Previous letters pages can be found here. I wonder what today’s children would write if the magazine was still going? Or what 1954’s children would have written if they were in our situation.
Letters page from Volume 2, issue 10. May 12th – 25th 1954
1. A letter from Trevor Harper, Hulls Lane, Sandon, Essex.
Dear Enid Blyton,
I must thank you for my lovely Sunbeam badge. I have shown it to my school teachers and they think it is a very nice one. I have been saving my bus money and have been walking to school, so I am able to send you 6s. for the little blind children. We have a blind man who comes to our school to tune the piano.
Lots of love from,
(You have kind legs as well as a kind heart, Trevor. Well done!)
2. A letter from Pauling Roberts, 15 Tonbridge Road, Redditch, Stockport.
My dear Enid Blyton,
I am writing to tell you that I went to the Mayor’s Children’s Ball in Stockport Town Hall. It was a fancy-dress party, and I went as “Enid Blyton’s Magazine”. My Mummy dressed me up. I won First Prize, and I was thrilled, and i thought how nice it would be to tell you.
Lots of love from
(What a good idea, Pauline! I do wish I’d seen you walking into the hall dressed up as our magazine!)
3. A letter from Jane Bate, 305 Daventry Road, Cheylsmore, Coventry.
Dear Enid Blyton,
I have a very bad memory, and when any of my friends ask me what my F.F. Club number is, I can’t remember it. The other day I had an idea. I wrote my number on a very tiny piece of paper and stuck it on the back of my badge. Now when anyone asks me what my number is, all I have to do is look on the back of my badge.
With lots of love from
(I’ll pass on your good idea to our readers, Jane. Thank you!)
Another rare letter from a boy. I am entirely too cynical but it seems like the winning letter is always one which includes a donation to one of Blyton’s charities. Almost as if they’re buying their place as the weekly winner… (I’m sure they’re doing nothing of the sort, really, that’s just the random sort of thoughts I have sometimes.)
I really love the Enid Blyton’s Magazine costume idea. The first time I read that letter I only skimmed it and entirely missed the costume and wondered why she was writing to say she went to a party and won a prize… I wish I’d seen it too. I’m trying to imagine how it was constructed. Card, painted orange and then written on? Perhaps her face as the picture?
I’m a little baffled by Jane’s letter, though. How often did her F.F. club number come up in conversation? Did children really constantly ask each other what their number was?
Adorable! But are those letters real? I know magazines used to fake reader’s letters and it saved them having to pay out on prize money. Cynical, aren’t I…
I have read at least a few people’s comments here and elsewhere on the internet saying they once had their letter printed in the magazine.
I can believe that some magazines might use fake letters (especially on agony aunt columns) but it seems unlikely when Enid encouraged such honestly from her readers.
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Very true 🙂
I don’t think the letters are faked. For one thing, when I was a kid I enjoyed writing in to the letters pages of the comics and magazines I read — albeit that I never would have read one so obviously aimed at girls.
The other thing that makes me think the letters are real is how few boys were writing in. It suggests the magazine had very few male readers – something I can entirely believe in!
As far as Fiona’s main point goes, I actually do think that paying 6d was a cheap and effective means of ensuring that you got your letter in print. I would have happily done that. You can bet Enid was keen to encourage donations, and – if we assume the letters are real – it makes sense that she would want to encourage donations. No point trying to get the kids to enclose money with their letters if the letters are being faked!
It all points to the letters being real.
Regarding the costume, where the little girl went to a party wearing a costume based on the Enid Blyton magazine, I wouldn’t be surprised if her mother had done the obvious: taken the staples out of a copy of the magazine, cut it up, then sewn the individual pages onto the girl’s dress.
She would wear the dress, and thus literally would look like that issue of the magazine!
That actually sounds very plausible!
Numbers and playground status: if my membership of the “Man From UNCLE” club can be given in evidence, my guess would be that everyone would join the club, because no one in the playground would want to feel left out, and the kid with the lowest membership number – being the first to join and so also the one with the longest membership – would enjoy the highest status.
I hadn’t thought of the numbers Ben sequential but that would makes sense! I bet lots of playgrounds had someone going around saying they were member #001 but unable to prove it!