Saturday 23 February 2013

Coalhole covers in literature - part 1 Enid Blyton

My daughter has some lovely odd-parents who buy her great gifts. One of the first was a boxed set of Roald Dahl books which I loved as much as she did. Last Christmas they bought her a boxed set of Enid Blyton Secret Seven books. They are quite entertaining, although there is a whiff of 1950s embedded sexism and the leader of the Secret Seven (Peter, if you're interested) is a wannabe fascist dictator.

But imagine my unabandoned joy last night when I read the latest chapter of 'Go Ahead, Secret Seven' to my daughter. The chapter's title was 'Down the Coal-hole' and it featured a bull-terrier being lowered down the coalhole which was in a yard serving several buildings. I checked the book's cover and - sure enough - there's a picture of Colin, Herr Peter and AN Other lifting off the lid of a (rather large) coalhole. The description suggests that Enid Blyton was unfamiliar with the self-locking mechanism of Haywards (and other) foundries and I wonder if she actually checked out how they are secured. The picture on page 108 has a hint of the Luxfer 'cake' design, but the manufacturer of the cover is unfortunatley unknown.

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