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My Friend Jack

"Happenings" anybody?

50 posts in this topic

Wow. Thank you, AA, that last post has really taken me back. Wonderful.

I'm happy to help refresh a few memories for those fortunate individuals who have been privileged to enjoy reading Scott's 'Cherrys' series. :D

 

From now on I'll likely restrict my image uploads to slightly smaller sizes. Please warn me, MFJ, if you think I'm going overboard with the number of illustrations in my posts on your thread here.

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’

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Happening 1.2 Crossing the river without being caught (Chapter II - Through Hostile Territory)

 

Captain Cherry’s 4 children decide to re-enact a long-ago adventure of his in the Far East, when he had crossed a river in hostile territory by dead of night and got through a band of savage natives and clean away without being seen.” So that night their father rows them across the river to the Long Meadow on the bank opposite their home at River House, leaving them to find their own way home without being spotted in his torchlight.

Happening002.jpg

Of course, it may :) be a co-incidence that the children’s mother “…was out at a village institute meeting…” that evening, but these days the good Captain might well be :nono:had up’ for such shockingly :D cruel child abandonment and endangerment.

 

Did the children make it back home, without being caught by their father, before Mrs. Cherry returned? Oh, read the book and find out. [Okay, I know, first of all some of you need to find and buy a reasonably priced copy.... In an ideal world, of course, Hodder would reprint the series, making all 14 of the books readily available to us all.]

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’, member in good standing of the PMHATTRWSCS Association (The Politely Message Hodder Asking Them To Reprint Will Scott's Cherry's Series Association)

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Happening 1.3 Exhibition tickets buried on island (Chapter III - Treasure Island)

Cherrys1Ch3web.jpg

One very hot night Jimmy – with Joseph their parrot and Mr. Watson their monkey – ‘sleeps-out’ in the tree-house he had built in the grounds of River House. Just before 2 o’clock in the morning some strange sounds awaken all three of them…..

 

What does this have to do with that London ‘Exhibition’ which the Cherry children are so keen to visit? That’s up to you, the reader, to find out. (Maybe a Londoner with a long memory can suggest what Exhibition that was likely to have been.)

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Happening 1.5 Pam is lost in the bungalow in Raven’s Wood (Chapter V - Nothing At All To Do)

Not too hard ;) to work out the plot for this happening.

Cherrys1-5-1.jpg

Enid Blyton readers please note :cool: the sergeant's stripes on the arm of this policeman's tunic -

proves it's not P. C. Plod or P. C. Goon.

Cherrys1-5-2.jpg

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Happening 1.6 The hunt to unmask the mysterious Black Jack (Chapters VI – X)

Challenged by a message "FIND ME WHO CAN!" signed by the mysterious "BLACK JACK" attached to a home-made arrow fired into the middle of the River House lawn, the Cherrys set out to do just that in these final five chapters. And, this time, Captain Cherry (who is away in London, apparently sitting on a government colonial advisory committee) is not the instigator.....

Cherrys2Ch6webforBGOa.jpg

Who could Black Jack be, and what is (s)he after?

Cherrys1Ch10web.jpg

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I've been looking for The Cherry Family books for a nine year old girl. If they're the same ones, they're about some children who have great adventures like treasure hunts. I read every one I could get from our local library and loved them. What a shame they're no longer in print.

 

I'm an 'auntie' who is just helping out a friend; if anyone can recommend some good books for a nine year old girl who is a good reader but frightened by what she calls 'big books', I'd be grateful.

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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.

 

I was just nine when I started reading them and was able to whizz through them, but I was an 'early reader' - I knew other people in my class who read them the following year (which would have been junior 3, in those days).

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The adventures in this series are known as 'happenings', Marian.

 

Moderately priced jacketless second-hand copies of some titles in Will Scott's 14-book 'Cherrys' series can sometimes be purchased online. (For the dustjackets refer to the links I've posted on the Cherrys thread of the Other Authors board at the Enid Blyton Society Forums.) Good luck. :)

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Cherrys2-coverwebBGO.jpg

There are 8 happenings in this book, the last three chapters being combined into one adventure. (For a list of all 10 chapters, see the middle of the previous page on this thread.) One happening rambles over part of River House, the Cherrys home:

Cherrys2-MostofRiverHouseGroundFloo.jpg

This detail of one corner of 'Market Cray' is from the 8th and last happening in the book:

Cherrys2-MarigoldPassage.jpg

Good luck :) with finding your own copy.

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I have far more questions than answers about Will Scott's wonderful 'Cherrys' series. Here are some of my questions, and a few of my guesses.

 

Where was ‘Market Cray’ Located?

 

I suspect that Will Scott's 'Market Cray' was probably meant to be set somewhere in the County of Kent.

 

The River Windrush flows into the Thames (at Newbridge) close to what was the western end of Kent. That part of the dedication in #1The Cherrys of River House' which reads "...from the beginning of Kent to the end of the Windrush,..." suggests to me that Kent had become Yorkshire-born Will Scott's stamping ground and hence was very likely also the Cherry’s home turf. While he was writing these books William Matthew Scott [1893-1964] was living at 'The old Cottage' in Herne Bay, Kent.

 

Interesting that there's a Crayford and a Foot's Cray in Kent, and also a Cray River.

 

Was Any Part of ‘Market Cray’ Real?

 

‘Market Cray’ could well have been a total invention, but…..

One of the fascinating things about Lilian Buchanan’s Market Cray maps is that several features are pictured which are a little unlikely to have been included in a totally invented landscape. This makes me wonder if the maps (and pictures) that we see in the books could be based upon a real landscape, with several alterations and additions (eg River House and The Lawn).

 

Usually, when a writer sketches a map of an imaginary landscape for a series of books, he/she puts in 'typical' features, plus features that are going to be written about in the stories. The Market Cray maps not only include several features that are never mentioned in any of the 14 'Cherrys' books, but also show one highly unusual building that surely would only have been included if it was actually drawn from real life. Worth thinking about.

 

Was Captain Cherry Based On A Real Person?

 

I keep wondering about 'Captain Cherry'.

 

'Cherry' is not all that common a surname, but any computer search using Cherry+Explorer will turn up the famous British explorer, Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959), and I rather think that this link would have been in the mind of any adult reading one of Scott's early 'Cherrys' books aloud to his/her children back in the 1950's. Could this be why Will Scott used the name 'Cherry'?

 

Also, is 'Captain' Cherry meant to hold an army or a naval rank? (A naval Captain ranked higher.) And was his Captain's rank supposed to have been won in war service, or was it, perhaps, earned over a longer period as a regular army or navy officer?

 

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

 

These are just some of the questions that only Will Scott's daughters (if they are still with us) and grandchildren could likely answer. As Mr. Scott apparently wrote the first books in this terrific series for his grandchildren (and seems to have dedicated some of the books to them), they should know things that we don't. But, short of the costly (and outrageously intrusive) strategy of hiring a private detective, how would one go about even identifying Will Scott's living descendants, let alone locating them? And would any of them be interested in sharing what they know with us?

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Cherrys3-cover.jpg

This book is set entirely at 'St. Denis Bay' where the Cherry family and their friends are holidaying.

Although the action is broken into two time periods, it is possible to view the entire book as one 'happening'. Chapters I - VIII are a summer sequence that take place between Happenings 1.4 (Chapter IV) and 1.5 (Chapter V) of #1 'The Cherrys of River House'. Chapters IX and X take place in the winter before Chapter V of #2 'The Cherrys and Company'.

StDenisBayMapforCherrys3.jpg

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Hi, Paul

 

Welcome, and thanks for that link.

 

The late Lilian Buchanan was a highly professional illustrator, whose contribution to the success of the 'Cherrys' series very nearly equals that of the author, Will Scott.

 

We'll likely never know to what extent her Cherrys illustrations (maps, colourful dustjackets, and line-drawings) may have been based upon either real places or upon sketches by the author.

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Thank you AA for being such a fount of knowledge on Will Scott and the Cherries. Like so many others I found this site while searching for information on the books. I loved them as a kid, got my first one as a primary school prize in 1954, The Cherry's by the Sea. I no longer have any copies, but, reading your wonderful postings AA, I now realise how influential they were in shaping my enthusiasms - all those maps! For some time I have wanted to research Will Scott and the Cherry's, I now propose to try and find answers to some of your questions - Market Cray, here I come!

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:festive: Welcome, Cornish Maed.

 

Living so far away from the UK, I have never been able to do any Cherrys research on the ground in Kent and adjacent counties. Anything you can come up with will help us build this thread.

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’ :)

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As a child in the fifties I found myself captivated by a series of books I used to find in my local library and my own school library, the adventures of the Cherry family, as a grandfather in his sixties the memories of these books are still as strong, imagine my joy when researching the internet, to see if anything remained of what I was sure was an obscure relic of a now unfashionable middle class world, that the Cherrys were still very much alive in the minds of others who had read the books, Freud himself would probably be hard pushed for an answer as to why,maybe as Spike Milligan observed, the future is uncertain,the present is traumatic but the past is secure and safe, never mind the important thing for me is that there are more middle aged 9 year olds in the world than just myself, grow up! never! thats for old people, mind you at least I am old enough now to have the income to buy the few remaining titles I have found, would love to know why they seem to be only available in New Zealand or Australia. By the way I was also captivated by a book entitled The Helicoptor Children, if anybody can find any information on that one I would be seriously impressed.

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:wavey: Greetings Scubaman.

As a child in the fifties I found myself captivated by a series of books I used to find in my local library and my own school library, the adventures of the Cherry family, as a grandfather in his sixties the memories of these books are still as strong, imagine my joy when researching the internet, to see if anything remained of what I was sure was an obscure relic of a now unfashionable middle class world, that the Cherrys were still very much alive in the minds of others who had read the books...

Myself, I read the first few 'Cherrys' titles whilst still a child, but was grown up well before #14 was released.

maybe as Spike Milligan observed, the future is uncertain,the present is traumatic but the past is secure and safe, never mind the important thing for me is that there are more middle aged 9 year olds in the world than just myself, grow up! never! thats for old people, mind you at least I am old enough now to have the income to buy the few remaining titles I have found, would love to know why they seem to be only available in New Zealand or Australia.
As a pensioner I could never afford to buy in Will Scott's 14 'Cherrys' books these days. 'Tis certainly true that a respectable number of copies were exported out here to New Zealand, but only rarely do battered copies turn up in local booksales. My own collection I purchased new, over a 2- 3 year period, in my early twenties. Must say that if it felt a little, well odd to be buying children's books at that period of my life, I've since come to bless the impulse that caused me so to do. A tribute to the lasting impact of this wonderful series.
By the way I was also captivated by a book entitled The Helicoptor Children, if anybody can find any information on that one I would be seriously impressed.
Not in my collection, I'm sorry. Did you mean 'The Helicopter Children' by Denise Hill (Pied Piper Books, 1967) or the earlier book of the same title by Lucy W. Bellhouse (Harrap, 1956)?

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’ :)

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"The Market Cray maps not only include several features that are never mentioned in any of the 14 'Cherrys' books, but also show one highly unusual building that surely would only have been included if it was actually drawn from real life. Worth thinking about."

 

AA, as part of your research have you visited Francis Frith's web pages - old photos of many parts of UK, plus, reminiscences of people who knew the place, usually in the '50s. As a child I thought the books were based on St Mary Cray, now part of Orpington. I used to spend school holidays in Petts Wood, which is in the same general area and has the mix of 16th century, 1930's and 1950-60's architecture common in UK market towns.

 

You comment on one 'highly unusual building' which I can't identify from the maps you have posted. Can you be more specific? It could help my detective work!

:scratchhe

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"The Market Cray maps not only include several features that are never mentioned in any of the 14 'Cherrys' books, but also show one highly unusual building that surely would only have been included if it was actually drawn from real life. Worth thinking about."

 

AA, as part of your research have you visited Francis Frith's web pages - old photos of many parts of UK, plus, reminiscences of people who knew the place, usually in the '50s. As a child I thought the books were based on St Mary Cray, now part of Orpington. I used to spend school holidays in Petts Wood, which is in the same general area and has the mix of 16th century, 1930's and 1950-60's architecture common in UK market towns.

I'm not familiar with the webpages you mention, Cornish Maed. Of course, the whole area will be now so urbanized that walking around St. Mary Cray may be of less help than one would like. Perhaps a combination of drawing upon your memories whilst consulting 60 to 80 year-old 6" to the mile Ordnance Survey maps of the area might serve.

 

You comment on one 'highly unusual building' which I can't identify from the maps you have posted. Can you be more specific? It could help my detective work!

As an enthusiast for (domestic) architecture down the ages, I find that rectangular two-storied building on the north side of North Bank Road, and fronting on to Marigold Passage, rather intriguing. Not being on the High Street it is unlikely to be either a cinema or a bank. The fenestration (arrangement of the windows, best seen on the rotated map in #4 'THE CHERRYS & THE PRINGLES') clearly shows that 'tis not a house. About the only possibility I can come up with is a purpose-built little theatre.

 

MarketCrayCentralMapforCherrys4web.jpg

 

Would such a building be included if the map was 100% invented?

 

The best of fortune with your project. :clap:

 

‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’

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Yes, AA, I am in agreement, cinema? theatre? temporary marquee? The field trip will be in abeyance for a month or so as I am just about to start an Open Univeristy course on children's literature - books have arrived, looks stimulating. I am considering using the Cherry books as part of my dissertation - they are fairly unusual because of the adult participation, and all those maps (deep sigh) how I love maps and plans!

:)

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Even more unusual, Cornish Maed, is the high degree of accurate meshing between all the maps and illustrations, together with their faithfulness to Will Scott's texts. This in an era when it was not at all unusual for cover and spine illustrations, maps and plans, and line-drawings within the body of a :rolleyes: 'mere' *patronising sneer* children's book to contradict each other!

 

And artist Lilian Buchanan maintains this consistency throughout the entire 14-book series, enabling the reader to consult the maps and illustrations in the other books in the series to check up on a point in the 'Cherrys' book that he/she is currently reading.

 

:arms: Good luck with your children's literature course.

 

Non-sneerer, 'Aurélien Arkadiusz' :wonder:

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Perhaps 'tis time to state the obvious - anyone here with treasured memories of Will Scott's wonderful series, or with access to even one of his Cherrys books, is qualified to help build this thread.....

 

'Aurélien Arkadiusz'

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