Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Frank Bellamy and Garth in the Daily Record (December, 1971-1973)

Back before Christmas I discovered a mystery - as far I was concerned: a Garth strip was offered that I'd never seen before. It soon came to light that it was from the Daily Record (in Scotland). So before lockdown I had the opportunity to review the Daily Record - God bless the British Library! - and am now writing this up with images to make a bit more sense.

SUMMARY

"G305.5" from Daily Record
  • This Garth strip featured characters from "The Wreckers" story which ran in the Daily Mirror 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974 (G255-H41)
  • The seller noted the strip was numbered "DR.CH.73" and the printers' instructions in pencil written on front state "Daily Record 26-12-73"
  • With a bit of research I discovered that Scotland and England published different papers on different days over the Christmas/New Year period, so I knew we might have extra Garth strips by Bellamy that I'd not seen in England before.
THE HUNT
As Bellamy started on the Garth strip in July 1971 and died in July 1976 I thought there might be at least one strip for each Christmas / New Year holiday period. Once I found that the Daily Record published on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (where the English counterpart did not) I wanted to see how this looked in the paper.

I then found I needn't worry about Boxing Day in Scotland AFTER 1973 because:
  • 1973 - 2 January was created an additional bank holiday in Scotland by the 1971 Act. However, the provision did not come into effect until 1973.
  • 1974 - New Year's Day became an additional bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Boxing Day became an additional bank holiday in Scotland. ~ Taken from the archived Government page
I then went through every published Daily Record in December 1971, 1972 and 1973 and noted when it was published and which Garths appeared


1971
Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1971

The notes above show the DAY on which the paper was published, its DATE, together with the NUMBERING for "Garth" and "Angus Og" (as that appeared together with "Garth" on the same page in the paper). Lastly the "Garth" notation in the Daily Mirror.

NOTES
It appears that when an Angus Og story finished its numbering changed (as opposed to "Garth" which changed the letter prefix every calendar year, i.e. 1971 = E, 1972 = F, etc.).
Interestingly my first discovery  was that everything matched until the Christmas Day issue of the Daily Record. There is an additional strip that didn't appear in the Daily Mirror and it fits between E300 and E301, so I'm calling it "E300.5" - apologies for the poor photo

Garth E300

Garth "E300.5"


Garth E301

I'm going to take a guess and say this is an additional strip drawn by John Allard himself as his lettering looks the same and the art looks like his too. The Perishers strip  was labelled "DR.25.12.71" so I'm guessing this didn't appear in England either - oh and by the way, the weekend Perishers strip tended to be coloured! - and as I'm a fan, here that 'missing' one


Perishers Daily Record DR.25.12.71


1972

Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1972
1972 got even more scary for me. I'm glad I captured all of December while there! Everything was fine until we get to the Daily Record dated 16 December 1972 where panels get repeated and skipped. I've labelled each panel A, B, and C and compared the Record to the Mirror's numbering

Daily Record 15 - 19 December 1972

F299 A + B panels were not published in Scotland

Garth F299
Why this occurred at this point, I have no idea. Every day was published (no strikes) and we are not yet at 25th December yet.

Garth F303
Talking of which, F303 is the end of the "People of the Abyss" story in England but in Scotland there is another episode rounding it off.

For the first time I present "F303.5"

Garth "F303.5"

1973

Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1973

The Christmas day edition of the Daily Record was not published and a note in the Christmas Eve edition says "We'll be back Wednesday" which is Boxing Day 26 December 1973 and here is where this hunt started with Rhona Flin offering this Garth for sale last year.

Garth "G305.5" or "DR CH 73"

CONCLUSION
So the Daily Record had some different Garth strips from the Daily Mirror, the paper that hired Frank Bellamy. It appears in these three Decembers that Bellamy produced 2 episodes and Allard one. Unfortunately both John and Frank are no longer with us to ask about this. John Allard will certainly have known about this different publishing schedule as he produced one episode in the time period I examined, during the Bellamy run - which stands out a mile due to the difference in style.

THE FUTURE
Looking at the history and outline of Public Holidays in Scotland, I feel it will be a long time before I look at the rest of the Garth publishing in the Daily Record but I'm happy to give others credit if they share the information!


2 comments:

Dave Hawley said...

Amazing detective work, thank you!

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks Dave, thanks kind of you to take the time to comment!
Best wishes
Norman