Phoenix wrote:I don't have to hand any information on Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, which means that I must have the whole serial, but without so far having logged its details.
Over the last few days, Briony, I've spent a good few hours looking for this serial in my issues of Mandy
, and I've come to the conclusion that the title doesn't exist. The story does, the title doesn't. It would appear to be another example of a writer genuinely forgetting the title she originally gave it, or the one it was changed to by the editor, presumably with her agreement.
The serial that appears to match the implication inherent in the title is Gateway To The Past
, which first appeared in Mandy
415 (Dec. 28 1974) - 423 (Feb. 22 1975). It would be repeated, with the same title, in Mandy
762 (Aug. 22 1981) - 770 (Oct. 17 1981).
The initial blurb tells us that eleven-year-old Cathy Brown lived in an old part of town. Cathy's father was ill, and her mother had to work, so Cathy spent a lot of time helping at home. She had no real friends, but sometimes went to the nearby park where many children played. There one day she meets a young girl called Emma Seymour, who seems to be dressed in period costume, and has no idea where she is, even though she has come into the park through the North Gate, as she does every day. She sees a derelict building where she thinks her house should be, but when the two girls go together through the gateway, during which Cathy feels strange and thinks the gateway is shimmery, she sees that the derelict building is a beautiful house. It is where Emma lives. Cathy is amazed to learn that she is now in 1910, a mere eleven years after Emma's grandfather had had the house built in 1899. While they are in the house Emma's grandfather and her governess, Miss Angers, send her to her schoolroom to do some sums, but they don't see Cathy, who is invisible to them. Emma tells Cathy not to worry as ''only I can see my friend from the future.''
Emma is living with her grandfather who has told her that she is an orphan. However, the truth of the matter is that he had sent Emma's mother away, and would not let her return until she paid back the £100 that she owed him. He is unable to forgive her for running off with a penniless artist who died and left Emma and her mother starving. He is now about to send Emma away to a boarding school. Cathy witnesses the return of Emma's mother who hands over the £100, acquired by selling her late husband's pictures, and takes Emma away with her. When the grandfather goes up to his study he looks at his will, which leaves everything to Emma, and decides to resist the temptation to alter it. That same day the grandfather goes abroad, but not before writing a letter to Emma's mother enclosing his will. He asks Miss Angers to post it but she opens it. When she sees that he is leaving everything to Emma she throws the will in the fire. The invisible Cathy pulls it out before it catches fire, knowing that she could not get burnt, making the governess think the house is haunted.
Emma's new home with her mother in 1910 is the same house where Cathy would live in 1975. Cathy puts the will on the mantlepiece in Emma's (and later Cathy's) bedroom so that Emma will see it the following morning, and leaves. Unusually, Cathy experiences the shimmering while in the bedroom, so without moving, or needing the gateway, she ends up in her own bedroom in 1975. Her parents only believe her time-travelling story when her father recalls that his mother was called Emma, and that she and his father lived in the house with Emma's mother. According to Cathy's father no will had ever been mentioned so he suggests it may have slipped down the back of the mantlepiece. It had, so the derelict building, which once had been a beautiful house, now belongs to Cathy's father, who points out to Cathy that she had been helping her grandmother. The implication is that once the property and land is sold, Cathy's family will be able to live much more comfortably.
I have added the above two paragraphs today (14. 11. 2015) because yesterday I read in Dr Mel Gibson's book Remembered Reading
part of Benita Brown's comment on her own serial that she said was called Cathy's Friend From Yesterday
, and that I said was called Gateway To The Past
, because it was the only serial that matched her plot. Here is Gibson's comment. Brown's first story for DC Thomson in Mandy in 1972 featured a magical helper, but was actually about the need to solve family, personal and emotional problems
. Brown described Cathy's Friend From Yesterday
all about a little girl who was playing in the park, who went through a gate that was hardly ever used and found herself solving family problems, 'cos the little girl she met was her grandmother'
The serial didn't appear in 1972, as claimed by Gibson. See above for the actual starting and finishing issues and dates.