THE National Trust has opened its doors to the nation’s best-loved cartoon characters this summer letting The Beano’s mischief-makers run riot across the country.
Minnie The Minx has been let loose on the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland in this week’s issue of The Beano and it is the first ever time the National Trust has given fictional characters keys to all of its 300 homes and access to the 617,500 acres of land it cares for.
The Beano team of illustrators and comic whizzes have had full creative control as characters from Dennis the Menace to Billy Whizz conquer castles and race ponies across grand estates.
The Beano characters have invaded to help the National Trust bring its places to life and prove that its doors (and copious amounts of fresh air) are open to all – breaking down preconceptions of the organisation.
Commenting on the visit of Minnie The Minx and her father to the Giant’s Causeway, Max Bryant, General Manager, said: “Naturally we are thrilled that the Beano, an institution in its own right, has decided to explore the National Trust’s many lovely properties. The Giant’s Causeway already welcomes over 750,000 visitors annually.
“To add Minnie The Minx and her father to our list of famous visitors is brilliant.
“We had Mini pay a visit a few weeks ago, and she had a great time. She was quite a handful, as the Beano cartoon, on sale this week, shows.
“Whilst the Beano is always a special magazine for many children and families, it is even more special this week. We are planning on issuing copies of the Beano to children on site this week.”
Dennis the Menace and Gnasher kick off the chaos as they conquer Powis Castle in Wales, fooling National Trust staff with dozens of “hedge menaces” disguising the real rascal and his companion and becoming King for the day.
The Numskulls, who live inside Edd’s nostrils (of course), are sneezed out at Edwardian Surrey estate Polesden Lacey into a game of croquet – and a planned bug hunt – to enjoy the buzz of bumblebee racing.
While Minnie The Minx takes her dad on a manic trip to Northern Ireland to discover the iconic Giant’s Causeway – and find the giant Finn McCool himself.
The Bash Street Kids take over Devon family manor Arlington Court as they enjoy the great outdoors – bat watching and pony racing with a less than happy teacher to calm them down.
Fellow mischief-maker Billy Whizz – the fastest boy in The Beano – explores the country in less than a day.
Fooled by Attingham Park’s false doors, to completing Cragside’s 8 foot high rhododendron maze in seconds and experiencing life as an Anglo Saxon at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, Billy Whizz has a fast-paced day topped off by a good night’s sleep in Lyme Park’s Edwardian Nursery.
The Gnashional Trust issue of The Beano goes on Wednesday. For a behind-the-scenes look at the takeover visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/thebeano.