For several years, [Brian Sibley had] been friends with P L Travers the author of the 'Mary Poppins' books and, over tea one Sunday afternoon, [they] were discussing the latest in a long line of requests from Disney that they be allowed to make a sequel to their hugely successful, multi-Oscar winning movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

This particular proposal was for a film in which the magical nanny would make a return visit to help the children of either the grown-up Jane or Michael Banks. It was a clever idea, reminiscent of J M Barrie’s idea of having Peter Pan come back to London in order to take Wendy’s daughter - another ‘Jane’ - off to Never Land.

For Pamela Travers, however, it was totally unacceptable, since she resolutely maintained that all she knew about her heroine was whatever was to be found in the published stories. It was pointless asking Pamela who Mary Poppins was or where she went and what she did when she left the Banks family. Her answer was always the same: “I don’t know! I didn’t invent Mary Poppins, I discovered her!”

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