/ Obscure memory of a children's book

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BusyLizzie on 04 Aug 2017
You'll have to be at least 50 to help me with this one dearies.

The lovely article about St Kilda has sparked a memory of a book I read as a child about a bunch of kids escaping home/school/whatever, taking the train, nicking a boat, and sailing (reasonably competently) to a remote island off Scotland. My vague memory of the plot is that they were aiming for St Kilda but came ashore at a nearer island which had recently been abandoned, and they soon found out that the reason it had been abandoned was that it was going to be used for bombing practice by the Air Force.

Put like that the plot is a bit far-fetched, but that was roughly it and it was a good book, if I remember correctly.

But of course the title escapes me. Anyone else remember?

veteye on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Sounds like the title should be "Four go to Gruniard Island"
1
BusyLizzie on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to veteye:

Hmm, it does doesn't it. But it wasn't.

Oh and I am 99% sure it was not by Ms Blyton. I don;t think she ever got to grips with the shipping forecast and this writer had certainly done so.
JimR - on 04 Aug 2017
wilkie14c - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

what a shitty childhood library i had, my favourite was the magic porridge pot
BusyLizzie on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to JimR:

No, that's not it - but thank you. It definitely wasn't Enid Blyton - much better!
davidbeynon on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to wilkie14c:

> what a shitty childhood library i had, my favourite was the magic porridge pot

If the protagonists were unable to remember the words "stop little pot stop" then they deserved to be poor.


pasbury on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Sounds like one of the later Swallows and Amazons books but can't find any with a matching plot. Great Northern? sounds the nearest.
FactorXXX - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to wilkie14c:

what a shitty childhood library i had, my favourite was the magic porridge pot

Your favourite was the Magic Porridge Pot?
Mine too, but then again, I was brought up in a Catholic orphanage...
Ridge - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Magic Porridge Pot

I'm scared to put that into google..

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jonnie3430 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Island_of_Adventure

Then this isn't right either, but it is the one that sprang to mind.
Andy Hardy on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to pasbury:

The nearest Ransome book to that would be "We didn't mean to go to sea" but the kids are left on a boat, the owner goes ashore for some petrol and gets knocked over. The tide comes in, the boat drags it's anchor and they end up sailing across the North sea overnight in thick fog.
Doug on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I did write a comment but didn't post it suggesting Great Northern as (from memory) its the only book in the series based in Scotland. But it doesn't fit the plot described in the first post.
Moley on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

It sounds a typical story from one of Denys Watkins-Pitchford's children's books (writing under pseudonym BB)), which I devoured as a kid. But I can't make it tally with any on his list of titles.
damhan-allaidh on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Not an answer but it might help with this and other book mysteries:
https://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/06/28/finding-books-by-plot
BusyLizzie on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Thank you all so much for your research and suggestions!
Chris Harris - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Moley:

> It sounds a typical story from one of Denys Watkins-Pitchford's children's books (writing under pseudonym BB)), which I devoured as a kid. But I can't make it tally with any on his list of titles.

Ah, "The Little Grey Men". I lost count of the number of times I read that as a kid. A wonderful book.
Dr.S at work - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

> Ah, "The Little Grey Men". I lost count of the number of times I read that as a kid. A wonderful book.

agreed! just re-read Brendon Chase, which is fantastic.
Moley on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Little grey men and Brendon Chase, both on my shelf still, great reads and perhaps time to revisit them. Had me enthralled as a kid.
icnoble on 08 Aug 2017
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DerwentDiluted - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> agreed! just re-read Brendon Chase, which is fantastic.

That and Lord of the Forest are the only 2 childhood books I occasionally revisit.
Bobling - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

Brilliant - thank you! Found a book I've been looking for for years in a few clicks.
mbh - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Intriguing. I also thought Ransome, but no, and I have scoured the back covers of my Puffin Posts from the early to mid 70s, on which all the new titles were listed, but nothing fits the bill. BB, also on my shelves, pretty much only did animals and gnomes, I think. Shenanigans of the sort you describe on Scottish islands sounds a bit Alastair Maclean, or even Tintin, but the Venn diagrams don't quite line up.

BusyLizzie on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to mbh:

Thank you! My memory of the feel of the book, i.e. the paper and the covers, is that it was quite a bit older than 70s ... but I may be wrong about that.

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