Tag Archives: school

The Four Marys in Four Great Stories! [1994]

Published: Bunty Picture Library #372

Artist: Jim Eldridge

Writer: Unknown

Story 1: The Sad Schoolgirl

It looks like the resident snobs, Mabel and Veronica, are bullying a new first year, Abigail. Fieldy finds it a bit hard to believe Mabel and Veronica would bully first years while Simpy says the snobs have been behaving worse than usual. The snobs themselves deny it, but the evidence mounts against them and they get detention.

Then Abigail’s music box is stolen and found in the snobs’ study, so they going to be expelled. The snobs protest their innocence, and Raddy can’t quite believe the snobs would steal, even if they are not very nice. The Four Marys find it a bit odd that Abigail’s parents are being sent for as well as the snobs’.

Fieldy forms a theory. She tells Abigail there’s been a change of plan: her parents are not coming and the snobs are getting another chance. She then has the Four Marys keep watch that night, and they catch Abigail planting her purse in the snobs’ study. Abigail admits she faked everything because she did not like the school and was trying to get her parents to remove her. The Four Marys have Abigail confess to Mrs Mitchell. Soon after, the Four Marys watch Abigail leave and comment that Abigail got what she wanted in leaving the school, but she is leaving in disgrace. The snobs don’t thank the Four Marys for saving them, but the Four Marys were expecting that.


A similar Four Marys story (a flashback set in Victorian times) ran in one of the Bunty annuals. Unlike this story it ended happily, with the girl deciding to give St Elmo’s a chance and finding she liked it after all. The girl also had the grace not to frame any girl in particular for the ‘bullying’, as Abigail tried to do with the snobs. Getting someone expelled for something they didn’t do is despicable, even if it is someone who isn’t particularly nice. And all just to get what you want is pathetic. Abigail must have walked away with deep regrets as to what she did.

It is stretching things a bit as to how Fieldy managed to figure out Abigail was faking things. Maybe it was due to seeing it before – such as in the aforementioned flashback, perhaps?

Story 2: Boys at St Elmo’s!

St Bartoph boys are temporarily housed at St Elmo’s when their teachers come down with food poisoning (much to Miss Creef’s annoyance). The Four Marys find the boys are becoming a distraction because their presence is turning girls’ heads. Simpy complains nobody is turning up for hockey practice because of it. The other Marys are surprised to find Simpy later talking to James, the junior football captain, and suspect she has a fancy for him. It turns out Simpy was making arrangements with James to have a boy team play the girls in hockey practice to get their minds back on the game. But afterwards the Four Marys find they were not far wrong in assuming Simpy did have a fancy for James…


Aww, you just have to love the sight of boys in a Four Marys story! The Four Marys don’t often get the chance to meet boys, so it’s nice to see Simpy get it.

Story 3: Teacher Trouble

Miss Creef goes away on a course. The substitute teacher, Miss Wilson, is popular because her lessons are more fun than Miss Creef’s, and she even uses drama to help teach the girls the Industrial Revolution. Too bad Miss Wilson also takes an inexplicable dislike to one girl, Jenny Martin, and starts bullying her. Miss Wilson always gives Jenny failed marks on homework although Jenny did not shirk on it, and Jenny scores A’s and B’s with Miss Creef. Miss Wilson does not give proper explanations for the marks; she just says the homework was so awful she felt like ripping it up – and she actually does so at one point. In class she puts questions to Jenny in a harsh manner that makes Jenny too scared to think. Jenny becomes depressed and miserable and wonders if she has the problem.

Miss Wilson scowls when a girl mentions what a brilliant actress Jenny’s mother is. Realising it is a clue, the Four Marys check through entertainment pages in old newspapers and discover that years ago, Miss Wilson was passed over in a starring role for a stage production in favour of Jenny’s mother and was deeply disappointed about it. The Four Marys realise Miss Wilson is taking her old hurt out on Jenny and decide the only thing to do is report the matter to Mrs Mitchell.

After Mrs Mitchell speaks to both Miss Wilson and Jenny, Jenny thanks the Four Marys for their help while Miss Wilson, um, leaves St Elmo’s early. Miss Wilson’s bullying gives the girls a whole new appreciation for the strict, stuffy Miss Creef, which surprises her when she returns.


This is not a particularly new idea. One of “The Comp” Picture Story Libraries had a similar storyline, with a substitute teacher picking on Laura Brady in a far more spiteful manner than Miss Wilson because she had a long-standing grudge against Laura’s aunt. But a story about a bully teacher is always guaranteed to attract the readers because it’s so rooted in realism. The story’s got well thought-out dashes of realism, such as Jenny’s doubts about herself and wondering if it’s her fault.

It is a crying shame that Miss Wilson did turn bully teacher towards Jenny, as she is such a splendid teacher otherwise. Now she will have a blot on her record that will make it difficult to get another teaching job. If only she remembered that missing out on the role had nothing to do with Jenny and she should put the past aside.

Story 4: Mystery Girl

A new girl, Tara Brook, does not seem to be taking to St Elmo’s. She keeps quiet, shows little interest in the school, and is not setting out to make friends. The Four Marys invite her to their study to listen to tapes in the hope she will open up. She does for a while, but she closes up again when a Jez tape is suggested.

Then the Four Marys discover Jez’s real name is Gerard Brook, and they make the connection. Tara admits Jez is her brother, and he paid big money to send her to St Elmo’s. The trouble is, she misses her old school and friends and wants to return there. The Four Marys suggest Tara speak to her brother, but she says he’d be too upset. The Four Marys do it for Tara. Jez understands and allows Tara to transfer back to her old school. Jez gives the Four Marys some of his posters, tapes and records in gratitude for how good they were to Tara.


This picture story library begins and ends with new girls who can’t take to St Elmo’s and want to leave. At least Tara had more sense than Abigail and ended up leaving the right way – but telling someone how she felt – than by trying to do it by subterfuge. The Four Marys do well out of it too, meeting a pop star in person and getting presents from him!

The Outcast


In 1925, against the wishes of her wealthy mill-owning father, Helen Mansfield became a teacher at the local primary school, Helen was very popular with her pupils, although their parents were still distrustful.

the outcast


Artist: Ken Houghton


  • The Outcast – Spellbound:  #59 (05 Nov. 1977) –  #69 (14 Jan. 1978)

Sarah the Seventh!


Sarah Smith was a born liar. When she moved to a new school, she told her fellow pupils that she was the seventh child of a seventh child who had special powers. At first no-one believed her, but gradually, through trickery, Sarah had managed to convince them that it WAS true.



  • Art: Oliver Passingham


  • Sarah the Seventh! –  Judy: (?) – #1635 (11 May 1991)

Teacher’s Pet [1990]


Anna Norman became very unpopular when her new form teacher at Beaumont Academy, Miss Johnstone, started to favour her.  She begins to suspect that Miss Johnstone is purposely doing this to get her into trouble.



  • Artist: Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?)
  • This name was a popular choice for story titles; including other Judy story from 1984


  • Teacher’s Pet –  Judy: #1574 (10 March 1990) – #1583 (12 May 1990)

The Jordans of Jedworth


Triplets Jenny, Tina and Fiona Jordan were pupils at Jedworth Hall Boarding School for girls.

jordans of jedworth

(The Jordons of Jedworth – Judy 1988)


  • First appeared in Suzy and later appeared in Judy with a different artist.


  • The Jordans of Jedworth (1) –  Suzy: #46 (23 Jul. 1983) – #53 (10 Sep. 1983)
  • The Jordans of Jedworth (2) –  Suzy: #74 (04 Feb. 1984) – #88 (12 May 1984)
  • The Jordans of Jedworth (3) –  Judy: #1462 (16 Jan. 1988) – #1465 (06 Feb. 1988)
  • The Jordans of Jedworth (4) –  Judy: #1469 (05 Mar. 1988) – #1473 (02 Apr. 1988)
  • The Jordans of Jedworth (5) –  Judy: #1480 (21 May 1988) – #1483 (11 Jun. 1988)
  • The Jordans of Jedworth (6) –  Judy: #1500 (08 Oct. 1988) – #1502/03 (22/29 Oct. 1988)

School of Secrets


Sara Briggs goes to Offshore Island, a school for children from broken homes. It is run by the sinister Miss Macey and Mr Briggs is giving Miss Macey the money for it. But Sara is getting suspicious as the pupils behave very strangely. They march like puppets and emerge from accidents without a flinch or hint of pain. Then Sara discovers that Miss Macey has a very strange treatment for her pupils and has a “great plan”.



  • Artist: Tony Highmore


  • School of Secrets – Mandy:  #619 (25 November 1978) – #627 (20 January 1979)

Lonely Lotty


Lotty Laing, a boarder at Abbeyfield School, was very shy, but, when she tried to make friends, she couldn’t help seeming snooty and conceited,so nobody liked her. Then she was falsely accused of stealing and ” put on trial ” for the rest of the term. Brenda Brown and her friend,Sharon O’Hara,were determined to make Lotty’s life miserable. Their latest plot had ruined Lotty’s midnight feast.

lonely lotty


  • Art: Bert Hill


  • Lonely Lotty –  Judy:  circa  #1192 (13 November 1982) – (?)

Pryde of the Blues


As captain of Blue House at St. Angela’s, Jill Pryde was following in the footsteps of her late mother, who had also won a scholarship to the school. Blue House had not won the House Cup since Jill’s mother had been captain over twenty years ago. Jill was determined to lead the Blues to victory, despite the scheming of Selma Parker, a member of Green House, who was equally determined her house should win by fair means or foul.

pryde of the blues



  • Pryde of The Blues –  Judy:  #1131 (12 September 1981) – #1141 (21 November 1981)