Tag Archives: Giorgio Letteri

Messalina Potts

Plot

In the days of the ancient Britons, Messalina Potts tried to save her dad’s black pudding lunch by hiding aboard the galley of Captain Antonius the slave trader – and found herself heading for Ostia, a part of ancient Rome. The Emperor Nero thought the black pudding was a powerful magic charm and locked it in a treasure vault.

Notes

  • Art: Giorgio Letteri

Appeared

  • Messalina Potts – Judy: #1147 (2 January 1982) – #1152 (6 February  1982)

Pam the Peacemaker

Plot

Pam was the daughter of George and Mary Holmes the TV husband and wife team known to millions as the “’Happy Holmes’ As they always argued Pam had the keep the peace between them so cameras didn’t see. She as her work cut out for her when the Teletopper TV company decided to do a travel holiday series featuring the Happy Holmes.

Notes

  • Art: Giorgio Letteri

Appeared

  • Pam the Peacemaker – Judy: #749 (18 May 1974) – #766 (14 September 1974)

Mandy Stories for Girls 1992

The Mandy annual was always very story focused, this is another annual with no features  or articles just text and picture stories. This is also one of the books I had when I was younger and read many times, so these stories have a special place for me, although I think they all hold up well in their own right without the nostalgia attached.

Mandy took advantage of telling longer stories in parts over the annual and the Red Box of Destiny is certainly a memorable one. Most of the stories are one-offs for the annual but there are a few regular characters Valda, Picture-Book Polly, Attractive Angie and of course Mandy & Patch all show up. (For just a list of contents go to the next page)

Picture Stories

The Red Box of Destiny (Pages: 4-12, 49-55, 73-80, 113-125)

A story in 4 parts, the first 3 parts each tell a different story of a girl in trouble who each end up using an old telephone box and in the final part the girls are all enlisted to help in a campaign to save the box and it saves them in the process.

First we have Carrie, an orphan, she lives with her abusive Uncle, Aunt and cousins. When her Aunt Edna allows her to keep a stray puppy, she should have known there was a catch. They only let her have Jasper the puppy as another means of controlling her. Aunt Edna wasn’t happy when Carrie stood up to her cousin about taking her locket but by using Jasper now Carrie is completely powerless. When a new girl joins at school, Carrie knows she can’t give her home number but then she remembers the Red Box’s number and gives her that. Carrie asks Jilly to call when she knows she will be out running errands, she is desperate to hear a friendly voice. The next girl, Kelly, is a promising dancer, her parents take on extra work so she has a chance at a prestigious dance school, but the car crashes on the way to the audition leaving Kelly’s legs permanently damaged. She becomes very bitter about it and blames her parents for it. She stops at the phone box to ring for a lift home and makes her mother feel guilty when she implies Kelly could manage to make it the rest of the small journey home. Finally we have Rama a talented musician but her father wants her to help with the family business, a restaurant, when she leaves school. He believes she shouldn’t spend so much time on music. Rama uses the phone box to ring her teacher and say she will play in a festival behind her father’s back, but then has a dilemma when her father wants Rama to work the same day to help impress a food critic.

In the last part the community start a campaign when red box is to be torn down. When she is approached, Aunt Edna volunteers Carrie  to help. An overworked Carrie collapses on the way home with shopping one day. Once she is inside they start to abuse her, but luckily Jilly and her mother arrive just in time to stop them. They had noticed the number Carrie gave Jilly was the red box number, that along with some other instances made them suspicious to check up on her. They bring Carrie and Jasper to stay in their home. Kelly meanwhile only goes to the campaign talk so she can inconvenience her parents. There she meets David, a boy in wheelchair, he has a bone disease, but he doesn’t feel sorry for himself, he is very enthusiastic and volunteers him and Kelly’s services. He suddenly takes a turn for the worse and dies but Kelly changes her ways and decides to follow his example and not be bitter about how life changed for her. Rama’s father finds out about festival and forbids her from going. They go to meeting and he is fine for Rama to sing to draw attention to the red box. He says he doesn’t mind her singing as hobby he just doesn’t want her taking it seriously. She does well singing for the campaign and people make him realise her talent. He agrees she can go to music school but has to still learn about business if music career doesn’t work out. The last panel of the story has the girls each thanking the box for changing their lives for the better.

It is a heart-wrenching story, Carrie and her dog are cruelly mistreated by her family. Kelly has her dreams shattered and then her new friend dies. Rama doesn’t have it as bad, but still family problems are not easy to cope with and like Kelly, she feels her dreams being taken away. Rama is a bit more sympathetic than Kelly too. Even before the accident she doesn’t seem to appreciate her parents working extra shifts to pay for her school and complains when her dad is running late for the audition. Because she is so worked up, she distracts her father while driving and while I don’t think she is deserving of her fate, her parents definitely don’t deserve her bitterness directed at her. It is nice that David showed her the error of her ways but again sad that he died so young.

Rama and her dad have different viewpoints and story could easily have painted him as the villain but we see that he cares about her. He wants her to work in restaurant but worries when she seems overworked, and he doesn’t ban music completely, he just is cautious of the fickleness of the music business.  He comes to a good compromise in the end so Rama can follow her dream but still have something to fall back on.

Mum’s Secret (Pages: 13-16)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt

When a new neighbour moves in that is known to be a ladies man, and Jane sees her mum going into his house, when she said she was going to the shop, she starts thinking they are having an affair. She thinks her mum will leave the family, but it turns out the man is a painter and mum has being going over to  his to get her portrait painted in secret as a surprise for father’s birthday.

Valda and the Burning of Barthol  (Pages: 17-24)

[Art: Dudley Wynne]

This classic Mandy character appeared in many annuals, here Valda comes across a town of Barthol and burning of effigy of  Richard Bartholomew. It seems a professor of history has reinstated an old village costum of “The Burning of Barthol”. This upsets Richard’s ancestor greatly especially as other villagers have been mean to her saying Richard burnt out villagers because they couldn’t pay rent. Valda sets the history straight about the man, when she leads the villagers to a hidden document. In Richards’ time a plague broke out and with the help of a mysterious girl they crossed ravine to build new settlement. Richard then burnt the village and his castle to stop the plague spreading. With the truth now known Valda leave, though the professor and villagers have many questions about how she knew such things.

Down with Boys (Pages: 25-32)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt, Art: Carmen Barbara

Best friends, Jane and Polly make a pact to not get distracted by boys for Valentines Day, but when Neil starts paying attention to both of them, they end up playing dirty tricks on each other to win his favour. Such as Polly throwing away Jane’s valentine’s card for Neil, and Jane sending lots of cards out in Polly’s name. They eventually find out Neil was using them, so they would help set up a disco for him and he already has a girlfriend. After that they revert back to their original sentiment of down with boys!

Who is Sylvie? (Pages: 35-45)

Art: Andrew Wilson

Rachel thinks there is something mysterious about the new girl, Sylvie.  Although Rachel becomes friends with her she notices somethings she says doesn’t add up, like where she said she went to school previously. Also the teachers seem to let her get away with things other pupils wouldn’t be able to. Despite being a good singer and dancer, Sylvie claims to be stage shy and says she can’t help out in concert to raise money for school pool. Then it turns out her secret is she is a tv star trying to live normal life. Everyone is surprised and even more pleased when a change in her contract means she can now perform in public and help raise money for school.

Picture-Story Polly (Pages: 46-48)

Art: Tom Hurst

Polly tries to copy the picture-stories she reads in her magazine “Candy”. In this story she tries to be like “Olympic Olga” a girl who never gave up and won a gold medal.  Polly tries out some sports but finds out she is better as just a spectator.

The Lucky Locket  (Pages: 56-64)

Art: Guy Peeters

In Victorian times, Charlotte receives a locket on her last day in orphanage, from one of the workers, Harriet. She tells Charlotte it was wrapped in her baby shawl, when she found her on the doorstep.Charlotte then goes to work in a grand house as a scullery maid but the rest of the staff are not kind to her. When one of the other maids spies her pretending to be a lady, they are even more cruel and mocking. She does make one friend, Hugh, the stable-boy,  so when his sister falls ill, she decides to sell her precious locket to help. But one of the other maids follow her and accuses her of theft. Harriet has died so noone can collaborate her story, that the locket belongs to her and she goes to jail. After a few weeks an old French lady arrives and seeing a birthmark confirms that Charlotte is her grandaughter. It seems her mother had run off and got married to man whom they didn’t approve of. They fell on hard times when he died and soon after giving Charlotte up, her mother died too. Her Grandmother helps Hugh’s sister and is to bring her back to France, she no longer has to pretend to be a lady.

Under Her Spell?  (Pages: 65-72)

Art: Wilf Street

Jenny’s mother is researching the family tree and believe they descendants of a witch, Lizzie Blount. Then some things happen that makes Lizzie’s friends think she has witchy qualities. Lizzie embraces it and tries to make a spell to win a writing contest. She does win the contest, then her mum says she has made a mistake they are not related to witch but a writer,, Eliza Blunt. Lizzie isn’t disappointed though, she is happy it is her own talent and not  a spell that let her win.

Come to My Party! (Pages: 83-93)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt, Art: Terry Aspin

Best friends Kim and Laura share the same birthday. They both want to have a special 13th birthday party on the actual day. Neither will back down and they play tricks on each other so friends will come to one of the partys. On the day of  her birthday Kim is upset it seems everyone has chosen Laura’s party. Her parents take her out and she finds out that instead their friends come together with their parents to throw joint surprise party.

Attractive Angie (Pages: 94-96)

Art: Giorgio Letteri

A strange lotion had made Angie Agams magnetic which caused her lots of problems. It is particularly bad when she is feeling bothered, which is the case at the fair, where she attracts coins from the wishing well and accidentally launches a pie at someone. Her powers come in useful when she stops some thieves and she is able to relax and enjoy rest of her day.

Storm Horse (Pages: 99-110)

Art: Veronica Weir

Kylie is out riding with her horse, Heather, when they get caught in a storm and slip down an embankment. A mysterious grey horse appears and leads them to safety, then disappears. Kylie tries and track him down, she finds him and after freeing him from some wire he does grow to trust her but always disappears when someone else is nearby. Then he warns her of the nearby dam breaking and she raises the alarm for the village. She doesn’t see him again but Heather gives birth to foal which Kylie names Storm, proof that the magical horse was real.

Mandy and Patch  (Pages: 126-127)

Art: Claude Berridge

Mandy looks through a book to figure out Patch’s breed. He doesn’t seem to match with any but she doesn’t care as he’s still the best friend a girl can have.

Text Stories

Each of the text stories have a subtitle with the name of person who is telling the story.

Losing Lucy – Carol’s story (Pages: 33-34)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt, Spot Art: Leslie Branton

Carol meets a fortune teller who tells her she will lose her best friend to the water. Carol is horrified by the thought, so she tries to teach her friend Lucy to swim. At first she takes persuading but then she succeeds so well that Lucy becomes a competitive champion and she doesn’t have as much time for friends. Watching her at one of her competitions she realises she did lose Lucy to the water, just not in the terrible way she thought. It’s a nice play on words, the twist of the fortune teller fortune coming true and Carol leads it to come true y trying to prevent it.

In The Bag – Chester’s story (Pages: 81-82)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt

Chester is a monkey who is curious what women carry around in bags. He sees an opportunity to steal one, and is confused by contents and why they are so important. The daughter of the woman he stole the bag from is pleased her mom still carries a picture of her dad as he had left after a falling out. She writes Chester a thank you letter, explaining after seeing that she called her dad, he came around and her family is back together. She also sends Chester a cake as thanks. Chester doesn’t nderstand what that is all about but is very happy with his cake.

Jardine’s in a Tin – Sally’s story (Pages: 97-98)

Writer: Alison (Christie) Fitt, Spot Art: Leslie Branton

Sally and her family live in crowded council house. She is jealous of her friend Tina, an only child, who has a bedroom to herself with all the latest things. Then Tina gets a holiday home and that seems even more unfair. For the holidays the Jardines rent a caravan near where TIna will be. Sally thinks they really are Jardines in a tin, in the caravan, she is eager to visit Tina, but doesn’t know why she is so reluctant. Then Sally discovers it is not a holiday home and that Tina’s parents have separated. Tina didn’t want to admit that she is just spending weekends and holidays at her Dads. Sally realises Tina’s not so lucky after all and appreciates having her family together. Soon after holidays things improve even more for Sally as they get to top of the housing waiting list and get a 4 bed house.

Joining St. John’s – Katy’s story (Pages: 111-112)

While attending a Gilbert and Sullivan show with her mom, Katy gets the idea to join St Johns Ambulance so she can go to theatre for free. She actually finds herself really enjoying the experience and she helps an old woman feel better bu sneaking her cat in for a visit in the hospital. A  friend of the woman, appreciates what Katy has done and gives her a free theatre entry card, but Katy is so busy with St John’s that by the end of the story she still hasn’t had the chance to use it!

 

Final Thoughts

Last year I covered the Judy 1982 annual and noted there was a lot of spooky stories in that book. This book meanwhile concentrates on the more realistic dramas of life and majority of stories are set in contemporary times. Under her Spell? hints at possible supernatural elements, although in the end those are only coincidence and seems to be no magic at work, which leaves only two stories with characters that are not the average girl, Attractive Angie a character with magnetic powers and Valda the long-living character with powers and knowledge. Valda and the Burning of Barthol is a good story, as I’ve mentioned before I like Valda stories that aren’t about her competing in a sport the best. Here we get to see her in past helping a village and in the present restoring the good name of Lord Barthol. There is only one other story that is set in the past, The Lucky Locket, nicely drawn by Guy Peeters and is a classic story of poor girl not realising her rich heritage.

All the other stories are set in contemporary times and majority have themes of friendship or family. A favourite story has to be The Red Box of Destiny, as the big 4 part story it is a strong component of the annual, it brings a lot of drama and heartbreak for the characters and as a reader I certainly hoped that they would each get their happy endings. In the last part where everything comes together, one may expect the characters to interact but instead the stories are resolved separately, although you can see the other protagonists in the backgrounds of some scenes. This actually is more effective as it highlights people that we just pass by, each have their own problems that we may never know about, and also not know that one thing could touch a life in different ways.

Other favourites was Losing Lucy, I like a good twist on a fortune tellers words, and of course it was well written by Alison (Christie) Fitt who wrote many great stories including a number for Mandy Annuals in the early 1990s. Two of her other stories here Come to My Party! and Down With Boys, have similar ideas of friends playing tricks on each other to win the favour of someone but are executed quite differently, so they each have their merits. Carmen Barbara and Terry Aspin respectively each complement the story well, I don’t think if the artists were switched they would have been as effective stories, which shows how important pairings can be. Honourable mentions goes to Picture-Story Polly, just because I enjoy a meta-commentry story and a girl trying to imitate the characters from her “Candy” comic is a lot of fun, and Who is Sylvie? a small sized mystery with lovely art as always by Andrew Wilson.

Bunty-Judy Summer Special 1978

 

Cover Art: Ian Kennedy

Picture Stories

  • School for Naughty Nags (Pages: 3-5) [Art: Colin Merrett]
  • Bobby Dazzler (Pages: 6-7) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • Toots (Page 8) [Art: Bill Ritchie]
  • Big ‘n’ Bertha (Page 9)
  • Wee Slavey (Pages: 10, 12-13) [Art: John Higson]
  • The Cheddar Mob (Pages: 14-15)
  • Georgie and Griff (Pages: 16-17, 19) [Art: Matias Alonso]
  • Abracadabra Academy (Pages: 20-21, 23) [Art: A E Allen]
  • The Hobbies of Holly (Pages: 24-25) [Art: Rodney Sutton]
  • Tillie the Trier (Page 26)
  • Boyfriends (Page 28)
  • Kiki Dee Growing Up (Pages: 30-31)

Text Stories

  • What a Day! (Pages: 27-29)

Features

  • Make a Pop Shirt! (Page 2)
  • Pony Tales (Page 2)
  • Pop the Question (Page 11)
  • Hobby Hint (Page 18)
  • Pony Clinic (Page 18)
  • The Great Broomstick Race (Page 22)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 32)

 

*Thanks to Goof for the information and cover picture

Bunty-Judy Summer Special 1976

Cover Art: Doris Kinnear

Picture Stories

  • The Four Marys (Pages: 2-4) [Art: James Walker]
  • Jenny Laker – Record Breaker (Pages: 5, 7) [Art: A E Allen]
  • The Phantom Ballerina (Pages: 8-9, 11) [Art: Mike White]
  • Superstitious Cindy (Page 10)
  • The Last of the Big Ones (Pages: 12-13, 15)
  • Bobby Dazzler (Pages: 17, 19) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • Wee Slavey (Pages: 21-21) [Art: John Leonard Higson]
  • Junior Nanny (Pages: 24-25) [Art: Oliver Passingham]
  • Big Spender (Pages: 28-29, 31) [Art: Robert Hamilton]
  • Big ‘n’ Bertha (Page 32)

Text Stories

  • Some Holiday! (Pages: 26-27) [Art: Norman Lee]

Features

  • How NOT to Ruin your Camping Holiday! (Page 3)
  • It’s a Record! (Page 6)
  • The Space Race (Page 14)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 16)
  • Pony Tales (Page 18)
  • Sun Spot (Page 22)
  • Bobby Puzzler! (Page 23)
  • Pick of the Pops (Page 27)
  • Olympic Scrapbook (Page 30)

 

*Thanks to Goof for the information and cover picture

Bunty-Judy Summer Special 1975

Cover Art: Doris Kinnear

Picture Stories

  • Pamela – Pet Finder (Pages: 2-3) [Art: A E Allen]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 4-5, 7) [Art: James Walker]
  • No Mates for Maureen (a Moira Kent Story) (Pages: 8-9, 11)
  • Miss Merlin (Page 10)
  • Freda’s in Fashion (Pages: 12-13) [Art: George Martin]
  • Mighty Mo (Page 15)
  • Bobby Dazzler (Pages: 17, 19) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • My Brother Barney (Pages: 20-21) [Art: Jose Casanovas]
  • Backstage Betty (Pages: 24-25, 27) [Art: Don Walker]
  • The Gift Horse (Pages: 28-29)
  • Linda the Lonely One (Page 31)

Text Stories

  • A Sort of Sizzle (Page 22) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • The Silk Scarf (Page 26)

Features

  • Stars and Their Dogs (Page 3)
  • The Paddle Your Own Canoe Race (Page 6)
  • Twiggy (Page 14)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 16)
  • Why Not Make a Pop Pendant…or a Beach Tent? (Page 18)
  • Pony Tales (Page 23)
  • Holiday Haunts (Page 26)
  • Fun for the Road (Page 30)
  • Pop the Questions (Page 32)

*Thanks to Goof for the information and cover picture

Bunty-Judy Summer Special 1974

Cover Art: Doris Kinnear

Picture Stories

  • The Four Marys (Pages: 2-4) [Art: James Walker]
  • Punch and Jacko (Pages: 5, 7) [Art: Matias Alonso]
  • Tania “Twinkle Toes” (Pages: 8-9, 11)
  • Miss Merlin (Page 12)
  • She’s Got a Flair for Fashion (Pages: 13, 15) [Art: George Martin]
  • Bobby Dazzler (Page 17) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • If at First… (Page 19) [Art: Ron Smith]
  • Junior Nanny (Pages: 28-29) [Art: Oliver Passingham]

Text Stories

  • The Return of the Secret Look (Page 18)
  • “A Chapter of Accidents” (Page 26) [Art: Claude Berridge]

Features

  • Who’s Who? (Page 3)
  • Pop Poster: Mud (Page 6)
  • Tell-Tale Weather Signs (Page 10)
  • The Top Pop Game (Page 14)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 16)
  • Summer Special Jokes (Page 20)
  • Your Horoscope (Page 20)
  • Our Holiday Helper Quiz (Page 21)
  • Pop Poster: David Essex (Page 22)
  • Pony Tales (Page 23)
  • An Easy-To-Make Belt (Page 23)
  • What Shall We Do Today, Then? (Pages: 24-25)
  • Pop Poster: Gilbert O’Sullivan (Page 27)
  • Weave Away a Rainy Day (Page 30)
  • Dottie’s Holiday Jokes (Page 31)
  • Pop Poster: Donny Osmond (Page 31)

*Thanks to Goof for the information and cover picture

Diana 1965

Picture Stories

  • Jane Model Miss (Pages: 6-11)  [Art: Pamela Chapeau]
  • Dixie and the Good Deed (Pages: 15-20)  [Art: George Martin]
  • Nursing with Norma (Pages: 27-31)
  • Susan and the Sea Stars (Pages: 55-58) [Art: Don Walker]
  • The Twisted Racquet (Pages: 62-65)
  • When Unbeatable Brenda Met Goal-Getter Gertie (Pages: 67-70)
  • The Silent One (Pages: 71-75) [Art: John Burns]
  • Little Amy’s Secret Weapon (Pages: 80-81, 84-86)
  • A Skating Adventure with Yum-Yum (Pages: 87-92) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • The Cat and the King (Pages: 107-110)
  • A Lucky Day for Delia (Pages: 117-121)

Text Stories

  • Dancing with Dianne (Pages: 45-48)
  • Angela and the Pantomime Princess (Pages: 97-99, 101-103) [Art: Don Walker]
  • Along Came a Spider! (Pages: 114-115)

Features

  • Every Song has a Story (Pages: 2-3, 126-127)
  • Five Little Animals (Pages:4)
  • Heads for the Tammy! (Pages: 12-13)
  • Four for Fashion (Pages: 14)
  • Getting to Know Ballet – Questions and Quotations (Pages: 21)
  • The Chinese Ballet (Pages: 22-23)
  • Ballet on Tour (Pages: 24-25)
  • Background to the Ballet (Pages: 26)
  • Getting to Know Famous Nurses – Brave Nurses in War and Peace (Pages: 32)
  • The Satisfaction of Being a District Nurse (Pages: 33-34)
  • Training a Pony (Pages: 35-42)
  • Over the Jumps (Pages: 43)
  • Ponies of Britain (Pages: 44)
  • Getting to Know Dances- The Dancing Hands (Pages: 49)
  • Getting to Know Dances- The Dance of the Gypsy Guitar (Pages: 50)
  • Dressed to Dance (Pages: 51)
  • Invitation to Dance (Pages: 52-53)
  • Dancing Puzzle Page (Pages: 54)
  • King of the Big Waves (Pages: 59)
  • Riders on White Horses (Pages: 60-61)
  • Down the Slippery Slope (Pages: 66)
  • The Shy Champion (Pages: 76)
  • Pen and Ink (Pages: 77)
  • Royal Gardens Seeing’s Believing (Pages: 78-79)
  • Like Mother – Like Daughter (Pages: 82-83)
  • Chimps with Everything (Pages: 93)
  • Starlet Corner (Pages: 94-95)
  • Acrobats on Ice (Pages: 96)
  • Acting in the Open Air (Pages: 100)
  • The Great Drama on the Hill (Pages: 104-105)
  • Anything You Can Do We Can Do Better! (Pages: 106)
  • Find the Foe (Pages: 111)
  • Alive-Alive-Oh! (Pages: 112-113)
  • The Story of the Bird in the Hand (Pages: 116)
  • Musical Mistakes (Pages: 122-123)
  • The Wonderful Life of Handel (Pages: 124-125)

(Click on thumbnails for bigger pictures)

Judy for Girls 1982

I like to do a post about an annual around Christmas time, although with this book I originally wanted to do it for Halloween as it’s filled with so many spooky stories (and actually hardly a Christmas theme in sight!). But as I didn’t have the time to finish it for then, it will be a Christmas post after all.

From the cover we see no Winter theme, just two girls holding a balloon. Like most Judy annuals of the 80s, featured inside the front and back covers are a collection of photos – here we have everything from diving helmets to highland horses. As I mentioned lots of spooky stories, along with regular characters from the weeklies, a large selection of features and just the one photo story.

(For just a list of contents go to the last page)

Picture Stories

Lost Saturday (Pages: 5-9)

Art: Martin Puigagut?

Carla Trent is intending to visit her friend Sandra, but gets lost on her way, then a helpful motorist picks her up. Oddly it starts to snow in August, though the woman is not surprised. She brings her back to her house, she has a daughter her age and says she may know Sandra. They are having a party and say they will ring Sandra to come over. Carla still finds things odd, she  checks to see if a car coming is Sandra arriving, it is not her friend and the car skids into a gas main and there is big explosion. Carla wakes up in Sandra’s house, she tells Carla that she was found by  the roadside, she must have dreamed all the other events as there is no snow and the house she describes are still being developed. Months later Sandra invites her to a party with a new family that has moved in close by. Carla realises its the same party she was at before so she manages to get everyone out before the car explodes.

Junior Nanny (Pages: 13-15)

Art: Oliver Passingham

This is the only Christmas story in the annual (although there are some stories set during Winter). Chris Johnson has her work cut out for her when a 4 year old orphan, Alan, joins the home. He had been living with relatives who neglected him and his treasured comfort was an old bucket as it was the only toy he owned. When one of the other children kicks the bucket, Alan gets upset and doesn’t trust them and won’t play with them. Chris puzzles about how to help Alan she notices he is fond of helping with the babies. So Chris gets a little Christmas tree for the babies and talking with Alan, he agrees it needs a special bucket. After successfully separating him from his bucket, Alan begins to play with other kids.

Her Finest Hour (Pages: 17-19)

Harriet Cole had performed her first concert as a pianist. The audience gave her an encore and many praised Harriet, saying she had a bright future ahead of her. Terpsichore, the muse of dance and music, appears in her dressing room saying she will grant her her dearest wish. Harriet says she would like to relive the hour between 8pm to 9pm again. She gets her wish and she enjoys hearing herself play as everything is on autopilot, but then she meets the muse again and can’t stop herself from wishing for the same thing again. She only then realises her mistake, that she made her wish a few minutes before 9 and now is she is stuck in this loop forever!

Dottie’s Ye Olde Joke Book (Pages: 20-21)

One panel jokes with a historical theme.

Danger, Min at Work! (Pages: 24-25)

Min can never keep a job, in this story she gets a job in a bakery. It ends up being a disaster – Min puts her foot in flour, stacks the bread tins too high causing them to fall over on the baker. Then she manages to knock the water tap on and the flour and yeast making a whole dough the takes over the shop!

Wee Slavey (Pages: 27-31)

Art: John Leonard Higson

This Wee Slavey story takes place before Nellie worked for the Selby-Smythes. Instead she is working in an orphanage under the mean and grasping, Mrs Eckstine. While working picking up stones for a Lady Burrows, Nellie finds a ruby. Mrs Eckstine immediately takes it from her. Then Nellie finds out the stone is cursed and tries to warn Mrs Eckstine to give it back. She dismisses such superstition, but after several mishaps it does seem the ruby is out to get her! It does get returned to Lady Burrows, and she is so happy to have the jewel back, she takes all the orphans out for the day.

Lost Chance (Pages: 37-39)

Art: Claude Berridge

Jenny Norton wants to become a writer, and writes whenever she gets the chance, even if gets her in trouble in school!  She sees a competition to write for “Girls’ Weekly” but the final day for posting is the next day. She pits all her time into the competition staying up late at night and starting early next  morning.  She is just finished and goes to help her mom with something, when the wind blows her manuscript  onto a bonfire. With no time to write another entry Jenny believes her opportunity is gone. Then to her surprise, the next week her teacher calls her over to tell her she has given Jenny’s confiscated writings to friend at “Girls’ Weekly”. The friend was so impressed she wants Jenny to write for the book.

The Afanc (Pages: 42-46)

Art: Norman Lee

In a village in North Wales, Ben Evans, the gamekeeper has disappeared. Then one night a police patrol car sees Ben Evans on a horse but he is shaggy and wild looking, and suddenly vanishes again. They report back to the station, a woman says what they saw was the Afanc returned for revenge. Old folk tales tell of him, ruling the Welsh forest and hunting the unwary traveler, he was lured away but vowed to return. The police think this is rubbish, but the local gazette run the story and schoolgirl Prue and her friends are interested in the story. Their teacher is not impressed by the girls talk and makes them write an essay on critical journalism. The girls decide that she would believe them if she saw herself the Afanc herself.  So Prue dresses up and  rides out on horse, she frightens Miss Bake, who swerves her car into a ditch and causes the horse to bolt.The other girls own up and help Miss Blake, but Prue has disappeared. She is never seen again, at least by anyone who can tell the tale. Later a lost tourist goes missing. With all the disappearances, the police begin the wonder if there is some truth with the Afanc story.

Big ‘n’ Bertha (Pages: 50-51)

Dad wants to teach Big to be a guard dog, but he’s not having much success. Then Big catches a burgler, when he trips over the sleeping dog!

Born to Dance (Pages: 52-55)

Art: Jose Ariza?

Paula Delaney is assistant to Madame Nina Nerova a ballet teacher. They invite a film team to see Madame teaching hoping to attract new stars. While lots of enthusiastic girls audition only one girl, Tessie has star quality, but she runs away when she realises she is being filmed. Watching the film Paula figures out who she is by her resemblance to another dancer.  They go to Tessie’s house where they meet her mother, a previous pupil of Madame Nerova and whose promising ballerina career was destroyed by accident. She was so bitter and sad about it, that Tessie hid her love of ballet from her, but it turns out her mother is happy to see her daughter dance and wants to see her become the str she could never be.

Dottie’s New Year (Pages: 56-57)

A humour strip with a panel for every month, that tells how Dottie has spent her year.

Cora Cupid (Pages: 58-63)

Art: Giorgio Letteri

Cora is always meddling in peoples love lives after a falling out with friends, she decides not to meddle any more. Even when she sees opportunities to get long term couple,Neil and Laura, back together, she resists. Then her friends start talking to her again because they want her to sort Neil and Laura out! But Cora has convinced herself not to meddle so much, that she can’t work her magic anymore. So her friends end up scheming with Neil and Laura to get her confidence back.

The Honest Thief (Pages: 65-67)

Art: Bert Hill

A “Girl with the Golden Smile” story. Jill steals a book about art from Westerby Department store. She wants to give it to her disabled sister to use, and plans to return it later. Anna tracks her down, and finds out her whole story, how they have little money, but Jill wants to help encourage her sister’s art talent. She promises not to steal again and Anna gets her sister a job doing portraits at Westerby’s.  Seems odd that Jill would “borrow” the book from the department store, when there are libraries whose purpose is the lend books and its all legal too!

Anita’s Butler (Pages: 74-76)

Art: Bert Hill

Mareton (Anita’s ghost butler) does not trust a boy, Bob Wilson, who is helping with a charity auction, that Anita is also volunteering at. Mareton sees him steal a medal and go off in sports car with older woman. Then he sees him tampering with a plane at air display. He convinces Anita to stop the plane, but the pilot turns out to be the woman from the sports car. She is Bob’s mother, he was fixing her plane and the medal he “stole” was actually his grandfathers medal, that was wrongly donated. The Wilson’s don’t mind the misunderstanding and take Anita for a plane ride.

First-Time Faith (Pages: 77-79)

Art: Jim Baikie

Faith Hope wanted to be the girl with the most entries in a local firm’s Book of Records. She gets an idea of getting new entry, when it comes to celebrating Lady Bernicia, the town’s hero. Bernicia never wore her wedding dress, instead wearing black in protest and started uprising against the invading Normans. Faith wants to be the first to wear the dress. She  enlists the help of Monica the museum curators daughter to get the dress for her. On the day of pageant, the lights go out and Monica ends of getting her dad’s overalls instead. Somehow Faith doesn’t notice the difference in the dark! So Faith doesn’t get her entry in the Record book.

Pony Tales (Pages: 80)

Humour strip about girls and their pony.

Is a Goldfish Really a Girl’s Best Friend? (Pages: 81-83)

A girl ponders about what the best pet would be. A dog would be a lot of work with all the walks, tortoise sleeps half the year, budgies tend to fly off an elephant takes up too much room. She concludes her goldfish really is the best.

The Golden Touch (Pages: 84-87)

May Ferrier’s father works for Lady Meshan. One night a constable comes across May with box of jewels, which had been missing for a year. May claims to have just sensed it, but her father is accused of stealing it from Lady Mesham and telling May where he hid them. At a trial their lawyer has an idea. He proposes that May is a diviner who can detect gold. Lady Mesham dismisses the idea, thinking the test has been set up in advance. But then May says she has gold on her person and a dentist in the courtroom confirms she has gold fillings. The charges are dropped and the Ferriers even get a reward for finding stolen goods.

The Haunted Churchyard (Pages: 91-95)

Art: Norman Lee

Petra Markham is dared by her friends to take a shortcut through a supposedly haunted graveyard. Her bravery soon leaves her when she hears a low wailing sound and she runs towards the church finding the vicars house. The Vicar goes with her to investigate and they find a trapped dog is source of wailing. The Vicar says it must belong to a neighbour, Mrs Bragg, and they go to his house for cocoa. The next day after recounting the tale to her friends, Petra realises she left her homework at the  Vicar’s house. She goes back but the house is derelict. She finds her homework there and is confronted by Mrs Bragg. She tells Petra, she had a puppy 40 years ago but he injured his paw around the time the last vicar of the church died!

Boyfriends (Pages: 97)

Humour strip where a poor guy is hassled by wannabe girlfriend.

Abandoned! (Pages: 98-101)

Art: Jose Ariza?

This is an Emma Report story, at Morningside Children’s Home, the children are watching Emma do a report at zoo, then the Matron has special surprise, Emma has come to visit. Afterwards Janey sneaks into Emma’s car, she wants her help as she’s been looking after dog and the Home doesn’t allow big pets. They take the dog to a vet, Emma met through her time at television. Emma leaves vet to contact the children’s home as Janey seems to be hitting it off with him and his wife, and she suspects Janey could find a new home with them.

Bobby Dazzler (Pages: 106-107)

Art: Giorgio Letteri

Don and Mike both want to accompany Bobby to disco and there is only one spare ticket. She tells them whoever scores most goals at next match will take her. They get the same amount of goals but Bobby has managed to get an extra ticket, she just decided to wait until after the match to tell them!

Schoolgirl Vet (Pages: 109-111)

Kay Burrows family have a visitor, Miss Soong, who practice acupuncture. Wen Kay’s brother hasto attend to a lame cow, Kay and Miss Soong help. The cow is given all sort of treatments, including Miss Soong’s alternative treatments and the cow is cured. Kay is convinced it is Miss Soong that cured her, but Kay’s brothers not so sure, but he keeps that to himself!

The Warning (Pages: 113-115)

Art: Claude Berridge

Prudence Wells is on a train when she is puzzled that she keeps seeing the same man at each stop. At the third stop the man the man calls out for help. She gets off at next stop and sees the man. She goes to talk to him, causing him to move towards her and narrowly avoid a falling trunk that would have knocked him in front of a train!

Party Girl (Pages: 121-125)

Art: Matias Alonso

Samantha Parry is only interested in going to parties and having fun. She neglects her ill grandmother so she can go out with her potential new boyfriend Dominic. She even considers poisoning her grandmother to get rid of her. After midnight when a party ends, Dominic invites her to an all night party. While he goes to meet the host, Samantha finds something unsettling about the party, the drinks are flat, the food stale and the people seem strange and unhappy. She tries to leave but somehow ends up back in the same room again. She tells Dominic she wants to leave, but he tells her the host is very interested in meeting her and as her grandmother died tonight she can stay and have a life long party just like she wanted. We see the hosts shadow which appears to be the devil. Meanwhile a cop interviews a man, as an ambulance takes body away. He says the girl just drove into the wall but the shocking part was she was sitting on pillion and nobody was actually driving the bike!