Uncle Oojah’s Annual 1942

The only way I have been able to date this is from an inscription in the copy I own which says ‘From Mam and Dad (Xmas 1941)’. The first thing you notice is the cover art which is so different from H M Talintyre’s drawings throughout the rest of the annual. I was not convinced it was a genuine Oojah annual until I opened it.

The main story acknowledges there is a war going on with it’s own version of international conflict, ‘Uncle Oojah’s War-Time Wangles’. Wangletown, where Oojah’s brother, Wangle, is mayor, is invaded by the Boobyganders who perpetrate all kinds of outrages including pepper-bombing the Wangle townsfolk’s chimneys and threatening to enslave them all. The local rabbits engage in profiteering by charging exorbitant rents to the people of Wangletown who seek to escape the peppering by hiding in rabbit burrows.

Lady Lion makes a surprising stand against the war and suggests evacuating Wangletown. Oojah agrees to the plan and soon the refugees set out, although their arrival in Oojahland creates the kind of tensions familiar to modern societies dealing with an influx of refugees. Jerrywangle has plenty on his mind with his miscreant brother, Jimmiewangle causing all kinds of strife and confusion.

Jerry Wangle's Naughty Christmas Uncle Oojah's Annual 1942More mayhem ensues in a short story entitled, ‘Jerrywangle’s Naughty Christmas’ and one cannot help noting that Jerry seems to get away with a lot more mischief than his doleful brother, Wangle. As ever, Snooker, the kitten cat, is onto Jerrywangle’s japes long before his kindly uncle catches up.

For those of you who crave plausibility in your children’s annuals there is an interesting feature purporting to explain ‘Why Baby Binky Never Grew Up’. It didn’t convince me but at least Flo Lancaster made some attempt to explain this. By my reckoning, he should be at least 20 years old by this stage. But then none of the other characters ever grow up either. It is just the way things are in children’s stories.