first_ada_1.jpg

Comic
75 appearances (over 75 pages) from issue no. 1 (24/09/77) to no. 75 (24/02/79).
All were printed in black and white.

Described as "the little nurse, who makes things worse," Ada is first seen in issue no. 1 playing with her "Little Nurses Outfit" and declaring "I love playing at nurses." Her sidekick is Barrel, a St Bernard who pulls her "ambulance" (a large pram with a siren) as a horse would pull a chariot.

Barrel featured in most of the stories (52), particularly from issue no. 31 onwards (missing only eight up to the end). He was given billing in issue nos. 1,2,3,5,8,13, and 23.

Ada's "hospital" is the garden shed and was seen in issue nos. 9, 10,16,19 and 45.

A theme that ran through the strip (more so at the beginning) was singing. Ada would sing the song "If I Can Help Somebody" (or at least that line) in issue nos. 1, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 19, 20, 27, 29, 32, 40, 46, 53, 55 and 74. It was also sung by a doll (issue no. 2), Barrel (nos. 13 and 75) and The Masked Healer (Ada's nemesis, no. 62)

The song was sung as "If WE Can Help Somebody" at the end of the story in issue no. 14 (the Christmas edition - the rest of the story was sung to the tune of "Good King Wenceslas). There were variations of the song with "help" replaced with "melt" (issue no. 14), "belt" (34) and "pelt" (53).

Ada's Dad first appeared in issue no. 6 (to the tune of "Early One Morning") and was seen again in nos. 6, 9, 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, 30, 48, 49, 52, 70 and 71.

Ada seems to have two mums - a dark-haired lady who appeared five times (issue nos. 7, 11, 16, 26, and 71) and a fair-haired lady who also appeared five times (21, 25, 48, 56 and 66).

Ill Will, a hypochondriac who actually wanted to be treated by Ada, first appeared in issue no.10 and returned in no. 16. He had a cousin called Alf Gone who appeared in nos. 21, 24 (with Hanz Broken, Gashley Rash and Anna Rexia) and 35. Ill Will and Anna Rexia returned in no. 40. Ill Will turned up with a bunch of flowers for Ada in no. 74 (Valentines Day edition). He was followed by Molly Coddle and Tommy Rot. The ensuing fight between the three provided Ada with some patients to treat.

Ada's nemesis is "The Masked Healer" who dresses super-hero style with mask and cape and rides around in a cartie (bogie if you come from 'Up North') marked "John's Ambulance," stealing Ada's patients. He appeared in issue nos. 55, 62, 64, 72, and 75.

Elmer P. Frogsplicer (issue no. 66) was the only person ever to be an Ada patient - and not get bandaged! He is also the only person to be shipwrecked in the Sahara Desert, where Ada met him in this story - the only one set in foreign climes. Other notable names were Cynthia Stoatchoker (issue no. 5), Felicity Crunbutter (no. 7) and Rowena Wormsplater (no. 23)

Hugh (of Hugh's Zoo) appeared in issue nos. 19 and 53.

The story in issue no. 39 was printed upside down, as Plug explains, for the benefit of Bruce Bruce from Australia who had to turn his copy of PLUG upside down to read it.

first_ada_1.jpg