Sunday, 21 June 2015

Loveable Characters

Bagpuss the  "saggy old cloth cat, baggy and a bit loose at the seams'" created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Fermin featured on one of the 'Classic Children's TV' stamps. The episodes always started with a sepia tinted introduction featuring Bagpuss's owner Emily who owned the 'lost and found' shop where she would display lost and broken things in the window, then say the magic words and Bagpuss and the other toys would wake up to mend the object.  Once mended Bagpuss would yawn and go back to sleep.  The mice were the main protagonists, working and singing songs to mend the objects and they are still busy on the first day cover. The other toys were the rag doll Madeleine, a banjo playing toad Gabriel and Professor Yaffle the woodpecker. Unbelievable only 13 episodes were made yet is it one of the most remembered characters of children's television.  Emily was played by Peter Fermin's daughter who famously received a bag of sweets as payment for her role in the films. The illustrations on the cover are by Peter Fermin and postmarked Canterbury which is the location of the barn that Postgate and Fermin's Smallfilms company brought Bagpuss to life.

On a topical note Royal Mail are currently rolling out a programme of attaching stamp plaques to mail boxes and a post box in Stour Street, Canterbury is featuring our stripy cat.  See the Twitter feed #yearofthestamp here.

 The other characters on the cover are, top left to right
  • Andy Pandy and Teddy (pity there was no room in that basket for Looby Lou) first broadcast in 1950 and repeated often.  It can no longer be broadcast because those original episodes are too damaged.
  • Michael Bond's marmalade loving Peruvian bear, Paddington
  • Bob the Builder "Can he fix it. Yes he Can!"
  • Dougal from The Magic Roundabout who started life in France, as creation of Serge Danot with the English animator Ivor Wood called 'Le Manège Enchanté featuring a dog called Pollux and his friends in a magic park. When the BBC bought the series they brought in Eric Thompson to narrate and he created entirely new stories to go with the animation.  
The bottom two stamps are Mr Benn (created by David McKee) shown just before he enters the fancy dress shop, changes into a costume and exits by the magic door for another adventure and lastly of course - Bagpuss.

The stamps issue date (2014) was the 40th Anniversary of Bagpuss and the 50th Anniversary of the Magic Roundabout.
Peter Fermin, Bagpuss and his postbox in Canterbury
 An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - 'Cartoons or Children's Drawing's - more to see here



violet s said...

Through the wonders of the internet - Andy Pandy can been on youtube, though!
It's amazing how much an impression can be made in 13 episodes (thinking also of Fawlty Towers with only 12 episodes, yet it always seemed there must have been more)

Bob Scotney said...

A set to admire and covet. Andy Pandy characters deserve a set of their own.

FinnBadger said...

Bagpuss (got to be careful with autocorrect on that one!) was my favorite - loved the mice and their marvelous mechanical mouse organ. All time best episode for me was when they were making chocolate biscuits. The first day cover is stunning.

Eva A. said...

It seems we chose the same... :D