Noel Streatfeild
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Noel Streatfeild's Life

This page presents a timeline of the major events of Noel Streatfeild's life. For detailed information, click the items on the right hand side of the screen.

The material on this section of the website comes from the excellent biography by Angela Bull. Although now out of print, this book appears to be fairly readily available on the second hand market (see Addall Used and Out of Print Book Search) and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in Noel's life.

Early 1890s William Champion Streatfeild, curate to Henry Venn, marries Janet Venn, daughter of the Rector.
Ruth Streatfeild born.
24 December 1895 Mary Noel Streatfeild born. (By this time, William is curate to his own father, Rector of Frant.)
1897 William appointed Vicar of Amberley, and the family moves to Amberley, in Sussex.
1897 - 1902 Barbara, William (Bill) and Joyce Streatfeild born.
1902 William appointed Vicar of St Peter's Church, and the family moves to St. Leonard's, on the south coast.
Joyce dies of tuberculosis (not yet two years old).
Ruth and Noel begin attending Hastings and St. Leonard's Ladies' College.
Late 1910 Miss Bishop, headmistress of Hastings and St. Leonard's Ladies' College, asks William and Janet to remove Noel from the school at the end of term.
February, 1911 William appointed Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin Church, and the family moves to Eastbourne.
Ruth, Noel and Barbara attend Laleham school.
1913 Noel and Ruth see Edris Stannis (later to be known as Ninette de Valois) perform the Dying Swan with Lila Field's Little Wonders.
Noel leaves school, and enrols at Eastbourne School of Domestic Economy.
World War One
1914 Begins voluntary work in the kitchens at a hospital for wounded soldiers.
1915 Richenda Streatfeild (youngest daughter of William and Janet) born.
With Ruth, Noel produces two plays to support the war effort.
1916 Employed at Woolwich Arsenal, London, as a munitions worker.
January, 1919 Begins studying at Academy of Dramatic Art.
1920 - 1922 Tours British Isles with Charles Doran Shakespeare Company.
  Acts part in children's pantomime, and meets troupe of child dancers.
1926 Tours UK and then South Africa with Arthur Bourchier Company.
  Enrols in correspondence course for writing, and has short story published in magazine.
October 1928 Departs on tour of Australia.
December 1928 William made Bishop of Lewes.
17 February, 1929 William dies of heart attack. Noel still in Australia, and unable to attend funeral.
First Novels
1930 Begins writing The Whicharts.
September, 1931 The Whicharts published.
June, 1932 Elected to membership of PEN.
Early 1936 Mabel Carey, children's editor of J. M. Dent and Sons, asks Noel to write a children's story about the theatre.
First Children's Books
Mid 1936

Completes manuscript for Ballet Shoes.
Travels to America to look into writing film scripts.

28 September 1936 Ballet Shoes published and is immediate best seller.
1937 Travels with Bertram Mills Circus to research The Circus is Coming.
February 1939 Wins Carnegie gold medal for The Circus is Coming.
World War Two
1940 - 1945

Voluntary work as Air Raid Warden in Mayfair area.
Voluntary work running mobile canteen for Air Raid Shelters in Deptford area.
Voluntary work public speaking on behalf of Women's Voluntary Service.
Writes four adult novels, five children's books, nine romances and innumerable articles and short stories.

10 May 1941 Flat destroyed by bomb.
After the War
1947 Travels to America to research film studios for The Painted Garden.
1949 Begins delivering lectures on children's books.
1949 - 1953 The Bell Family radio serials play on the Children's Hour, and are frequently voted top play of the year.
A National Monument
Early 1960s Decides to stop writing adult novels.
1963 A Vicarage Family, the first of her autobiographical works, is published.
1968 Suffers a stroke.
December 1976 Appears on Desert Island Discs.
July - December 1979 Suffers a series of small strokes, and moves into a nursing home.
1983 Receives the Order of the British Empire.
11 September 1986 Dies in nursing home.
March, 2003 Blue plaque unveiled at Streatfeild House, the former vicarage in Hastings.


Noel Streatfeild's Life


World War One


First Novels

First Children's Books

World War Two

After the War

A National Monument

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