09 December, 2008

Oliver Postgate



I was going to post a rant today. After all, it's well overdue, I've had a shocking few days at work and no one had told me that I'd been appointed Stupid Person Magnet. I was all set to come home and make with the vitriol. That was until I visited the BBC website.

Oliver Postgate has passed away at the age of 83. He may be less familiar to our Australian readers but Mr Postgate was responsible for bringing happiness to generations of British children. Working with Peter Firmin he created much loved childrens characters such as Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss and of course The Clangers.

If memory serves me well, the programmes were approximately 5 minutes in length and mostly appeared just before the six o'clock news. Five whole minutes of wonder whizzed by as we went back in time with Noggin and his uncle Nogbad the Bad, travelled to Wales with Ivor as well as travelling far, far away to visit woollen whistling mice.

The Clangers were pink knitted rodents who lived on another planet. They wore outfits which seemed to have been manufactured entirely from milk bottle tops. Instead of talking,they whistled at each other. I always thought I knew exactly what they were saying. Their companions were the Soup Dragon (yes, just that), a musical cloud, the Iron Chicken and the Froglets.

Bagpuss was a large pink and white striped cat who lived with Emily. Emily owned a shop and people would bring things in even if they were broken. Bagpuss would come to life when Emily left, as did his group of friends.
We met the mice from the organ, a wooden woodpecker called Professor Yaffle and Madeline, a rag doll. The broken item would be fixed, much fun would be had and then when all was done everyone fell asleep again.

And when Bagpuss was asleep,
All his friends were asleep.
The mice were ornaments on the mouse organ.
Gabriel and Madeleine were just dolls.
Professor Yaffle was just an old wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker.
Even Bagpuss himself, once he was asleep, was just an old, saggy cloth cat,
Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams,
But Emily loved him.

Me too, Oliver. Me too.

3 comments:

Fenz said...

aw, that's sad that he died. I have a heap of Bagpuss episodes on my hard drive, they're just lovely.

KAZ said...

Thanks for mentioning the marvellous 'Noggin The Nog'
He seems to have been ignored in the British tributes.

NiC said...

Noggin the Nog was, I think, my favourite....though having said that perhaps the Clangers was the cleverest and most subversive (and not just that political episode that everyone is now talking about).

RIP indeed, a wonderful man.