The Famous Five’s other companions


Recently I wrote about the Famous Five’s sidekicks, but I didn’t include every child they met on their adventures. There were several who, although they either appeared in a significant chunk of the book, or contributed to the adventure, for one reason or another weren’t accepted as a friend of the group. Or some were accepted but failed to contribute to the adventure. Here are those children.


 

The accepted but not-so-useful

Berta Wright

Although George doesn’t really accept Berta the others do, and she becomes one of the group for a time at Kirrin in Five Have Plenty of Fun. She consents to being disguised as a boy and gives a convincing performance but she doesn’t contribute in any way to the rescue of George, in fact she’s shipped off to stay somewhere else.

Marybelle Lenoir

Sooty’s little sister is ages with Anne, but is even less adventurous. She spends lots time with the Five while they stay at Smuggler’s Top and they enjoy each others’ company, and she even accompanies them on their various underground jaunts. However, she is extremely quiet and shy and has little to contribute to the adventure, not even navigating the catacombs under her own house.


The not accepted but useful

Aily

Given that Aily is much younger than the Five, and also speaks very little English it’s hardly surprising that she doesn’t join the Five in the same way as say, Nobby or Sooty does. However she does spend some time with them during Five Get Into a Fix. She brings the notes thrown by Mrs Thomas to their attention, even if she has no idea of their significance, and then leads them to the entrance to the underground passage under the big house.

Yan

Yan is a major annoyance to the Five in Five Go Down to the Sea, always turning up to stare at them. They let him introduce them to his Old Grandad as they’re interested in the stories of wreckers, but that’s as far as it goes in terms of willingly spending time with him. Later, though, they’re very glad when he follows them down the wreckers’ way – in the dark no less – and rescues them from the room they got trapped in.

yan five go down to the sea

Benny Thomas

The younger brother of Toby, Benny is significantly younger than the Five and not even old enough to be allowed to walk up to their camp. Yet he proves useful as he frequently lets his pigling Curly run away so that he can wander too, and it’s his pigling that is instrumental in the Five discovering the whereabouts of the two missing pilots in Five Go to Billycock Hill.

Henry and William 

Neither Henry or William made it onto the sidekicks list, but for slightly different reasons. Both come to the rescue at the end of Five Go to Mystery Moor, but neither are really accepted by the Five as friends. William is barely mentioned until the end, he is eleven, the same age as George and Dick were in Five On a Treasure Island, but quite a bit younger than they are by this book. Henry – a girl who almost equals George in her determination to be mistaken for a boy – is almost accepted into the group, she joins Julian, Dick and Anne for a picnic and they get along with her, but George can’t stand her and so they readily ditch her to go camping together.

Martin 

The Five do attempt to befriend Martin in Five on Kirrin Island Again, but they agree that he is a bit of a curious boy and difficult to get along with. Dick doesn’t trust him as he asks George a lot of questions about her island and her father’s work. Though Martin initially is working for his guardian, Mr Curton, he does tell the Five the truth about him later on, and accompanies the boys through the undersea tunnel in an attempt to foil the plans to blow up the island.


Neither accepted nor very useful

Guy and Harry Lawdler

The twins Guy and Harry are a strange pair. They love each other but also often fall out so badly that they pretend the other doesn’t exist. That means that George and Anne think they have been seeing the same – and very mad – boy when in fact they’ve met them both. This prevents them – or Julian and Dick – from making friends with the boys until the very end of the book when they rescue Harry from the dig site. 

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2 Responses to The Famous Five’s other companions

  1. Dale Vincero, Brisbane Australia says:

    Bit off topic, but seeing you mentioned “Five Have Plenty of Fun”, and seeing I am reading it at the moment ; In my original 1950’s hard cover edition, there is a mistake at the end of Chapter 6. My edition says, “Aunt Sally smiled to herself”. Should be Aunt “Fanny” of course. I guess that would have been corrected in future releases of the book.

    Like

    • Fiona says:

      That’s interesting – I’m pretty sure my copy is OK, but it may be a later 50s or early 60s impression I’m not sure. I’ll have to double check now that I didn’t just skim past the mistake and not notice!

      Like

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