On this day, 22 February 1975: Jinty
On this day, 22 February 1975 … here is the 39th issue of Jinty, still in the first of a seven-and-a-half year run but already a rich anthology of strong storylines and lovely art. The introductory captions to some of these serials, while making me think that it must have been good fun to dream up each new concoction of circumstances, illustrate fairly consistent adherence to key themes such as the heroine starting from a relatively poor or tragic background, an extreme environment (either desirable or otherwise out-of-reach, or harsh and inescapable), difficulty in making or keeping close friendships, and an aspiration to athletic achievement.
The Jinx from St Jonah’s: ‘Katie Jinks was weekending in the country with her friends, Liz and Sue. It had been snowing hard, and when they went for a walk in the woods Katie was soon causing chaos, as usual!’
Tricia’s Tragedy: ‘Tricia Hunt’s ambition was to win the Lloyd Trophy, an important swimming competition founded by her grandfather. But with her father on disability pension and unable to work, she couldn’t afford to use the public swimming pool for daily training. Then out of the blue, an invitation arrived from Tricia’s uncle and aunt … but Mr Hunt was worried …’
Merry at Misery House: ‘In 1920, Merry Summers had been wrongfully sent to Sombre Manor, a cruel reformatory school called Misery House by the girls there. Merry was a cheerful girl and full of fun, but when mysterious jokes were played on Wardress Ball, Merry was blamed.’
The Kat and Mouse Game: ‘Kindhearted Letitia, nicknamed Mouse, doesn’t realise Kat is out to get her expelled from Barton Grange Ballet School. Kat’s own dirty trick causes her injury in a road accident, but Mouse thinks she’s to blame.’
Prisoners of Paradise Island: ‘Captain Sally Tuff and the crack hockey team of Marfield School were on Paradise island at the invitation of wealthy Miss Lush. Only Sally realised that the first-class treatment was intended to make them the worst team at the international championship so they’d lose and Miss Lush could win crooked bets!’
Dora Dogsbody: ‘Dora Watson worked in a luxury hotel for dogs owned by Mrs Siddons. Dora loved dogs and had a way with them – but she met her match in a dog called Blossom!’
There’s no intro caption to Bird-girl Brenda as it’s a one-off adventure for the soaring schoolgirl rather than a continuing serial.
Always Together …: ‘Since their widowed mother’s tragic death a year earlier, Jill, Johnny and Beth Harvey had been hiding in a moorland cave. This was to dodge the authorities and keep their last promises to Mum, that they would stick together as a family. Now little Beth had collapsed with grief.’
Slave of the Mirror: ‘Mia Blake found a sinister old mirror in the boarding house run by her sister Janet in Cornwall. She was hypnotised by a strange girl whose face appeared in the mirror, and while in hospital was forced to ruin the reputation of a nice old resident of the boarding house, Major Rose. But then the girl in the mirror seemed to relent, and helped Mia to clear the Major’s name.’