Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Penny and the Stolen Tart

Those pesky Penelopes get everywhere... I came across the above whilst searching for vintage stories and pics: it’s a scan from a ‘girl’s own’ story (from yer actual Schoolgirl’s Own Annual, no less), starring everyone’s favourite pinafored protagonist.

Alas, the Penelope in this story sounds like a bit of a drip. From what I can gather she has unwittingly scoffed a tart and a cream bun intended for a prefect, as she is new at the school and unaware of the protocols. Being a drip, she is full of remorse and quite desperate to make amends. Tsk. If it was me, I’d have leaned back in the prefect’s chair and smiled, “Yeah, I ate ya bun, and ya tart. And I’d eat ‘em again, see?” (In my best 1940s gangster voice). And I certainly wouldn’t let anyone call me a chump! (See the caption below). But then I quite like the idea of being scolded and spanked by a senior girl for my outrageous cheek and then reported to a prefect for more yummy punishment.

The scanned page isn’t the clearest, so I’ve transcribed the text here for you. Like a good little Fifth Former. (Simper, smile)


...the pot near the ring, and refilling the kettle, put it ready.

“One cream bun and a tart missing – no bread-and-butter,” she mused, as Penelope confessed what she had eaten. “All right. You’ll have to make it good. I’ve got to rush down to the Housemistress. What you must do is to pelt down to the tuckshop and get a tart and a cream bun.”

“And bring it back here?” was the anxious query.

“Can’t leave it outside on the mat,” smiled Sheila. “It’ll be all right. I’m telling Gertrude’s friend that there’s a delay – and there’s no crime in bringing a prefect a tart and bun – unless there’s mustard in it, and I can see you’re not the sort to get larking about like that.”

“Oh, no!” said Penelope, shaken by the mere idea.

“Well, off you go – look, there’s the tuckshop,” added Sheila, taking her to the window. “And if any of the girls say you have to stand treat because you’re a new girl, just pretend you’re Chinese and jabber at them, and don’t understand. And don’t let them keep you there talking, asking where you live and where you were at school, or anything. Come right back, or by golly there’ll be trouble. All right?”

Penelope gave her a look of deep gratitude.

“Yes, I’ll manage,” she said. “And thanks a lot. You’ve saved me from a fearful scrape – Sheila,” she added shyly. “I’m ever so grateful, I am really.”

“Forget it!” shrugged Sheila, making for the door.

She went skipping down the corridor until she remembered the awful row in store, and then slowed to a walk.

Ordinary rows Sheila did not mind. Although she was captain of her form this did not prevent her earning lines. More than once the Housemistress had told her that unless she realised the importance of her position, the form would have to elect someone else – someone like Mildred Terrence, who regularly came in the first three at exam times, and was seldom punished from one term’s end to the next.

Only the form would never elect Mildred – and school tradition gave them the right to elect their own captain.

Not that being captain was all fun. In the...


Okay, so the plot isn’t exactly rip-roaring, but the atmosphere is just wonderful, isn’t it? Unfortunately I don’t own the book that the page is taken from – I found the image on this website about British comics – so the story is sadly incomplete. If anyone happens to know (or own) the book in question, do let me know!


  1. What is it about Penelope's and sweet tooths? I remember having to spank your little alter ego not so long ago for stealing biscuits and I can tell you right now young lady if you'd tried that gangster impersonation with me you would have been having a soap sandwich to go with your well roasted rump.

  2. Reading this story I could only think of one thing...Does Penny prefer a blazer or a jumper?

    Love the puns with "tart" and "bun"!

  3. Oh Aunty, that sounds lovely! Er, I mean horrid! Of course I'd never dream of speaking to you that way. Especially if I was already in trouble for naughtily snaffling sweet snacks (again).

    imreadonly2: Blazer, definitely! But then I like pinafores best so a blazer is the default choice. One with a nice big school crest on it.

  4. Um...goodness gracious !...Hairbrush to bare botty Aunty, don't you think ?!...go fetch Penny, you naughty little Princess !...Strict Uncle.