Children's Hour

BBC Radio

I believe that seven of Saville's books were dramatised as radio plays and transmitted as serials in the Radio programme 'Children's Hour' in the 1940s and 1950s*. (see * below)

The first to be broadcast was the first of the Lone Pine stories: Mystery at Witchend, broadcast in 1943.
The second Lone Pine serial was the third book The Gay Dolphin Adventure which was serialised in six parts and broadcast from 11th January 1946 and was followed later the same year by Seven White Gates.
No further Line Pine books were serialised by the BBC. It has been suggested that the next book in the series, The Secret of Grey Walls, has too many cast members to make a viable radio serialisation.
Radio Times Fri 8 Feb 1946
From The Radio Times
Home Service - all regions
Friday 8th February 1946
David Schutte has announced the publication of the scripts of the three Lone Pine stories in 2008 and 2009. More details of the books are available by following the link to his publisher page on this site, or via his website from that page or from the Links page above.

Then there was the Buckingham's second adventure, The Buckinghams at Ravenswyke and the Jillies' first, Redshank's Warning.
The second of the Mike and Mary series, The Riddle of the Painted Box was also serialised and was broadcast in 1948.

If I am correct in my belief, then there is one more radio serial to be discovered.

I was right. In 2008 I contacted David Schutte, book dealer and publisher of the Lone Pine serial scripts and asked him if he could help with my problem. He could. He replied immediately that I was right, and that there had been a seventh serial. It was of the Michael and Mary story The Secret of the Hidden Pool. As the adventure took place near Lyme Regis is was natural that the serial was first broadcast in the 'West Country Region' of the BBC's Home Service.
This was in November and December 1953 and as it does not appear to have been re-broadcast, only young listeners in that area had the opportunity to hear it.

Grateful thanks to David for relieving me of the most irritating puzzle !


* N.B. This belief originated in a statement I'm sure was in the author's entry in the 1960 edition of Who's Who.
However I had, until now, been unable to find more than six, although for years I thought that there had been a serialisation of Trouble at Townsend. This, I found last year, was based on my misunderstanding of a statement in another source actually referring to The Riddle of the Painted Box. I now need to check that original reference but I fear the Who's Who is long gone ! (JA Nov 2007)
20 March 2008: Today I came across a copy of Who's Who 1974 in a charity shop. There, in the Malcolm Saville entry, is the statement:
'seven stories adapted for broadcast by the BBC.'
Vindicated - yet which is the seventh ? And then I contacted David Schutte. A fuller version of the story is given in the first issue of The Wise Owl newsletter. (JA Dec 2008)


This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created Nov 2002
last updated December 2008