Bobby Brewster

I'm at my parents' house for the evening. I just got off the phone to Jen. She had sardine sandwiches for tea. I pointed out that sardine sandwiches were a particular favourite of mine and Bobby Brewster's when I was a kid. “Bobby who?” asked Jen.

Bobby Brewster: the brain-child of the children's author, H E Todd. He (or, more formally, H.E.) visited our school when I was about six years old. He read from his Bobby Brewster books, which we then had the opportunity to buy. I bought Bobby Brewster Detective. I loved the book, but, unfortunately, they had run out of signed copies by the time I got to the front of the queue. So my teacher, Miss Jones (who wore a mini skirt), forged his autograph for me. Damned if I know what happened to it (the book, that is, not the mini skirt).

If anyone out there has a copy of Bobby Brewster Detective, I'd love to borrow it. [I bought a second-hand copy off Amazon in June 2015.]


120 thoughts on “Bobby Brewster

  1. I still have my signed copy of BB's Torch from HE's visit to St Anne's in Virginia Water in 1973.Beautiful books from a master story teller.

  2. I have just found this site while googling Bobby Brewster and H. E. Todd. I am German and had up to yesterday night never heard of him or of his books, probably because I am German. Then yesterday at a story-reading I heard "follow the spider" from Bobby Brewster detective. And I laughed a lot and was really fascinated by this story. Today I have already bought four Bobby Brewster books, old ones of course. But unfortunately they are difficult to get and have probably never been translated into German. Does anybody know anything about it? I am really a fan now.

    Bridget

  3. Well, this is amazing! I was thinking about books I read as a child and Bobby Brewster sprang to mind-although I'd half convinced myself they were not 'real'. A quick google and here I am! My son is 8, so I guess I'll buy Mr Todd's wonderful books for him (and me!)

  4. This site is fantastic. Listening to all the comments makes me smile. I grew up with my dad reading myself and my older brothers Bobby Brewster books, and listening to tapes of it too. I am trying to get my hands on some books so I can pass down to future generations to keep the great stories alive.... Does ANYONE have any books / tapes / contacts !!???? Please contact me if you do!

    paulburns007@hotmail.com

    Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

    Paul

  5. I remember him visiting my school, Beechwood Park Preparatory School, Markyate, around 1987/1988. I bought the book: The tiger that couldn't be bothered and he signed it!!!

    Email me of you want.

  6. My father, who worked in the shoe industry, knewMr Todd who, I presume, was in the same line of business.I must ask my father about him when I next speak to him.

    I used to receive signed copies of the books, which I enjoyed enormously at the time. I even wrote some stories myself to send to Mr Todd. However, like all kids at that time, I didn't really appeciate the value of signed copies and the books are long gone. Ahhh, if only ....

  7. I loved Bobby Brewster as a child - I remember the library had them all lined up in the hardbacks. I managed to find Bobby Brewster's First Fun last yearon ebay and it's signed!

    I run a children's bookshop now. I had a visit from a local Beaver Scouts group last night and took along my favourite childhood books to show them. I read them a story from Bobby Brewster and they seemed to enjoy it! (I think they liked the "jolly well, tweebly well" line!)

    One of the girls (they let girls in the scouts now, you know) said she had heard of him because her grandad was a fan and had read them to her!

  8. I am 32 and had a dog-eared, handed down copy of a Bobby Brewster book as a child. One story was about the cuckoo clock - does anyone remember this? It was brilliant! I am now looking them up to see if I can get the stories for my children.

    I can't believe they're not printed anymore!

  9. Sometime in the early 80's I read some Bobby Brewster stories to my son and he liked them so much I encouraged him to write to H.E. Todd. To my great surprise he not only replied, but also suggested coming to the school to talk to the children. As a teacher I invited him to my school and he came to several schools in the Poole area. He not only read to the children but also talked to them about how to write stories. I remember him describing how he related the end of a story directly back to its beginning. Now if only I could remember a bit more I could have a profitable retirement!!

  10. Hello everyone

    I too have lovely memories of the darling H E Todd visiting my primary school - Bishop Henderson in Taunton, during the 1970's. He had us all rapt, and I can't remember the name of the story but I think it was about a cowsitting down on a nettle, andwhen he yelled "Moooooo" we all jumped out of our skins and burst out laughing. He was such a wonderful man, and I still have my signed copy of Bobby Brewster's Typewriter (I think its that one, its up in the loft but I'm going to find it and bring it down for my two little boys who will love it). I also remember the story about Bobby running his stick along the railings and the railings saying "ouch"!

    I will always remember H E Todd withgreat fondness.

    Lisa

  11. Hi Bobby Brewster Fans!

    Great to read some comments from like-minded Brewster devotees.

    I did not know that H.E. Todd visited schools to read his books - what a great guy! My primary class would have loved that.

    I first heard Bobby Brewster stories before I could read. My older brother used to get them from the local library and my Dad would read them out loud. It really spurred me on to learn to read in order to be able to enjoy all the stories myself.

    Personal favourites are the multi-flavoured toothpaste, the talking fairy on the Christmas Tree, and the one where the cowboys and Indians come out of the TV set (I think they all sat down to sardine sandwiches made by Bobby's mother).

    I still have the wallpaper book somewhere.

    Great memories.....

    Rod

  12. Hi Bobby Brewster Fans!

    Great to read some comments from like-minded Brewster devotees.

    I did not know that H.E. Todd visited schools to read his books - what a great guy! My primary class would have loved that.

    I first heard Bobby Brewster stories before I could read. My older brother used to get them from the local library and my Dad would read them out loud. It really spurred me on to learn to read in order to be able to enjoy all the stories myself.

    Personal favourites are the multi-flavoured toothpaste, the talking fairy on the Christmas Tree, and the one where the cowboys and Indians come out of the TV set (I think they all sat down to sardine sandwiches made by Bobby's mother).

    I still have the wallpaper book somewhere.

    Great memories.....

    Rod

  13. I was just eating sardine sandwiches and as I always do thought of good old Billy Brewster - I loved the books - thought I'd Google and found all these fans - isn't the internet wonderful!

  14. I was at a school fete with my two sons when I came across a second hand book stall and there was a bobby Brewster book. I had a wonderful flashback to my schooldays in the mid 70's when H.E Todd came to our school and told a story and talked about writting. I will always remeber his main advie, being that a story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. My sons didn't believe i had met him, there ya go! I remember the book about the magic torch..EXTRAORDINARY!!! Great days!!

  15. I remember HE Todd coming to Knoxland Primary in Dumbarton and reading us Bobby Brewster's potato.

    I was in primary 1 at the time. Our teacher read us the books and we all loved them.

  16. does anyone know the bobby brewster book that had a song in it that goes something like: "isn't it a pity, bobby had a stomach ache.oh he felt so ill, had to take a pill..." that's all i remember but I'm desperately seeking it if anyone has any clues. It means a lot to my dad, so I'm trying to track down a copy for him. Thanks so much for your help...

  17. H E Todd visited Kings Langley Primary School in the late 1960s and I remember sitting in Church House (an old hall used for PE and concerts), listening to him tell a story about Bobby Brewster (and his shadow, I think). Very simple, but utterly spell-binding. He seemed such a kindly man and he was a brilliant story-teller. Why on earth are the books not still in print?

  18. H E Todd visited Kings Langley Primary School in the late 1960s and I remember sitting in Church House (an old hall used for PE and concerts), listening to him tell a story about Bobby Brewster (and his shadow, I think). Very simple, but utterly spell-binding. He seemed such a kindly man and he was a brilliant story-teller. Why on earth are the books not still in print?

  19. Can anyone help? i read a Bobby story in the 1970s, but I can not remember what it was called. The story involved Bobby assisting Father Christmas distribute gifts; if my memory serves me well, I think that some of them went to the wrong children.

  20. As a 46 year old child that grew up in Berkhamsted I will cherish the memories of 'Bertie' Todd, as he tried out many of his stories on the various 'orphaned' children who hung around the cricket pitch whilst there father's toilded at the square before retiring to the clubhouse.

    One of myfondest memories was seeing this wonderful author slowly working his away around the outfield towards the large roller where we would gather and purch, listening to his latest stories.

    For me it wasthe timbre of hisvoice and childlike sparkle as he told the story brought them to life. In my own way I now try and bring the same story tellling to bedtime stories with my children, revel if I can get them to add a 'voice' and hope that this art is never lost.

    Whilst the books have dated like all of us, the memories remain fresh and still make me smile.

    If anyone (including Mark) has any recording it would be lovely for it to be put on the web and for us to play it to our children?

    Glad to see I was not alone in my admiration.....have a sardine sandwich and put the clocks back to an age of innocence.

  21. Iwas at Ryelands school in South London in the mid-late 80s, I suppose this must have been one of his last visits. We read Bobby Brewster's potato and I still have a copy he signed.

    Fond memories and a lovely man.

  22. I remember HE Todd coming to our local library on the Falls Road in Belfast. My mother took me to see him and I was just totally in awe of him and sat stunned through the reading. It's a memory that has always stayed with me. I think I will start collecting the books again for my future grandchildren.

  23. I remember a man coming to our school in Oamaru, New Zealand, and telling us about Bobby Brewster. I can't remember any stories but know I was fascinated by him and otherwise would not have remembered Bobby's name. I think the year was 1972. Did H.E. Todd come to NZ? I'm glad to know there were other stories and I wasn't imagining it as nobody else seems to remember it!

  24. After finding out I was a dyslexic at 50 years of age, (when I got a Blackberry and found I was absolutely useless at emailing from it - long story), I thought back to myearly school days anddo recall recall struggling a bit but no real problems -but whatI do recall was Mr Todd coming to my school, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, it must've been in the mid 60's. He was the most wonderful story teller and I am sure he very much contributed to my absolute love of books.

    Thank you Bobby Brewster!

  25. So nice to stumble upon this site!. My two sons who are now in their 20's & still remember me reading 'Bobby Brewster's Wallpaper' to them. As I now work with children, I was just googling to find other books written by Mr Todd, never realised there were so many. I will look forward to adding more books to my collection.

  26. Amazing to find lots of other Bobby Brewster fans and hear that he was such a kindly gentleman. I read loads of them as a child in the Sixties, but the one that stood out for me was Bobby Brewster and His Torch.

    Sadly he never visited our Primary as it sounds as if we'd have had a whale of a time if he had! Lovely memories!

  27. H E Todd visiting my primary school, Stoneleigh East Primary School,is one of the happiest moment in school I can remember.I can remember sitting on the floor by his feet with my class listening to him tell his wonderful stories. I can almost hear his voice happy a bit growly a smile on his face wearing a brown suit a bit baggy.Sitting on his chair looking down at us all keeping us engaged in his wonderful tales of a little boy who had an enormous imagination. Old way are sometimes the way forward to develope imagination, encourage a good sence of morality and the importance of family life.I,my son and soon my grandson (2) all love Bobby Brewster

  28. I stumbled upon Bobby Brewster in my local library in Derbyshire at the age of 9 and discovered an era of magic and an age of innocence which ingrained itself into me. As a result i believe there are values of yesterday that are lost today but which i still hold true. I am now 36 and have spent a while tracking down most of these books through secondhand bookshops and ebay and they are now being read by my children. They aboslutely adore them. For me though, childhood will be remembered fondly because of H E Todd, Enid Blyton and Herge. May God bless their souls.

  29. Mr Todd came to my school, Cornabnk St James in Penicuik near Edinburgharound 1969.

    I got his autograph, being the most famous person I had ever managed to get!

    He was a great story teller, at least to me,and I remember us all sitting crosslegged in the school hall as he told us some stories.

    He may have been based near London but seems to have been to many schools hundreds of miles away bsed on the above comments.

  30. I am SO happy to have found all you fans of Bobby Brewster books. So very sad to hear that Mr Todd is no longer with us. What a man he was, he was the only author I ever read as a child, the only man who could hold my attention long enough to read a whole book.......I read them all!!

    There is a website called ''do you remember'' where I placed my memory of Bobby Brewster books a few years ago, and not one person has ever replied to add their memories, so I am going to go back and add a link to this website so people know I didn't imagine this wonderful Author.

    Rest in peace Mr Todd, you are a legend.

  31. I am SO happy to have found all you fans of Bobby Brewster books. So very sad to hear that Mr Todd is no longer with us. What a man he was, he was the only author I ever read as a child, the only man who could hold my attention long enough to read a whole book.......I read them all!!

    There is a website called ''do you remember'' where I placed my memory of Bobby Brewster books a few years ago, and not one person has ever replied to add their memories, so I am going to go back and add a link to this website so people know I didn't imagine this wonderful Author.

    Rest in peace Mr Todd, you are a legend.

  32. I loved these books as a child, good to know i not alone in remembering them. They are up there with the other greats.....Teddy Robinson, Milly Molly Mandy and those bright yellow hard backed Rupert books.....

  33. A 42 year old living in Egypt now.....for some reason bobby brewster sparks back into my memory after all these years....rushing down to the library on a saturday hoping to be the first to get to one of his new books!

    I type this on the laptop with my kids reading behind me. Mr. Todd no doubt left his magical presence on thousands of fledgling readers over the years.

    Thanks from one of them!

  34. Paul, if you're still out there from 2007, YES! I remember H E Todd coming to Aylesford School... I was very excited to see the real live author who wrote the fantastic Bobby Brewster stories that I loved.

  35. I was just talking to my wife about the afternoon Mr Todd came to Shelthorpe Primary School,Loughborough Leicestershire in the mid 60s. It as a Sunny afternoon and we all sat out on the grass crossed legged while he stood in front of us telling these wonderful stories. What a lovely memory. Thanks Bobby Brewster

  36. Awww! These were fantastic books. There must be a way to get hold of some copies. There should be a revival of them. I think I read every one when I was at primary school.

  37. My memory of H E Todd dates back to about 1975 when I was teaching in a junior school in Scunthorpe. The children and the teachers were held by his story telling but for me, as a teacher, his lasting legacy still remains with me to this day. I am now retired from teaching but I still use his idea that a story can come from a very simple object when telling my own stories to my grand daughter. I used this technique when I was teaching and the children loved it when they could choose any object from around the classroom and I would tell them a story based around the object. I often told them that it was a kind of magic that everything contained. Years afterwards children remembered those stories. For me H E Todd lives on and one day I will tell my grand daughter and hope that she too will tell her own stories.

  38. I was lucky enough to go and see Mr Todd at Valance House in Dagenham Essex when i was in the last year at junior school i was 10 so that would have been 1972 , i remember him talking about his stories and reading some to us , he made us laugh and we truly had a wonderful time , i didnt know he was famous back than or i would have asked for his autograph i just thought him a lovely man who wrote and told lovely stories which i adored reading as a child i wish i had the books but now im reminded ill look out for them in my travels and brousing in book shops xxxxxxxx

  39. I've been trying to prove to my family that Bobby Brewster exsists for years, thank Heavens I've found you now! I remember Mr Todd talking to a group of us from Blackfield Junior School whilst on a school trip to Butlins at Minehead! The event was filmed for the local news so there may still be a recording about. I have never forgotten him impressing upon us the importance of a story having a beginning, a middle and an end! Sounds daft now, but it was really a stunning thought then!That would have been early 1975 I think. Wonder if any one else saw him there as the whole camp was full with children and teachers from all over for an activity based residential week?

  40. HE Todd came to our local library in gritty inner city Dalston. At that time, I was an avid compulsive reader and loved the Bobby Brewster books. I was so thrilled to listen to this kindgentleman ring Bobbie Brewster to life in front of enthralledchildren sat crossed-legged on the reference library floor- a true storyteller.

  41. I remember reading bobby brewster time and time again under torchlight with my brothers and sisters in our wee caravan in Findhorn Scotland. I remember the one with the ball that bounced to strange places and bobby following it to find something lost... I wished so hard for a ball like bobbys..

    Thanks mum for Fndhorn and all the great books like Tanglewood tales and thanks H E Todd for writing all those bobby brewster stories for all of us. justrealisedthat you cant just say 'bobby'... it has to be bobby brewster.

  42. Mr Todd came to our school, Salfords Primary in Surrey, a couple of timesduring the late 60's, and read his wonderful Bobby Brewster stories to us. It's only after digging out an old memory that I came across this site, and like others find it amazing that hiis work has not been republishedfor the last few generations.Despite all the technoligal distractions for kids nowadays, there is still a timeof awe and wondermentat ages 6, 7 and 8, surely there's a place for his work alongside key stage teachings?

  43. I recall H E Todd on a children's morning television show in the seventies or eighties. He used to relate stories involving Bobby Brewster. Was this show done in England and transported to Australia or was he visiting at the time. Yes... I did read Bobby Brewster as a child in the late sixties and loved the books (I still recall the sardine story where the sardines complained about being cramped in the tin). A wonderful, imaginitive man who inspired my reading desire and that inspiration has never died.

  44. When my daughters were very young (they are now 30 and 34 years of age respectively), they very much enjoyed listening to a Bobby Brewster audio tape. Their favourites were the story about the sick cow and the one about the magic pyjamas.

    Next week my elder daughter is expecting twins and has expressed an interest in getting hold of these stories again for her two children. Luckily I still have the audio tape which I have now managed to put onto Ipod. In addition to this, I’ve been onto Amazon’s site and have bought up about six of the books by your late father. They cost 1p each! I’m delighted to say that one of the books has actually been signed by him.

    I have now recorded most of these stories onto the computer so that my grandchildren can listen in years to come to their grandfather reading these stories and possibly for their children as well.

  45. Have the Bobby Brewster stories been recorded on CD ? I'd like to offer my grandsons the pleasure that their father (my son, born 1976) had in listening to 'The Cuckoo-Clock', 'The talking Pyjamas', and the tale of the missing spoons; around 1980 these were available on cassette-tape.

    I still have a taped copy of 'The Cuckoo Clock', but in condition no longer good enough to re-record (even if I had the equipment to do so !) onto CD. The voice of the male reader dramatises the imaginative adventure-stories with an engaging, innocent gusto.

  46. I just found my original signed copy of "Bobby Brewster's Bicycle" in great order and complete with plastic covered and bound dust-jacket no less, as part of a tidy-up in my parent's attic. I remember Mum getting it for me in Whangarei circa 1972, so maybe HE Todd did venture to New Zealand in the early 1970s.

  47. I may be having a mid-life crisis moment, but have been toying with the idea of putting pen to paper to entertain myself, and who knows maybe a few others along the way. I have been perusing a few sites on the "how to write children's books" subject, and thought to myself, "I already know ! "..... A man told me approximately 35 years ago !

    I know know courtesy of Googling Bobby Brewster that his name was H.E.Todd, he visited Kirkby Library all those years ago, read us a book and told us all that a story had to have " a beginning , a middle , and an end" .... Just as a few of you have stated above. It's great to see he made an impression on so many enthusiastic young readers, like myself. I've been a keen reader all of my life (as was my Dad), I passed this on to my daughter , who is now a primary school teacher, and no doubt will pass it on to her pupils. I plan to make a start soon on my "beginning", so wish me luck!

  48. I remember H.E. Todd visiting our primary school (Elmers Green Primary in Skem). I cannot remember which story he told us, but do remember him going on about the unjustice of the apartheid system, as he had visited South Africa. From this it does appear that his visits were not confined to the UK.

  49. My parents lived with H E Todd for many years, looking after him, his beautiful house and garden in Berkhamsted. My mum, Mary Davis, went on many of the visits Bertie made to schools and they both loved spending time with the children.

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