I’m one of those people who keeps everything. Old schoolwork? Check. Ticket stubs? Check. Programmes, leaflets, flyers, wedding favours…? check. Unsurprisingly some of those bits relate to Enid Blyton.
If you look for Enid Blyton ephemera on the internet you’ll probably see vintage postcards, greetings cards, autographed letters, and other things of some value.
The definition of ephemera is paper items which were meant to be briefly used and enjoyed and then discarded. For example you send a greetings card, the person reads it, perhaps displays it for a short time then discards it (hopefully into the recycling bin these days). Sometimes people do keep hold of these things though, and some of them can become collectible, as the majority of the items produced were discarded.
My collection is not at all valuable but they are things I can’t seem to throw away.
Places I’ve been
I’ve visited a few Blyton places in the past and I’ve always picked up any leaflets or fliers or booklets I could get my hands on.
First up – Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts, the Seven Stories Enid Blyton Exhibition from 2013. This was a free leaflet I picked up which has a few puzzles inside and a map of the exhibition space.
Then one of my favourite places in the world – Old Thatch. I must have picked up this one at Old Thatch itself, though you probably could have found it at Tourist Information stands and other visitor attractions in the area.
And another from Old Thatch, a map and some information about the gardens. (I actually have two of these, one from each of my visits, both entirely identical…)
Places Stef has been
While Stef has been to Seven Stories and Old Thatch she has also been places I haven’t and can always be relied upon to post me a leaflet or flier from places she has been.
Here is a flier for the Ginger-Pop Shop and Eileen Soper’s Illustrated Worlds, which are both sadly closed now.
Next up is another one from Corfe/Dorset, a Famous Five Adventure trail from 2012.
And an Enid Blyton Adventure Trail leaflet, Stef tells this was an Enid Blyton Society get-together where they had lunch at the Spade Oak and then visited Old Thatch after.
More Enid Blyton Society things
I’ve been a member since 2007 and yet I have bits of paper from the late 90s… this is because I’ve been buying the older journals and sometimes they still have the renewal slip inside.
This 1997 one is an advert for the Enid Blyton day – back when the Society was called the Literary Society, and before it was held at Loddon Hall. I wish I’d been able to attend this given the amazing line up, but I was only ten years old and I don’t think I would have really appreciated it back then.
Then the 1998 one is a joint advert and renewal slip. It was £3.50 for a two issue UK subscription back then, and is now £10 for 3 issues, proving the continued good value! I also like the sound of the 1998 line up for the Society Day, un-finalised as it is! It’s funny to me that this bit of paper that I’m treating as ephemera has a bit about Enid Blyton ephemera on sale on it.And here is the programme/ticket for the one day I did get to attend, which also happened to be the last day ever (nothing to do with my attending, I promise!). I was lucky to meet Imogen at this day and even spoke to her briefly, and got her autograph.
There’s only one of these actually, but I have several pieces relating to it. I saw The Bumper Blyton Improvised Adventure at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015.
I picked up a post card when I was there.
And a couple of leaflet/fliers.
And everything else
You’re probably wondering what other useless rubbish I’ve held on to…
Well, there’s the Secret Seven code cracker that went along with the books issued with MacDonald’s Happy Meals in 2014.
Some post cards featuring the Paul Child Band, Paul Child being the actor who played Dick in the 90s Famous Five TV series. Unfortunately the band seems to have broken up, I really enjoyed their debut album.
And lastly, one of the business cards for the blog that Stef and I designed, printed and cut out ourselves. Does ephemera even count if you’ve make it yourself?
I still enjoy looking through these now, whether or not I experienced the places or events that they refer to. What seemingly pointless things have you held on to?