The Bell family holds a firm place in the affection of thousands of Children's Hour listeners and television viewers, as well as the hosts of young readers who know the first chronicle of their adventures.
Leave St. Mark's Vicarage? Move to a brand new town far away from their own corner of south-east London? Paul, Ginnie, and Angus Bell are amazed when their parents break the news to them - and not a little dismayed. Ginnie in particular does not want to leave her local school; and none of the family can bear to think of parting from cheerful, hymn-singing mrs. Gage, who has helped to look after them all for years.
But when the family finally moves to Crestel New Town, they realise that beyond their own personal problems, there is a very important job of work waiting for them there: they must all help their father to establish Crestel as a real community, where people know each other, and can be proud of their new town. For Crestel has grown suddenly from a small village, and when the Bells move there, the first inhabitants of the newly built blocks of flats, and the shopkeepers in their brand new rows of shops are far from being neighbours in the real sense of the world.
The family sets to work to remedy this state of affairs; and by the end of the story, it is obvious that Crestel new Town is well on the way to becoming a place where people enjoy living.
Noe Streatfeild has chosen for her new book a subject which is very much a part of life today; she develops her theme with all the skill, sympathetic characterisation, and sense of humour that have made her one of our leading children's leading writers.