A Trip Down Memory Lane

jackie-imageI’ve always loved comics and magazines. Ever since my nana used to post Twinkle and Teddy Bear to me every week (bless).

I’m not sure if I loved the comics because I loved reading or whether I loved reading (and later writing) because of the comics but either way, for me, writing and magazines go hand-in-hand.

I had aspirations to be a magazine journalist when I was at school (maybe I would have been, if a certain teacher hadn’t put me off!) and when I got a little manual typewriter for Christmas, I used to type up articles and stick them together, to make my own little magazine. (That’s probably why I like blogging: it’s the same thing – only without the Pritt Stick).

I still read loads of magazines, subscribe to more than I should and, as you know, submit stories to the few remaining mags that still publish fiction. Relaxing with a cuppa and a good magazine is the ultimate treat for me. (I know, I’m easily pleased).

After Twinkle, I graduated to Debbie, Mandy, Misty and Jinty (ooh, I loved Jinty. It always had free gifts on the front cover! And the stories were usually spooky. For example, ‘Gail’s Indian Necklace’. She buys an evil necklace at a jumble sale and it makes her do BAD things. Hmm, thinking about it, Jinty was a bit like a junior Take A Break!)

I also read Bunty, Diana and FAB208 and usually had a sneak-peak at my mum’s ‘SHE‘ (which had an extremely rude educational problem page) BUT my absolute favourite – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – was JACKIE.

For years, I didn’t miss an issue. It was the highlight of my week (it came out on Thursdays, I think?). There was always a pull-out poster in the middle (usually of one of the Davids – Essex, Soul or Cassidy) and the really sad thing is, when I look at some of the old covers from the ’70s (you can buy ‘vintage’ copies on Ebay), I can still remember a lot of them.

Debbie and Leslie Ash were always in the magazine or on the front cover (that’s Leslie – picture below, on the right). And also that other model there, on the left, whose name I never knew. She was on the front cover practically every week! I think I probably wanted to be her.

Other Girl Jackie

Then there was ‘Cathy & Claire’ – the problem page (which definitely wasn’t as enlightening as the one in SHE) but which was still one of the first things I turned to.

And the fashion illustrations! Do you remember those? Girls with huge eyes, even bigger hair and legs that went on forever….

If you’re a fan of Jackie, like me, you might like to know that there’s now a … drumroll….Jackie musical!! WHEEEEE!

My friend and I have got tickets to see it in Coventry in March and we’re going to dress up – of course – in the requisite flares and cheesecloth shirts and all that stuff (platform soles, anyone?).

Can’t wait!


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23 Responses to A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. juliathorley says:

    Ooh yes, Jackie. My friend Jenny and I used to read it cover to cover. Yes, I think it was Thursdays. I used to go to Jenny’s house every Thursday after school for tea and to watch Top of the Pops. Then every Monday she would come to my house for a quick sandwich before dance class. Good times.

  2. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane, Helen. I used to read all the above, plus Girl. I think my favourite free gift ever came with Girl and I wish I’d kept it. It was a little plastic wallet with a pic of the Beatles on it and inside there were two lipsticks called Love Me Do and A Taste Of Honey. Much later I went on to write picture-strip stories for Mandy, Bunty, Judy and Girl.

    • Wow, Lynne, I am so impressed that you used to write picture-strip stories for some of those magazines! I don’t think it ever occurred to me that someone actually sat down and wrote the stories and that it could be a job! Why did no-one tell me that?! I might have started writing properly, a bit sooner!

  3. Helen Pollard says:

    Gosh, yes, I remember Bunty etc., but later, I definitely got Jackie every week and remember the Cathy & Claire page well!

    • Helen, apparently they got about 400 letters a week to ‘Cathy & Claire’ and they replied to every one but they didn’t print the racy or risque ones!

      • Helen Pollard says:

        Wow! That’s a lot, especially if they replied to them all! I always used to turn to that page first, too, hoping for something to find something a bit salacious!

  4. Heather Walker says:

    Yes, yes, Jackie! Loved it. And OMG, I used to make up my own magazine too! You’ve just reminded me of that. Thanks for sharing this, sent me right back,

  5. rosgemmell says:

    I absolutely loved comics and magazines too(and still enjoy mags)! Couldn’t wait for Bunty each week and looked forward to the Bunty and Mandy annuals at Christmas. Then came Jackie… what would we have done without it (though I can’t believe there’s a musical version)? Great post, thanks.

  6. Tracy Fells says:

    Thanks, Helen, for a great post which brought back lots of happy memories for me too. We seem to have had the same taste in mags. Read most of these, but have to agree my favourite was always Jackie before I matured into Smash Hits! Look forward to your post about the musical and will expect to see a photo of you dressed in period gear.

  7. Kim Fleet says:

    Thanks, Helen. I’d forgotten about Misty magazine – I loved those spooky stories. Evidently they had an effect on me as the first story I ever had published was a spooky one (in Pony magazine, 30 years ago. (Where did the time go???)) Then I went on to Jackie, which I loved until I graduated to 19 and 21. Remember those? I’m going to see if there are old copies of Misty on ebay now. That’s my morning sorted …

    • I do remember 19 and 21.. and Annabelle and Loving.. ooh, yes, Loving!!! That was good (obviously I was a bit older, when I read ‘Loving’ – I wasn’t still on Twinkle and Teddy Bear. Fancy you writing for ‘Pony’ magazine! I was horse-mad (still am) so that would have been a dream come true for me!

  8. Sherri says:

    I also used to love Jackie and my sister and I used to fight over who got to read it first. I used to get annuals every Christmas and would retire to me bedroom to read them rather than join in with the family on Christmas day! My first publication was a poem in Jackie magazine – I don’t think I have a copy but it was something about love being like a swan (I know!) – very teenage, but I was well chuffed at the time. Have a great time at the musical!

  9. Teresa says:

    I used to love comics and I was still getting Jackie when I got married! You’ve brought back some lovely memories. The musical sounds like great fun, especially getting dressed up for it 🙂 xx

  10. Wendy Clarke says:

    I read Diana and then moved onto Jackie. My favourite page was Cathy and Claire… If someone had a problem with a boy, I followed their advice to the letter!

  11. Nicola says:

    Great post, Helen. I had a little pink typewriter for Christmas when I was young. I used to love it. Gawd knows what happened to it. But thank you for reminding me of it. It had its own hard pink case. I love musicals!! When I was teaching, I used to spend every summer writing the Christmas musical play – music and all. It was the highlight of my summer and seeing it performed by the children was incredibly rewarding. Wish you a lovely weekend!!

    • Thanks Nicola, same to you. My little typewriter (an Olivetti portable one) had its own hard little white case too. Can’t remember what happened to mine either but I wish I’d kept it – it would practically be a museum piece now!

  12. Patsy says:

    My best friend used to get Jackie and we did all the quizzes, taking our answers and the result very seriously.

  13. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen, I’m very behind with my commenting here, but just had to join the happy chorus of nostalgia. I too was a huge Jackie fan. Someone recently gave me a vintage copy, which I treasure (David Essex on the cover, looking as cute and twinkly-eyed as ever). I remember perusing the Cathy & Claire column each week in a desperate quest to find out how exactly you KISS A BOY… It never gave a totally satisfactory answer, but I loved it nonetheless (and did manage to unlock the mystery of boy-kissing). Thanks for the fab post!

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