The Enid Blyton Society
Secret of the Old Mill
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Book Details...

First edition: 1948
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Janet and Peter (Secret Seven)
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Short Story Books

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Review by David Cook
Further Illustrations


Cover from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper

Endpapers from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper

Title page from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper
Again illustrated throughout in similar vein by Eileen Soper, this is the first Secret Seven story proper, which starts off with Peter and Janet in the garden of their new home, Old Mill Farm, an old farmhouse so-named because of the disused, tumbledown mill on the hill nearby. Peter is under a bush reading a book about a secret society which inspires him to suggest to Janet that they form one of their own. At this point they are interrupted by the tea bell and, after having eaten, they return to the mill and decide who to enlist to their ranks. The lucky five nominees are mysteriously and anonymously summoned to the mill on Saturday evening for an inaugural meeting of the Seven Society, as it's first called, and they establish the first password — "Tiddly-winks".

Typically with this series, there appeared an alternative version of these events in the "Mickey Mouse Weekly" of July 21 1951, where Janet and Scamper discover Peter hiding behind the curtain on the window seat, reading his book. They summon the other five to their shed "at five o'clock, Tuesday" for the first meeting and establish the password as "Wenceslas", as it's the Christmas holidays in an introduction to the picture strip version (by George Brook) of the first full-length story. Interestingly enough, the order of nominees — Colin, Jack, Pam, George and Barbara — and the order of arrival at the meeting — Colin, George, Jack, Barbara and Pam — are the same in both versions.

But back to Secret of the Old Mill. It is decided that there must be a purpose for the Society's existence and they decide to raise money to send Lame Luke, who needs an operation on his leg, away on holiday to get ready for his ordeal. Subsequently, money raised for this and stored in the old mill is stolen by thieves who are also using the mill for storage of stolen goods. However, when the thieves are captured the Seven are rewarded and reimbursed. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.