, laying her hand on his arm. Julian laid his hand over hers and gave it a squeeze.

“I shall do my best to make them worth your reading then,” Julian teased. “I also look forward to receiving letters from you. Of course, this term means an awful lot of work and hard slog, but I’m sure we could probably keep up a stream of correspondence.”

“I think we certainly might be able to,” Sally said, with a quiet laugh. She smiled up at him as the bus came to a jolt outside Leuchars. She sighed a little as they got off the bus.

People stood around for a while, saying their goodbyes to the friends they had made that day. Julian and Sally suddenly found themselves without anything to say.

Eventually Julian spoke. “It was lovely to meet you today, and I look forward to your letters. If you manage to write before next week, use my home address, it’s on the piece of paper.”

“Definitely lovely to meet you,” Sally agreed, with a smile. “And yes, I shall try and write soon! And if you manage to write, it’s my home address for another ten days or so, as well.”

Neither of them was going to say it, but they both felt that it was the beginning of something special.

“Well, here’s to a good hard slog of a year!” Julian said, squeezing her hand, having taken it to help her off the bus.

“Yes,” Sally said quietly. “See you next year?” she joked.

“Oh yes,” Julian said, with a grin. “You will definitely see me next year, Miss Hope,” he added, before leaning down and pressing a kiss to her cheek. Sally swallowed.

“Write soon,” she made him promise, as he reluctantly pulled back from her as Darrell swarmed forward.

“You too,” he said, with a grin. He nodded to Darrell and took a step back as everyone began to make their way to the platform. “Goodbye!” he called after them, arm raised in salutation.

“‘Bye!” Sally called, as Darrell steered her to the platform.

“He was very nice,” Darrell remarked, ten minutes later when they were on the train.

“Hmm? Oh yes, he was rather wasn’t he?” Sally asked, with a dreamy look in her eyes. Darrell chuckled and began to talk about St Andrews and her thoughts on it. Sally listened for a while, nodding and adding a small statement occasionally, but her thoughts were back in Leuchars with Julian, as the train hurtled through the grey Scottish countryside. Darrell gave up after a while and pulled a book out of her bag. Sally watched the world zip by for a little while longer, before pulling her writing pad out of her bag and began writing her first letter to Julian, a smile on her face.

Little did she know that Julian had just reached for his writing pad and pen, and had begun to write his first letter to Sally. He was feeling oddly serene since he had left her at the station, a smile on his lips. Later on that evening his parents would question the smile on his face. All he could say that was he had had a very good day.

Continued in chapter 1

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10 Responses to Julian’s News, prequel

  1. Aly says:

    I like it, it’s actually very “in character” and I felt happy for Sally.
    Do you know any other good EB-fanfictions?


  2. Aly says:

    Do you know any other good EB-fanfictions?


  3. Nigel Rowe says:

    A great story, Stef – can’t wait for “First Term at St Andrew’s”!


  4. I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading that 🙂


  5. Peter says:

    You make the same mistake that others have done, even the original author! In book 1, we learn that the fathers of these cousins are brothers, so have the same surname. But George’s mother was a Kirrin, so that can’t be their surname. In book 17 we find their surname is Barnard.

    I started reading the Famous Fine books in the 1950’s, and still enjoy those characters.


    • fiona says:

      Julian, Dick and Anne are also clearly referred to as Kirrins in other books, Stef and I (along with many other avid fans) consider ‘Barnard’ to be a mistake.


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