Tag Archives: Veronica Weir

Leaves in the Wind (1977-78)

Sample Images

Published: Tammy 31 December 1977 to 28 January 1978

Episodes: 5

Artist: Veronica Weir

Writer: Unknown

Translations/reprints: Dutch Tina 1982 as “Bladeren in de wind” [Leaves in the wind]; Indonesian translation in Komik Nina #98 as “Daun Daun Berguguran” [Falling Leaves]

Plot

It is autumn at Laurel and Hester’s school, and those falling autumn leaves make them a bit sad. The headmistress decides to cut down the trees in the school drive to make things more tidy, and as she can be a stubborn, determined sort, it will take a lot to change her mind. Laurel and Hester are upset at this and a lot of other people are too, but none more so than a strange woman who is obsessed with her love of the trees, to the point of monomania. 

The woman senses the girls are friends of the trees and invites them to her house. The girls find the interior lovely but really weird. The room is decorated with trees and leaves and even the furniture is carved in leaf shapes. The girls get a dreadful fright when Hester accidentally pulls a leaf off one of the arrangements; the woman goes absolutely berserk and looks as if she’ll tear Hester apart. The girls make a fast exit after that. The woman apologises for losing her temper, saying that all day she had a strange feeling that “my trees were in danger”. 

After the headmistress gives a television interview on why she wants to fell the trees, the woman picks a real fight with her. She calls her a “murderess”, a “tree-killer” and warns the headmistress her friends will stop her, so she better be careful. The headmistress is unmoved, but Laurel and Hester are uneasy. They also find it odd that the woman knew what the headmistress intended to do when there was no television set in her home.

That afternoon, a wind blows the falling autumn leaves towards the head’s office and Laurel and Hester hear her screaming. Inside, they find her smothered with leaves and absolutely terrified, saying the leaves seemed to be alive. But she recovers her equilibrium and won’t let this change her mind. 

The woman tells the girls it was a pity they interfered just then, and hints that the headmistress had better really watch out when dusk comes. The girls decide they need to watch the headmistress after this. They are also getting really spooked; leaves and trees appear to come alive and even seem to look like people. And by now Laurel and Hester are really scared of the strange woman.

At dusk, the headmistress has a car crash, and mumbles the accident happened because she tried to miss some people. Laurel investigates the drive and finds leaves in the shape of a head. Then a blast of wind blows the evidence to bits. The woman reappears, accuses Laurel of siding with the tree killer, and says she will soon see what the headmistress saw. She hints it will be that very night. In hospital, the headmistress looks scared, but Laurel can’t tell if it was the shock of the accident or whatever made her crash.

The police put the accident down to skidding on leaves, but then Laurel hears two buses met the same fate, in the same spot, and for the same reason. She heads to the spot to investigate. There, the woman sets three people, made entirely of leaves, upon her. Laurel realises they drove the headmistress off the road and she lashes out at them with a branch. But then the leaf people just turn into three piles of leaves. Later, Laurel learns this coincided with the time the headmistress changed her mind about felling the trees because she had grown scared enough to do so.

Laurel heads to the woman’s house with the news and questions. But inside everything is very different and there is no trace of the leaf-decorated room. The old lady who lives there knows nothing at all about the woman. The lady then tells Laurel the legend about the guardian of the trees. The story goes that the trees used to be a sacred grove for druids. When the Romans drove the druids away, they left a guardian behind. 

Laurel leaves the house, hoping nobody else tries to fell the trees. However, the old lady thinks the tree guardian story’s just a load of rubbish and will fell the trees herself if the headmistress does not…

Thoughts

I haven’t seen many girls’ serials with an autumn theme, but this one has such a setting, which ties in nicely with the October theme this month. It is also a spooky, scary story, which ties in with the Halloween season too. It’s a bit surprising they didn’t publish it during the period in question. It is a short story, at five episodes, which suggests it was probably a filler. 

Tree spirits rising in anger against tree fellers have been seen in Gypsy Rose and Strange Stories, but turning it into a mini-serial gives more room for development and scares. The development of the guardian is brilliantly handled. I like how she is dressed. She is in ordinary clothes rather than robes, hoods, gowns and such, which makes a nice change and her a bit different to most supernatural characters in girls’ serials. At first, to all appearances she is just an old woman and there is nothing really out of the ordinary about her. She just seems a bit eccentric and fanatical about her love of the trees. However, she soon starts to scare when Laurel and Hester see how one-tracked she is about her love of trees and taking things a bit far, as evidenced when Hester accidentally breaks a leaf off her leaf arrangement. The woman progressively reveals herself as something beyond ordinary, making comments about things she shouldn’t have known about, and issuing warnings of things to come. And when these strange things start happening with the leaves, that’s when the scares really begin and the woman becomes truly terrifying. To make her even more creepy, she never gives her name and she remains nameless throughout the story.

It it’s not just these spooky things that are terrifying; it’s the woman’s fanaticism as well. It’s so extreme it goes way too far and starts hurting innocents. Although Laurel doesn’t want to harm the trees, the woman views her as helping the “tree killer”, and that’s good enough reason to attack her with the tree people. And what was the idea with attacking the buses? They had nothing to do with the headmistress’ decision to fell the trees and were no threat to them. Whatever the woman was thinking of, she was going too far there. It was just as well the headmistress took only five episodes to change her mind about felling the trees. We dread to think what would have happened if she had taken more episodes to do so. But even when it’s all over, it’s a sure bet Laurel will never be able to look at those trees in the drive or autumn leaves in the same way again.

Jinty 19 September 1981

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi) – final episode

Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)

‘Girl Called Scarecrow’ (artist Veronica Weir) – Gypsy Rose story

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

Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)

Man’s Best Friend – Toy Dogs

Stacy’s Posy (artist Mario Capaldi) – text story

The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)

Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Winning Ways – Volleyball (writer Benita Brown)

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

“Dracula’s Daughter” ends this week. The final episode has a four-page spread instead of the usual three, which further suggests this story was brought to a quick conclusion to help clear the decks for the merger. The extra page helps to develop the ending further and give things more room to breathe.

The ending: Everyone at Castlegate is relieved when Mr Graves decides to leave. He is returning to his old grammar school, this time as headmaster, after finding out its discipline has slipped so badly that its pupils are running amok, vandalising property, and getting into trouble with the police. Bully teacher Mrs Snape is leaving too, which is another great relief for Castlegate. She is transferring to another school, as she did not like her pupils’ company any more than they did hers – only to find one of them is going to follow her to her new school. Sonya, the popular teacher driven out by Mr Graves’ over-zealous drive to run the school on his strict grammar school lines, returns as headmistress, so the school’s even happier.

However, the ending doesn’t have everything being resolved with Mr Graves and Mrs Snape simply leaving Castlegate. It both surprises and impresses us by having Mr Graves develop and emerge less bigoted about schools should be run. He’s still a disciplinarian and wearing that dreadful, old-fashioned teacher’s gown that earned him the nickname “Dracula”. But he’s gone from believing his way is the only way to run a school to accepting that there is no one way of running a school. He’s also modified his view that fun does not belong in a school and should be kept in the home. Now he’s allowing some fun things at school and showing his pupils he has a funny side. His farewell gift to Castlegate reflects this: a complete collection of Dracula films to remember him by! The boys at the grammar school might get a surprise when they see the change in him. Perhaps even the teachers too.

Sadly, no improvement in the character of the horrible Mrs Snape, so there is a worry about the pupils at her new school. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. At least she leaves Castlegate with a comeuppance of sorts.

The fifth dream world in “Worlds Apart” is now dying with its creator, Clare. Hers is the only imaginary death in the story that is not shown, so we don’t see how her dream world ultimately backfired on her, caused her death, and taught her the ultimate lesson about how horrible her dream world is. We are informed that the sixth and final dream world (followed by the conclusion to the story) will be a “horror film world”. Its creator is Jilly, a girl who seems to be in a perpetual state of fear. 

“Holiday Hideaway” is also approaching its conclusion. Hattie manages to save the family pretence (hiding in the house, pretending to be on holiday) from unravelling again. However, we are informed they are going to get “the shock of their lives” when they “‘come home’” next week. We suspect this has something to do with being caught out. 

This week’s Gypsy Rose story is a new one, not a repeat or a recycled Strange Story. Julia is bullied and called “scarecrow” because of her straw-like appearance and thin build, and being a bit timid. However, her scarecrow build helps one of her bully classmates (thin enough to slip out when they’re trapped in a barn and get help) when she has an accident. After that, everyone wants to be friends with Julia. However, Julia can’t tell them that she got help from a real scarecrow, which pointed her in the right path to take for help.  

In the other stories, the text story has Stacy dress up in period costume for a town festival. It brings back a ghost from that era, who presents her with a posy. Tansy believes she’s brilliant at general knowledge, but when she enters a quiz competition her history knowledge proves deficient and she gets landed with extra history homework. Coincidentally, Gaye does the same thing with Sir Roger, and even forces the poor ghost to wear a dunce’s hat. Suzie Choo brings Chinese themes to the school open day. Alley Cat wants to go fishing but doesn’t want to get caught in the rain. Instead of a raincoat he uses his bin for protection. The results are a bit mixed but work out in the end.

Tammy 17 June 1978

Cover artist John Richardson

Bella (artist John Armstrong)

Prince of the Wild (artist Veronica Weir)

Betta to Lose (artist Tony Coleman)

Tuck-In with Tammy (feature)

Down to Earth Blairs (artist José Casanovas)

Bessie Bunter

Molly Mills (artist Douglas Perry)

The Weather-Cock – The Strange Story (artist Angeles Felices)

Edie the Ed’s Niece (artist Joe Collins)

Wee Sue (artist Mike White)

Circus of the Damned (artist Diane Gabbot(t))

Edie’s Hobbyhorse – Archery 

It’s Father’s Day where I am, which for some reason is celebrated the first Sunday in September instead of 20 June as it is in Britain. So I have pulled out this Father’s Day issue from Tammy in honour of the occasion. The cover appears to both acknowledge and satirise how adults, including Dads, like to read Tammy and other girls’ comics as much as the girls themselves. 

The Wee Sue story could have used a father theme to celebrate Father’s Day, but the emphasis is more on mothers when Sue and her friends offer to advertise washing powder, with a free supply of a year’s washing powder for their mums in return. Then old Bigger has to interfere, but quick-brained Sue finds a way to turn it to their advantage and make their advertising even better. 

Bella’s new job in Australia has gone badly, especially as Mr Cox, who made the offer, has been trying to back out of it and now says it’s off for good. It doesn’t help that Bella has arrived in a sorry state. Her idea of cleaning herself up is to swim in the sea, clothes and all (really, Bella!). Then the Cox children goad Bella into surfboarding for the first time, which almost gets Bella killed.

In “Prince of the Wild”, Agnes Croft is known for her big imagination, so she is finding hard to get people to believe her when she befriends a wild horse on the moors and names him Prince. We are also introduced to Colonel Powell’s snooty twin daughters, who look like they’re going to be the antagonists of the piece. Agnes finds it very suspicious that the Powell twins are frequenting the moors. Could it have something to do with Prince?

Betta’s latest attempt at self-sabotage (playing with a dud hockey stick) to escape sports slavery at school rebounds on her, and in the end her trick is discovered. The sports mistress has already grown suspicious as it is, so is the game up for Betta? 

In “Down to Earth Blairs”, the Tammy version of “The Good Life”, snooty Mrs Proctor, who is always gunning for the Blairs because she disapproves of their self-sufficient lifestyle, has a flea infestation in her house and blames the Blairs’ animals. However, the animals test negative for fleas when Sanitary Department inspects them, so where did the fleas come from?

The Strange Story features a weather-cock, which “Badger” Browny insists should be left alone when the church committee decide to remove it. He claims it has the power to warn of upcoming accidents by pointing in their direction. Karen, who believes him, follows the direction of the weather-cock, where she discovers a road collapse and saves an oncoming bus from it. After this, the weather-cock is allowed to stay.

It had to happen – Bessie’s so fat she gets stuck in a chair. To make things more awkward, it’s the head’s chair, so if Bessie can’t get unstuck fast, she could be in serious trouble if “Stackers” finds out.

This week’s episode of “Circus of the Damned” focuses on the use – and abuse – of exotic animals in circuses. Their use in the episode comes across as even more distasteful today in an age where using exotic animals in circuses has become un-PC and the move is on to phase it out. Circus owner Yablonski is so obsessed with creating the greatest show on earth that he blackmails his performers into dangerous stunts. This week’s episode shows how the blackmail makes the animals suffer as well. This week they and their trainers actually try to rebel, but Yablonski cracks his whip – literally – to bring them into line. Or has he? At the end of the episode, someone releases the tiger Yablonski mistreated earlier and it’s on the loose. 

The Molly Mills strip has been nothing but crime, fugitives and running from the law ever since arch-enemy Pickering framed Molly for a theft he committed himself. Molly, still on the run from that, has returned to Stanton Hall, now under the ownership of Mrs Powell. But it turns out the money Mrs Powell used to buy the hall came from her half-brother’s bank robbery. He escaped prison and went after her to get the money back. Now he’s caught up and is holding the whole hall hostage to force Mrs Powell to resell the hall to get the money back. Both Molly and maidservant Jodie are trying to smuggle messages for help to the estate agent – without consulting each other. Molly’s worried things could go wrong.

Tammy 14 August 1976

Tammy cover 14 August 1976

Cover artist: John Richardson

  • Bella at the Bar (artist John Armstrong)
  • Towne in the Country (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Storm over Jerra Island – Strange Story (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Tag Along Tania (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)
  • Bessie Bunter
  • Molly Mills and the General Strike (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Wee Sue – artist John Armstrong
  • Drawn to Destiny – Strange Story serial (artist Tony Higham)
  • Odds on Patsy – final episode (artist Eduardo Feito)

The issue for 1976 in the Tammy round robin is 14 August 1976. The cover is one of my favourites. The Star Trek reference makes it particularly funny if you like Star Trek. It’s a change having a pesky kid brother (or is it a cousin?) instead of a kid sister for the Cover Girl to deal with. And there is another in-joke with the reference to Dan Dare, the famous space adventurer from Eagle. Tammy did not go for SF as much as Jinty – you see SF more often in the Strange Stories than Tammy’s serials – so it’s great to get an SF reference on the cover.

The Olympics featured heavily in Tammy in 1976, which was the year of the Montreal Olympics. Bella has an Olympics-themed story, complete with the Olympics rings being added to her logo. Bella is trying to reach the Montreal Olympics although she has no passport and was passed over for the British team thanks to Jed and Gert Barlow. Right now she is stranded in France with an acrobatics team. They are stringing her along with false promises of getting her to Montreal, and Bella has not yet realised their game. Moreover, her desperation to find gym equipment to train on has landed her in a sticky situation. Later the same year Tammy ran her Olympics-themed classic, Olympia Jones.

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Another thing to run strongly in Tammy in 1976 was stories published at readers’ requests, by open invitation from Tammy. One starting next issue is “Dumbells Academy”, about a school run by the most incompetent staff in the world. This story appeared at the suggestion of one reader: “I’d like to see a story about a school where all the staff are really nutty.” It replaces “Odds on Patsy”, a horse story where Tammy opted for a story on horse racing and jockeys, which makes a nice change from show-jumping. Could the same writer have written “Gail at Windyridge”, another story on jockeying that appeared in Tammy later on?

Expanded Strange Stories also appeared at readers’ requests, which ran for several episodes. The current one is “Drawn to Destiny”, about Diane Hudson, a girl who is jealous of her twin sister Sylvia. And when Diane takes up drawing, her jealousy takes a sinister turn when whatever she draws seems to come true. It starts really scaring her and she doesn’t know what to think, but her jealousy is intensifying too.

Although we have a Strange Story serial, the regular Strange Story continues. This week’s mystery is how the villagers of Jerra Island managed to evacuate from a volcanic island in the 19thcentury. According to legend, the pastor had a vision of it, but how did that happen? And how did Brenda’s church snowstorm souvenir get encased in lava for over 100 years near the site where the pastor saw the vision? She only bought it that day!

Girls’ serials did not often delve into politics, but Molly gets badly tangled in local politics when Lord Stanton has her and Pickering running a bus service during a nationwide strike in support of miners demanding better conditions. This does not please the strikers because it’s blacklegging. It is quite funny seeing the bully butler Pickering in a bus driver’s outfit though! However, Molly has worse problems now than the strike and blacklegging – she is trapped in a crumbling mine with Pickering and Lord Stanton.

Local politics are also a feature in Wee Sue. The council is building an old people’s centre but the oldies don’t want it because they don’t think it’s sound enough. Meanwhile, Sue and her friends would have loved the same site for a roller skating rink. Sue’s suggestion to the council: turn it into a community centre and convert the roof into a skating rink. Now everybody’s happy.

Tania Foster has always been the muggins and dumping ground of the gang of she hangs out with. Now she realises it, she is trying to stand up for herself. The trouble is, they keep finding ways to keep her put upon, including blackmail and dirty tricks. This week they push her into doing all their maths homework for them at the disco while they enjoy themselves and laugh at her. Too bad for them they forgot a noisy disco was not the best place for Tania to concentrate on maths and they end up in detention for “disgusting” homework. It is one of many instances where their treatment of Tania backfires. But Tania is still the muggins of the gang and finding a way to get them to treat her with respect is proving elusive.

“Towne in the Country” is a period story where All Creatures Great and Small meets “Cathy’s Casebook”. Valerie Towne and her vet father have moved to a new post in the country. Valerie soon realises she is going to be deeply involved in her father’s work, but she is not all that confident around animals. And there are other problems such as their vet’s clinic being a mess and queues of kids lining up with pets, expecting Valerie to cure them. And now Valerie and her father have a jumbo-sized problem – treating a sick circus elephant!

Bessie and her class go to the fair. After a series of mishaps, hijinks and getting messed up, everything ends happily for Bessie – with lots of food, of course.

Jinty and Penny 1 November 1980

Jinty cover 1 November 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Contents in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine) – final episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: Robin’s Nest
  • The Secret of Covent House (artist Peter Wilkes) – Gypsy Rose story
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sue’s Daily Dozen (artist José Casanovas)
  • Winning Ways #31: The Lob (writer Benita Brown)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

“Winning Ways” is running a lot of tennis tips. This must be because of Jinty’s tennis story, “Child of the Rain”. Next week a netball story, “Life’s a Ball for Nadine” starts, so it will not be surprising if we start seeing some netball tips in “Winning Ways”.

Nadine will replace “Tears of a Clown”, which ends this week. Last week Jinty promised an emotional ending, which she delivers with Kathy coming home from her time on the run and allowed to keep her new dog. She is astonished to find all the new-improved attitudes from the girls who bullied her and her parents and teachers who failed her. From then on, Kathy progresses so well at school, including becoming the star of the school cross country team with her running talent, that her parents let her throw her first-ever party and treat her to a trendy makeover. At the party Kathy celebrates her new look by ripping up a photo of the old gawky one.

One reader wrote in to say that the ending had her in tears; she thought “Tears of a Clown” was one of Jinty’s best ever and hoped all her future serials would be just as good. Indeed, this story would still stand up today because the bullying issues it commented on still prevail. (How about a reprint, Rebellion?)

Tansy of Jubilee Street and Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost deal with this being Jinty’s Guy Fawkes issue. Spoilsport Dad won’t let Tansy have fireworks or a bonfire; he can be a bit mean at times. Then Tansy finds the school could be the answer. They are willing to provide the bonfire, but the class has to raise the money for the fireworks because the school can’t. So it’s the penny-for-the-guy routine, and with Jubilee Street you can only expect hijinks along the way. The story has been uploaded onto the Ken Houghton page in the panel gallery. Meanwhile, Gaye’s father is willing to have the bonfire, but he can’t afford the fireworks either. So Gaye is using Sir Roger for the penny-for-the-guy routine to raise the money, which he finds a bit undignified. Of course this also leads to hijinks.

It’s Shona’s birthday, which she is trying to celebrate as best she can while marooned on the island. But given her circumstances, it can’t be anything but bittersweet. Meanwhile, Shona’s parents honour her birthday, even though they think she’s dead. If only they knew.

For once, the Gypsy Rose story is an original instead of a recycled Strange Story. New owners move into Covent House, next door to Mary Jones, but there is something strange about them. And they are reacting very oddly to Mary’s cat, Rye. Then Rye mysteriously disappears, yet Mary gets an odd calling from him to come…where she finds him in the centre of some…witches’ coven?

Witchcraft features on a more savoury basis in “Sue’s Daily Dozen”, though Sue is still not convinced of that. And the Daily Dozen does look a bit angry with her for doubting it.

Jemma is banned from the tennis club when a jealous rival frames her for stealing. She needs to find another way to train, and luckily, she finds a disused tennis court next door. But who can she use for a training partner?

The Pond Hill French camping trip is not doing too well, and then it takes a mysterious turn when a strange boy steals Fred’s shirt. We get the feeling the boy is a runaway, and whatever trouble he’s in will drag the Pond Hill campers down with him – but to what?

Jinty and Penny 18 October 1980

Jinty 11 October 1980

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Behind the Screen: It’s a Knockout (feature)
  • The House of Hate and Happiness (artist Giorgio Giorgetti) – Gypsy Rose story
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sue’s Daily Dozen (artist José Casanovas)
  • Winning Ways #29: The Forehand Volley (writer Benita Brown)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

This week we’ve got a very nice go-kart cover from Mario Capaldi. Jinty sure didn’t hesitate from showing girls in sports and activities that are considered venturesome and daring, which is a nice touch of feminism.

Pam of Pond Hill and nine other classmates are gearing up for the school trip to France. But Diana’s younger sister Alison is so jealous that she’s throwing tantrums and pulling dirty tricks to stop them getting there. It looks like she might actually succeed when she locks one of the chaperones in a storeroom and throws the key down the drain. What a horrible kid, but it’s the parents’ fault for spoiling her and being overprotective of her instead of disciplinary.

Shona risks life and limb to rescue her dog Scuffer when he gets bowled over a cliff and lands on a ledge. Next, she and Scuffer sail off on a makeshift raft to hopefully get rescued and see if her parents did survive, which she does not know one way or other.

Kathy the clown is on the run after the relentless bullying drove her away. If only she could see the effects it’s having on her tormentors. It has shocked them all into guilt and shame, and they’ve turned against Sandra, the ringleader of all it all. Sandra, once she’s had a taste of being the class outcast herself, is also remorseful and her redeeming qualities are coming out after being nothing but spiteful.

Meanwhile, Kathy has made a friend, a mutt she has named Mutt. Then Sandra spots them from the train and will set out in search of them next week. But how will that work out? After all, Sandra cruelly tricked Kathy once before with a false show of friendship and remorse.

“Child of the Rain” tries to run away too, in order to get to a place in Britain where rain is forecast. Luckily for her, the drought breaks at home and she’s got rain again.

Tansy tries out a conjuring book. Unfortunately she ends up doing a disappearing trick (not one from the book) after one of her tricks backfires, and she doesn’t have a trick to make her wrathful father disappear.

In “Sue’s Daily Dozen”, real magic creates a house cleaner that makes every speck of dirt fall off in one big black curtain that goes right down the walls and disappear. Now that can be called a disappearing trick!

The Gypsy Rose story is another recycled Strange Story, drawn by Giorgio Giorgetti. Ruth Newton moves into a new house, but there seems to be some sort of weird time travel thing going on when she finds a boy who keeps crying because his parents are always squabbling over painting: Dad wants to pursue art while Mum nags at him that it won’t pay the bills, so go out and get a real job. It turns out the boy is none other than the real estate agent who sold them the house, but now he’s a grown man!

Gaye needs help with improving her gymnastics because of an upcoming school display. Sir Roger helps out, but he thinks that what Gaye really needs is confidence. It looks like he’s right there, but then things go a bit wrong…

Jinty and Penny 20 September 1980

Jinty 20 September 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Contents in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: Charlie’s Angels
  • Wheels of Fate (artist John Armstrong) Gypsy Rose story
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé) – final episode
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

Looks like Betty, the sports mistress from the future serial “Life’s a Ball for Nadine”, is supervising the javelin on the cover. Well, it does look rather like Betty.

The trouble in “A Spell of Trouble” solves itself in a four-page finale, which looks like it has bumped “Winning Ways” this week. The witches, who have been pressing Angela to become a witch, find out – the hard way – that making Angela White a witch is only a recipe for disaster because she’s such a bungling menace. So they restore the Blacks’ powers, but please, please, keep Angela as a non-witch from now on! And now that’s all been sorted out, Angela and Carrie can become friends. In two weeks’ time Jinty will start another witchcraft story, “Sue’s Daily Dozen”, which will be the last witch serial she will ever run.

Everyone in Pam’s class is vying for the ten places on the French trip. Even the class larrikins Fred and Terry are, but only once they find out it will mean missing the last week of term. Those two will do anything to get out of some lessons – even swotting up French and crawling to the French teacher. But then Pam notices that something seems to be bothering her friend Tracy…

Shona finds out she is now the girl the world forgot: a radio broadcast announces that she has been presumed dead and the search for her has been called off. Tantalisingly, it does not inform her whether her parents survived or not. At least Shona finds the island is kitted out for survival, with a source of fresh water and an abandoned croft, and she’s got other company on the island – a talking crow.

In “Tears of a Clown”, Kathy’s respite from the bullying is over. The bullying is back now, and it’s worse than ever. Then the upcoming sports day gives Kathy new hope to prove her running talent. But considering her luck in proving it so far, she might be wise not to set her hopes too high. And what about spiteful Sandra, the bully who keeps thwarting Kathy’s efforts to prove her talent?

Tansy and the gang from Jubilee Street go off to apprehend some smugglers – only to find they were just actors for a television show. Fortunately their interference makes the scene even better, so it will be retained and they will see themselves on television next week.

Jemma’s strange problem with rain gets her withdrawn from the school tennis team. And now it’s about to land her in big trouble with her teacher!

Sir Roger’s bragging about how brave he is, but just how brave is he really? He apprehends some burglars, but it’s due more to hijinks and dumb luck than courage.

The Gypsy Rose story is yet another recycled John Armstrong Strange Story from Tammy. Gail Hawkins goes on holiday with her uncle and aunt. She is plagued by a constantly passing lorry, but no lorry has been allowed on that road since one caused a fatal accident some years back. And it is a French lorry, just like the one that caused the accident…but there can’t be such things as ghost lorries, surely?

Jinty and Penny 13 September 1980

Jinty 13 September 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Contents in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Back to School! (craft feature)
  • Phantom of the Fells (artist John Armstrong) Gypsy Rose story
  • Behind the Screen: Grange Hill
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Winning Ways #25: Tennis – the Grip (writer Benita Brown)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

Jinty commemorates it being “back to school” after the summer holidays with a “back to school” craft page and doing a feature on Grange Hill for “Behind the Screen”.

At Pond Hill, school’s much happier because a school camping trip to France is planned. Pam’s so enthused that she’s boning up on her French, much to Miss Peeble’s surprise. But there’s one problem: the school can only take ten pupils because that’s all the room there is in their vehicle. So there is no guarantee Pam will even go.

In “Child of the Rain”, Jemma’s odd reaction to rain is causing a real nuisance at school and she’s running the risk of letting the school tennis team down because of it.

School is now looking up for Kathy the class clown because her classmates decide Sandra has gone too far and start protecting her from Sandra’s bullying. But Kathy loses that protection when her clumsiness turns a classmate’s party into custard and a stereo system is wrecked! Now it’s back to square one for her, and we are warned that the bullying will grow even worse next week.

“A Spell of Trouble” is on its penultimate episode. The witches find out Angela is still not a witch and carry out their threat to strip the Blacks of their powers because of it. But when Angela sees how hard this is on her Black relatives because they’ve never gotten by any other way except witchcraft, she decides to become a witch after all, for their sakes. She doesn’t think it’s going to be that easy, though, and we have a feeling she’s right.

Shona becomes the “Girl the World Forgot” once the searchers find her empty life raft and draw the apparent conclusion that she is dead. Nobody knows that Shona and her dog Scuffer are in fact washed up on a deserted island and waiting for rescue.

Aunt Agnes comes to stay at Stoney Hall, and she’s so house-proud she insists on cleaning everything in sight, while Sir Roger likes it dusty and cobwebby.

Tansy’s holiday gets even weirder when she and June find their way out of the cave they got lost in and find a gang of smugglers – in pirate costumes(?). She runs to the other Jubilee Street residents to get help in rounding them up.

This week’s Gypsy Rose is another recycled John Armstrong Strange Story, which is reprinted from Tammy. An arrogant mountaineer learns that the fells should not be underestimated, even if they are “flea bites” compared to the mountains she’s climbed, and they can be dangerous for those who do not know them. She learns that dogs should not be underestimated either. But we wonder what her opinion on ghosts will be after this episode?

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 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.