Tag Archives: Ella's Ballet Boat

Tammy and June 2 August 1975

Cover artist: John Richardson

Bella at the Bar (second Bella story) (artist John Armstrong, writer Jenny McDade) – final episode

Waifs of the Wigmaker (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Bill Harrington)

Ella’s Ballet Boat (artist Jim Eldridge)

Aunt Aggie (artist J. Badesa, writer Pat Mills, creator Gerry Finley-Day)

Carol in Camelot St. (artist Douglas Perry)

Typewriters for Writer Types! – competition 

The Truth about the Treasure (artist John Armstrong) – Strange Story

Bessie Bunter (artist Arthur Martin)

Wee Sue (artist John Richardson)

No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

Now we come to 1975 in our Tammy August month round. 

Inside, Bella’s second story comes to an end, and readers finally see how she clears her name after being framed and publicly disgraced by the jealous Natalia Orlov. This Bella story drew lots of letters from readers, including ones trying to guess how Bella would win out against Natalia. As it turned out, they were not bad guesses. But none of them anticipated Bella damaging her back (while saving Natalia, and Natalia confessing in return) and becoming wheelchair-bound as the cost of clearing her name. And so the scene – Bella’s road to recovery – is set for her third story, which readers are informed will be starting soon. So now Bella is on her way to becoming a recurring regular in Tammy instead of a serial. Meanwhile, readers will get a new tennis story, “Backhand Billie”.

Aunt Aggie (the TV star with the sweet persona on screen, the scheming one in real life) is also doing another sequel. In this week’s episode, how much does it take to get Aunt Aggie jealous? It’s Helen getting a bit of fan mail of her own. Just a few letters for Helen, and Aunt Aggie brings out her big guns. But, as usual, Helen finds a way to make it all rebound on awful Aunt Aggie. 

In “Waifs of the Wigmaker”, there’s no more slaving in the wig factory for Moira, says Ma Parting. She’s training Moira up for something bigger, and Moira is to take on another identity for it. Sounds ominous. On the plus side, while dodging the authorities, Ma Parting was forced take Moira through a secret tunnel to the factory. Moira’s got the escape route from the wig factory at last, and Ma Parting showed it to her herself! 

This week’s Strange Story is a treasure hunt story, which leaves the hunters with a moral: there is more than one kind of treasure. In “Ella’s Ballet Boat”, the floating ballet company is dogged by more sinister treasure hunters, in search of a treasure chart hidden on their boat. 

Carol Clancy finds King Arthur is being taken a bit far at her new school in Camelot Street. Her school carries on the Round Table and the Camelot tradition, complete with quests and defending the weak and poor against fairytale threats of dragons, ogres, robber barons and such. You couldn’t possibly find things like that in the modern world? Well, they are up against “dragons” this week – a motorcycle gang by that name. But there’s a more pressing threat from Mordred. No, not the witch – the deputy head who wants the head’s position, which would bring down the Round Table. 

In the Tammy regulars: Bessie takes advantage of bob-a-job week, but it all blows up in her face. She also meets a boy scout who’s just like her. Miss Bigger’s cousin is giving a lecture about his game hunting in Africa. Sue badly wants to see it, but Miss Bigger won’t let her. When Sue wins in the end, “even that hyena [on photo slide] don’t look so wild as Miss B.” Molly is the only one standing by a new tenant farmer, Mark Travers; everyone else has turned against him because of claims he’s a fraud. Even his wife has doubts. And now Pickering swings by with an invitation that sounds like a plan to catch him out altogether.

Tammy & June 21 June 1975

Cover artist: John Armstrong

Bella at the Bar (artist John Armstrong, writer Jenny McDade)

Waifs of the Wigmaker (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Bill Harrington) – first episode

Red Letter Rosie

Ella’s Ballet Boat (artist Jim Eldridge) – first episode

Aunt Aggie (artist J. Badesa, creator Pat Mills) – return

Bessie Bunter

Lure of the Lamp (artist Christine Ellingham) – Strange Story

You Need Hands – Competition

Wee Sue (artist John Richardson)

No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

It’s been a year since June merged with Tammy. How has the merger impacted on Tammy in that time? The June logo is still on the cover, but instead of the Cover Girls we have Bella on the cover this week. Bella, who first appeared with the merger, has clearly become so powerful that she sometimes pushes the Cover Girls off the cover. The John Armstrong artwork on the cover must have been a big attraction as well. 

The second Bella story (by popular demand) is going far longer than the first, not only because of the popularity but also because of the story arc (Bella clearing her name after being publicly disgraced by a jealous rival) requires a whole lot more development and episodes to resolve. It is also much darker than her first story (which was pretty dark as it was), as poor Bella has to battle her way through her wrongful disgrace as well as obstacles set forth by her cruel guardians, nasty tricksters and other enemies in order to keep up her gymnastics. Despite them all, she has done well enough to represent Britain in a championship, but the stigma just keeps catching up again and again.

Also returning from Tammy’s earlier years, by popular demand, is Aunt Aggie. Like “The Honourable S.J.” from Judy, she’s a nasty piece of work and a very crafty schemer who can put on a phoney face of kindness that fools everyone (in Aunt Aggie’s case, as a warm-hearted TV celebrity). Only the long-suffering protagonist who has to cope with her knows the truth. But unlike the Honourable S.J., Aunt Aggie is a full adult, and she is also played for humour, with a hilarious weekly comeuppance as our protagonist foils her nasty schemes. It’s a very deft combination of nastiness and comedy.

Uncle Meanie, who carried over from the Sandie merger, is now gone. Wee Sue, the other addition from Sandie, is now being drawn by John Richardson. The June additions, the Storyteller and Bessie Bunter, have established their staying power. Molly is still going as well, along with the misery-laden Cinderella and slave stories that made Tammy a hit when she was first published. 

The current Cinderella story, “Red Letter Rosie”, is now on its penultimate episode. A new slave story, “Waifs of the Wigmaker”, starts this week. It’s slavery in a Victorian wig factory, and the cruelty is a whole lot more than just exploited workers. The girls are deliberately degraded with measures such as being chained up as they work and newcomers having their hair cropped on arrival and forced to make their first wig with it. The villain of it all, Ma Parting, is an noteworthy one for being totally blind. But her blindness makes her an even more dangerous villain and hard to escape from, because her other senses are so acute they’re virtually superhuman. 

Tammy was never without a ballet story for long. The new one, “Ella’s Ballet Boat”, makes a nice change in having a ballet troupe instead Tammy’s more usual ballet formula in having an individual ballerina as the protagonist. It also gives us more variety of characters and character development.