MAY I present facts to assist the recollections of readers of my vintage? (Letters, May 8 & 10). I read the boys' papers (Adventure, Wizard, Rover, and Hotspur) from 1940 to 1950, and the best story of all was Wilson. The amazing athlete first appeared in the Wizard of July 24, 1943, in "The Truth about Wilson". In the first episode, a figure in an old black costume suddenly arrived at Stamford Bridge in August 1938 and ran the mile in three minutes flat. He then shattered records galore, until in the last instalment in February 1944 he revealed he was born on "the first of November 1795" and went off to join the RAF as the Second World War began. A closing paragraph said that Squadron-Leader Wilson, a hero in the Battle of Britain, was missing after action over the English Channel.

The first series was followed in April 1944 by "The Further Truth about Wilson", which was his own account of his boyhood at the village of Stayling in Yorkshire and his early life in the 19th century. In July 1945, with the war in Europe over, there was "Has Wilson come back?" when a mysterious individual called Greene returned from a German prisoner-of-war camp and dazzled the world anew. In 1946, his identity was confirmed in "Wilson has come back". In the same year, in "The Great Wilson, champion of champions", he ran the mile again in three minutes to repeat his pre-war feat. More thrilling stories appeared in the later 1940s, brightening austere days of the early post-war period. His ambition was to conquer Mount Everest and in January 1950 he became the first man to reach the summit.

Wilson was such a hit that "The Truth about Wilson" was reprinted in 1949 and "The Further Truth" in 1950. However, the records he had set in the original series were amended and this time he ran the mile in three minutes 48 seconds, which was still exceptional then. Wilson continued in various stories in the 1950s and 1960s, and it will be the later prints that some readers of senior age, but younger than me, are remembering.

HK Rodd, recalled by William Dickie (Letters, May 10), appeared in "The Wonder Man" in the Rover in 1946, when a dynamic fellow raised by scientists defeated a formidable Australian cricket team and won the Ashes. In later series, Rodd performed all manner of incredible deeds, physically and mentally. His twin brother was Dennis, not Alan. Dennis was a normal young man and he served to act as a helper while his phenomenal sibling scaled the heights.

Marvellous memories.

Christopher Reekie, Edinburgh EH4.

R RUSSELL Smith might well be correct in supposing that Fat Bob remains fit (Letters, 7). But he seems not to have noticed that our William’s chief sidekick has long departed the scene, his place usurped by a long-trousered, baseball cap-wearing boy, invariably referred to only as Bob.

Sic transit gloria mundi, as so many of us said when Biffo the Bear replaced Big Eggo on the front page of the Beano, and Desperate Dan – presumably on orders from head office – stopped yanking up tram lines just for the fun of it.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.