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.
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.
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.
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.