Fiction Ed’s Blog: Retro Older Girls’ Magazines

Image of 'Jackie' magazine cover from 1973.

Did you read our piece recently about comics we loved, when we were children?

It was inspired by an online thread I’d read about comics, and how they encouraged a love of reading, from an early age.

It struck a chord with many readers, with lots of happy online chat, and memories.

I’ve been in touch with Melissa from our Archive Team, about the older girls’ magazines we used to publish.

I worked on three of DC Thomson’s teenage publications, back in the day – “Blue Jeans”, “Patches”, and of course – “Jackie”!


“Jackie” ran from 1964 to 1993 and at its peak, sold over a million copies every week.

It completely captured the spirit of the times, with its first issue published just ten days after the first-ever “Top Of The Pops”, and at the height of Beatlemania.

Jackie, 1976

Popular features included posters which came in three parts, with the head and shoulders kept until last! (As in our cover, above, main image.)

The ‘Cathy and Claire’ Problem Page was popular and by the 1970s, received upwards of 400 letters a week.

Cathy And Claire, 1973

Fiction Team’s Tracey and I both worked on “Jackie”, and like BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce, appeared as ‘models’ in photo stories!

Here’s how the magazine looked in the year it ceased publication, 1993 (below).

Jackie 1993

Blue Jeans

Another weekly DC Thomson publication, “Blue Jeans” ran from 1977 until 1991.

Blue Jeans, 1985

Back-page pin-ups included Starsky and Hutch’s David Soul, and 70s band Flintlock.

Free gifts included a ‘denim-look carrier bag’ and a push-up eye pencil.

Romance photo stories were most popular – with one starring future actor, Alan Cumming!

“Patches” was another teen title, popular in the 80s.

Patches 1985

Photo stories were its most popular feature, too.

Patches, 1983


Do you remember “Romeo”? It ran from 1957 until 1974.

Romeo, 1968

It was full of picture stories, puzzles and cartoons, with features on The Beatles and The Stones, Cliff Richard and David Bowie.

Romeo, 1968

Printed on the old-style ‘letterpress’ printing, “Romeo” gave way to glossier more modern colour magazines.



“Diana” launched in 1963 and was aimed at older girls, up to mid-teens.

Printed on colour paper, its heroines initially were ballet dancers, fencers, showjumpers and skaters.

Diana, 1973

It’s not unlike “Jackie”, looks-wise, in this last image (below).

Diana, 1973

Happy memories!

Thanks to our Archive Team for their assistance.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!