Tag Archives: Benita Brown

Jinty and Penny 5 July 1980

JInty cover 5 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir) – final episode
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé) – first episode
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Smashing Bangers! – feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways # 16: High Jump – the Frosby Flop (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

This issue says farewell to the serial that came over with Penny, “Seulah the Seal”. This must have been a bit sad for former Penny readers, although the ending is happy.

We are also introduced to a new Trini Tinturé story, “A Spell of Trouble”, about the Blacks, who are a family of witches that find their magical lifestyle is under threat. Is it a witchfinder? Is it a witch-hunting mob? No, it’s a gormless non-magical cousin who is such a walking disaster area she would make “The Jinx from St Jonah’s” look competent.

Pam of Pond Hill starts a new story too. Hazel Bayley, who has no friends and isn’t popular, kindly gives Pam a macramé potholder when Pam has difficulty making one for Mum’s birthday. But then Pam sees the same potholders in a department store, and surely Hazel couldn’t have afforded the £5 for one! Pam can think of only one thing…but it couldn’t be, surely? Or could it? We are told there will be more surprises with Hazel the following week, but we doubt they will be pleasant ones.

In this week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we see the Arthurian legend like we’ve never seen it before. According to Sir Roger, the real-life Sir Lancelot was a fat, short, bald man with a filthy temper and thick spectacles! He inadvertently creates the famous Round Table when he gets into a fight with Sir Roger over porridge. Gaye doesn’t believe a word of it, but the story’s so funny I put it up on the Hugh Thornton-Jones page in the panel gallery.

Lucy Craven breaks “The Venetian Looking Glass” in three and thinks her trouble with the ghost of Lucy Craven is over. But no – it’s trebled! Lucy now has to do the ghost’s bidding by “the power of three!”

It’s part two of the kids vs. adults sports competition in “Tansy of Jubilee Street”. The adults are into serious training, but Tansy has to find surreptitious ways to get the kids off their butts and do it too.

Minnow is now joining a swimming club, but again she has to do it behind her mother’s back. And while in Mum’s room she finds more strange clues to the mystery: letters in a foreign language and a photo that shows Mum and Dad used to be swimming champions! So why’s Mum got such a thing against swimming now?

In “Blind Faith” Clare has to do some breaking and entering to rescue Cromwell from the knacker’s yard – but she’s been spotted doing so!

Jinty and Penny 2 August 1980

Jinty 2 August 1980

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • The Last Leap (artist Giorgio Giorgetti) – Gypsy Rose story
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Behind the Screen – Dr Who
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways #20: Headstand (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

This week’s issue is one for Doctor Who fans because it has a feature on the show and Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.

The cover informs us that “a great new story starts today”. That story is “Tears of a Clown”, which, like “Waves of Fear”, is a hard-hitting Phil Gascoine story about the evils of bullying and people in authority handling it badly. Here neither the parents nor the school are picking up that the protagonist, Kathy Clowne, is being bullied, much less step in to help. Instead, they all write her off as a no-hoper who’s no good at anything, not realising that the bullying is responsible for her poor school performance. It sounds all too familiar.

The shoplifting storyline in “Pam of Pond Hill” wraps up this week. It turns out the reason Hazel Bayley resorted to shoplifting was to use the stolen items to make the friends she didn’t have. That sounds all too familiar as well. Poor, foolish girl, who realised too late that it was not the way. She makes friends at Pond Hill in the end once they understand and sympathise, but her foolishness landed her in juvenile court and now she has a criminal record.

Minna finally sorts out her problem with bully Sharon, but now there is a new problem: her secret is in danger when a photographer takes a photograph of her at the swimming club.

Clare makes a new friend in Angie, who helps hide her and Cromwell. But Angie’s Dad has guessed what’s going on and is shadowing her.

This week’s Gypsy Rose is a Strange Story reprint that brings some Giorgio Giorgetti artwork to Jinty. The story is about a window where anyone who approaches it always seems to fall out of it. The doctor says it’s vertigo from the chequered pattern from the path below. However, there is another theory – and more evidence – about an aggrieved spirit of a mistreated servant girl who also fell out of that window. The story has been uploaded into the Gypsy Rose section in the panel gallery.

Tansy is surprised to find everyone in Jubilee Street is turning nice. Ah, so it’s a contest to find the kindest neighbour in the district. Yes, it sounded too good to be true – and so is the contest, which turns out to be as phony as the niceness in Jubilee Street.

Making Angela a witch becomes even more pressing when the Blacks receive a letter to make her one by next Halloween or have their powers removed. Carrie thinks she’s got it in the bag this time when Angela accepts a bet that if she can’t make a friend by the end of the day she’ll agree to be a witch. We shall see…

Sir Roger has sprained his haunting muscles and now he can’t vanish. We have to wait until next week to see if he recovers.

Jinty and Penny 4 October 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • ‘A Call for Help’ – Gypsy Rose story (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Behind the Screen: Return of the Saint
  • Sue’s Daily Dozen (artist José Casanovas) – first episode
  • Winning Ways 27: Tennis – the Forehand Drive (writer Benita Brown)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

Pam’s friend Tracie is all of a tizzy – she’s terrified of her mum walking out on the family. The obvious question is, why would she do that to them? It’s a serious worry: her mum is increasingly fed up with her home life and actively threatens to leave them. Of course it’s causing Tracie no end of worries on a daily basis but it also means there is no way she wants to come on the class trip to France. Pam’s cheerful mother thinks it’ll never come to that point, but when Tracie gets home after school one day and finds that her mother has packed a bag and got on the 3 o’clock bus it seems like quite a different matter!

Shona is the “Girl the World Forgot”, trying to survive on a deserted Scottish island. Some seals give her a pleasant surprise and she forgets her worries in swimming with them. But when the night comes and she is alone in the croft she has found, she seems not to be alone after all…

Kathy is trying hard to prove herself as a runner to her classmates and her teachers, but bad luck and the bullying nature of the horrible Sandra Simkins mean everything is against her. Even the obstacle race is a shameful experience for her – so bad that she vows to run away. At least her speed in running will help here there!

The Gypsy Rose story is clearly drawn specially for Jinty as it’s by Terry Aspin throughout in a matching style. Kay’s little sister Jenny has an imaginary friend called Mary who rings her on the toy phone – but one night the toy phone really does ring and Mary pleads for help because the hospital she is in is burning down! It turns out to be a hospital for toys, very fittingly. Gypsy Rose introduces the story and rounds it off at the end, rather than being one of the characters in the story itself as she sometimes is – but her appearance outside the burned toy factory in the last two panels makes it clear that she inhabits the same world as the stories she tells, that is, they are really real as far as she is concerned.

In the first episode of “Sue’s Daily Dozen” Sue Baker is feeling left-out as the only newcomer to the village. In the house that her dad is busy doing up, she finds a mysterious set of items that help her to integrate into village life – an old cooking pot, a ‘Daily Dozen’ book, and a spoon. Suspiciously witchy-sounding? But the first recipe, of some little cakes, turn out smashingly – but they do seem to be causing people who eat them to act a little… oddly.

Jemma West learns yoga from her serendipitous guest but when the rain comes down again she still can’t control herself enough, and she loses a big chance.

Jinty and Penny 9 August 1980

Cover art by Mario Capaldi

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Gypsy Rose, ‘The Magic Carpet’
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Behind the Screen: “Fun Factory”
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways 21: The Forward Roll (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

Pam has a stroke of luck: she finds a ‘witch ball’ in a jumble sale and suddenly she feels like things are going her way. Coincidence, or something more?

It is early days in the new story, “Tears of a Clown”. Kathy Clowne has had her name put down for cross-country running, done as a joke by her cruel bully Sandra because everyone expects she will be hopeless at it. And even Kathy’s mum is pretty sceptical. Surprisingly, Kathy turns out to be much faster than anyone thought she’d be, but she has an accident and her glasses land in a pond and no-one stops to help her find them. Of course the officials think she joined the race without permission in order to make the school a laughing stock – but at least Kathy now knows that she enjoys cross-country running, and what’s more is good at it too.

The Gypsy Rose story is a reprint from an earlier title: Gypsy Rose just introduces the story and different artwork is used for that panel and the end panel as for the main story art. I don’t recognize this artist offhand but it is certainly a style I have seen before. The story is about a poor laundry maid in old Baghdad, who buys a carpet that is reputed to be magic. She ends up adopted by a Sultan as a friend to his daughter, so it must have worked!

The form that you send in with your letters is currently also showing the issue number (this is listed as Jinty and Penny 316) which it didn’t always.

Carrie Black has a cunning plan to turn Angela into a witch. First she has to turn her evil, so that she won’t mind being trained as a witch. Er – totally foolproof plan, I don’t think! The ring of Queen Nefratti will do the trick, if Carrie can pinch it from the museum.

Minna has to hide the newspaper article that mentions her – photo and all – from her mother. Of course she can’t do that for long, and her mother resignedly says that ‘I think the damage may already be done’. There are still plenty of mysteries ahead, the writer needn’t drag out the suspense of Minna hiding her swimming from her mother any longer.

The last story is “Blind Faith”. Angie is helping Clare and Cromwell live in hiding; Angie’s father finds them and can’t decide what to do, because he can see that his daughter is happy, for the first time in a very long time. I guess he decides not to give them up to the authorities, just yet – and so the two girls and the horse can continue to practice jumping. But what good will it do in the end?

Jinty and Penny 26 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Romany’s Reading – Gypsy Rose story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: John Craven’s Newsround
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways 19 – Gymnastics: the Bridge or Crab (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

This is rather a browned copy of the issue, though to be fair the colouring of the cover image also has a beige background which helps give that impression.

Pam is dealing with a tricky situation: her schoolmate Hazel has been shoplifting and all the class has had a share in the stolen goods – will the blame rebound on them too? And – what drove Hazel to do it? Her home life seems far from happy, given the wee glimpse of her parents that we see.

There is a half-page advert for “Tears of a Clown” which starts in the next week’s issue: a hard-hitting tale of some cruel bullying of a misfit girl. It feels a slightly ‘in between’ issue in some ways – we had the last episode of “The Venetian Looking-Glass” in the previous week, and the episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is the one which is shortened by half a page to fit in the advert. The Gypsy Rose story is a substantial four-pager by Jim Baikie: a girl who helps an old gypsy woman is rewarded by being given a fortune reading. She will be in an accident but will be rescued by a ship. Surprisingly this turns out to happen while she is stranded in a desert – she is rescued by a camel, which of course is also called ‘the ship of the desert’.

Both the Gypsy Rose story and the episode of “A Spell of Trouble” have a fairly large first panel and only 6 panels on the first page: the page layout is far from being a straightforward grid, too. I wonder if that means that Jinty was experimenting with less conventional comics storytelling at this point? Not that episodes of “Concrete Surfer” some two years earlier, for instance, hadn’t also challenged the more staid conventions too, but it is relatively noticeable when there are two stories doing this one after the other. The Blacks are given an ultimatum: no non-witches can live with a witch family, under pain of losing their magic powers – so Carrie and her mum have to turn Angela into a witch, quick sharp!

The feature on TV programs is this week covering the very popular “John Craven’s Newsround”. Interestingly, they explain that there was only about 25% overlap with the main news of the day – the majority of the news stories were written specifically for the children’s show.

In “Minnow”, Minna remembers more about her mysterious past that her mother refuses to talk about – her friends tease her by splashing her with waves but this is her trigger for panicking – in her panic she remembers drowning and seeing faces surrounding her in a mist. Next week she is to be furthered threatened, by strangers at the pool!

Cromwell the blind horse is being given up to the police, but he and Clare are rescued by the blind daughter of the farmer who caught them…

Jinty and Penny 12 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Dark Tower – Gypsy Rose story (artist unidentified)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Behind the Screen – All Creatures Great and Small (feature) – first episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways 17 – The Long Jump (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

Mario Capaldi’s action-oriented covers are always a sight to behold. This diver looks almost unrealistically excited, and certainly very enthusiastic to be jumping off that very high platform!

Pam and friends find out that one of the people in her class is probably a shop-lifter, giving people stolen items so as to buy friendship. What will happen next? We are promised disaster to follow Pam’s attempts to help.

The Gypsy Rose story is a reprint, with a very badly bodged image of Gypsy Rose drawn over that of the original story teller. The rest of the story is a slightly old-fashioned spooky story: a girl is kidnapped to get her to reveal the whereabouts of her scientist father, and stranded in a dark tower where no one will find her. A ghost and a locket are the means of her rescue.

Angela White threatens to turn things upside down in the household of Carrie Black, trainee witch. This light-hearted tale has a witchy family with a clumsy outsider foisted on them – Angela is a distant cousin and must be given a home. Unlike in some stories, neither the Blacks nor the Whites are cruel or malicious, but it will take a long time nevertheless for them to get along with each other.

In the letters page one reader writes in to ask for more science fiction stories, because she enjoyed “The Human Zoo” and “The Forbidden Garden” so much. More power to you, Jennifer Murray of Manchester!

This is the penultimate episode of “The Venetian Looking Glass”. Lucy Craven is totally under the power of the evil spirit – she thought she was defeating it by breaking the mirror, but the three pieces of the mirror turn out to have three times the power! Lucy runs down the corridor of the castle and takes her evil ancestor’s revenge by setting it alight to burn. Will her cousin Rosalind be able to stop her or to put out the flames?

“You’ve just tuned in to the first of our occasional series on your favourite TV programmes” – with lots about telly success All Creatures Great and Small. Much of it is interviews with Christopher Timothy, who played James Herriot, but there is a nice photo with Peter Davidson who played Tristam and who is now probably rather more famous as one of the actors who played Dr Who.

Minna is sneaking around behind her mother’s back, to find a signature that she can copy onto the form for joining the swimming club she is set on. She finds a mysterious photo that shows her parents dressed as swimming champions – and later she finds an olympic medal in her mother’s handbag! Minna has a mystery in her past, all right – and it comes out again in the swimming club when she has a sudden flashback of waves thundering and crashing – and the sea drowning her like it did her father!

Clare finds some shelter to keep her and Cromwell out of the night, and even sets up some jumps to start to train Cromwell again. But a raging bull might put paid to all of that…

Jinty & Penny 13 December 1980

Cover 13 December 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Her Guardian Angel (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir) – last episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: The Goodies (feature)
  • Angela Angel-Face (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sue’s Daily Dozen (artist José Casanovas)
  • Winning Ways 37: Netball – Marking and intercepting (writer Benita Brown)
  • Life’s a Ball for Nadine (artist Mario Capaldi)

This issue sees episode 2 of Jinty‘s last Christmas story, “Her Guardian Angel”: as Mistyfan pointed out in the post about the previous issue, by the following Christmas this title had merged with Tammy. And Pam is still struggling hard to make a cheerful Christmas party for the local orphans, despite many arguments between her friends and her supporters. But by the end of this week’s three pager, it looks very much like it may all be off…

Girl The World Forgot” comes to a dramatic end this week as some reenactors dressed as Vikings from the mainland come to the island. They rescue Shona and explain to her local ghost Alice Drunnon has been haunting the castaway girl. Shona is reunited with her parents – on Christmas eve, of all days. What an emotional present for all concerned!

“Sue’s Daily Dozen” sounds like it is nearing its end – we even see an appearance by Granny Hayden, as a vision helping Sue to defeat some crooks. Just about the last thing for her to do seems to be to help George the blacksmith have a truly blessed wedding – blessed by the spirit of Granny H herself, mind you!

Nadine is still combining disco dancing with netball, much to the displeasure of stiff-necked captain Betty. This time the other netball players need to rescue Nadine on the dance floor, by getting a huge strobe lightbulb from one end of the crowded dance floor to the other – in record time – using their netball skills, natch.

John Wagner: Interview

John Wagner is known to have worked on girls’ comics and written girls stories in the 1970s. I didn’t know of any previous interviews which had focused on this part of his career in particular: many thanks to him for answering the questions below in this brief interview.

1 I’d love to know how you got started in writing for girls’ comics, and what you did during that part of your comics career. What stories did you write? How did you balance writing comics alongside being an editor – or was that all part of what the editor was expected to do?

The girls’ comic side of my career started with Romeo, the DC Thomson romantic comic/mag, the poor sister of Jackie. Girls’ romance was just a step up from normal girls’ fare with the addition of boys. We never touched on lesbian love back then! Then when I left to go freelance with Pat Mills, girls’ stories was one of our target markets. We were given “School of No Escape” (was that in Sandie or Tammy? [that was in Sandie]) by the managing editor, John Purdie. The story had already been started, was running, but either the writer had quit, or been sacked. In any case editorial didn’t know quite how to handle it. It was quite a challenging first assignment but we made a pretty good fist of it. I helped Pat devise “School for Snobs” and write the first couple of episodes before we split up and I went to work in the IPC office in London. My only girls’ comic story after that was “Jeannie and Her Uncle Meanie”.

2 We’re always on the lookout for information on other creators of girls comics from the  time. I have already asked you for any suggestions on the name of the artist on “Slave of the Trapeze” and “School of No Escape”, which sadly for us you weren’t able to recall. Are there stories by other people that you particularly remember from that time, which you would be able to help us to credit the creators on? For instance, anything written by any of Gerry Finley-Day, Malcolm Shaw, Charles Herring, Jay Over, Ian Mennell, Benita Brown, Maureen Spurgeon?

Malcolm Shaw was my sub on Sandie for a while, quite a good, reliable one. I’m afraid I don’t remember any particular stories any of the people you mention wrote, though Gerry would have done two or three for me. Never heard of Jay Over or Benita Brown and assume Maureen then went by another surname that I can’t remember.

3 Pat Mills has fond memories and a lot of respect for specific girls’ comics titles and the hard-hitting gritty stories that ran in them. What kind of comparisons would you draw between the world of girls’ comics and that of the boys’ titles you worked on?

They were pretty different, up until Pat and I started work on Battle Picture Weekly. I refer to the IPC boys’ stories, as DC Thomson boys’ comics had some excellent stories and were almost the equal of their girls’ titles. But IPC boys’ titles had stagnated, with stories that were formulaic, repetitive, barely credible and carried very little emotional power. They paled in comparison to the stories in Judy, Mandy and especially Bunty – clever, meaty, affecting.

4 You started your comics career working for DC Thomson before moving south to IPC/Fleetway. Were there things about creating comics that you learned at DC Thomson which you were keen to bring with you to IPC, or perhaps keen to move away from? Or other memories of differences between the two publishers?

I was keen to move away from poverty! The key lesson I learned there was self-criticism. Nothing you write can’t be better. Always question yourself – am I getting the best out of that scene, those characters, is there a better way of doing things?

5 Finally, anything you can tell us about your time at Sandie would be good to know. It was a fairly short-lived title, only lasting for 89 issues. What do you think that was down to? Did you leave it as it finished, or earlier? Who else worked on it that you can recall?

My memory is that they closed it down – or merged it – on a circulation of about 180,000 (though that figure may be inflated in my mind). In any case the low cover price meant that they had to sell enormous numbers. I was told the comic was going under and that they wanted me to move on to Princess Tina (which was also dying) and revamp it in an attempt to save it. Norman Worker (I think) was brought in to see Sandie laid to rest. In turn I made an awful hash of Tina, whereupon I quit journalism to become caretaker of an estate in Scotland, never to return (I thought!).

I’ve already mentioned [in email] some of the names of Sandie staff – subs Kyra Clegg, Rhoda Miller, Malcolm Shaw. Ally McKay was assistant art man for a while, and John…John…ah, I forget, but he was art editor.

Many thanks again to John Wagner for this interview. I have a small number of issues of Sandie, which I looked at in this post. Catawiki has details on a few Sandie issues also, and the Great News for All Readers blog has posted in detail about two issues in 2016. Mistyfan also wrote a post about the advert for Sandie’s launch, and another on issue 7 of Sandie in 1972.

Jinty & Penny 14 March 1981

jinty-cover-14-march-1981

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • The Ghost Dancer (artist Phil Townsend)
  • No Expectations – Gypsy Rose story (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Just the Job
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Land of No Tears (artist Guy Peeters, writer Pat Mills)
  • No Medals for Marie – (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Alison Christie Fitt)
  • Winning Ways 48 (writer Benita Brown)
  • Life’s a Ball for Nadine – (artist Mario Capaldi)

Pam thinks Miss Larks is being blackmailed, which leads to an embarrassing moment when Fred and Terry jump what they think is the blackmailer by mistake. Oh well, they were just trying to be helpful. The ‘blackmailer’ is Miss Larks’ nephew Steve Arnott, who takes over the reins for the upcoming school magazine Pam is struggling over.

“The Ghost Dancer” is approaching crunch time. Ferne wants to end her deception but is too scared of the consequences. But fate takes a hand when Ferne finds out that Jolie is in danger from a cracked pillar. Everyone sees the supposedly wheelchair-bound Ferne suddenly running off to try to avert disaster.

“No Medals for Marie” enters its penultimate episode. That mean old Miss Simon won’t let Marie’s family have the country home they so desperately need for Paul’s health. She’s going to abandon Paul to slowly die of asthma in his polluted town although she knows how serious his condition is. And it’s just because she’s so jealous at Marie finally winning a medal.

“Life’s a Ball for Nadine” is also on its penultimate episode. There are two jealous sisters going up against Nadine at netball and disco and trying to cheat her out of both. Nadine beats one sister at netball in this episode, but now she has to beat the other at disco in the final episode.

The Gamma Girls have won the preliminary rounds at the Golden Girl trophy, but it’s not all victory. Perfecta is on the trail of their secret trainer, who is Miranda’s mother. Cassy manages to foil Perfecta this time, but she is still suspicious. Plus, the dreaded Hive Inspector is going to pay a visit. He has the power to take Miranda and her mother away if he discovers their secret, and they will never return.

This week Gypsy Rose brings us an original story instead of a recycled Strange Story. Dora Lambert faithfully goes to Miss Harleigh to read Charles Dickens to her. Despite the Dickens title she reads from in the story, Dora expects and asks for nothing, even though her poor family could do with it. However, Gypsy Rose has forewarned us that there could be a surprise in store.

Sir Roger accidentally creates a double of himself, and then it’s triplets. Gaye ends up with treble the trouble of feeding a gluttonous ghost.

Tansy’s got a detective kit. She’s on the case of the missing hockey cup, which has disappeared from her bedroom window. For once pesky brother Simon and practical joker Peter are in the clear, so who could have done it?

Jinty & Penny 11 April 1981

jinty-cover-11-april-1981

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Diving Belle – (artist Phil Gasoine)
  • Emily’s Last Stop – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Puppet That Came to Life! Gypsy Rose Story (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Just the Job
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Whose Face Will Appear in the Mirror? (Quiz)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fancy Free! – first episode (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Angela’s Angels – first episode (artist Leo Davy)
  • Winning Ways 51 (writer Benita Brown)
  • Land of No Tears – final episode (artist Guy Peeters, writer Pat Mills)

It’s the last episode of “Land of No Tears”. The Gamma Girls’ win has sparked off more than they intended and it’s symbolised by the spectators knocking the Hive Inspector into the pool. The Gamma Girls have made people realise how fed up they were with the system that oppressed even their emotions. The letters page prints a letter from one reader thanking Jinty for reprinting the story, especially as she had lost her original copy.

“Land of No Tears” was reprinted because of “Pam’s Poll”, and in this issue another story starts repeating because of the poll. Many readers voted for a nursing story, so “Angela’s Angels” returns. Jinty made a strong point in the announcement that this was one of Jinty’s first stories, so newer readers must have been delighted to be reading a story from Jinty’s first days.

Pam has a bad falling out with Goofy because she laughed at his submission for the upcoming school magazine without realising who wrote it. On the day of the launch all the magazines are found ripped to shreds! Pam can only think of one person who had the motive, and is praying it wasn’t him.

Sir Roger’s sad to find that he’s badly affecting the Stony Hall business of guided tour by scaring people off. He tries to boost the business.

It’s Tansy and June vs Peter and Simon in a bike contest. When the contest is tied it’s up to the bike scrambling to break it. Tansy does scrambling in more ways than one – she accidentally causes Mrs Spikle’s eggs to go for a scramble. Despite this her bike scrambling nails a victory for her and June.

Fancy’s encounter with Ben and his wild bird hospital has brought on some improvement in her character: she begins to have second thoughts about bullying. Just as well, because she’s being taken to the headmistress.

Betty uses some pretty strong-arm tactics to get Belle diving again. At least it works.

Another Strange Story from June is recycled for Gypsy Rose. A Spanish orphan named Maria makes a living entertaining people with her puppet Chica. She wishes she could be rich and buy Chica a puppet theatre. Events starting with Chica somehow appearing in a rich man’s garden make this dream come true. But the mystery of how Chica got into the garden remains unsolved.

In this week’s text story, a leisure centre appeal is going badly. It is also up against competition from an appeal to save a loco named Emily, which does better but also fails. Then inspiration strikes: convert Emily into the leisure centre!