Recently someone commented on the blog asking how they might find a letter they had written to Enid Blyton many years before. It had been published in Enid Blyton’s magazine in the mid-fifties. I checked all of the copies I had from that period and unfortunately didn’t have any luck, but it got me thinking. How many other people are out there who wrote to Enid and had their letter published? Do they still have a copy of the magazine it was in, or was it lost or throw away when they grew up? Did they perhaps miss an issue because they were on holiday or the newsagents was sold out, and then never saw their letter in print?
I guess I’ll never know, but what I plan to do it upload all of the letters pages I have so that there is an online record of as many letters as possible, in the hope that people may spot their own letter, or that of a relative.
The person searching for their letter was a Christopher Black from South Africa, so if anyone reading this has a letter with that name in a mid 50s Enid Blyton Magazine, please let me know!
Letters page from Volume 1, issue 10. July 22nd – August 4th 1953
This is the very first letters page in Enid Blyton’s Magazine.
In volume 1 issue 9, Blyton says in her news sheet:
I wonder, children, if you would like a page of letters each time – letters you have sent in, I mean? Some of you really do write such interesting ones, and I could quote them on a Letter-Page, if we had one – and I could give a prize to a good letter every time. I don’t mean this to be a competition, but I thought I would just pick out a few of the more interesting letters sent in in the ordinary way. Would you like that?
They must have said yes, as the first one appeared in the next issue on page 35.
OUR LETTER PAGE
- A letter from Ian David Stuart, 142 Canterbury Avenue Avenue, Slough.
Dear Enid Blyton,
I would like to tell you about our Club, called Mr. Turnip’s Library. I have about nine members. I have some 190 books, 40 of them yours. My Club members like to read stories of “The Famous Five” best, and the “Galliano Circus” books second. My members range from the age of 8 to 10. All our members enjoy your magazine. We are making a volume up of all your magazines. Won’t it be a big one when it’s finished? I do hope you will become a patron of our library as we like your books best in the world.
Ian David Stuart,
With his letter David sent the particulars of membership of his library, the badge, the rules and everything, all done most beautifully. The motto of the library is “Read Books Daily”. What a good motto! I expect we all agree to that.
2. Extract from a letter written to me by Joy Steele and Susan Arthur, of Paignton.
Dear Enid Blyton,
My friend and I write a magazine which we call Fortnightly Special. In it we have Nature Corner Pets, Puzzle Page, an adventure serial, a second serial and a different short story. We charge ½d to read it and get about 8d a fortnight. With this money we buy prizes for the competitions.
Isn’t that a good idea, children?
3. Extract from Peter Brown’s letter, aged 6 (Plymouth).
I can read. I read to my little brother. He wants a Noddy story. I want a Pink-Whistle. Do you know any more?
Love from Peter.
On the newsheet for issue 10 is another mention of the letters page:
Your have said that you think this is a very good idea, so I will put extracts from three good letters on our new Letter-Page this week. The top letter gets my prize! All are very good and interesting.#
I really enjoyed these letters. It takes me back to my childhood, I was always forming clubs and coming up with ideas to write a magazine or a book or a play. I never got very far with any of them, because the next fun idea would come along. I do think that perhaps this blog is the grown-up equivalent of my childish attempts to pen a magazine, though!