Anne Bray displaying her Enid Blyton collection
Anne Bray displaying her Enid Blyton collection Gregory Bray

Enid Blyton fan remembers the day Noddy had to go

Lifelong Enid Blyton fan Anne Bray can still recall the day her favourite author's books were pulled from the library shelves.

She was working as a librarian at Innisfail State Primary School in 1974 when the headmaster told her an order had come through from the Board of Education to remove all the Enid Blyton books from the library immediately.

The Famous Five and Noddy had to go.

"I was shocked!" Mrs Bray said.

"I grew up reading Enid Blyton's books, so I immediately asked 'Why?'"

"The headmaster was unable to explain the decision, so I took the books down as ordered, but felt that our school's children would be missing out on something special."

Enid Blyton was one of the world's most successful children's authors, writing more than six hundred books and selling over 600 million copies.

Her stories have been translated into over 90 languages and she remains enormously popular with children and adults.

VIDEO | Braedon O'Brien speaks about Enid Blyton

Mrs Bray recalls attending a librarians' conference to learn why Noddy had to go, three weeks after the decision was made.

"Apparently, the Famous Five and Secret Seven made the police look like buffoons, Noddy's sexuality was questionable, Golliwog was racist and making fun of Big Ears was insulting to people with big ears," she said.

"After the meeting I told her that I had got a lot of pleasure from Enid Blyton's books, and she said 'Well, your literary tastes leave a lot to be desired'.

I was stunned! I couldn't imagine my childhood without Enid Blyton's books!"

Mrs Bray said she had an aunt and uncle in England who would send her several Enid Blyton books every year for her birthday and Christmas.

Her favourites were the Malory Tower and St. Clair series, and the special Big Holiday editions full of puzzles, proverbs, games, riddles and stories which she read over and over again.

Sadly, while she was at boarding school as a teenager, her step-mother gave away most of her treasured collection.

The few books she has left today have become family heirlooms, and have been read and re-read by her children and grandchildren.

Mrs Bray told The Observer she was certain her great granddaughter would enjoy them too when she gets older.

Gazing at the books in front of her, she smiled at the memories of the hours of enjoyment they gave her throughout her life.

"Perhaps they are politically incorrect, but I think Enid Blyton's books are timeless," she said.

Anne's collection includes:

  • The Twins of St. Clairs - 1954
  • The Fourth Holiday Book - year unknown
  • The Golden Book of The Year, which included an Enid Blyton story.


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