Mystery on Bird Island 1954

‘Mystery On Bird Island’ was filmed in Guernsey and Alderney, and ‘Bird Island’ was Burhou, a small islet off Alderney.

It is from a story by Mary Cathcart Borer. The 57 minute film was released in 1954 by ‘The Children’s Film Foundation’

It is the Story of Four youngsters who discover birds’ nest thieves on a sanctuary island, and go head-to-head with the smugglers to try and stop them.

A few years later came this better known story :-

Five on Treasure Island 1957

The first of Enid Blyton’s popular adventures about four young cousins and their dog with a taste for investigating takes them to an island off the Dorset coast that it is full of mysteries, scrapes and, of course, lashings of ginger ale. However the promise of lost riches from a shipwreck also attracts the attention of greedy men who might put our heroes in danger.

This is the earliest filmed version of the story, made by the Children’s Film Foundation. The eight episodes were originally meant for the kids-only Saturday morning showings that used to be run at cinemas.

The Famous Five are Julian, Dick, Anne, George [Georgina] and Timmy the dog. This film tells the story of how the Famous Five have an exciting but sometimes scary adventure searching for treasure on the island left to Georgina by her grandfather

A young actor in the film was John Charlesworth who had quite a busy career in Films and Television. I remember him very well for playing Harry Wharton in the famous BBC Billy Bunter Television series.

John Charlesworth

Also he had a key role in ‘The Blue Peter’ another favourite of mine which starred Kieron Moore, Greta Gynt and Sarah Lawson also in the cast.

It was a thrilling film set at an Outward Bound School in Aberdovey North Wales. In Colour and Cinemascope

John Charlesworth
Harry Fowler, John Charlesworth and Kieron Moore

Harry Fowler and John Charlesworth filming a scene in Aberdovey
‘The Blue Peter’ 1955

Sad to say that John Charlesworth died at the age of 24 in tragic circumstances – he took his own life on 2 April 1960.

What a waste of such a young man who had become quite well known to many of us through the fifties and I am sure that he would have had so much more to give to films and to Television and to life itself

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