Tag Archives: Terence Magee

Jinty 12 January 1980

Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Your Free “Decorette” Transfer – gift 

Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)

The Perfect Princess (artist Trine Tinturé)

Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)

Tracy Austin – feature

Winning Ways (writer Benita Brown) – first appearance

White Water (artist Jim Baikie)

Jinty Calendar of Verse – part 1 of a pull-out feature

When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine, idea Terence Magee, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Grate Idea! – cookery feature

It’s New Year, and Jinty celebrates with part one of a pullout calendar, in verse, which also takes the cover spot this week. Starting “Winning Ways”, a feature on sports tips, was also fitting to start at New Year, and part one is this issue. “Winning Ways” was written by Benita Brown, who is thought to have written “Spirit of the Lake”, Jinty’s only ice-skating story. No new stories can begin for New Year in this issue, as the current ones still have a way to go, and “The Perfect Princess” is only on its second episode. 

Jinty sure has been getting bigger on sports over the December–January period. She now has sports pages, “Winning Ways”, and three sports serials: “Spirit of the Lake” (ice-skating), “Toni on Trial” (athletics), and “White Water” (canoeing). 

There are disco problems in “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, in the form of a ghost jester. When Sir Roger unwittingly upstages him at the disco, he’s riled and is going to lodge an official complaint. 

Sally Smith steals a girl’s identity to get into the contest for “The Perfect Princess” to replace Victoria, the princess who’s been deemed unfit to inherit the throne because she’s a real terror. Knowing girl’s comics, Sally can only get away with that deception for so long, and she’s had one narrow escape already. Meantime, Sally has an even bigger problem – Victoria is trying to get rid of her and the other candidates, and she’s got rid of one already. But Victoria may find Sally is not so easy to get rid of.

Another terror, Terry, threatens trouble in Pam of Pond Hill. Pam is helping her form teacher, Miss Peeble, to find her feet. She’s lacking in confidence and assertion, has a lot of unruly kids in her class and other pupils walk over her, and now she’s in charge of the school disco. But Terry is bringing in even more larrikins with him to the disco and says it’ll be a riot. Disco dread for Pam, and will it be disco disaster for Miss Peeble?

And speaking of terrors, terror really ups the scale in this week’s episode of “When Statues Walk…”. A statue walks all right – right into Laura’s flat for the pendant in her possession! Thanks to Laura’s dog, it doesn’t succeed. And now there’s a very tearful call for help coming from the pendant. 

The Witch of Widcombe Wold (1972)

Sample Images

Published: Tammy 15 April 1972 to 1 July 1972 

Episodes: 14

Artist: Jesus Redondo

Writer: Terence Magee (first episode), remaining episodes uncertain

Translations/reprints: None known

It is Halloween season, the time of year to profile spooky serials and Halloween issues. There is nothing like a nice witchy serial for the occasion, so for Halloween we bring you the very first Tammy witch serial. “The Witch of Widcombe Wold” was touched on earlier this year with a Tammy issue entry, and it was the inspiration for an entry on the serial itself.

Plot

Lynn Halifax and her family move to a country cottage in Widcombe Wold, which has been in the family since Norman times. For Lynn, the cottage is love at first sight although it has no modern conveniences. Inside, Lynn finds an injured rabbit, but is surprised when the injury just vanishes when she goes near it, and it hops off. 

When Lynn goes to fetch water from the well, she is startled to see the reflection of a witch in the water. The witch says she is an ancestress, Moll Halifax, known as the Witch of Widcombe Wold. Moll was banished in 1313 for practising witchcraft. She has returned for revenge on the village, and says Lynn has powers too (which is how the rabbit got healed), which would help her with her revenge. Lynn refuses to help Moll harm the villagers. 

But Lynn soon discovers the witch’s offer could be tempting. The villagers are a clannish lot who don’t welcome strangers, and they are hostile to Lynn. Some tough bully kids even throw dirt at her, which is the start of an argument that gets so ugly the villagers turn against the Halifaxes, and even more so when a surprise lightning bolt sets a cottage on fire. The superstitious villagers say it’s a sign the Halifaxes are not welcome. After this, Lynn wonders if the witch is right and she does have some sort of power, a power to make things happen by wishing them to. 

Then Moll appears to Lynn in her bedroom mirror, saying she, not Lynn, caused the lightning strike and urges her to join forces now they both have reason to hate the villagers. Lynn still refuses to do so and wishes the mirror to break so she won’t see Moll – and it does.

But the witch isn’t giving up that easily. At every turn she puts the pressure on Lynn to join forces with her. At first, the witch does this by “helping” with a spell to strike back whenever the unfriendly children strike, such as when they plant a teacher’s purse on Lynn on her first day at the village school. Lynn tries to counter with her own magic. But it ends up with them blaming Lynn and becoming even more hostile towards her. 

However, Lynn has now discovered her own powers, which can work against the witch, and she also begins to make some headway in making friends in the village. So now the witch changes tactics. Every time Lynn tries to make a friend or help someone, the witch pulls nasty tricks to mess it up in the hopes that the locals’ hostility will induce Lynn to team up with her. But as Lynn is discovering how to use her own powers to counteract the witch, by the final panel things have blown up in the witch’s face one way or other, usually as a comic comeuppance. And this is the formula each episode now follows every week.

Still, although the final panel always ends with the witch looking stupid, Lynn still isn’t making much progress in making friends. And she has no real chance of acceptance in the village with that witch around waiting to mess up every chance she gets. 

Things come to a head at the annual ceremony that commemorates the banishing of Moll Halifax. As part of the celebration, a queen is elected to lead a dance around the ducking stool while wearing a golden crown. The witch hides the crown and Lynn is blamed. The villagers turn nasty, saying Lynn’s caused nothing but trouble since she arrived. Even Rosie, the only friend Lynn has made, turns on her. Lynn’s parents, who have had enough of the villagers’ unfriendly attitude, decide it’s time to pack up and leave. 

But Lynn isn’t beaten. Using her own powers and a hockey stick as a dowsing rod, she finds the crown. Seeing this, the villagers are thrilled and elect her as the queen of the ceremonial dance. Furious that her own descendant is going to lead the dance in honour of her banishment, Moll strikes back with a spell: “I command thee to a distant age.” Using the crown as a reflector, Lynn causes the spell to bounce back at the witch, and she is destroyed.

Lynn being chosen to lead the ceremony changes her parents’ minds about moving. They are dancing right behind her, happy to belong to Widecombe Wold at last.

Thoughts

We have seen several cases on this forum where a story was written for one title but appeared in another, and this is another one. Terence Magee has informed us the serial was intended for June but appeared in Tammy. Not being originally intended for Tammy may be why it is a bit different to the misery-laden, ill-used heroine fare abundant in Tammy at the time. 

If Magee’s recall of this story is correct, the first episode was written by him but the writing passed to other hands (something that also happened with another Magee story, “Hettie High and Mighty!” (Lindy/Jinty). This may be why the story takes a different turn from how it was initially set up. The early episodes have a strong buildup to a creepy and worrying situation that might lead to witch persecution for Lynn à la “Wenna the Witch” (Jinty) or “Witch!” (Bunty) as well as fighting the witch. Things sure look ugly for Lynn after her first day at the village school ends with the angry kids turning up on her doorstep. She could definitely go the way of her persecuted counterparts in serials like “Wenna the Witch”. The initial setup is strong for it, and it could really put the pressure on Lynn to join the witch. This would have made it a very dark, intense serial if it had indeed gone in that direction, especially if Lynn had succumbed to the pressure and become Moll’s ally.  

Then the story goes in a different direction. It becomes more of a black comedy, with Lynn always getting the last laugh on the witch each week whenever she makes trouble while battling for acceptance in the village. But it is never a full comedy with those unfriendly villagers just not accepting her. We’ve no doubt the witch will be finished in the end, but will Lynn ever be accepted in the village? 

It is odd that the villagers don’t make the connection that Lynn is descended from Moll Halifax and harass her as a witch for it. Perhaps it’s just as well, but other protagonists in girls’ serials have been less fortunate, such as the aforementioned “Witch!” and “Wenna the Witch”. In such serials, the superstitious village idiots turn on the protagonist with witch-hunting hysteria and persecution the moment they suspect she is descended from the village witch. And the villagers’ reaction to the lightning strike in the first episode shows they are superstitious fools also, who could turn on Lynn in the same way. 

In serials like “Wenna the Witch”, there is some hint the protagonist may have powers of her own and is a genuine descendant of the witch the superstitious village idiots believe she’s descended from. As the persecution goes on, the protagonist gets worn down and begins to believe it herself. This is usually kept on an ambiguous level, with neither the reader nor the persecuted protagonist not really knowing what to think. But here, there is no question that Lynn is descended from the witch, she does have powers, and the nature of her powers is plain to see. Lynn is using her powers for good despite the villagers’ hostility or pressure from Moll. We know Lynn won’t ever give in to those pressures and use her powers to help Moll, though we can’t help wondering what it would be like if she does. 

The witch, initially set up as frightening, ominous and sinister, becomes more of a nuisance with a goofiness attached. Rather than the revenge she was after, things become more of a battle of wills and powers between her and Lynn, and Lynn always getting the last laugh – literally. This keeps the story more lightweight than what it might otherwise have been, but the villagers’ unfriendliness always gives the a grim undercurrent until the very end, when Lynn and her parents are at last accepted. 

Tammy 24 June 1972

School for Snobs (artist J. Badesa, writers Pat Mills/John Wagner) – final episode

The Uxdale Urchins (artist Eduardo Feito) – first episode

The Saint of the Snows

Lulu – cartoon

The Champion from Nowhere (artist Tom Hurst)

The Witch of Widcombe Wold (artist Jesus Redondo, creator Terence Magee)

Jill’s Only Joy (artist John Armstrong)

Tina on a Tightrope (artist Roy Newby)

Take Over Biddie 

A Special Tammy Portrait – Peter Osgood

5 Radios To Be Won! – Competition

The Dragon of St George’s (artist Douglas Perry)

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

Here Comes Trouble (artist Luis Bermejo)

Now we come to part 2 of our Tammy June month round robin with a June issue from 1972. It’s been over a year since Tammy started, and we can see how Tammy has developed. When she first started, there was nothing in the way of humour to balance things. Her focus was on darkness, cruelty and ill-used heroines. She ramped it up to the max, which sometimes went over the top. We’ve still got the cruelty and ill-used heroines, especially Molly Mills, but Tammy is now injecting more comedy and lightweight stories into the mix, so there is a better balance of stories than before. 

Tammy now has a cartoon strip (Lulu), something she didn’t have when she began. However, the most notable example of Tammy’s increasing use of humour is “School for Snobs”, a special school devoted to curing girls of snobbery in hilarious come-uppance ways (but it must be said that it did go overboard at times!). The first School for Snobs story ends this week. It’s not the “snob of the week” format that it would have in its sequels; it was a story arc about reforming two snobbish sisters. One reforms pretty quickly and learns a lot from the school, but the other is a tough nut to crack. It’s not until the final episode this week that she finally decides to make an effort to change. 

A mix of drama and humour is used in “The Dragon of St George’s”, about an army sports mistress who runs athletics military style at a boarding school. She’s nicknamed “The Dragon”, and under normal circumstances in girls’ comics she would be a tyrant teacher hated by all the girls. Instead, Tammy turns it around by making the Dragon the heroine of the piece. And why is this? The Dragon is helping the girls to keep the sports they love so much in the face of the mean headmistress and the head girl who don’t approve of athletics and want the school to be exclusively academic. The story was so popular it scored an appearance in a Tammy annual. 

The 1971 Tammy focused more on unredeemable villains, such as Ma Thatcher of “Slaves of ‘War Orphan Farm’” and Miss Bramble of “The Four Friends at Spartan School“, but now we are getting some humorous villains. One is Ma Sload of “The Champion of Nowhere”, who is taking advantage of an amnesic girl and her talent for tennis. Although Ma Sload is a serious villain, there is a dash of humour to her too, which makes her oddly endearing. We are also getting villains played more for humour than cruelty. One is the “Witch of Widecombe Wold”, who is always making trouble for her descendant, Lynn Halifax, when she moves to Widecombe Wold, but each week the witch ends up with things backfiring on her and looking stupid. Still, we must remember she is still a villain who has to be got rid of.

“Here Comes Trouble” is another indication of how Tammy is developing. As well as her usual ill-used heroines, she is working on having some really ballsy protagonists who don’t take things lying down. 

“Take Over Biddie” is also another example in how Tammy is exploring different types of character portrayal and telling things from a character’s point of view. The story is told from the point of view from Biddie’s cousin Grace. Biddie has had an unhappy home life because of her snobbish mother. Grace has felt sorry for Biddie, but now she’s beginning to suspect Biddie is pushing her out. However, we suspect Grace will still be going through moments where she does not know what to think of Biddie.

Tammy had a high preponderance of period stories in her early years. Her current period stories are “The Saint of the Snows” and “Tina on a Tightrope”. Curiously, her period stories had dwindled by the 1980s.

“Jill’s Only Joy” is the only story I have seen where John Armstrong drew a ballet story. And when you look at the artwork, you have to wonder why he didn’t draw more ballet stories. Jill Carter is striving to be a ballerina, not only in the face of cruel step-parents but also because she wears glasses. And this week she also has to contend with a ballet teacher who is really picking on her. 

In 1971, Eduardo Feito began his long-running streak in drawing horse stories for Tammy with “Halves in a Horse”. This week he starts on “The Uxdale Urchins”. Girls save coal mine ponies from being put down and start a riding club with them, “The Uxdale Urchins”, but they soon find they have to contend with the snobs from another riding club.

Jinty & Lindy 22 November 1975

Slaves of the Candle – artist Roy Newby

Golden Dolly, Death Dust! – Phil Gascoine

Finleg the Fox – artist Jim Eldridge

The Jinx from St. Jonah’s – artist Mario Capaldi

Ping-Pong Paula – artist Jim Baikie, writer Alison Christie

Tell Us – problem page

Poparound! – pop gossip

Barracuda Bay (final episode) – artist Santiago Hernandez

Do-It-Yourself Dot – artist Alf Saporito

Too Old to Cry! – artist Trini Tinturé

Hettie High and Mighty – artist “B. Jackson”, concept and partial writer Terence Magee

The Haunting of Hazel – artist Santiago Hernandez

Song of the Fir Tree – artist Phil Townsend

Barracuda Bay ends this week. The villainous Kane gets caught in his own explosion, and our heroes barely manage to escape the tidal wave caused by it. Susan, who had started her story all thirsting for adventure and getting out of the office, now decides she’s had more than enough adventure.

In Slaves of the Candle, Lyndy manages to stop Mrs Tallow spotting the evidence of an escape, but the cost is Mrs Tallow’s revenge for getting dye all over her clothes. This takes the form of forcing Lyndy to go into hives for beeswax and risking stings. What’s more, the bees are in a very nasty mood. Talk about killer bees!

Just when Janie thought she’d got rid of that horror Hettie High and Mighty – their parents take it into their heads to get married. Now Janie’s got Hettie for a stepsister. Arghh!

Talk about double disaster. Solveig and Per, freshly liberated from a Nazi concentration camp, are forced to take shelter in an abandoned one. Trouble is, their old enemy Sergeant Strang from their own camp has the same idea, and then Grendelsen catches up again. So now the children are up against both Grendelsen and Sergeant Strang! 

Ping-Pong Paula gets revenge on Myra Glegg, the spiteful girl who’s been playing tricks on her. She beats Myra in a table tennis tournament, and then Myra gets kicked out of the boarding house when the landlady catches her ripping up Paula’s photos. So that’s one problem less for Paula, but there is still the matter of how to sort out her quarrelling parents. So far that looks like achieving world peace – hopeless.

The next ingredient required for the antidote to Miss Marvell’s death dust is damask roses. As usual, Miss Marvell throws obstacles in the way of Yvette and Lucy, and she isn’t through when they finally reach the roses. There’s an angry bull bearing down on them!

In Finleg the Fox, the evidence is mounting up that the unpleasant Mr Dray was involved in a train robbery and the money Una found is the stash. Meanwhile, Dora hatches a nasty plan to poison Finleg!

Hazel’s mountaincraft course is in a real mess. She was so distracted by whatever’s haunting her that she left her mountain climbing party on the mountain. Ooops!

Katie the Jinx is the hobby horse in a Morris dancing charity event. She would find herself being chased by a showjumping horse who wants her toffee apple and end up straight in the lake. At least the hijinks are so hilarious they make a lot of money for the event. 

Nell’s search for the woman who might be her mother leads her to a beauty academy, but she is stuck on how to introduce herself. What’s more, she isn’t exactly a beauty. At least the horrible Mrs Arbuthnot doesn’t know she’s escaped from the orphanage and the police aren’t searching for her yet, but it can only a matter of time…

Dot’s back and trying her hand at juggling. She ends up as the one being juggled, by dolphins.

Jinty & Lindy 15 November 1975

Slaves of the Candle – artist Roy Newby

Golden Dolly, Death Dust! – Phil Gascoine

Finleg the Fox – artist Jim Eldridge

The Jinx from St. Jonah’s – artist Mario Capaldi

Ping-Pong Paula – artist Jim Baikie, writer Alison Christie

Great Fun Contest!

Poparound!

Barracuda Bay – artist Santiago Hernandez

Penny Crayon – cartoon

Too Old to Cry! – artist Trini Tinturé

Hettie High and Mighty – artist “B. Jackson”, concept and partial writer Terence Magee

The Haunting of Hazel – artist Santiago Hernandez

Song of the Fir Tree – artist Phil Townsend

The Jinty & Lindy merger is in its second week. Lyndy Lagtree is determined to escape from Mrs Tallow’s House of Candles despite being framed by her for theft and now the most wanted person in London. Her first attempt fails, but she picks up a vital clue about the racket. Unfortunately Mrs Tallow is on the verge of discovering this, so Lyndy has to think of something fast! Meanwhile, Nell’s escape from Mrs Arbuthnot’s horrible orphanage is more successful. So far, no problems, and she’s landed on her feet in a cake shop. Can Nell keep one step ahead Mrs Arbuthnot, the cruel matron who can lie her way out of anything?

In “Song of the Fir Tree”, Solveig and Per have made their way to a more savoury orphanage, but they are forced to go on the run again when Grendelsen catches up. Unfortunately this causes another missed opportunity to reunite with their father.

Hazel’s just about reached the end of her rope with her haunting, but now it’s taking another turn in a churchyard. Will it be for the better or worse?

Miss Marvell breaks the hearts of everyone in the community when she uses her death dust to destroy valuable trees that were memorials to fallen soldiers. The water lily is next on the list for the antidote to Miss Marvell’s death dust. Easy to find, but not easy to obtain with her around! 

In the two running stories that came over from Lindy, Hettie High and Mighty is proving herself just as slick as Mrs Arbuthnot. She is playing so foully on the hockey field that poor Janie has taken a nasty crack on the head. Then Janie finds out Hettie is doing it all on purpose after switching their names with the reporters watching the match. So she will get the blame for what Hettie did! In the other story, Finleg the Fox, Una finds a stash of money in his den. It could only be stolen money, but who stole it, and what does it have to do with the stranger who’s been found dead?

In “Barracuda Bay”, our heroes escape the villainous Kane’s underwater base thanks to a timely earthquake. But now they face a tidal wave set off by the explosives he set to destroy his base. This move has also rebounded on Kane, whose getaway submarine got jammed in the door from the quake.

Myra Glegg has been playing rotten tricks on Ping-Pong Paula, but at least Paula now knows why – Myra is her latest ping-pong rival. Showdown time. 

You would think babysitting a pot plant couldn’t be any trouble. Not when the damn thing is so big it reaches the ceiling, has very fussy demands, and the Jinx from St Jonah’s is in charge of it! 

Tammy 6 November 1976

Cover artist: John Richardson

Bella at the Bar (artist John Armstrong)

Towne in the Country (artist Mario Capaldi)

Sally in a Shell (artist unknown, writer Terence Magee)

Wee Sue (artist John Richardson)

Edie the Ed’s Niece (artist Joe Collins)

Bessie Bunter

Molly Mills: A Friend from the Sea (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon) – first episode

The Excursion – Strange Story (artist Carlos Freixas)

Babe at St. Woods (artist José Casanovas)

Olympia Jones (artist Eduardo Feito, writer Anne Digby)

As 5th November is nigh, we are bringing out some old issues commemorating Guy Fawkes, beginning with the Tammy Guy Fawkes issue from 1976. We seem to have a very generous tramp giving a penny for the guy on the cover. Or should it be penny for the guy’s jacket? Bessie Bunter, Wee Sue and Edie the Ed’s Niece all have Bonfire Night as their theme this week. There seems to be some carryover from Halloween, with people being mistaken for ghosts and other scary things, and Wee Sue’s headmistress making Guy Fawkes masks out of Halloween masks. 

The ghost theme continues in the Strange Story, where a boring double maths period gets livened up by what appear to be ghost girls. A priest and even a psychiatrist are called in to deal with the ghost infestation. It turns out the ghosts are time-travelling schoolgirls on an educational tour: “harmless exhibits – guaranteed safe” says the ad on their coach, which looks like a space rocket. It doesn’t say anything about “boring”.

This week’s episode of “Olympia Jones” rounds off the horrible night from last week, when Mr Rott sacked Olympia for the animal cruelty he knows his daughter Linda committed, to save his hide from the animal welfare inspector. He’s now yelling at Linda for almost landing him in trouble with animal welfare. Hmmph, we notice he’s not telling her off for the cruelty she inflicted. As it is, it’s all water off a duck’s back to her.

Next morning, the Rotts are surprised and then pleased to find not only Olympia gone but the horse they mistreated too – Olympia took him to get him away from Linda’s cruelty. She’s left her gypsy wagon home as payment and insurance the Rotts won’t come after him. But we can bet our Bonfire Night party that their paths will cross again. After all, there is that false charge of animal cruelty to be cleared up and we all want to see Linda get her comeuppance. Meanwhile, Olympia lands on her feet as a pony trek instructor at an adventure centre.

Elsewhere in the issue, the rabid dog that everyone’s been trying to find over the past several episodes of “Towne in the Country” finally gets tracked down and destroyed. But no luck yet in nailing that crooked pedlar who keeps selling fake animal medicine. At least Val stops him from drowning some puppies, ironically with help from the rabid dog.

“Sally in a Shell” is now more like Sally in a sweatshop. Dad and Dora reopen Miss Hanning’s craft shop as “The Shell Shop” and keep Sally locked in a room, cranking out shell ornaments at sweatshop pace for it. To add insult to injury, Sally finds out Dora is stealing the credit for making them. That’s the last straw for her, but how can she escape?

Babe wants to see a gangster film in town, but the snobs are pulling tricks to stop her going by landing her in a series of detentions. Babe breaks detention to see the film, but the snobs discover this. Can Babe sort them out before they grass on her?

In the new Molly Mills story, Mistress Claire is acting strangely: she wants a basket of raw fish; she wants a freezing cold bath prepared; she wants Molly to to buy some toys; and a flipper appears under her blanket. Molly finally finds out what’s going on when she discovers water coming down from Claire’s room. 

Bella’s on the move for the Montreal Olympics again. This time she’s going on horseback, and we are informed she is about to face an erupting volcano.

Tammy 30 October 1976

Cover artist: John Richardson

Bella at the Bar (artist John Armstrong)

Towne in the Country (artist Mario Capaldi)

Sally in a Shell (artist unknown, writer Terence Magee)

Wee Sue (artist John Richardson)

Edie the Ed’s Niece (artist Joe Collins)

Bessie Bunter

Molly Mills and the Music Hall (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon) – final episode

The Final Fly-Past – Strange Story

Babe at St. Woods (artist José Casanovas)

Olympia Jones (artist Eduardo Feito, writer Anne Digby)

It’s now October. So it’s time to bring out some Halloween covers and spooky stories in commemoration of Halloween. The cover for this Tammy Halloween issue is one of my favourite covers.

Looking inside the issue, one feels Tammy could have done much more with the Halloween theme. For example, Wee Sue, Bessie Bunter and the Storyteller could all been given Halloween stories (Halloween parties, ghosts, witches, etc). Instead, Sue tries her hand at being a tour guide; Miss Stackpole orders music lessons for Bessie but in the end decides a cats chorus is preferable to Bessie’s piano playing; and a WWII flying ace comes back from the grave in search of his good luck charm. 

Bella is still determined to make the Montreal Olympics despite her lack of passport (it got left behind when she ran away from the Barlows) and being unable to compete. Following a shipwreck, her cover story will be that she lost her passport at sea. But right now Bella is stranded again (this time in Iceland) after the shipwreck, and she’s got a young kid, Karen, in tow from that shipwreck.

This week’s episode of Olympia Jones is a turning point in the plot: Olympia and Prince the horse break away from their horrible existence at Rotts’ Circus. Olympia’s hand is forced when Mr Rott sacks her for the animal cruelty that he knows jolly well his daughter Linda was responsible for. It’s to get animal welfare off his back when they discover the evidence of Linda’s cruelty. Of course Olympia isn’t leaving the ill-treated Prince to the tender mercies of the Rotts, so she makes off with him, offering her caravan home as payment for him. Readers will eagerly read on to find out where they end up, not to mention how Olympia gets cleared of the animal cruelty charge. If you weren’t hooked on the story before, you should be after this episode.

In “Towne in the Country”, Val and her vet father are on the hunt for a rabid dog, and the police are involved too. To make things even worse, the dog’s owner won’t accept her precious dog has rabies and has to be destroyed, and a crooked pedlar has taken advantage of this to sell her some of his fake animal medicine.

Babe of St. Woods foils a robbery at the school tuck shop. Being a gangster’s daughter may give her an empathy for criminals, but on the other hand she can’t have those thieves stealing her lollipops.

Molly goes to the rescue of a music hall show after its director collapses, and she manages to recruit help from the Stanton Hall staff. Even misery boots Pickering helps out. 

“Sally in a Shell” discovers her father and sister Dora’s plot to destroy Miss Hanning’s business, but they prevent her from alerting Miss Hanning. Miss Hanning collapses, still thinking Sally was responsible for her business failing (actually it was one of Dora’s tricks) and her shop closes down. No prizes for guessing who buys it off her.

Edie the Ed’s Niece is finding it a tough choice, filling out the favourite stories coupon. Many readers must have found it equally difficult at times to pick three faves plus a least fave out of the weekly selection.

Sandie 28 July 1973

Sandie cover 28 July 1973

  • Slaves of the Eye (artist Joan Boix)
  • Cinderella – Superstar (artist Joan Boix?)
  • Wyn and the Witch (artist A. E. Allen)
  • Connie Courageous (artist “B. Jackson”) – last episode
  • Sink or Swim, Sara! (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • The Captives of Terror Island (artist Juan Escandell Torres, writer Terence Magee) – last episode
  • Dancing to Danger (artist Tom Kerr)
  • Bridie at the Fair (artist Leslie Otway)
  • All Against Alice (artist Miguel Quesada?)
  • Sisters in Sorrow (artist Desmond Walduck?)

“Slaves of the Eye” features another sinister teacher (Miss Krell) who exerts a strange, sinister influence over pupils, and it’s up to our protagonists (Kate Saunders and her friend Heather) to unravel how and why. Plus what lies under that veil Miss Krell always wears and what lurks in her laboratory. Kate has now discovered Miss Krell used a transmitter inside a netball to make the girls foul her during the match. Once she gets hold of the transmitter, it leads her and Heather to prison cells that were empty earlier but are now full of…whom?

 

“Cinderella Superstar” is an aspiring ballerina, Ellie Villiers whose road to her dreams is being blocked by uncooperative relatives who treat her like dirt. Now they’ve taken her gramophone to stop her dancing to her ballet music and given it away. But the blurb for next week says Ellie’s about to get some help.

 

Wyn is an ill-treated drudge at Pinchbeck Hall, but has a good friend in the form of the witch Grizelda “Grizzy” in the attic, whose magic helps Wyn get comeuppance on her horrible employers. This week Lord Pinchbeck is challenged to a duel but there’s a problem – Grizzy has turned him into a pig, so how the heck is he going to duel?

 

It’s the final episode of “Connie Courageous”. Connie Cartwright has jealous rivals in addition to learning to jump while being blind. And she needs the prize money to restore her sight, but her enemies have blocked the path to her getting to the event. Can she and her horse find a way to get there in time?

 

“The Captives of Terror Island” also ends this week. Madame Soong of Terror Island has kidnapped an entire hockey team in order to claim the National Hockey Championships for her country, and her training methods are “barbaric”. It looks like she has finally got what she wants and is a national heroine, until our heroine finally manages to expose her in front of the spectators. Madame Soong quite literally destroys herself – and Terror Island – with the very bomb she had set for her enemies.

 

In “Sink or Swim, Sara”, the two snobby headmistresses of St Agatha’s should have thought twice before making Sara Dale’s life so miserable. This caused her to change schools when they badly needed her to win an inter-school swimming gala. Now the same thing has resulted in two of Sara’s friends being expelled. Now they’ve transferred to Sara’s school and are happier – then Sara informs them that the expulsion is all part of some dirty trick the headmistresses are playing, which won’t be revealed until the final episode next week.

 

“Sisters in Sorrow” is also on its penultimate episode. Layla and her friend Pat have been forced to become thieves, but the story takes the unusual step of having an aristocrat, Lady Maggins, as the Fagin. They have been forced to impersonate two others in order to infiltrate a household so they can rob it. Layla manages to rescue the real McCoys, but they get cornered by Lady Maggins. Meanwhile, Pat has been exposed as an imposter, so they’re both in a corner now.

 

“Dancing to Danger” and “Bridie at the Fair” look like they have been reprinted from elsewhere, perhaps School Friend or June. In the former, Pat White uses ballet as her cover for undercover work against the Nazis in World War II. She manages to worm her way into Gestapo HQ to find information on a prisoner, Professor Duval, under pretext of her ballet troupe staging a performance there. However, her Nazi nemesis, Herr Staub, gets suspicious and is going to arrange a special watch on them. In the latter, Bridie Donovan has joined a fair in the hope of regaining her memory. But the fortune-teller Madame Rosa tells Bridie she can do anything she wants with her.

 

“All Against Alice” has been fostered out to a former Wimbledon champion who is coaching her in her beloved tennis, but shows her no affection. Then a Mr and Mrs Tyler claim to be Alice’s parents but lose the custody battle in the interim. Just as well, because they are clearly out to make money out of her, which they finally succeed in doing by destroying Alice’s amateur status through a dirty trick, and with it, her career.

Sandie 29 April 1972

Sandie 29 April 1972

  • No-one Cheers for Norah– final episode (artist John Armstrong)
  • Slaves of the Sorcerer (artist Desmond Walduck?)
  • Wee Sue (artist Vicente Torregrosa Manrique)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A E Allen)
  • Silver Is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy
  • Friends and Neighbours
  • The School of No Escape – final episode (artist “B. Jackson”, writer Terence Magee)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Julio Bosch?)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • A Sandie Pop Portrait – Mark Lester (artist Bob Gifford)

In this issue of Sandie we say goodbye to two of her first stories: “No-One Cheers for Norah” and “The School of No Escape”. The former finishes with a needle race to beat the relatives who have not only made Norah’s life a misery ever since they met but also ruined her father’s life. The latter ends with the pretty typical deus ex machina of the aliens just vanishing away just as they are about to triumph because time’s up, and everyone but the heroine loses all memory of them for no apparent reason.

Replacing them next week are “Lorna’s Lonely Days” and “The Captives of Madam Karma”. The latter is written by Pat Mills.

In “Slaves of the Sorcerer” Beth Williams finally gets the police onto Caspar. But when they arrive at the fairground there’s no sign of him. The lead they have been given is in fact another trap for Beth set by Caspar, and he’s waiting to pounce.

Boys are admitted to Wee Sue’s school. They get quite a shock when the titch they tease turns out to be brilliant at footy. Then Sue finds one of the football boys stuck on a ledge and climbs up to the rescue.

“Odd Mann Out” is now leading a demonstration against the tyrannical way things are run at her school. But why the hell is the headmistress smiling about it instead of looking worried?

Trudy loses Silver – to the rag-and-bone man. And everyone knows how cruel he is to animals. Can Trudy get him back?

Ann Friend and her family in “Friends and Neighbours” have moved into a new house. The neighours haven’t been friendly but now Anne believes they are worse than she thought – they are trying to scare her family out of the house with a ruse that it’s haunted. They deny it angrily and mean to prove it by sitting up with them.

In “Sandra Must Dance”, enemy Robinia Drew discovers the twins’ bizarre secret – Joan can transfer her ballet talent into her twin sister Sandra through a psychic bond. Robinia locks Joan up to prevent her from doing so during a performance. Can the twins pull things off despite this?

This week’s episode of “Bonnie’s Butler” has a row with the Major and Bonnie loses the present she was going to give Angie. Things get even more bizarre when Bonnie wins an unwanted hip bath at an auction, but her butler uses it to put everything right.

In “Anna’s Forbidden Friend”, Julia’s father takes advantage of Anna and Julia to hatch a scheme to get everyone out of Madeley Buildings. He managed to turn everyone against them once before and now plots to do it again. And his scheme includes kidnapping his own daughter!

Tammy & Sally 25 December 1971 – first Christmas Tammy issue

Tammy 25 December 1971

Cover artist: John Armstrong

  • Gina – Get Lost (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Beattie Beats ‘Em All! (artist John Armstrong)
  • Halves in a Horse (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Lulu (cartoon)
  • Skimpy Must Ski! – first episode (artist Tom Hurst)
  • Bernice and the Blue Pool (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Talk It Over with Trudy (problem page)
  • The Secret Ballerina (artist Roy Newby)
  • The Four Friends at Spartan School (artist “B. Jackson”, writer Terence Magee)
  • Maisie’s Magic Eye (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Cinderella Spiteful (artist Jose Casanovas)
  • Alison All Alone
  • No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • A Tammy Outfit Idea for Christmas (feature)

 

This is Tammy’s first Christmas issue. Beattie Beats ‘Em All! (John Armstrong’s first Tammy story) does the honours on the cover. The back cover has a Christmas how-to-make. In Molly Mills, Lord Stanton wants to bring Christmas cheer to orphanage children, but he has reckoned without the cruel butler Pickering. The issue also advertises Tammy’s first-ever annual. Lulu is trying to find Christmas presents for Dad but keeps getting foiled.

You’d think this week’s episode of Maisie’s Magic Eye would be Christmassy too, but no. It’s a regular episode, where Maisie and her friend Lorna try to break bounds and sneak off to the circus. Hijinks with the brooch ensue, with a lot of monkey business when Maisie unwittingly turns the circus strong man into a gorilla and the brooch stops glowing before she can change him back.

Normally new stories are reserved for New Year, but one does begin in the Christmas issue,  “Skimpy Must Ski!” Skimpy Shaw, a convalescent girl, is sent to live with her grandfather who looks a real sourpuss. Time will tell if he has a heart under there. Meanwhile, Skimpy is inspired to ski, and she thinks she has a natural talent for it.

Gina – Get Lost has been left to look after herself when her parents emigrate, which is not going down well with the welfare authorities. And it sounds like there is worse to come. She has already fallen foul of blackmailers and it looks like she will fall foul of potential guardians out to exploit her.

Before Bella Barlow, John Armstrong drew “Beattie Beats ‘Em All!” for Tammy. Beattie Brown is a promising athlete. Unfortunately she has no fixed abode either, so she and her stray cats live in a boiler room at a girls’ college.

In “Halves in a Horse”, two cousins are left with half shares in a horse, Topper. The cousin who wins the most prizes with him will acquire full ownership. As might be expected, one cousin (Pauline) is not playing fair and making the other cousin (Kay) suffer. Now the cousins have almost equal shares, Pauline is using blackmail against Kay.

Bernice and the Blue Pool was Tammy’s first swimming story and also the first story Douglas Perry drew for Tammy. It was the start of a regular Tammy run for Perry that lasted into 1981. The Blue Pool has a supernatural theme, which ranges from beneficial (curing our protagonist of her fear of water) to ominous – wearing Victorian swimming costumes that were worn by a pioneering Victorian swimming team that drowned.

The Secret Ballerina, Karen Jones, has to practise in secret because her aunt is against ballet for some reason. This is, of course, the mystery that needs to be unravelled. Compounding the mystery is a locked room in auntie’s house. But now Katie has discovered the room has been unlocked and someone is inside. She is heading to the attic to investigate. Will she find the key to the mystery next week?

Surprise, surprise – Miss Bramble’s henchman, er girl, Siddons helps the four friends at Spartan School to escape from the school where sadism is the rule. But of course they should have known it would be a setup. Mind you, they didn’t expect Siddons to actually attempt to kill them! When they survive that, they discover Miss Bramble and Siddons have concocted a plan to get them arrested instead.

Cinderella Spiteful – now that’s a very unusual title for a Cinderella story, you think. Actually, the story has nothing to do with Cinderella. Emma is jealous of her cousin Angela because Angela is good at everything while Emma is not. Next week it sounds like it will be more spiteful than Cinderella, because Emma reaches her limit in this episode.

Alison All Alone is on the run after being imprisoned by her guardians for many years. The question is: why did they keep her locked up like that? The three runaway boys who helped her escape are helping her to find out. This week they uncover a clue about her past – a crook who says he will be finished if Alison finds out who her true parents are!