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My Friend Jack

"Happenings" anybody?

50 posts in this topic

This will seem like an odd request, but it's something that has been bugging me for more than 20 years!

 

When I was at primary school (in the late 1960s), I remember reading several books that were based around a family (the Cherry family?) who, in order to stop their children getting bored, would arrange what they called "Happenings." As far as I remember, these were mysteries and puzzles that the youngsters had to solve. I have absolutely no recollection of the names of any of the books or the author, but I would just like to know if anybody else remembers the books?

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What sort of reading age were they for? Under tens, over tens etc. Cherry rings a bell but it might be in connection with something else.

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I reckon I was about 9 or 10 when I read them. They were in the class library so must have been intended for that age, I suppose.

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The power of the internet! At last, I have managed to find out what these books were and who wrote them! Will Scott was the author, and the books were, The Cherrys and the Pringles, The Cherrys and the Sea, The Cherrys and the Galleon, The Cherrys of River House, and more. They seem to have been written in the mid-1950s. Don't seem to be in print now, but it gives me something to look for on eBay apart from CDs.

 

Anyone else remember these books? I am so pleased that they weren't a figment of my imagination!

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Flingo - funnily enough, that was the site that I stumbled across yesterday, helping me to solve this mystery!

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Hi, I've just joined this site because of this thread! I was infatuated with the Cherry Books (when 8 or 9 around 1964), though I cannot remember too much about them but vaguely remember the brilliant puzzles and mysteries also involved detective work and real involvement with real petty crime/burglaries and local police etc? I read most of them before progressing onto The Hobbit et al. I was just doing a Search for them on the Internet in order to see if any old copies lurking around anywhere and this thread came up!

 

moonhawk

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Welcome along, Moonhawk! You and I must have read these books around the same time. Glad someone else remembers them as they are impossible to find, unless you are prepared to part with a small fortune for a 40+ year old copy!.

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Yes I've just looked on Abebooks, most are foreign translations, but there are a couple, English, at tempting prices! I also found another thread in a professional Book Collectors Forum and at least one person there collects the Cherry Family Books - wonder if they'll lend me a copy so I can reread one again!

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I've just found this group as for years I have vaguly wondered about the Cherrs 'happening's books which i read aged 9-10 in 1968-9 at primary school in Norfolk. No Enid Blyton in the class library so I made do with these! I think I enjoyed them though can't remember much about them! I tried searching on amazon but there was too much to plough through so just googled Cherrys Happenings and Bingo! Up came this site! It looks interesting so I have joined

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That's good to hear, chatringer. I particularly like the fact that you did the same search that I did 4 years ago, and came up with BGO. Please make yourself at home on BGO, and pop into "Introduce yourself" in the Central Library section.

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LIke some of you I have been pondering on this off and on for 40 years - that is the Cherry family and their adventures. I can remember (I think) borrowing them from the local library and reading them in one sitting. Can anyone confirm that they included local maps (like church, wood, etc) on the end sheets? I also seem to remember that the illustration of one of the boys looked like Harry Potter (round specs) - or did I imagine this?

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Welcome to BGO wightman - I'm sure someone with "happening" memories will be able to confirm or deny that for you.

 

I just wanted to note that it looks like we are rapidly becoming the "Cherry Family Fan Club" here!! MFJ - I bet you didn't realise how many new members you'd attract - I hereby award you with this month's "Top Recruiter" medal!

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Thank you, Flingo, although I'm not sure "this month" quite works - my original post on this thread was more than 4 years ago!

 

Wightman - greetings, and welcome to BGO! I'm afraid I can't recall any of the details you mention, but I am glad to see that I'm not the only one who harbours fond but vague memories of the Cherry family.

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Like some of you I have been pondering on this off and on for 40 years - that is the Cherry family and their adventures.

I can remember (I think) borrowing them from the local library and reading them in one sitting.

Can anyone confirm that they included local maps (like church, wood, etc) on the end sheets?

Hi there, MFJack, Wightman and others.

 

I've just joined BGO and would be happy to chat over Will Scott's 'Cherrys' books with anyone here.

 

Each 'Cherrys' book included a Buchanan map or plan. At first these were single-page and inside the

body of the book.

 

1stednMarketCrayMap-web1.jpg

 

But soon these maps/plans became double-page endpaper features.

 

Scott-Cherrys1Map-web.jpg

 

I also seem to remember that the illustration of one of the boys looked like Harry Potter (round specs) - or did I imagine this?

 

Roy, the brainy Cherry kid, is the one with specs, below.

TheCherrysatthestartofTCTDA-web.jpg

 

PROVISIONAL LIST OF CHARACTERS IN THE CHERRYS BOOKS

 

  • Captain & Mrs. Cherry
    Jimmy Cherry
    Jane Cherry
    Roy Cherry
    Pam Cherry
    Mr. Watson (their monkey)
    Joseph (their parrot)

 

  • Mr. & Mrs. Wilks
    Sally Wilks
    Mr. Wilks’s younger brother from the Isle of Wight

 

  • Mr. & Mrs. Pringle
    Joe Pringle
    Betty Pringle

 

Mrs. Pearl (un-named above) from Marigold Cottages, who cleaned River House for the Cherrys

Mr. Mount, the local Baker

 

 

'Aurélien Arkadiusz'

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Welcome to BGO, AA, and thanks for those pictures - real memory-joggers for me! Unfortunately, I have completely forgotten any of the details of the books, apart from a scene in one where one character (Captain Cherry?) was seen by the children to be walking down the street on a summer day carrying an open umbrella over his head.

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Thanks for the welcome, MFJack.:)

 

Have to say that I've got far more questions than answers about Will Scott's 'Cherrys' series,:confused: so I don't immediately recall that scene you mention of Captain Cherry using an umbrella as a parasol.

 

Of course, artist Lilian Buchanan's illustrations contribute a great deal to the overall impact of the books, and the extraordinarily thorough way in which all her pictures, plans and maps are faithful to the text [and each other] over the entire 14-book series amounts to something rather special.

 

In the months ahead I'd like to upload more of her 'Cherrys' illustrations on your thread so please let me know if there are any restrictions to this.

 

'Aurélien Arkadiusz'

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The 14 ‘Cherrys’ titles, all published by the Brockhampton Press, are:


  • 1 ‘The Cherrys of River House’ (1952)
    2 ‘The Cherrys and Company’ (1953)
    3 ‘The Cherrys by the Sea’ (1954)
    4 ‘The Cherrys and the Pringles’ (1955)
    5 ‘The Cherrys and the Galleon’ (1956)
    6 ‘The Cherrys and the Double Arrow’ (1957)
    7 ‘The Cherrys on Indoor Island’ (1958)
    8 ‘The Cherrys on Zigzag Trail’ (1959)
    9 ‘The Cherrys’ Mystery Holiday’ (1960)
    10 ‘The Cherrys and Silent Sam’ (1961)
    11 ‘The Cherrys’ Famous Case’ (1962)
    12 ‘The Cherrys to the Rescue’ (1963)
    13 ‘The Cherrys in the Snow’ (1964)
    14 ‘The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon’ (1965)

 

For me, one attraction of Will Scott's 'Cherrys' series is the careful detailing shown in top-notch illustrator Lilian Buchanan's accompanying sketches and maps - the unusually close agreement or 'meshing' between all Buchanan's pictures and maps, together with their faithfulness to journalist / cartoonist / playwright Scott's texts. One wonders if she had an author's sketchmap to guide her...

 

Also of note is the inclusion in the 'Market Cray' maps (above) of several details which are unlikely to have been featured in a totally invented map, based solely upon author/artist whimsy. What does this suggest?

 

All told, Scott's 14-book 'Cherrys' series, ably supported by Buchanan's maps and illustrations (including her colourful book-covers), add up to something rather special in the way of children's books. One proof of this (clearly seen in the postings on page 1 of this thread) is that the 'Cherrys' series lingers on in the mind decades after the books finally went out-of-print. Probably this is why they are such expensive, sought-after items on the web.

 

The lingering impact of Scott's Cherrys series has also led to occasional web postings at various sites, mostly from middle-aged people who read the books as children. Interestingly, there are also postings from a few younger folk who seem to have inherited and muchly enjoyed copies of some of the books. And postings from a few oldies like myself - I caught the first few titles as a kid, but was grown-up before the last title, 'The Cherrys and the Blue Balloon', was released in 1965, just after Will Scott's death.

 

To my knowledge, the first 12 titles were all reprinted at least once - and at least one of them up to 5 times - so while it’s a challenge to find copies at booksales it’s not impossible.

 

'Aurélien Arkadiusz'

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When I was at primary school (in the late 1960s), I remember reading several books that were based around a family (the Cherry family?) who, in order to stop their children getting bored, would arrange what they called "Happenings." As far as I remember, these were mysteries and puzzles that the youngsters had to solve.
Hi, I've just joined this site because of this thread! I was infatuated with the Cherry Books (when 8 or 9 around 1964), though I cannot remember too much about them but vaguely remember the brilliant puzzles and mysteries also involved detective work and real involvement with real petty crime/burglaries and local police etc?

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

In a distant galaxy, far, far away….well, not quite….(it was actually on another website, the EBS Forums),

1) ‘Lenoir’ wrote:

“They were about ‘happenings’ in the village of Market Cray. Their father, Captain Cherry, was the instigator of most of these happenings, which were games or activities that became adventures.”

2) and ‘Fiona1986’ added:

“...I seem to remember that adults were quite involved in the story?”

 

 

So, then, one huge difference between Will Scott's Cherrys series and most of the children's books from that era was *shock, horror* :(Parental involvement in the children's adventures.

 

How, you ask, could a father of that era - a stuffy adult by definition - possibly be capable of setting up adventures or 'Happenings' for his children and their friends? Well, folks, before I try to answer that one let me tell you the worst - Captain Cherry not only invented many wonderful games but also he (and sometimes certain of the other adults) even ;)took part in these games!

 

You see, Captain Cherry - his first name is never given - was a rather unusual adult. Having, it seems, spent much of his life as part of exploration and survey teams (e.g. for a mining company in the Australian outback) he drew on this experience to invent intriguing (and inexpensive) games for his four kids....games which eventually drew in their friends the Wilks (next-door neighbours at 'The Lawn') and the Pringles (friends originally from London).

 

Of course, he was also training them to 'keep their eyes open' so that they were aware of (tuned into) their environment more or less in the rather special way that Harvard Professor John R. Stilgoe calls for in his "OUTSIDE LIES MAGIC", but enough of that.

 

In Will Scott's ‘Cherrys’ books parental involvement is not only workable, it is actually something rather special.

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’

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I am finding this thread fascinating and intriguing.

 

Do you have a similar depth of interest/knowledge about any other books, AA?

What sparked this particular interest, and what carries it forward?

 

I ask this because I had never heard of the series, nor the Cherry family.

I guess I was just that few years too old to encounter them in primary school - or maybe I did, but they didn't make the same impression on me. :dunno:

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I am finding this thread fascinating and intriguing. Do you have a similar depth of interest/knowledge about any other books, AA?

Glad to have inspired a live reaction, megustaleer. I'm no expert on any series of books but, as an oldster who has been reading all his life, I've got a few enthusiasms.

What sparked this particular interest, and what carries it forward?
I read the earlier 'Cherrys' books as a youngster and they made quite an impact. So for me, as well as those who posted on the first webpage of this thread, the treasured memory lingers on.

 

I ask this because I had never heard of the series, nor the Cherry family.

I guess I was just that few years too old to encounter them in primary school - or maybe I did, but they didn't make the same impression on me. :dunno:

Sorry you seem to have missed this brilliant series, megustaleer. Of course, :) if you're in your late 70's, or older, that would be understandable. At least not having [heard of / remembered about] this series has saved you some $$$$. *Exits rapidly, stage left, ducking brickbats, old boots and the kitchen sink, hurled with enough force to lead to a re-think of that 'late 70's' suggestion*

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’

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Here is my raw listing of all the 'Cherrys' Stories and Chapters.

Chapters grouped together form one connected story or 'happening'. The Roman numerals and the capitalisation are my own eccentricities....my apologies if they annoy you. There is still a lot of work to be done on this list.

 

Outline of Cherrys #1 – ‘The Cherrys of River House’ (1952)

 

I Their First Happening

Finding their way to the ‘ruined temple’

 

II Through Hostile Territory

Crossing the river without being caught

 

III Treasure Island

Exhibition tickets buried on island

 

IV If Only We’re In Time

Treasure hunt to St. Denis Bay

 

V Nothing At All To Do

Pam is lost in the bungalow in Raven’s Wood

 

VI Find Me Who Can

VII He Must Be Somebody

VIII Black Jack Strikes Again

IX Clue Upon Clue

X Unmasked!

The hunt to unmask the mysterious Black Jack

 

Outline of Cherrys #2 – ‘The Cherrys And Company’ (1953)

 

I The Games They Get Up To

Black Jack Junior and the left-right game

II Man In Armour

The Big Blow

 

III Adventure On See-Saw Mountain

Relief expeditions in the snow

 

IV Disappearing Trick

Footprints in the snow

 

V Black Jack Junior, Pirate

Trick using ‘sandman’ and cycles

 

VI Kidnapped

The Pringle children have an adventure

 

VII Mystery Of See-Saw Mountain

Mountain-climbing

 

VIII The Empty House

IX Little Clue, Big Clue

X Biggest Clue Of All

Who goes there?

 

Outline of Cherrys #3 – ‘The Cherrys By the Sea’ (1954)

 

I The Message In The Bottle

II The Watch On The Coast

III On The Trail Of The Oozlum

IV Alone On A Desert Isle

V Follow My Leader

VI Look Out For Smiths

VII The Slap-Dash Carnival

VIII This Way Or That

IX Seaside Xmas

X The Haunted Sea Front

 

Outline of Cherrys #4 – ‘The Cherrys and the Pringles’ (1955)

 

I The Great Reception

 

II Let It Rain!

 

III Mr. Pringle Has A Go

IV The Crocotosh

 

V Early Birds

 

VI The Other House

 

VII The Torn Treasure Chart

VIII The Battle Of Bigs And Little

IX Let Them Have It

X I Know Where

 

Outline of Cherrys #5 – ‘The Cherrys and the Galleon’ (1956)

 

I The Get On With Its

 

II The Great Cross Over

 

III The Well-I-Never Place

 

IV The Seaside At Home

 

V The Peculiar Periscope

 

VI The Famous Think

 

VII The Big Idea

VIII The Big Mystery

IX The Big Work

X The Big Day

 

 

Outline of Cherrys #6 – ‘The Cherrys and the Double Arrow’ (1957)

 

I The Way To Anywhere

II The Double Arrow

III Adventures of Jimmy's Party

IV Adventures of Joe's Party

V Again And Again

VI Roy On His Own

VII Public Notice

VIII After Him!

IX Strange Disappearance Of Mr. Wilks

X This Way to the Bang Kwit

 

Outline of Cherrys #7 – ‘The Cherrys On Indoor Island’ (1958)

 

I The Wreck

II The Castaways

III The Cave

IV Exploring The Jungle

V Mountain Rescue

VI The Mysterious Footprint

VII Yes, It’s Pirates!

VIII A Sail! A Sail!

IX But Where Can It Be?

X Buried Treasure

 

Outline of Cherrys #8 – ‘The Cherrys On Zig-Zag Trail’ (1959)

 

I Mr Wilks Cries ‘Look!’

II Mr. Nobody

III Nothing But Mysteries

IV The Standstill Race

V The Society For Finding Things Out

VI Old sailor From Over The Water

VII Away They Go

VIII Smart Work

IX The Same Sounding Words

X The End Of The Trail

 

Outline of Cherrys #9 – ‘The Cherry’s Mystery Holiday’ (1960)

 

I Keep Your Eyes Open

 

II The Mystery Of Mr. Wotherspoon

 

III The Mystery Of The Pirate Chief

IV Spik No English

 

V The Great Seaweed Mystery

 

VI The Writing In The Sand

 

VII The Mystery Of The jumping Jacks

VIII The Mystery Of Neptune Island

IX Most Mysterious Of All

X It’s A Mystery!

 

Outline of Cherrys #10 – ‘The Cherrys And Silent Sam’ (1961)

 

I A Very Peculiar Affair

II He Must Be Watched

III Red Hot News

IV The Next Move

V At It Again

VI Caught!

VII What A Surprise!

VIII Then Who Is It?

IX I Know Who It Is

X Oh No, It Isn’t!

 

Outline of Cherrys #11 – ‘The Cherrys’ Famous Case’ (1962)

 

I The Day That Woke Up

II Missing!

III The Home-made Police-Force

IV Hot On The Trail

V The Footprint Again

VI The Light In The Window

VII That Third Clue

VIII Clue All The Time

IX Action!

X Portrait Of The Queen

 

Outline of Cherrys #12 – ‘The Cherrys To The Rescue’ (1963)

 

I Where Has He Got To?

II To The rescue!

III Strange Tale From A Stranger

IV Which Way Now?

V Here’s Your Jungle!

VI Escape!

VII False Trail

VIII All Meet At One-Tree Hill

IX Lost In The Fog

X Rescue!

 

Outline of Cherrys #13 – ‘The Cherrys In The Snow’ (1964)

 

I Nothing But Nothing

II Enter Mr. Misery

III The Start Of A Rumour

IV The Search From End To End

V You’d Never Guess!

VI ‘Keep Him Out Of Sight!’

VII Tell-tale Trail

VIII If Only It Works

IX Vanished!

X Away Again

 

Outline of Cherrys #14 – ‘The Cherrys And The Blue Balloon’ (1965)

 

I First Appearance Of The Blue Balloon

II What The Littles Thought

III What The Bigs Thought

IV But What Did The Man Think?

V Watched

VI Where Is Augustus?

VII The Amazing Truth

VIII The Light In The Window

IX The Night Watch

X Last Appearance Of The Blue Balloon

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I have to agree with Meg. This thread has become rather fascinating, particularly in the light of AA's encyclopaedic knowledge of this series of books (I had never heard of them either) and his enthusiasm in posting about them in such detail.

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An Encyclopedia.....ha! :) More like a fisherman hoping to con you folks into doing all the work.

Still, at least I got another response, and so #1 in Will Scott's wonderful Cherrys series.....

The dustjacket of 'The Cherrys of River House':

 

Cherrys1-coverweb.jpg

 

The maps -both the inside map from the first edition and the double-page endpaper map from later editions - can be found near the top of this webpage.

 

There are 6 Happenings in this book:

 

1.1 - Finding their way to the ruined temple. (Chapter I - Their First Happening)

When his elder son, Jimmy, asked how it had been possible for him to "...find a ruined temple in a village, without map or compass, and without knowing a word of the language of the local tribes..." Captain Cherry decided it would be fun to set his four children a similar task.

 

The Captain and Mrs. Cherry first drove them to an unfamiliar village, and let them have a brief look around. In the picture below they have just left their home at River House and can be seen driving along North Bank Road in 'Daisy', their vintage car.

 

Cherrys1-OfftotheirFirstHappeningin.jpg

 

From there the children were driven (with eyes closed) some distance away and set down with the challenge to find their way back to that village.

 

Wide awake to their surroundings, and with their eyes now very much open, they surprised and impressed the Captain by arriving back at the village only 20 minutes later. [being chased part of the way back by a :rolleyes: 'savage' native rather speeded things up.]

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