We would like to introduce our very first Christmas book from the Audley End Miniature Railway Family!
‘A Christmas Catastrophe in the Enchanted Audley End Woods’ is an enchanting debut, co-written by sisters Amanda and Emma Neville, daughters of the founder of the Audley End Miniature Railway, the late Lord Braybrooke.
For a very long time both sisters have wanted to write stories in memory of their sister Hetty, and father Robin. Growing up together, they would often spend their days playing in the enchanted Audley End woods, acting out imaginative stories, surrounded by nature and all the woodland animals. They have brilliantly brought their dream to life in their debut book – “A Christmas Catastrophe”
The book tells the story of a naughty elf, Elvin, who whilst playing, gets Father Christmas’s sleigh stuck under the railway track. Working together with the elves, brother and sister Robin and Hetty use their wit and determination to free the sleigh, just in time to get Father Christmas on his way, delivering presents around the world.
The characters in the story – Robin and Hetty – are named after Robin, the late Lord Braybrooke, who was a train fanatic and passionate engineer from his early childhood, and Hetty, his beloved daughter, sadly lost too young.
When Robin grew up, he was able to realise his dream by building Audley End Miniature Railway at the bottom of his garden. Hetty was never happier than when she was playing in the Enchanted Woods, surrounded by nature and all the animals.
Co-author Emma Neville said; “It’s been such a joy working with my sister, and bringing the characters, who are so close to our hearts, alive in this story.” Amanda Neville went onto say, “During this second lockdown, this ‘Christmas Catastrophe’ is helping to keep our magical attraction alive in the imaginations of our young readers, when our doors have to remain closed.”
Set in the ancient Audley End woodlands, the book, beautifully illustrated by Tall Chin, is awash with a magical and traditional Christmas spirit. The charming watercolour images are studded with woodland animals and captivating details for children to discover.
In the story, Father Christmas rewards his special helpers, Robin and Hetty, with a golden bell from his sleigh. Each copy of the hardback book will include a golden bell, hidden in a red velvet pouch, for every reader to magically uncover on Christmas morning (with a little help from parents and carers!).
It is hoped the book will be the first of a series documenting the adventures of Robin and Hetty in the Enchanted Audley End Woods.
More information on the release date will follow shortly. The book will be available to purchase in time for Christmas 2020!