Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, September 7, 2019


Schoolgirls' Picture Library was a long-running (327 issues!) UK digest comic book starting in June 1957; after issue #327 in 1965 it was merged into June and School Friend Picture Library.  Each issue contained a full-length adventure about plucky schoolgirls full of true British spirit.  Their Keep Calm and Carry On Spirit is supplemented by their proper schoolgirl manners.

"Schoolgirl Riders to the Rescue" a scene-setting paragraph before moving on to the slow-moving action:

The year was 1943 -- when Britain was at war with Nazi Germany, and all at home were called about to help with the war effort.  The girls of Eastford College knitted for the troops, raised money for medical supplies, and dug hard every evening to produce extra food for Britain.  And now Wendy King, captain of the fourth form riding club, proposed that a gymkhana be held on Long Meadow -- the one field that remained free for school activities.  It would be a grand welcome for the lonely evacuee children , coming to the district soon -- and it would raise money for the war effort.

Huzzah for the British was spirit!

And young girls and horses...stereotype or not, it certainly worked for girl readers of the 50s.

Wendy and her best friend Kay spot two strangers taking measurements on Long Meadow and Wendy -- perhaps because her older brother Roger is in military intelligence -- wonders if they could be Nazi spies.  Then Roger shows up and cryptically tells Wendy that the gymkhata must be held.  Hmm.

The two strangers keep showing up, acting suspiciously.  Then they chase Wendy and Kay, and the girls trick them and lock them in a shed.  Informing the authorities that they had captured two Nazi spies, they are chagrined to learn that the men are from military intelligence -- the same unit as Roger!

Nonetheless, there are strange goings-on and opposition to their gymkhata.  Then the gumkhata is cancelled -- a terrible blow to the girls and probably a very minor blow to the war effort...

But in true British fashion, the girls prevail, a dastardly plot is exposed, and England can continue to fight the Nazis.

Three cheers.  hip-hip-hooray!  hip-hip-hooray!  hip-hip-hooray!

Enjoy this little tale of girls, horses, Nazi spies, and the British can-do spirit.

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