- Cover artist and inside front cover artist – Mario Capaldi
- Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
- A Girl for All Seasons (quiz)
- A Friend in Need (text story)
- Rona Rides Again (artist Eduardo Feito)
- Gypsy Rose’s Tour of Mystery
- A Face in the Crowd – Gypsy Rose story (artist Tony Higham)
- Jinty’s DJ File – Dave Lee Travis
- Jinty’s Puzzles
- Sinister House – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé)
- The Indoor Palm Tree – feature
- Be Corny! feature
- A Bewitching Party! – feature
- Candle Craft (feature)
- When Rajah Ran Wild! Gypsy Rose story
- Jinty’s DJ File – Tony Blackburn
- Country Ways – feature
- Music in the Mist – Gypsy Rose story
- Just Joking
- Jinty’s DJ File – Paul Burnett
- Alley Cat
- All Dolled Up! (feature)
- Jinty’s DJ File – Noel Edmonds
- Are You Sitting Comfortably? Feature (artist Ted Andrews)
- The Fairy Bride – Gypsy Rose story (artist Peter Wilkes)
- Change of Heart – text story (artist Peter Wilkes)
- Jinty’s Puzzles
- A Sideways Look at the Lees Twins – feature
- It’s Only Skin Deep – feature
- Perfect Pets! Feature
- Christmas is Coming – feature
- Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
- Jinty’s DJ File – Jimmy Saville
- Good Luck to You! – feature
- That’s What Friends are For! Text story
- The Brother’s Return – Gypsy Rose story
- Be a Sport! Feature
The “dumbo” editor left Pam of Pond Hill out of the previous annual, so it’s a delight to see her here this time, and leading off first place in the annual as she did in the regular comic. Pond Hill profiles the Christmas content by entering a Christmas drama competition. But kids from a rival school, Elmhurst, try to destroy their play. This is ironic, considering that many of the performers think the play’s awful (old fashioned, soppy songs and costumes, grim ending). Even more ironic, Elmhurst’s sabotage leads to a reworking of the play that is more to the kids’ taste (disco music and clothes, comedy, happy ending) and they perform it with such enthusiasm and originality that they win the competition. Talk about blessings in disguise. However, this was the only time a Pond Hill story featured in a Jinty annual, which seems a bit sad. Trivia note: In this story, it is revealed that Mr Gold “Goldilocks”, the headmaster of Pond Hill, is married.
Disco also features on the inside cover, with Nadine from Life’s a Ball for Nadine doing a spot illustration with her disco dancing. She would do the same with the next annual. Is she here just to be a filler or does it say something about how popular she was?
Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost makes no appearance at all, which seems odd. In fact, he never appeared in any Jinty annual. But most of the regulars are there – Pam, Alley Cat, Snoopa and Gypsy Rose. Some of the regular artists, such as Phil Gascoine and Phil Townsend, are also absent for some reason. Perhaps it was lack of room or Jinty wanting some different artists. The Gypsy Rose content seems higher than usual. In fact, Gypsy Rose has her very own feature, “Gypsy Rose’s Mystery Tour”, in which she takes us to some of the haunted spots in Britain, and it is a fascinating read. Pity they didn’t redraw Gypsy Rose herself for it as the paste-up of her here is awful. The head is Maria Barrera’s art, but the body is clearly done by another artist. Most of the Gypsy Rose stories are recycled Strange stories, but one story, “A Face in the Crowd” is a surprise in that it is not only original (no paste-up on Gypsy Rose) but Gypsy Rose herself is drawn quite differently. Instead of her headscarf and gypsy top, her head is bare and she wears a shawl. She also has a slightly older and sharper look than usual, which is brought off effectively by the linework of Tony Higham. Higham himself is also a surprise, a most unusual choice to draw Jinty material. Perhaps they thought his style was the one to bring off the hag face the thief’s face turns into once she puts on the makeup – her comeuppance, of course.
I like one Gypsy Rose story, “Sinister House” for its take on an extremely common theme in girls’ comics – a spiteful girl who causes trouble for a foster girl, and can get away with murder because she looks so sweet and innocent. In this case our spiteful girl gets punished in the Misty-style manner. She feigns running away, but it backfires when she meets a deranged woman (who turns out to be a kindred spirit) who scares all the spite out of her. Readers are left to ponder if it was a dream, time slip or a ghost.
This was the last Jinty annual to reprint a serial from another comic. But this time it is from Tammy, not June, so Jinty readers are treated to Eduardo Feito’s brilliance in drawing horse stories with “Rona Rides Again”. Rona Danby loses her nerve after a fall and her family handle it badly (typical). They think it’s a disgrace to the family name as they are a line of proud horse riders. They get even more annoyed when Rona rescues an ill-treated nag, Flo, and bring her home. As you might expect, Rona’s friendship with Flo helps her to get her nerve back. But there’s a snag – Flo seems highly-strung and badly behaved at times. If Rona can’t find a way to sort out the problem, Flo could be destroyed.
This has to be one of Jinty’s best annuals, perhaps even the best one of all. The content is strong, and the presence of Pam makes it feel even more like Jinty. It even has a few surprises in the Gypsy Rose sections. It also gives readers a real treat of famous DJs and pop stars, which would have made the annual even more of a delight to receive on Christmas Day.