Gosh, that’s an awful lot of Bs in the title! However Enid Blyton seemed to be all about the Bs. I mean she grew up in Beckenham, and lived with Hugh Pollock there for a couple of years when they married. Then she moved to Bourne End in Buckinghamshire, and then up the road a few miles to Beaconsfield.
Anyway on the 14th of June, Fiona and I deviated from what we had scheduled as our plans fell through. We decided that it was about time we ventured a little further into leafy Buckinghamshire, to Beaconsfield, on an excursion to see Blyton Close and then Bekonscot with the model of Green Hedges they have there.
To start with, we had the fun task of finding these places. I managed to find a post code for Blyton Close and Bekonscot. I know, how dreadful, not being a proper Find-Outer, Adventurer or Famous Fiver and looked it up on the map. If I’m honest, I didn’t want to burden Fiona with map reading, so decided that the sat nav would be our best bet to get us to Blyton Close.
So ready for an adventure off we trundled, and I don’t know about Fiona, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It didn’t take us long from Reading to get to Blyton Close, even though I missed the turning for it the first time, and we ended up looping around the back of the cul-de-sac, back towards the centre of Beaconsfield. The second time I was more prepared and pulled in only to find that there was nowhere to park. So, leaving the motor running, we rushed out and snapped a few pictures of the close, and the sign.
It’s a real shame that Green Hedges isn’t there anymore, as I’m sure by the pictures I’ve seen it would have fitted right into the surroundings of Beaconsfield. All that’s left of the Blyton legacy is this road sign and the replica of Green Hedges in Bekonscot’s model village.
After a quick glance around the close to make sure that we hadn’t missed anything, we drove off, back the way we had come for the two-minute drive to Bekonscot. Luckily if you’re planning to visit the church opposite operates free parking for Bekonscot visitors always something to bear in mind!
Bekonscot is a very charming model village, full of ponds and fish, and model trains that run around the tracks. It’s got lots of little village scenes, including a model of the church down the road. There are such delights as moving cable cars, a house that “catches fire,” a circus (a reference to Circus of Adventure if ever I saw one!) and a tiny zoo.
It is a lovely place to visit, and I’m glad we did, although the highlight for me was seeing the mock-up of Green Hedges and looking closely at what had been put in the “garden” for Green Hedges which included a miniature Enid complete with typewriter and dog, and a swimming pool, and a pond with miniature Famous Five figures searching for treasure with a treasure map.
For any Blyton fan, I’m sure this is the jewel in the crown of Bekonscot. I’m afraid that Fiona and I are divided on this one, where as I enjoyed seeing the representation of Green Hedges, I definitely wasn’t as enamoured with the rest of the miniatures as Fiona was, who “thought it was pretty great, really impressive […but then I really love tiny versions of things.]”
I on the other hand was definitely getting bored by the end of the winding pathways around the models. I think if I had been when I was younger or we had had children with us, I would have maybe been able to enjoy it more for myself. Its not something I would do again on my own, unlike walking at Bourne End.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I went, but I shan’t be hurrying back charming though it was.
So after we visited the gift shop (a rather well chosen old railway carriage, sunk into the concrete) and purchased a little book that contained Enid Blyton’s description of Bekonscot, we headed back to the car, only to make one more stop on that sunny day.
As Bourne End was on our way home, we decided that as the weather was nice that we could go and sit by the river for a short while. We took the detour and wandered down to the river and parked ourselves on a bench (that became a weekend favourite) while Fiona, hit by the muse to write, scribbled down prose like a champion while I wandered about taking photographs of the birds on the river, dragon flies and some pretty neat flowers.
Anyway, after the sun started going down, we headed back to the car, and back home to get ready for our trip to Beckenham the next morning!
But what a Blyton day to have! Even the weather seemed to celebrate the importance of a Blyton inspired day as the sun beat down. You really could have been in the middle of anyone of her novels (with the exception of the winter books).
So anyway, we were in Blyton Mecca in a way on the 14th June, and lucky with the weather to boot.
If you haven’t seen Bekonscot, it is worth going to see (despite what I think!) because it is impressive, and Bourne End is not too far away!
I shall leave you with some pictures of the day, and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!