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The Schoolgirls' Own Annual.

In 1922 the Amalgamated Press decided to publish a new girls annual in response to the success of the School Friend and more lately the Schoolgirls' Own weekly papers and also apparently many requests to them to publish an annual. Like the boys' Holiday Annual it was a full bodied collection of school and adventure stories but for girls, written by the usual array of AP male staff masquerading as women authors - Renee Frazer, Joan Vincent, Gertrude Nelson, Mildred Gordon etc. Cliff House stories written by "Hilda Richards" took the lead and appeared for a few years but then starred in its own Annual from 1927, logically called the School Friend, whereas the Morcove tales written by "Marjorie Stanton" appeared every year until bowing out in the 1939 annual. The AP records on authorship were incomplete when Lofts and Adley were listing the titles but it's reasonable to assume that Horace Phillips wrote all the Morcove stories and Reg Kirkham or L. E. Ransome wrote of Cliff House. The Schoolgirls' Own Annual was published in August/September with Christmas sales in mind and throughout the 1920's it had a cover illustration by Alfred Bestall, later The Rupert Artist, and the covers continued to be colourful and eye-catching throughout the '30's to the end. In 1943 the last Schoolgirls' Own annual appeared - by then the AP had had to consolidate all the girls stories into one story paper/annual, the Girls' Crystal, which with the School Friend annual marched on for many years to come.

In an article for the 1979 Collectors' Digest Annual Tommy Keen explains why Cliff House and Morcove were his favourite school stories. You can read the article here.

Neal Beatty has compiled a list of contents for the Schoolgirls' Own Annual and has kindly shared it - you can find it here. He has also compiled a list of characters that featured in the Morcove saga - you can find it here.

The introduction to the Annual,scans and the following list of Morcove and Cliff House stories that featured in the Schoolgirls' Own Annual were kindly supplied by Gary Panczyszyn.


Morcove - Schoolgirls' Own Annual

As Marjorie Stanton

1923 The Girl Who Kept To Herself Unknown
1924 No Longer A Madcap Unknown
1925 Morcove's Great Day Unknown
1925 Cousin Chloe (Play) Unknown
1926 When Morcove Made Merry Unknown
1926 The Biter Bit (Play, With Cliff House) Unknown
1927 When Morcove Was Mistaken Unknown
1927 Morcove Lends A Hand Unknown
1928 The Girl Who Played Fair Horace Phillips
1928 Paula's Little Panic (Play) Unknown
1929 Fay Flaxwell's Folly Horace Phillips
1929 Polly's Little Prank (Play) Unknown
1930 The Morcove Mischief-Maker Horace Phillips
1930 Leave It To Polly (Play) Unknown
1931 Matched Against Morcove Horace Phillips
1931 Don't Tell Morcove (Play) Unknown
1932 The Morcove Regatta Horace Phillips
1932 The Princess And Polly (Play) Unknown
1933 The Girl Who Stood Aside Unknown
1933 The Haunting Of Hunter's Rock Unknown
1933 A Mix-Up At Morcove Unknown
1934 Morcove Gets Busy! Horace Phillips
1934 Why Did Dave Do It? Unknown
1934 Laughter In Court (Play) Unknown
1935 The Morcove Menagerie Horace Phillips
1936 Morcove's Merriest Christmas Horace Phillips
1937 The Morcove Masqerader Unknown
1938 A Merry Morcove Christmas Unknown
1938 By Ticket Only (Play) Unknown
1939 Morcove's Big Bang Horace Phillips



Cliff House - Schoolgirls' Own Annual

As Hilda Richards

1923 The Mystery Mansion Unknown
1923 Proving Her Worth! (Play) Unknown
1924 The Mystery Of The Pearl Necklace Unknown
1924 "Bessie Listens In" Unknown
1924 Incomprehensible (Playlet) Unknown
1925 The Rival Studies Unknown
1926 The Prize And The Surprise Unknown
1926 The Biter Bit (Play, With Morcove) Unknown