Letters to Enid 2: From volume 1 issue 11

Two weeks ago I posted the first ever letters page from Enid Blyton’s Magazine, and here’s the second one.

Letters page from Volume 1, issue 11. August 5th – 18th 1953



 1. A letter from Jean Shaw, 6, Motehill Road, Gallowhill, Paisley
Dear Enid Blyton,
The Queen came to my home-town on the 25th June. All the schools in Paisley were out to see her. I was in the very front row, so I got a very good view of her indeed. I cheered and cheered and cheered the Queen and the Prince. The Queen is simply lovely. She is far nicer than her pictures make her out. I wanted to run out into the road and into the car and kiss the Queen. Prince Philip was very handsome and ever so friendly. I had a queer feeling when the royal couple drove past. I was wildly excited. I would do anything to see the Queen and Prince Philip again.
Love from Jean Shaw.

2. A letter from Karin Smith, Farndale, Hepscott, Morpeth.
Dear Enid Blyton,
I am sending you my list of wild flowers. For the last two years I have collected and pressed them and stuck them in a book and labelled them. I have got 157 flowers and 14 grasses. We like reading your magazine very much, especially “Five Go Down to the Sea.” My two brothers and I (aged 7 and 12) each got a Coronation Bible and would like your special message to put inside them, if you still have some please. We are joining the I.B.R.A.
With best wishes,
from Karin Smith.

3. A letter from Sandra Knowles, a reader who has gone to live in a small island called Tobago.
My Dear Enid Blyton,
My many thanks for your postcard.
Tobago is a small island and is 27 miles long and 7 miles wide. So you can see by that it is small. Is is not far from Trinidad and only two special steamers go from Trinidad to Tobago. It is always sunny. We have nice flowers like hibiscus, queen of the flowers, gerberas, roses, forget-me-nots, celanders, and many, many others.
We have birds such as the keskadic, humming birds, birds of paradise, pelicans and kings of the woods. The fish we have are red fish, king fish, shark, barracuda, little jacks and sardines, and schoolmasters which have yellow stripes.
With love and best wishes,
Sandra L. Knowles.


And a bonus follow up letter (featured in the editor’s letter at the front) from Ian Stuart who won last week’s prize:

If you have got some books (quite a few are needed) why not start a small library among your friends? Have a rule card on which you print all rules, and a membership card. I would not let anyone join under eight years old, unless you can quite trust them. You can have a badge if you like – it needn’t be elaborate, just a plain one, say blue, with the initials of your library in yellow. When you lend books, lend them for just a week or two. If your members keep them longer than the last date, charge them ½d., 1d., or 2d. a week, and these charges can go into the library’s fund to buy a new book. If you have enough members you can choose a manager, secretary and president. I do hope you all think this is a good idea, and will start a library of your own.

Yours sincerely,
Manager of Mr. Turnip’s Library

While reading the first letter I thought it was probably just as well Jean didn’t launch herself into the queen’s car and kiss her.

I went to double check the spelling of keskadic as the font is small and the lighting wasn’t great as I typed this up. According to Google no such word exists. The nearest I could find is a kiskadee, native to Trinidad (but apparently not Tobago!). This is a curious mystery, as even if keskadic was a local spelling or nickname, you would think it would appear on the internet somewhere.

I also Googled to find out that the I.B.R.A is. After several unlikely suspects (including International Bee Research Association, Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency and International Barrel Racing Association) I figured that the B may well be for bible, and adding that to a search led me to the International Bible Reading Association.

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2 Responses to Letters to Enid 2: From volume 1 issue 11

  1. I believe that the bird you have come across is a misprint, due to someone trying to decipher the handwriting on a child’s letter to Enid Blyton. And that your best guess is likely correct: the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), common to Trinidad in the 1950s (and introduced to Tobago in 1970).


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