Five Famous facts about the Blyton's, the roots of writer Enid Blyton :: Genealogy
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Five Famous facts about the Blyton's, the roots of writer Enid Blyton

Journal by Dave Calladine

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on 2006-01-08 09:10:04

Dave Calladine , from Yeovil, Somerset, UK, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2006. is researching the following names: CALLADINE, LAUNCHBURY, FULLER and 22 other(s).

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by Dave Calladine on 2006-01-08 09:10:51

by Dave Calladine on 2007-07-08 06:45:40

2007-06-26 - Gillian Baverstock, Enid Blyton's elder daughter has regretably died. Gillian Mary Baverstock was born on 15 July 1931. After graduating from university in 1954 Gillian worked in children's publishing, including, for a short time, working on Enid Blyton's Magazine. In 1957 Gillian married TV producer Donald Baverstock (1924-1995) and soon afterwards the couple moved to Yorkshire where they made their home and brought up their family. Following in her mother's footsteps Gillian taught primary school aged children for many years and even after returning to publishing, when she helped to run Darrell Waters Ltd. the family owned company that handled the Enid Blyton copyrights, she still continued to visit schools to speak about her mother and her stories. Recently she has spoken of her mother's work at major literary festivals. She died in hospital on 24th June after a short illness.

by Dave Calladine on 2007-07-08 07:09:13

Gilliam was the daughter of Enid and Hugh Alexander Pollock. Pollock - a native of Ayr, the elder son of one of Ayr's leading booksellers - Stephen & Pollock, booksellers, at 37 Sandgate.

William Smillie Pollock, who had been born in 1858, had started as an apprentice under the original owner of the company, Robert Maclehose, and had continued to work for him, and then for the new owner William Stephen. Stephen died shortly after the new partnership had been established, and William Pollock then entered into partnership with Stephen's widow

William Smillie Pollock and his wife Jessie Smith McBride had two sons. After his death in 1942, the younger, William Alfred ('Fred'), who had previously become a partner, succeeded him in the business, which became a limited liabilty company c.1947. Fred Pollock died in 1954.

About 1972, the business was taken over by Holmes McDougall Ltd., but the shop closed a year or so later.

The elder son, Hugh Alexander Pollock, was born c.1895, probably at the the family home at 42 Bellevue Crescent. He was educated at Ayr Academy, and joined his father's business.

On 9th October 1913, at the Hotel Dalblair, he married Marion, the youngest daughter of William Atkinson, farmer, Trees Farm, Maybole: there was at least one son of this marriage- Alistair.

During the First World War, he joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers and saw service with them at Gallipoli, Palestine and France, and was awarded the D.S.O. Unhappily for him, however, during this period, his wife left him for another man. When the war ended, he transferred to the Indian Army, and served with the Burma Rifles in India, Burma and Mesopotamia.

He joined Newnes as an editor in the book department. Blyton first mentions Pollock in her diary entry for 10th January 1924.

After the marriage, in Augut 1924, in Bromley, Kent - The marriage was, at first, successful, and two daughters, Imogen and Gillian, were born. Blyton's reputation as a writer continued to grow, while Pollock continued to work for Newnes. By 1933, he was responsible for several of Newnes' more notable authors: in particular he was editing and overseeing the publication of Winston Churchill's The World Crisis, which involved him in regular visits to Chartwell to discuss revisions and additions with Churchill.

While with Churchill, Pollock discussed the First World War, and this recollection of earlier traumas seems to have pushed him towards the edge of a nervous breakdown. While he continued to work, he withdrew increasingly from public and family life. He became a heavy, and secret, drinker. In her memories of her childhood, his younger daughter notes than when the family bought a new house at Beaconsfield in 1938, Pollock 'had little to do with it', and that at one point Blyton gave him 'a drum kit which ... he would play endlessly for relaxation.

When war broke out in 1939, Pollock joined the Home Guard. World conflict gave his life point again, and by 1940 he had been appointed Commandant of the War Office School for Instructors of the Home Guard at Dorking. This necessitated his being away from home, and, again, war service led to the break up of his marriage. Blyton first met Kenneth Waters, a surgeon, in 1941; Pollock was sent to the United States in June 1942 to advice on civil defence; He and Blyton were divorced in 1943, and she married Waters later that year.

Blyton's complex character led her to forbid any contact between Hugh and his daughters; she moved quickly to change their surname from Pollock to Waters, and at this point he drops completely out of their lives. He was not blameless in the break-up of the marriage: he had recruited the novelist Ida Crowe to his staff at Dorking, and begun an affair with her. He married her in London in October 1943, six days after Blyton's marriage to Kenneth Waters.

The published works on Blyton convey no further information on Pollock: the separation from him was complete and utter. Of his subsequent life, very little is known: when Barbara Stoney began to research Blyton's life, neither of his daughters knew where he was, or whether he was still alive. As Gillian recalled, in her introduction to Stoney: 'My Father [sic] ... died just after Mrs Stoney had discovered where he was then living.' In an interview she gave to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus in May 1999,21 Baverstock implies that latterly Hugh and Ida Pollock lived in Malta, and that he died there, probably in 1971, the year in which Stoney began to research Blyton's life.

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