Wednesday Lensday: CLOTH CAT

Wednesday Lensday: CLOTH CAT

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Wednesday Lensday so thought it was a good time to share some images I took from an exhibition of Children’s TV and toys last month, in honour of the TV shows’ creator, Peter Firmin, who sadly passed away last weekend, aged 89.

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Known for his artwork and puppetry that complemented the imaginative writing of his partner, Oliver Postgate, the pair were responsible for British Children’s TV classics, such as Ivor the Engine, The Clangers (Mum’s favourite, below) and Basil Brush.

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But by far my favourite (although Basil came close), was the saggy old, baggy old cloth cat, known as Bagpuss. His adventures with Professor Yaffle, Madeleine the Ragdoll, Gabriel the Toad and the organ mice, were a delight and are still a pleasure to watch.

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Firmin’s daughter Emily appeared in the opening credits, visiting the lost and found store where the characters lived…and I wanted to BE her! So, it was no surprise that I gave a little squeal at the exhibition in our local art gallery, when I saw not only the original Bagpuss but also her dress from the intro!

The exhibit centred on the creative duo’s work but also included some key toys from the 50s through to the 90s. Seeing your childhood toys in a museum is a sure way to feel incredibly old!

Taking the main image I took of Bagpuss (first photo), I’ve tried to recreate the look of the opening credits, which were always in sepia / black and white, with no colour added until after the toys awoke. Fun fact: Bagpuss was meant to be a ginger cat but the material came back dyed the wrong colour and so the pink, stripey legend was born!

It may have been a small display but was well worth a visit, for the nostalgic memories alone. Thanks Mr. Firmin and and Mr. Postgate for a magical childhood. I’m just sorry that arguably Firmin’s loudest character – Mr. Basil Brush – didn’t put in an appearance. BOOM, BOOM! 😉

P.S. Didn’t even realise the date until I hit schedule but Happy Independence Day to all my US readers! Hope you’re having a blast, however you’re celebrating.


IMAGE CREDITS: My own and YouTube.

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Aloada Childhood Nostalgia 3: The Game Shows

Aloada Childhood Nostalgia 3: The Game Shows

‘Where am I?’
‘You’re in a room…’

‘Contenders, rrrrrready…’
‘Get out, get out…QUICKLY!’

It could signal the opening lines of a horror movie but in reality, hearing these lines repeated frequently as a child brought nothing but joy (and a small amount of embarrassment…) to my youth!

Did any of them ring a bell? I hope so because for the third installment of my throwback to TV glory days, it’s all about spellcasting

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Aloada Childhood Nostalgia 2: Stop-Motion Puppet Parade

Aloada Childhood Nostalgia 2: Stop-Motion Puppet Parade

So it seems it isn’t just me that fondly remembers (and still watches) the fabulous array of cartoons from the 80s and early 90s! My first trip down memory lane seemed to bring back ‘aloada’ happy memories for many of you, therefore I thought you’d like some more. 🙂

This flashback concentrates on what appeared to be the other dominant force for animation of the decade; Stop-motion.

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The technique, (where objects are physically moved a little at a time, photographed and then played back to form a moving image) was used for more than kids’ entertainment – both music videos and advertising campaigns utilised it before CGI weighed in and took over.

Tagging along for the ride are the puppets – you can’t do a nostalgia post about 80’s TV without a shout-out to Jim Henson and the F.A.B Tracy family! Not only do I have great memories of the shows themselves but I’ve continued to have an admiration for the methods used.

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Despite CGI being mind-blowingly awesome, it’s nice to see actual props and animatronics being used these days, as they can give weight and ground a scene – although I’m sure one day, you wont be able to tell the difference from CGI (it’s pretty close already!)

But enough about the intricacies of special effects, let’s check out the list. Have I missed any of your favourites? Let me know what you think of the choices!

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Aloada Childhood Nostalgia: The Cartoons

Aloada Childhood Nostalgia: The Cartoons

With only three weeks before I get older than old (if you’re older than me, this is not meant as an insult, my brain just can’t really compute that I’m entering a new decade!) I’ve decided to have a little look back at my childhood by way of the TV that defined it. Because, I’ll be honest, I watched A LOT.

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My days consisted of riding my bike, watching TV, re-enacting said episodes, balancing badly on rollerskates, (note ‘skates’… I actually started with those ones you attached to your shoes before progressing to ‘roller boots’. No blades here!) attempting to complete the Rubik’s cube (by peeling off the stickers, obviously!) and back to more TV.

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As an 80s child, I was spoiled for choice with excellent shows – yes I’m biased but I’ve seen kids cartoons these days and they are not a patch on what we had then.

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