Tag Archives: problem solver

I Wish…

  • I Wish…. – Mandy PSL:  #194  (1994)

Plot

I wish 1Helen West is an optimistic kind girl who likes to help people. She is well known around her village as she helps out at youth club and does a paper round. At the end of her paper round she reads to an old lady Mrs Stone, as well as doing small jobs for her. When Mrs Stone asks her if she could have anything in the world what would she want, Helen again shows how appreciative she is of her life, she wants for nothing – she has loving parents, a good home and friends.  The one thing she does say is that she would like to make people’s wishes come true but she knows that’s a silly dream. Not long after this conversation Mrs Stone dies and surprises Helen by leaving her nearly half million pounds that will be distributed to those of Helen’s choosing anonymously through a solicitor, Mr Benson. She wanted to make Helen’s dream of being a fairy godmother come true.

The first wish to grant is clear to Helen, when the struggling youth club’s roof collapses. Helen not only pays for repairs but also buys new equipment for the club. But she is a bit worried that the “mystery benefactor”  catches the attention of local reporter Danny Lions. She continues doing her good work getting young Kevin Jones a mountain bike for his birthday, pensioners food parcels and paying for a girl Jenny  to go for life saving operation in America.  Then one of her wishes backfires as Kevin is knocked down by a car. Mrs Jones is upset, she knew he was too young for bike, and Helen feels terrible as she never thought that Mrs Jones had safety reasons for not getting Kevin a bike, it wasn’t just about money.

i wish 2

Meanwhile Danny is  still persistent with his investigation. Due to his meddling the newspaper, hints that Major Vincent may be benefactor, as his granddaughter is a youth club member. This causes more drama as undeserving people try to wheedle money off the Major.  At this point Helen hears of genuine case when she gets talking to Tom Grayson’s mother. Tom had an accident and lost his job but when she sends a cheque his pride won’t allow him to take the money, and he is ashamed to think that his mother went begging even though she denies it. His refusal to accept help also upsets his wife and Helen is upset that another one of her “wishes” has caused more problems.

i wish 3

Even when things go right like when Helen replaces a wedding dress that was burnt in a fire,  there are still others that aren’t happy as they  think it’s a frivolous expense.   Danny begins to get suspicious of Helen, after reporting on a 100 year old woman wanting to fly, and seeing Helen waving the woman off after the mystery benefactor has paid for flights. Yet another donation doesn’t go as planned when helping church repairs fund reach its target, the vicar is disappointed because the point was to bring community together. By now she is having doubts about whether to continue her work Mr Benson convinces her to give it another shot. Helen brings a family home from Australia for parents anniversary, only the other siblings are not so happy to see people they perceive to have abandoned their family turn up out of the blue. This is final straw for Helen and she decides to donate the rest of the money to set up a talking books library. Danny Lions is there to hear this reveal and unmasks her but other than some surprised people this doesn’t have a negative impact on Helen and she is relieved to no longer be “fairy godmother”.

i wish_4

Thoughts

With the best of intentions, Helen sets out to help people, but unfortunately she doesn’t always put thought into the consequences. It is understandable as a 15 year old girl would not have the experience of an adult, so she wouldn’t think of safety concerns for a child on a bike or that a proud man may find charity insulting. Although somethings do go wrong, it’s not to diminish the things that go right, and all in all i think she does more good than bad.

i wish 5

The biggest difficult for Helen is having such responsibility put upon her with little support.  She only has Mr Benson to confide in and at the same time she has added pressure of trying to keep her donations secret from a nosy reporter. Surprising that there isn’t much consequences for being revealed as the benefactor, perhaps because at that stage, Helen doesn’t have more money to give away, so won’t be pestered by people. Other than the youth club, we don’t see the reaction of people she helped, once the secret’s out. It would be safe to assume most would be grateful, or understanding if things didn’t turn out great.

There’s a nice build up to the story, it’s established what kind of person Helen is, it shows donations working out for the better before some turn out bad. We also have Danny snooping around and Helen trying to keep her secret to add more tension to the plot. It’s interesting that at the start of the story Mrs Stone tells Helen “Your kindness is worth all the money in the world”. This does prove to be the case, Helen is a good person, she doesn’t need money herself to make her happy and she discovers money may help  others but doesn’t solve all problems either.

Petra the Party Maker

Plot:

Petra Dawson is  junior partner in her father’s firm, “James Dawson & Daughter, Party Makers”. It is her job to arrange the children’s parties.

petra the party maker

Notes:

  • First printed as a text story later updated to picture story format

Appeared:

  • Petra the Party Maker (text)– Judy:  103 (30 December 1961) – 121 (05 May 1962)
  • Petra the Party Maker  – Judy: 158 (19 January 1963) – 183 (13 July 1963)
  • Petra the Party Maker  – Judy: circa 315 (22 January 1966) – ?
  • Reprints: (?) –  #1239 (08 October 1983)

Other Appearances:

  • Petra the Party Maker – Judy Annual 1965
  • Petra the Party Maker – Judy Picture Story Library:  #21

Backstage Betty

Plot:

Betty Ramsden works behind the scenes with the Bluebird Dancing Troupe. Betty is always on hand to keep the show running smoothly. When she is unable to join the Troupe on tour she temporarily joins another theatre group. Things don’t run too smoothly when a fire breaks out and a dancer blames Betty because she broke her lucky charm.

backstage betty

Notes:

Appeared:

  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  #52 (07 January 1961) – #93 (21 October 1961)
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  #131 (14 July 1962) – 145?
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  #187 (10 August 1963) – #203 (30 November 1963)
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  circa #285 (03 July 1965) – ?
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  circa #730 (05 January 1974) – #732 (19 January 1974)
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  circa #751 (1 June 1974) – #766 (14 September 1974)
  • Backstage Betty – Judy:  #777 (30 November 1974) – ?

Other Appearances:

  • Backstage Betty – Judy Annual 1962
  • Backstage Betty – Judy Annual 1964
  • Backstage Betty – Judy Annual 1976
  • Backstage Betty – Judy Picture Story Library #50

Polly Perkins

Plot

Polly Perkins lives in the pleasant seaside town of Portsea. Although she is a small girl, Polly has a big heart and is always ready to help anyone in trouble.  People she helps include,  two lodgers of different ages who disagree on music,  Jim, a flower grower when a rival florist opens.

polly Perkins

Notes

  • Each issue had a different title related to the plot that week e.g.  Polly Perkins and the Sad Gardener  or Polly Perkins and the Birthday Invitations

Appeared

  • Polly Perkins – Judy:  #17 (07 May 1960) – #39 (08 October 1960)

 

Anna Junior Miss / Girl with the Golden Smile

Plot

Anna  Marshall also known as  the “Girl with the Golden Smile”, is a young trainee at Westerby’s department store. She enjoys working in the various department in the store. As she is young and small for her age, she often has trouble convincing people she can do a good job. But they are soon won over be her radiant smile, helpfulness and bright ideas.

anna junior miss(Anna Junior Miss – 1960s)

girl with golden smile(Girl with the Golden Smile – 1980s,  Art: Bert Hill)

Notes

  • Artist: Bert Hill (1980s)
  • First appeared as a text story.
  • It was later reprinted as a picture story.
  • The picture story was reprinted again with updated art by Bert Hill.
  • The character appeared as Wendy Marshall instead of Anna Marshall, in the Debbie Picture story library book: Wendy’s World

Appeared

  • Anna Junior Miss (text story) –  Judy:  #1 (16 January 1960) – #20 (28 May 1960)
  • Reprinted as picture story – Judy:  #86 (2 September 1961) – #106 (20 January 1962)
  • Reprinted (new art) as Girl with the Golden Smile  –  Judy:  #1085 (25 October 1980) – #1101 (14 February 1981)
  • Reprinted Girl with the Golden Smile  – Judy:  #1571 (17 February 1990) – #1581 (28 April 1990)

Other Appearances:

  • Anna Junior Miss (text story) – Judy Annual 1962
  • Girl with the Golden Smile  – Judy Annual 1983
  • Girl with the Golden Smile  – Judy Annual 1985
  • Girl with the Golden Smile  – Judy Annual 1986
  • Girl with the Golden Smile  – Judy Annual 1992
  • The Girl with the Golden Smile  – Bunty Picture Story Library #344
  • Wendy’s World  – Debbie Picture Story Library #180

 

 

Nanette of the North

Plot

While her father recovers from his broken leg, Nanette Gordon is in charge of their trading store  which stands on the shore of Moose Lake in Canada.  This includes taking charge of deliveries.

nanette of the north

Notes

Appeared

  • Nanette of the North –  Judy:  #01 (16 January 1960) – #16 (30 April 1960)

Other Appearances

  • Nanette of the North – Judy Picture Story Library #04