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Trail talk: “Clues without a Compass”

The first series of Eagle Annuals, featuring comic book hero Dan Dare, was published 1952-1975. Alongside thrilling comic strips, articles on sport and engineering, there were short articles on ‘how to build a pocket missile’, escapology and other subjects, including the one reproduced below.

Comic book hero Dan Dare, from 1962 Eagle Annual
Comic book hero Dan Dare, from 1962 Eagle Annual
1962 Eagle Annual
1962 Eagle Annual

The three page article ‘Going Thataway- Clues without a Compass‘ was written by F. Travis and appeared in the 1962 Eagle Annual. Illustrations are by William Nickless, who also illustrated the ‘Worzel Gummidge’ books of Barbara Euphan Todd.

How many navigational classes today suggest at looking in which direction a gravestone faces? Not many I’m sure. Not every piece of wisdom included in the article re-produced here is practical, or necessarily accurate. However, putting it all together, the point is more to suggest that children wandering the countryside at least practice a degree of observation of their surroundings, which is no bad thing.

3 replies »

  1. Check out Tristen Gooley – Nature Navigator. . Heard him on a podcast recently and it was really interesting. Going to buy the book.


    • I think the book he wrote (and there have been quite a few!) closest to the subject of the old article might be The Natural Navigator-


      • I think that book is the foundation for trying to do what he does and it does sound really interesting. Mindful walking with a point of direction finding. It very old school Boy Scout, native guide or Sherlock.

        Liked by 1 person

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