The Enid Blyton Society

Christmas Greetings?!

What would you like to see? All feedback and suggestions appreciated!

Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Tony Summerfield » 23 Dec 2008, 14:16

Tis the season to be jolly, so they say.

It seems that 'Hard Times' might have even reached Lapland though, as I have just seen Father Christmas down the town, selling copies of the 'Big Issue'! :lol:

It is always nice to be appreciated at this time of year and I thought I would like to share an email that I have just received from one of our members in Australia:-

'Hi Tony,

I recently renewed my subscription for the Society Journal.I never receive any sort of thank you from you for doing this.(never do) I feel that the society lacks warmth and any caring for their subscribers.

There should also be a page for the overseas subscribers in the journal.Even a list.Actual numbers of subscribers abroad has never been published.And there should certainly be some sort of a Badge,or Certificate,Membership Card:Number or similar.All of this is largely overlooked by the Society founders/organisers.

I paid my subscription,received NO thank you or anything! I just feel that your oversea's members are not very highly regarded.For instance - when the Society have Enid Blyton Day- why are we not each sent the special programme produced for the day?Most of us would be prepared to pay for a copy.

Hoping you will consider my thoughts,especially the production of a badge (I know you have had them in the past) or membership card at the very least.Surely I am not the first to suggest these things??

Thank you for a great publication,I hope you understand how left out your overseas members are feeling.

For these changes to be implemented would go along way to improving the standard of customer relations.

I am a HUGE Enid Blyton Fan, who just believes that we deserve a better deal from the Society in general.

Cheers and Merry Christmas,'

Ow!! What can I say that's printable?? Well I can say that overseas members actually get a very good deal, as with recent increased costs the Society actually makes a loss on each journal sent outside Europe. I can also say that overseas members are treated exactly the same as UK members in every way.

These things work both ways and I can honestly say that apart from the kind remarks from regular forum members, I get precious little thanks for anything I do. I answer Blyton questions in numerous emails, including two recently from the person who sent this message, and about one person in ten thanks me for my reply - needless to say the sender of this jolly message did not.

I had better make a New Year's resolution to get less sleep so that I can put in more time on Society business.

Tis the season to be jolly! :roll:
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Ming » 23 Dec 2008, 14:35

Overseas members, left out? Never! I never even receive my Journals until months after everyone else, yet I very much feel I belong to the Society! Perhaps a certificate would be nice, but honestly, it's not necessary. Because we're not all that formal or official, but are a friendly bunch of people who love Enid Blyton's work, and we all appreciate whatever you do for the Society, Tony.

No thank you for subscribing? Not enough value for money? Perhaps you should redirect the kind Australian to the Cave or the Secret Passage, and see the treasures in there!

I just feel that your oversea's members are not very highly regarded.


I disagree. In the 2007 Enid Blyton Day Norman Wright specifically mentioned me during his opening speech, and Tony asked me if I would like to do an interview for BBC's Radio 4. I can't exactly call that, "not very highly regarded". :roll:

Merry Christmas, Tony, and your New Year resolution should be to get a bit more rest!
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Philip Mannering » 23 Dec 2008, 14:40

Yes, do get some rest, Tony! I am not a member of the EBS now (but I will subscribe very soon), but I would like to point out to the Australian member that please visit this site, and do check out 'Secret Passage' (only to members) - there are some great things in there! - and 'The Cave of Books' - which contain so much information I could hardly say anything about it.
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Daisy » 23 Dec 2008, 15:03

I feel quite breathless Tony! We are a polite bunch here otherwise I might be tempted to say "How dare you!" to your antipodean writer. I'm glad the first two responses to your post are from places other than the UK and their replies help to balance the criticism! You have quite enough work to do in preparing and then sending the Journals out, without having to acknowledge renewals! I'm not sure how a programme for the EB day sent to everyone would be received. I bet someone somewhere would take it as a taunt, like saying "See what you've missed"! Still there's no pleasing everyone and I'm sure the majority of our friendly members do appreciate just how much time and effort you put into the Society. Thank you again, and I hope you have a happy and restful time over the Christmas period.
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Moonraker » 23 Dec 2008, 15:14

Maybe our friend from Oz thinks that the Society is a large business. After all, it boasts a website that some multi-national companies would die for (thanks to Keith for being an amazing webmaster, and Anita and Barney for much off-stage help); we have a Society Organiser who is up there with the best of Chief Executives from the world of business, we have an annual Conference that is incredibly well organised and planned. We have a Journal that is far better than most company magazines I read and a Forum that is second to none.

Cannot our friend be forgiven for thinkng that we have a full board of directors, publicity machinery, a large advertising budget and a staff of many in order for the Society to be so successful?

Maybe he doesn't know that most of our prominence, content and success is down to just one man, the legendary Tony Summerfield.

Take a bow, team, and thanks Captain Tony!
Last edited by Moonraker on 23 Dec 2008, 16:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Lucky Star » 23 Dec 2008, 15:26

I can only echo what others have said here. Tony works tirelessly and with little or no recognition from the wider world to bring out quality journals and run this amazing website. One look through the Cave of Books is enough evidence of that. This Australian person needs to do a quick comparison and see what else he/she can buy for the small sum the society charges. I doubt if it buys 4 beers so it is ceratainly excellent value for money.

As regards the not caring for overseas members, it is obvious from the comments of other overseas members that this person is in a minority of one.
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 23 Dec 2008, 18:19

Perhaps the Society would seem more "warm" to this member if they themselves got more involved with it. Do they actually contribute anything other than their annual Journal subscription fee?! For example, they could post on these Forums for a start. Websites are surely the perfect medium for allowing members from around the globe to interact with one another and feel fully part of what's going on.

Anita
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 23 Dec 2008, 19:40

I too think that if this particular member, and other Society members, joined the forums also, they would be more aware of the vast information about Enid Blyton, and meet many friends here on the forums, then they would see just how much work Tony puts into the Society.

Philip, I'm surprised you are not a member of the Society, as you appear to be able to read the continuation novels. :roll:

8)
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Tony Summerfield » 23 Dec 2008, 19:47

As I said in my original post, I appreciate the kind remarks from our regular forumites, and I stress my thanks again. There are many members in the UK who for various good reasons may never be able to come to an Enid Blyton Day, and their position is really no different to those living overseas. I agree wholeheartedly with what Anita says, that these forums are the perfect place to get involved, modern technology can bring us all much closer together.

Sadly this particular member, who has posted on both Keith's and Heather's sites saying how wonderful they are, has not participated on this site despite it being run by the Society to which she belongs. I would like to think that she is reading this thread as this is one email that I am not going to reply to. It can be cold out there come in and feel the warmth!
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Tony Summerfield » 23 Dec 2008, 19:56

Julie2owlsdene wrote:Philip, I'm surprised you are not a member of the Society, as you appear to be able to read the continuation novels. :roll: 8)


I actually sent Philip a Journal as a reward for his enthusiastic posts and the energy he has put into these forums. Sadly it never arrived, but I felt the least I could do was to give him the password to the Secret Passage. Other non members might like it too, but I feel that Philip has well and truly earned it!
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Aurélien » 23 Dec 2008, 21:29

Merry Christmas, Tony.
As a cranky new forumite I am stunned by what I've seen here (even as a non-member of your EBS) of the huge volume of quality Blytonian material that you have personally generated. I'm also left rather punch-drunk by the glimpses I've had of the crushing voluntary work load which you have carried for so long. Just one day of working at your pace would likely crush me flatter than a tornado dumping your entire Blyton collection right on top of me, after first having paid you a :roll: disgruntled housecall.

In this funny old world of ours success is oftimes punished, :evil: and dedicated service is taken for granted and seems to attract as many brickbats as bouquets. :twisted:

Antipodean oldster, ‘Aurélien Arkadiusz’
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 23 Dec 2008, 21:51

Tony Summerfield wrote:I actually sent Philip a Journal as a reward for his enthusiastic posts and the energy he has put into these forums. Sadly it never arrived, but I felt the least I could do was to give him the password to the Secret Passage. Other non members might like it too, but I feel that Philip has well and truly earned it!


Mystery solved, no need to bring Fatty & Co, out of retirement :lol: :lol:

8)
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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Rob Houghton » 24 Dec 2008, 01:20

What can I add? I can't believe you receive emails such as that Tony. As for wanting thanks from the society for re-subscription, surely the excellent Journal, and the warm friendly feeling of belonging to the society, and the chance to go to the Day are enough thanks for any of us!

You do a superb job, and you know we are all grateful to you and appreciate everything you do both Journal-wise and website-wise.

It seems a pity that people such as the person who emailed you are part of such a fantastic society. :evil:
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby RDMorrell » 24 Dec 2008, 02:13

I find the use of phrases like "I hope you understand how left out your overseas members are feeling" to be rather extraordinary. This member has quite a nerve to pretend that she's speaking on behalf of ALL overseas members! :shock: Well, I'm an overseas member, from the other Down Under (New Zealand), and I just love the EBS Web site for the amazing source of information that it is, and I also greatly enjoy the Journals. I don't participate in the Forums as much as I could maybe, but that's down to time constraints and my having all sorts of other projects going on. It's certainly no fault of the Society's! I might add that I'm not very involved in the Enid Blyton Yahoo group for the same sorts of reasons. But I do wish to stress that I certainly don't feel "left out" or "alienated" or anything else of that sort. Far from speaking for all overseas members, that Australian lady is, I suspect, speaking mainly for herself!

However, notwithstanding the decidedly prickly and snippy tone of that message, she did actually have a couple of good suggestions. The "thank you", for instance, could probably be implemented easily enough with an automated e-mail message that could be sent out when people renew their memberships via PayPal or other electronic means. Of course, if they pay by cheque, it might be a bit more awkward. Personally, I'm not that concerned about whether I'm thanked or not, and I'm sure many others feel the same, but it's not SUCH a bad suggestion and certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. The membership badge or card is also a really cool idea, although I'm not sure how feasible it would be due to printing costs and suchlike. But it would be a nice sort of "Secret Seven" touch.

Unfortunately, these suggestions have been tainted by the unpleasant tone in which they were put forth, but that doesn't alter the fact that they are reasonably good ideas, and perhaps worth considering. But let me say again that I certainly don't agree with that lady's manner, and that whether any of her ideas are implemented or not, I think Tony is doing an absolutely superb and often underappreciated job with the Society and this Web site, and most assuredly deserves our most grateful thanks for it. He certainly has mine! And may I add that I feel I am getting very good value for my subscription fee. :D
Best Regards

ROWAN M.

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Re: Christmas Greetings?!

Postby Philip Mannering » 24 Dec 2008, 13:03

Tony Summerfield wrote:
Julie2owlsdene wrote:Philip, I'm surprised you are not a member of the Society, as you appear to be able to read the continuation novels. :roll: 8)


I actually sent Philip a Journal as a reward for his enthusiastic posts and the energy he has put into these forums. Sadly it never arrived, but I felt the least I could do was to give him the password to the Secret Passage. Other non members might like it too, but I feel that Philip has well and truly earned it!

Joining the society is actually quite a delicate matter, Julie - when you have a country which has so bad postal services - but I will look into the matter in February.
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