Newcastle-based Seven Stories will receive assets of Enid Blyton Trust for Children, which is being wound up
A £750,000 legacy from the much-loved Famous Five author Enid Blyton is to go to the Newcastle-based children’s books centre Seven Stories.
The fund comes from the Enid Blyton Trust for Children, which has worked for almost 30 years to support children in need. Its trustees, who include Blyton’s daughter Imogen Smallwood, have now decided to retire, and are winding up the trust and donating its assets to Seven Stories.
“Our hope for Seven Stories is that the money from the Enid Blyton fund will continue to open up the world of books to as many children as possible,” said the trustees in a statement. “The Enid Blyton Trust was founded in memory of all the charitable work Enid did during her life. When we decided to wind the Trust up our intention was to find an organisation for whom children and books are their raison d’etre.”
The trustees said that Seven Stories was a “truy inspiring place”, and that “Enid herself would feel very happy with everything Seven Stories is doing for her, her work and for the children”. The centre is the only gallery dedicated to children’s literature in the UK, and has been visited by 380,000 people since it opened in 1996. It houses one of the largest modern children’s literature collections in Britain, with work from more than 80 authors and illustrators, including Philip Pullman, Edward Ardizzone, Judith Kerr and David Almond.
Last year, Seven Stories successfully bid at auction for a wealth of rare Blyton material, from a previously unpublished manuscript, Mr Tumpy’s Caravan, to original typescripts of books from the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers and Noddy series. Chief executive Kate Edwards said she was “thrilled” that the centre would be continuing the work of the Enid Blyton Trust “to improve the lives of children through learning and leisure opportunities”.