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Campaigner: Beaconsfield Blyton attraction would be huge economic boost
The ECONOMIC benefits of an Enid Blyton attraction for Beaconsfield would be huge, according to a resident who has started a petition for one to be built in the Town Hall.
TV producer Bob Massie says an interactive ‘Enchanted World’ based on the works of the famous former resident would be lucrative for businesses and put the town on the map.
He claims the Town Hall on Penn Road would be perfect for celebrating the much-loved author, who wrote most of her major works during her 30 years in Beaconsfield.
And the 52-year-old grandfather believes Beaconsfield should be jealous of towns like Great Missenden, which has a museum dedicated to fellow children’s writer Roald Dahl.
He said: “It’s all very well and good to put up plaques, but Enid Blyton is for kids and a proper attraction would really put Beaconsfield on the map.
“There’s so many restaurants, bars and shops that would benefit from having a tourist attraction like this, you only have to look at the number of visitors to Bekonscot.
“There should definitely be more done to celebrate her link to Beaconsfield. It’s a perfect location too, with car parking and really close to the station.
“The high street is looking a bit sad at the moment and it would bring more trade into the town for sure."
Blyton lived in ‘Green Hedges’, a Beaconsfield house demolished in 1973 to make way for a housing development, now called Blyton Close.
She is the fourth most translated author of all time, with global sales of over 500 million books.
Mr Massie’s wife Tina runs the Red Lion pub in Knotty Green, which has an area given over to the Famous Five and Noddy writer.
A recent ‘Enid Blyton Week’ organised by The Beaconsfield Society saw a raft of Blyton-themed events, and the Town Council recently agreed to install a plaque to honour her Beaconsfield links.
There are growing calls for the Town Hall, built in 1936, to be put to better use and to benefit more of the community.
It is owned by South Bucks District Council and currently leased by the Town Council, which has suggested consulting the public on its future use.
In April, Cllr Phillip Bastiman stressed this would take place only after the council had met with SBDC to determine what the landlords would allow for the building.
However, a Town Council spokesman has confirmed this meeting has not yet taken place.
Mr Massie suggested that if SBDC could offer free or discounted rent on the building, an entrepreneurial investor could make a success of the venture.
The petition can be found through the ‘My Beaconsfield’ Facebook page or through www.gopetition.com
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