Help finding a British children's book

This is one of these ongoing mysteries that’s annoyed me for long enough that I’m going to ask you guys to help me, despite having googled it on and off for a couple of years, to no avail.

When I was a little girl with a voracious appetite for books in the 1980s, I remember reading and re-reading a book about two sisters who moved into a house halfway up a hill. It was called something like Halfpenny[1] Cottage, and they found out that was because in the old days, that was the bus (tram?) fare to get there.

In the garden of the house was an old separate building they used as a playroom, and there was chapters devoted to how they lovingly painted and decorated this room. A very exciting discovery (look, it was a kids book, okay?) was that of an electric socket hiding under a sink, so they were allowed to plug in a lamp and electric fire to play there over the winter, as long as they promised to be careful.

There was another chapter about them going on holiday to the seaside, and sleeping on airbeds in a holiday house made out of a converted railway carriage.

The whole feel of the book is very much jolly-hockey sticks , middle class, 1950s England with a rosy glow, and although I don’t think it was written by Enid Blyton, it was that kind of style.


[1] Or Ha’penny. Or Farthing. Or some small amount of money, pre decimalisation!!

I’ve read it. There was something vaguely unsettling about it - what I can’t remember, neither can I remember the name of it or the author so … well, there was at least one other copy at some point :smiley:

Woohoo! Had the dad lost his job or something, was that why they had to move house? That could have seemed unsettling as a kid.

Thinking more, I suspect there was an undercurrent of newly acquired poverty - I think the “holiday house” at the seaside was actually a house-swap?

It doesn’t ring any bells with me, but you might also want to try asking over in the What’s the Name of That Book??? group on Goodreads.