Elisabeth Beresford

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The Independent Online

Further to your obituary of Elisabeth Beresford (3 January), I first met Elisabeth in 1974 when I was 13 years of age, writes Mike Allaway.

I had taken an interest in the environmental group Keep Britain Tidy and had read her Wombles books. I wrote to her and received a lovely letter back. After this I asked our local library to invite her to give a talk to the junior members. Elisabeth accepted and delivered a great talk which had the local children enchanted. She had away of communicating to the young that many of today’s “celebrity” children’s authors don’t possess.

After The Wombles became a successful television series, a success that was then taken further by Mike Batt’s musical group based on the characters, I was keen to start some sort of fan club, which Elisabeth encouraged. Alas, Mr Batt was not so keen on the idea and it was not to happen.

But Elisabeth and I stayed in touch and I often went along to her signings and book promotions. She was an incredibly warm and kind lady who always had time for everyone - children in particular. In the 1970s she moved to Alderney, where she created another Womble based on her home island. I last had a note from her last winter - as cheery and as happy as ever.

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