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

Journal by Dave Calladine

This is the kind of story that you should read wrapped up tight with ham sandwiches and lashings of Branston pickle, only the pickle was not invented until 1920, and Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and the dog Timmy were distant seeds of an unborn child. Enid Blyton was an English writer who published over 600 children's - or what we now term in this politically correct world as juvenile books - in her 40-year career. Blyton's most famous series was The Famous Five, and all her works painted an idyllic vision of rural England, which celebrated good food, spirit of comradeship, and honesty. Her books have been translated into nearly seventy languages

--"'Cheer up! whispered Jack, from the gorse-bush, seeing her gloomy face. 'This is an adventure, you know.'
--'I only like adventures afterwards,' said Lucy-Ann. 'I don't like them when they're happening. I didn't want this adventure at all. We didn't look for it, we just seemed to fall into the middle of it!'
--'Well, never mind. It'll turn out all right, I expect,' said Jack comfortingly."

This particular adventure started when I thought for a brief time, that I was a distant relation to the writer, so in a mad mood, decided to search her line, to see if it would help me resolve my own brick wall. Being a teacher, and formerly a restoration bookbinder, I suppose that I was interested in making a link to this famous Blyton.

I am not related to her, as I thought, but if I go back a few more generations, I may discover a link. However, having dug this stuff up, thought I would share it with the rest of the site.

The search, got me back to WILLIAM BLYTON whom married JUSTINA ARNOLD
on the 3rd October 1775 at St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

I have only found one child of this marriage so far, the realisation that I was on the wrong track happened here, when I discovered William, as I was working from the bottom up (so to speak)

Child of WILLIAM BLIGHTON & JUSTINA
GEORGE BLIGHTON Christening: 30 March 1778 New Sleaford, Lincoln.

George was a bit of a merchant in Linen; he spent his youth building up his little business.

GEORGE BLYTON married ELIZABETH CHILD on the 13 May 1824 Doddington By Lincoln, Lincoln. He was 45 at the time, and his bride was in her 20s.

Children of GEORGE BLYTON & ELIZABETH

GEORGE BLYTON, Christening: 28 FEB 1825 Swinderby, Lincoln.
MARY BLYTON, Christening: 23 JUN 1827 Swinderby, Lincoln,
HORACE BLYTON, Christening: 06 May 1829 Swinderby, Lincoln.
JOHN BLYTON, Christening: 12 March 1832 Swinderby, Lincoln.
ANNE MARIA BLYTON, Christening: 28 July 1834 Swinderby, Lincoln.
ELIZABETH BLYTON, Christening: 22 September 1836 Swinderby, Lincoln.
THOMAS CAREY BLYTON Christening: 05 February 1840 Swinderby, Lincoln.

George Blyton appears on the 1881 census as a Boot & Shoe Maker Grocer & Provisions Dealer, in the town of Swinderby, Lincolnshire.
Horace Blytons son, Horace too appears on the 1881 Census as a Assistant To Linen Draper at Southwark, Surrey, he married Caroline Julia Edgley on 12 July, at Greenwich, Kent in 1882.
John Blyton appears with his family on the 1881 census in Cheetham, Lancashire, as a Commercial Traveller in the Drug Trade

the child whom I am interested however was Thomas, who moved to London and started trading in Linen like his father before, but on a bigger scale. Mary Ann, his wife, whom he married around 1860-64

The children of THOMAS GREY BLYTON & MARY ANN

ALICE CAREY BLYTON born 04 June 1865. Christening: 14 January 1866 Saint Paul, Deptford, Kent.
BERTHA HAMILTON BLYTON born 18 November 1866, Christening: 13 October 1867 Saint Paul, Deptford, London,
SIDNEY CHARLES BLYTON born 08 January 1868, Christening: 29 March 1868 Saint Paul, Deptford, Kent.
JAMES CHARLES BLYTON born 31 January 1869, Christening: 07 March 1869 Saint Paul, Deptford, Kent.
THOMAS CAREY BLYTON born 05 March 1870. Christening: 19 March 1871 Saint Paul, Deptford, Kent.
MALPAS LORNE BLYTON born 22 February 1871. Christening: 19 MAR 1871 Saint Paul, Deptford, Kent, England

1881 Census returns, 10 Asline Rd, Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire RG11 4637 / 60 9
Thomas C. BLYTON Head M Male 41 Swinderby, Lincoln, England Linen Draper
Mary Ann BLYTON Wife M Female 42 Tyrone, Co, Ireland
Bertha Hamilton BLYTON Daur Female 14 Deptford, Kent, England Scholar
Sidney Charles BLYTON Son Male 13 Deptford, Kent, England Scholar
Thos. Carey BLYTON Son Male 11 Deptford, Kent, England Scholar
Sybil Marianne BLYTON Daur Female 9 Deptford, Kent Scholar
Alice May BLYTON Daur Female 2 Sheffield, York, England

1891 Census; 165 Aizlewood Road (Ref: piece 3809 e.d.48 folio 95 - Ecclesall Bierlow) which is near Abbeydale Road, a couple of miles south of the City Centre

BLYTON Thomas C 51 Married Head Linen Draper's Buyer Swinderby Lincolnshire
BLYTON Marrianne 52 Married Wife Ireland
BLYTON Thomas 21 Unmarried Son Mercantile Clerk Deptford Kent
BLYTON Sybil M 19 Unmarried Daughter Lewisham Kent
BLYTON Alice M 12 Daughter Sheffield Yorkshire

The fifth child Thomas Carey Blyton, like his siblings - started working for the family Business of Fisher and Nephew, however he soon left to establish a successful wholesale clothing business in the City of London. He married Theresa Mary Hamilton, and they had three Children.

Enid Blyton 11th August 1897
Hanly Blyton
Carey Blyton

Surnames: ARNOLD BLYTON CHILD EDGLEY HAMILTON
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by Dave Calladine Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
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

Enid Blyton was born in London, in a small flat above a shop in East Dulwich, as the eldest of three children. Her father, Thomas Carey Blyton, had many talents: he painted in watercolours, wrote poetry, learned to play piano, taught himself foreign languages, and was a photographer. After working as a cutlery salesman, he joined his two older brothers in the family 'mantle warehousing' business of Fisher and Nephew. Theresa Mary Hamilton, Enid's mother, did not share his husband's interest, and she did not approve, that Enid kept her nose in a book all the time. After Thomas started an affair with another woman, she moved with her children, Enid, Hanly, and Carey, to Beckenham. Thomas established a successful wholesale clothing business in the City of London. He took care of his children's private school fees and sent regularly money to support his family.
Blyton was trained as a kindergarten teacher at Ipswich High School, and opened her own infants' school. When the literary commitments increased, Blyton devoted herself entirely to writing. In 1926 Blyton took on the editing a new magazine for children, Sunny Stories. Her stories, plays, and songs for Teachers' World gained popularity among teachers, who used them for their lessons. She also compiled a children's encyclopaedia, but it was not until in the 1930s, when her stories started to attract a wider audience.
In 1924 Blyton married Hugh Pollock, an editor of the book department of George Newnes. When she visited a gynecologist, she was told that she had a much underdeveloped uterus, equivalent to that of a young girl. Enid and Hugh moved soon to Elfin Cottage, a newly built house in Shortlands Road, Beckenham, which Blyton eventually called her first 'real home'. In 1929 they moved to 'Old Thatch', a large sixteenth-century cottage, close to the River Thames at Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. The house, that was to be associated with Blyton for the rest of her life, was Green Hedges, built of red brick with black and white half-timbered gables, in Beaconsfield, a small town about twenty-five miles from London.

In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided not to convert to Roman Catholicism, because she had felt it was 'too constricting'. Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptized into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School. In 1938 appeared Blyton's first full-length children's adventure story, The Secret Island. The idea of a fast-moving story, woven around familiar characters, proved to be so successful. The most popular became The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, the Adventure series, the Mystery series, and the 'Barney' Mystery books.


During World War II, when publishing was restricted, Blyton managed to get her works printed and ruled then in the field of juvenile literature. She could write 10,000 words a day, which enabled her to keep her prodigious output. In 1940 eleven books were published under her name, including The Secret of Spiggy Holes, which had appeared earlier in serial form in Sunny Stories, Twenty-Minute Tales and Tales of Betsy May, both collections of short stories, The Children of Cherry Tree Farm, and a story book annual for the News Chronicle. The remainder were brought out by George Newnes, who continued as Blyton's main publishers. Under the pseudonym Mary Pollock she wrote Three Boys and a Circus and Children of Kidillin.

Blyton's marriage ended in 1942. Next year she married Kenneth Darrell Waters, a middle-aged surgeon. An exploding shell at the Battle of Jutland during First World War had permanently impaired his hearing, but helped with his hearing aid, he could pick up her speech. He was also genuinely interested in her work and they shared many interests in common, including gardening.

In 1945 Blyton decided to wind up her column for Teachers' World. Seven years later, she withdrew from Sunny Stories. In 1953 appeared the first edition of Enid Blyton Magazine. Regular news was given for sponsored clubs. The Famous Five Club originated through a series of book about the 'Famous Five'. The first story was published in 1942 and was followed by a new title each year. The main object of the magazine was to help the young spastic children and the special centre in London.

In 1949 Blyton published Little Noddy Goes to Toyland, a story of a little toy man, who always ends up in trouble and had to seek help from his Toyland friends. Its sales exceeded expectations. Other Noddy books of various sizes and types followed in rapid succession. The stories were illustrated by Van Der Beek who died suddenly in Holland in 1953. The series also produced a play and a film. 'Noddy' became a household name and the subject of music hall jokes and sketches.

In the 1950s and 1960s Blyton was attacked by critics and librarians imposed sanctions on her writings owing to the books' limited vocabulary. In much the same way that the Telly Tubbies were attacked I suppose. Main target for anti-Blytons was Noddy. Rumours were spread, that she did not write all her stories. The 'banning', which probably has been exaggerated, did not last long, but it did cause her to close the Enid Blyton Magazine in 1959 and in the early sixties the author found it increasingly difficult to concentrate to writing. Her husband died in 1967. During the months that followed, her own illness grew progressively worse. Blyton died in her sleep on November 28, 1968, in a Hampsted nursing home. Although Blyton's books have been criticized for racism, sexism, and snobbishness, they have always found readers from new generations. "She was a child, she thought as a child and she wrote as a child," as the psychologist Michael Woods stated.

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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