This week’s episode of “When Statues Walk” takes the cover spot, and it is one of Jinty’s best covers. One look, and you can’t take your eyes off it. In the episode, all this haunting by creepy Viking statues is giving Laura nightmares, and the nightmare includes a wolf with a demon tail. But the excavations reveal the body of the wolf in question. Was there more to it than just a dream?
Brother Herbert, the ghost monk from way back in part one of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” who gave Sir Roger the power to materialise for more effective haunting, is not pleased to find Sir Roger over-familiarising himself with the living instead. He sends in a ghost bulldog to deal with the matter, but one plate of food from Gaye and he’s their best friend.
In “Pam of Pond Hill”, Terry threatens disco trouble, but Pam strikes at the very heart of the problem – Terry’s brother Stan. His prejudices against teachers, due to bad school experiences, have prompted Terry to become the school troublemaker. Giving Stan a piece of her mind completely turns the corner, and she really surprises Stan in how his prejudices against teachers get challenged. In fact, they get so much challenged that he himself prevents the dreaded disco disaster from happening.
In “Spirit of the Lake” Karen takes to midnight skating to keep things up with her mystery coach. “The Perfect Princess” (not) is now trying to get rid of Sally by tying her up and taking her place at a ball to make trouble for her. In “Toni on Trial”, Toni thinks she’s got the hurdling layout sussed for the trials, but she doesn’t know jealous Julie set up the hurdles at the wrong distance, to make her screw up at the trials. In “White Water”, Bridie disobeys orders not to do canoeing practice unsupervised and gets expelled from the club. Undeterred, she’s going to get her own canoe.
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.
Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer ?Benita Brown)
The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
The Poisoned Rose – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé)
Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
Robin Cousins (text feature)
Winning Ways 6: The Dolphin Butterfly Stroke (writer Benita Brown)
White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)
What a jolly, lively cover! The next week’s issue will have a much more dramatic set of images, but it’s nice to have some variety.
This issue leads off with the mostly-humorous stories of “Pam of Pond Hill” and her friends. Marty is suffering through having her brainy sister Trina as her training coach – suffering being the right word because she is also hiding a sports injury, or trying to. Pam is worried because she can see something is wrong although Marty isn’t letting on – but as the episode ends up with Marty lying on the shower room floor in a faint, the cat is let out of the bag! This is a well-handled example of the ‘stony face’ sort of plot idea – the suffering heroine who tries to hide it, normally very annoyingly. In this story we feel genuinely worried for Marty, alongside Pam and her friends.
In “Spirit of the Lake”, horrid Cynthia is laying it on thick by pretending to have lost her memory of the accident in the previous episode, whereas really she wants to trick Karen into revealing her secret skating teacher. The tables are turned when Karen is stopped from following the speed-skating Cynthia down the end of the lake – because the ghostly skater has turned up to warn of thin ice and deadly danger! Will Karen be able to skate fast enough to save Cynthia next week – and will Cynthia be at all grateful, I wonder?
“The Perfect Princess” shows the aftermath of the exploded cannon in the tower that Victoria was trapped in – her parents think she is dead and even her rival Sally is faintly sorry: “Victoria was anything but sweet and lovely! Still, I wouldn’t have wanted her blown up.” However, Victoria is alive and well and still scheming – and has been handed an absolute godsend tool to use against her challenger, in the form of precious information about Sally’s background that she had been trying to keep hidden.
There is a second Trini story in this issue – a Gypsy Rose story of a spiteful cousin who asks a wicked magician for a charm to make sure that her object of desire falls in love with her and not her rival. The charm turns the sweet cousin into a bad-tempered shrew – but true love wins through before too long.
“Toni on Trial” has Toni running away from her club’s outing on a bleak rainy night; but this turns into a blessing in disguise when she finds a frightened kid whose friend has had an accident. Toni applies some basic first aid and common sense, and runs to get help; but meanwhile, her friend Anne has gone to Toni’s grandparents house and broken the news that she has run away, which the grandfather reacts very badly to – by burning Toni’s new running shoes! “It’s like her mother all over again! She brought shame on the family. Now her daughter’s done the same! … As long as she lives in this house, she’ll never take place in another race!”
The Sports Jinty pages in the middle of the comic feature ice skater Robin Cousins – very suitable for a weekly paper with an ice skating story in it – and a didactic strip showing you how to do a butterfly stroke in swimming, by kicking like a dolphin. It’s quite a good teaching method, I suspect, for small and specific ways to improve your performance in your chosen sport. Here is an example page, as we have not shown one before on this blog.
Bridie Mason is finally paddling her own canoe rather than a borrowed club boat. Here again there are a number of teaching tips – in this case on understanding the ‘draw stroke’. It’s far from all about teaching though – the drama is not far away as snobby rival Jocelyn is happy to needle Bridie into spending money she can’t really afford, not when she still has to pay off her new canoe. She finds the money by agreeing with her mother that they can sell her electric sewing machine, but it all backfires when her canoe teacher lets the cat out of the bag that Bridie has already earmarked the money for her new “White Water”!
“When Statues Walk” has Laura thinking she is rescuing an innocent princess from the fearsome clay warriors; there are some lovely, atmospheric pages as she makes her way past the watchers to the buried longship with the prisoner. The prisoner is untied – and the deception is unravelled too, as it becomes clear that she is not Princess Leh, but Hel, demon goddess of the underworld!
Pam of Pond Hill starts a new story about sporty Marty and her bossy sister Trina, who starts interfering to make her even better with bookish learning about athletics. Meanwhile, Bridie turns to books as well, to resurrect “White Water”.
In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, the ghosts of Gallows Hill think Sir Roger’s a traitor for fraternising with a human being and are out for blood, but Gaye’s got a plan for dealing with them. Knowing her, perhaps we should feel sorry for those ghosts.
In “Spirit of the Lake” spiteful Cynthia is getting suspicious of Karen and her secret training. It had to happen. And in “Toni on Trial”, it looks like the dirty tricks Sharon played on Toni have paid off. But there is one event Sharon can’t sabotage for Toni….
Princess Victoria’s dirty tricks succeed in getting rid of another rival – one who was playing as dirty as she is. But it isn’t Sally, the one Victoria really wants out of the way. And now Sally has been alerted to Victoria. But they both get a shock when the King finds another candidate more favourable.
In “When Statues Walk”, a teacher confiscates the pendant. As Laura fears, it brings another walking Viking statue to the school to make a grab for it – which doesn’t do much for school property. Worse, Laura’s getting the blame for the damage!
Tearaway Trisha’s getting the blame for a girl’s accident, despite the fact that it was due to her slipping on an oil patch and the site of the crash having a reputation as a “black spot” that has already been the scene of several accidents. Guess that’s what comes of building up a reputation as a dangerous cyclist.
Meanwhile, poor Toni is back in the game, but still can’t shake off her reputation as a thief because of what her mother was accused of. And now salt really is being rubbed into the wound, because Toni is about to compete for the same trophy her mother was accused of stealing.
It’s the last episode of “When Statues Walk…”. The stone warriors track down the evil Hel, who has possessed Laura’s body, but will they be in time to switch them back? Laura’s trapped in Hel’s body, which is showing no more signs of life. If she really is dead, Hel stays in her body and wins the day. Meanwhile, in Gascoine’s new story, “The Venetian Looking Glass”, another evil form of possession is now establishing itself over Lucy Craven.
In Pam of Pond Hill, the protest over the school’s new health menu has gone too far and Pam now fears the wrath of Mr Gold, the strict headmaster. However, next week’s blurb informs us that Mr Gold is going to be eating humble pie. Things are not going well for Bridie either on the canoeing camping trip. And we are told that it’s going to get worse next week, when she becomes the camp outcast.
In “Spirit of the Lake”, Karen’s now accepted she has a ghost for a coach. Trouble is, she still has a spiteful cousin for an enemy. And “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, who had taken a break last week, is back. Sir Roger has found out a banquet is being prepared at Stoney Hall, and his interference could ruin it. We have to wait until next week to find out if there will be a feast or a fast.
This issue starts the only story that Andrew Wilson, best known for “The Happy Days”, drew for Jinty – “Tearaway Trisha”. Trisha is a good-natured girl, but no sense of safety or consideration when it comes to cycling. Sounds like a recipe for disaster? Yup, and it happens when her bike slips on a greasy patch in the road, which causes a girl named Fran to end up in hospital. Trisha is blamed, which I personally think is a bit unfair. Okay, so she might have noticed the patch if she had been cycling a bit more carefully, but it was there when it shouldn’t have been.
Gascoine has a history of overlapping stories in Jinty, and this one is no exception. He starts on “The Venetian Looking Glass” (following the Jinty tradition of evil images in mirrors) while still working on the penultimate episode of “When Statues Walk…”. Steve’s discovered the body switch the evil goddess Hel pulled with his sister Laura, and is shocked to find Laura trapped in the ageing body of Hel, which could give out any minute now. If it does, Laura will die while Hel continues to wreak havoc in Laura’s body!
In “Pam of Pond Hill”, health food takes over at the school canteen after it pushes Mrs Bounty out. But the kids don’t take to it and want their chips and Mrs Bounty back. And that means protest action!
“Toni on Trial” has lost her resolve because of the shadow from her mother’s disgrace has gotten too much. Sharon Peters is taking unusual action to get Toni back in the game. In “White Water” Bridie’s on a camping canoe holiday but things are not going smoothly – not least because of jealous Jocelyn. And can the “Spirit of the Lake” meet Karen at the ice-rink now the lake has thawed? Oh yes, and now Karen realises who she is!
Following up on the previous post on European Translations, Sleuth from Catawiki has kindly sent me a list she has prepared of Jinty stories which were translated into Dutch. (See also some comments from her in that post, about Dutch translations.) They were mostly published in the weekly comic Tina and/or in the reprint album format Tina Topstrip. The list below shows the original title, followed by the title in the Dutch translation, with a literal translation in [square brackets] where appropriate, and then the details of the publication that the translation appeared in. It is ordered by date of original publication.
Gwen’s Stolen Glory (1974): De droom van een ander [Someone else’s dream] (in: Tina Club 1975-2)
Curtain of Silence (1977): Achter het stille gordijn [Behind the Silent Curtain] (in: Tina 1978/79, Tina Topstrip 52, 1983)
Fran’ll Fix it! (1977; 1978-79): short story 3/4; Annabel versiert ‘t wel [Annabel will fix it]; episodes in Tina from 1983 till 1994; there were also “Dutch” episodes written by Bas van der Horst and drawn by Comos, and there is an episode in 1994 written by Ian Mennell and drawn by Comos.
The Ghost Dancer (1981): Dansen in het maanlicht [Dancing in the Moonlight] (in: Tina 1983)
Holiday Hideaway (1981): Wie niet weg is, is gezien [If you’re not gone, you’re seen – a sentence children use in hide-and-seek] (in: Tina 1982)
Freda’s Fortune (1981): Could be: Fortuin voor Floortje [A Fortune for Florrie] (in: Groot Tina Herfstboek 1983-3)
Airgirl Emma’s Adventure (reprint from June 1969, in Jinty Holiday Special 1975): Short story 16; Emma zoekt het hogerop [Emma takes it higher up] (in: Tina 1970)
Various of the stories translated in Tina were also reprinted in the Indonesian title Nina (of course Indonesia is a former Dutch colony, making for a clear link). These will be listed on a new reference page for Translations into Indonesian.
This long list enables us to see how very popular some creators were – for instance, a large number of Jim Baikie and Phil Gascoine stories are included (though not all, by any means). Of course, these were also the most prolific of Jinty artists too.
Many stories were translated very shortly after initial publication, and then reprinted in album form some time later. There was also a ‘second round’ of translation work done after Jinty ceased publication, to go back and pick some of the earlier stories that had not been selected earlier. This was the case with “Always Together” and “The Kat and Mouse Game”, for instance.
Many but by no means all of the story titles were translated fairly literally or exactly, though the main character’s name was almost invariably exchanged for another one. Some titles ended up particularly poetical or neat in translation: “A Spell of Trouble” and “Holiday Hideaway” perhaps benefit most from their translated titles. Of course, there are also some losers: I think “The Human Zoo” and “The Girl Who Never Was” ended up with less resonant titles through the process.
A wide range of stories were translated: spooky stories, humour stories, science fiction, adventure, sports stories. There are some omissions that I’m surprised by, though of course the editors had to pick and choose from so much that was available. “Fran of the Floods” was probably too long (see Marc’s comment about the length of stories selected for translation). No Gypsy Rose stories were selected – maybe they didn’t want a storyteller, ‘grab-bag’ approach? I am however quite surprised at the omission of the excellent “Children of Edenford” (1979). Could it have been too subversive a story, with its underlying theme of adults undermining their position of trust by hypnotizing children in order to control their moral development? The similarly-themed “Prisoner of the Bell” was also not translated. Of course this is rather a guess! At the end of the day I’m sure there were just more stories to choose from than there were spaces for publication.
For reference, I also include a complete list of stories published in the album format Tina Topstrip (71 albums in total). This gives us a view of how many of the reprinted stories deemed worthy of collection came from which original title. Note that some of the stories in this album format were themselves originally written in Dutch as they are credited to a Dutch writer. (NB I will add this to the new page created for Translations into Dutch)
Becky Never Saw The Ball
Twinkle, Twinkle, Daisy Star
Het geheim van oom Robert (original story in Dutch)
Kimmy op de modetoer (original title unknown)
Marcella het circuskind (original title unknown)
Moses and Me
Peggy en Jeroen (Patty’s World story)
Anja – Dorp in gevaar (original title unknown)
Het lied van de rivier (Patty and the Big Silver Bull Band story, original in Dutch)
Sonja en de mysterieuze zwemcoach (I suspect this is a translation as no writer is given)
De man in het koetshuis (original story in Dutch)
Linda’s verdriet (original title unknown, from Tammy)
Het circus komt (original story in Dutch)
Wild Horse Summer
Noortje (original story in Dutch)
Ruzie om Jeroen (Patty’s World story)
Het lied van de angst (Patty and the Big Silver Bull Band story, original in Dutch)
In the couple of days since the interview with Alison Christie was published, we have had some particularly interesting information sent in. Candela, who writes about girls’ comics in Spain, tells us that Alison’s ‘story “Over the Rainbow” was very popular in Spain and reprinted in two different girl’s magazines, and of course all the stories under the Gypsy Rose head, which in Spain sometimes were reprinted under the Uncle Pete’s stories.’ Likewise, Peggy from Greece wrote in to say ‘I was really touched to discover after 40 years the writer of one of the stories (“My Name is Nobody”) that I loved in my early youth! It is such a lovely story about the power of friendship’. She was even able to send in some scans of the Greek translation of this story, shown here with many thanks to her (see below for the first and last episodes). She also says that ‘”My Name Is Nobody” was selected to be among the stories to be included in the first issues of the Greek magazine Manina (issue 9), something that shows the significance of the story itself! Just for your information, the other stories of the first issues were “The Cat Girl” (from Sally), “Molly Mills” (from Tammy), “Lucky’s Living Doll” (from June & Schoolfriend), “Jackie & the Wild Boys” (from Princess Tina)” and “Bessie Bunter” (from June & Schoolfriend).’
Greek translation of “Nobody Knows My Name” (originally published in June & Schoolfriend, 1971)
The work done by writers and artists in comics like Jinty was typically on a work-for-hire basis, with a flat fee being paid and no expectation of earning royalties on reprints or translations and so forth. The artwork was owned by the publishing company and not sent back to the artist. A lot of the communication we’d perhaps expect to be happening was just not on the cards: for instance it does not seem that Alison was very aware of the extent of her stories’ popularity, and certainly she was not aware that “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” was reprinted in Princess in 1984. (Indeed, in a reply to a reader’s 1981 letter, this story was described as one of Jinty‘s most popular stories.) Translations into another language were presumably something that creators were unaware of the existence of, except as a vague possibility.
(In a separate email, Alison says ‘I did know that DC Thomsons had a room with magazine journalists seconded to doing this, syndicating picture stories for European countries. As the payment slips freelancers like myself got always had at the foot, “All copyright for all purposes”; this meant they could do what they liked with picture stories etc, once they had paid the writer and artist a one-off payment. However, I had no idea that IPC did this as well – but I didn’t keep any payslips from them, and I can’t remember what was written on them. It must have been on these lines.’ From my own personal knowledge, I was involved with the SSI – the Society of Strip Illustrators – in the early 1990s and there was much talk at the time about work-for-hire contracts and the rather brutal agreements in place. There was little or nothing in the way of a formal contract, and instead as Alison says, your actual payment slip confirmed that this was in consideration of all your creators rights. There would have been no way round this if you wanted to be paid! At the time I was involved in these areas, there was a lot of work being done to change this situation, but at one time it was very normal and not even questioned by many.)
However, it is clear that there was a lot of this translation going on over the years, in many directions. The Dutch auction site Catawiki is an invaluable resource for many British comics but particularly so for this question; although details are not all complete in every cases it lists stories by issue, artist, writer, and original title. Many stories were reprinted in the Tina series Tina Topstrip, as albums collecting the whole story with a new cover. Usually the protagonist was also renamed to something locally suitable (so the protagonist of “Becky Never Saw The Ball” turned into “Eefje”). There was also a monthly magazine, Tina Club, which reprinted stories in an anthology format with what looks like a couple of stories in each one. For instance, “Gwen’s Stolen Glory” was translated as “De droom van een ander / The Dream of Another” in 1975.
Some of the individual Tina Topstrips I have looked at on Catawiki are listed below.
As can be seen from the above list, a number of the Jinty creators were represented in these Dutch translations – prolific artists Phil Gascoine, Jim Baikie, and Phil Townsend were all published in this series, and popular writer Alison Christie is represented too, along with Pat Mills. Nowadays the flow of material will presumably be more likely to go the other way, if at all (Trini Tinturé has recently had original Dutch material being republished in UK magazine Girls & Co).
I’m not in the best position to check, but I would love to know more about the details of these translated editions. How faithfully was the translation done? What changed, apart from names and covers – were story lines ever abridged or even amended? Were credits given to artists and writers in any cases? (I do have one or two of the Tina Topstrips and don’t believe anyone was created apart from the local artist who drew the new cover.)
I would also love to know whether this was limited to Europe or not? Once you’ve translated material into Spanish or Portuguese then Latin America becomes available as a market, but it is a lot further away for connections to be made and that may well just not have happened. I know that Brazil and Mexico have their own local comics publishing traditions, as does Argentina (I don’t know about the other Latin American countries), with quite a different feel from the British weekly comic. Certainly in Brazil and Mexico if you see a foreign translation then it is very likely to consist of American reprinted material: Disney material such as the Donald Duck stories, and the Harvey comics such as Little Lulu and Richie Rich. Marvel and DC also make a strong showing in those markets, but the sort of emotional long-running story seen in British girls comics is not very prevalent as far as I know. They would match well with the interest in telenovelas (soap operas) but perhaps this connection is one that was never made?
Further information from Sleuth of Catawiki:
I have never closely looked at the translations done in the Netherlands. My impression is that stories are usually complete and properly translated, although the names are often changed (“Patty’s World” is translated as “Peggy’s wereldje”, probably because there already was a “Patty” strip in Tina at the time). Having said that, I should compare “Gail’s Indian Necklace” to the translation: reading the story in Jinty I found an episode in London with Gail travelling the tube that might have been taken out as it seemed new to me. Perhaps too outlandish! They always tried to make it look like the stories took place in Holland. That did not work for the school stories with all the uniformed girls of course (no uniforms at school here). I read somewhere that a girl had even asked her parents to send her to boarding school because of the stories in Tina. She did not like it very much when she got there. Boarding schools here are for children whose parents are travelling or for children with behaviour problems or illnesses which cannot be taken care of at home. Another story that I should compare one of these days is “Maartje het ganzenmeisje” (Marge the goose girl). The story very much resembles the story of “The Goose Girl”, but the story takes place in Holland and is drawn by Dutch artist Piet Wijn.
Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
The Perfect Princess – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
Did Taffy Know? Gypsy Rose story
When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)
It’s the first Jinty issue for 1980, but Jinty isn’t making it much of a New Year’s issue. The only mention of New Year is on the back cover, where we get instructions for making The Resolution Tree: draw a large tree, write your resolutions underneath and hang it up.
We do get a new story, though, “The Perfect Princess”. You have to decide whether this is one of Jinty‘s lesser offerings or one of her oddball stories. Whatever your opinion, it certainly turns fairytales and every girl’s dream of being a princess inside out. Sally Smith dreams of being a princess but is taking it a bit far. Her room is filled with books and pictures on fairytales and princesses, and she won’t mix with common people or get close to her foster parents because she is reserving herself for a more refined family. However, fairy tales do warn of great trials to become a princess, and Sally will soon find that is just what she is facing. But instead of wicked stepmothers, witches, curses, monsters and other fairy tale perils, Sally finds herself up against Princess Victoria, who is such a royal horror that she has been disowned.
In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we get what seems to be the only appearance of Gaye’s parents throughout the entire run of this regular. Gaye bursts in on them to tell them all about the ghost (Sir Roger), but their only response is to confine her to bed sick. As only Gaye can see Sir Roger, the doctor thinks she has an imaginary companion and tells her she may have to stay in bed for months – until Sir Roger intervenes. Afterwards, Sir Roger is dismayed to find Gaye welcoming him as a friend instead of being scared.
It is Jinty‘s Christmas issue for 1979 and Jinty makes it a big celebration. Even the stories that do not feature Christmas still celebrate it with snow-covered logos and/or holly. There is a nice touch of humour on the cover with the cat playing with the tinsel garland. That is just the sort of thing a cat might play with.
The Christmas issue starts off with a quiz “Make it your wishbone Christmas”. In fact, the quiz is the first thing you see when you open the cover. The break from a picture story starting things off sure makes it clear how serious Jinty is about celebrating Christmas. Her 1979 Christmas story, “Tale of the Panto Cat” concludes with this issue, of course. Everything ends happily of course – except for our would-be-grinch Verna, who spends her Christmas in quarantine when her last trick to spoil the Christmas panto backfires.
Despite the happy ending and the efforts of one girl in “Panto Cat” to remember the Christmas spirit, even with Verna, there is not much Christmas message in the story. That is reserved for “Forget-me-not at Christmas”, a very poignant story of a Victorian waif who was invited to a rich girl’s party but was turned away because they forgot she was invited. She sat outside in the snow waiting to be remembered. But by the time they did, poor Forget-me-not had frozen to death! In the 20th century, Sandie Hurst encounters the ghost of Forget-me-not and invites her to their Christmas party. Will Forget-me-not be remembered this time?
Alley Cat tries to raise money for Christmas from carol singing, but thrown boots and smashed windows tell you how good he is at carol singing. But in the end he does get a happy Christmas because he unwittingly did the Muchloots a favour.