Clangers, Bagpuss and Co

If you know me in real life I'm a big kid at heart despite being in my forties. Having grown up in the 70s my childhood revolved around the creations of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firkin namely Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. I was lucky enough to attend an evening at the BFI celebrating their creative genius in the early noughties but although they were there in person their creations could only be seen on a screen. I have various Bagpuss toys around the house, a talking Charlie Mouse and a Clanger that no longer whistles his stomach has been squeased so much! And one of my first presents from OH was a CD of the songs from Bagpuss (I can highly recommend it though it's a bit surreal if you're on the tube listening to your ipod on shuffle and the word 'the marvelous, mechanical mouse organ'  flows through your ears. Anyway needless to say I LOVE anything to do with Smallfilms so imagine my delight when I saw that the V&A Museum of Childhood were holding an exhibition of their work. I was so excited that OH and I arrived a week too early! But never fear we finally returned last week:
 The mice from Bagpuss were much smaller than I imagined. But here they are with the marvelous mechanical mouse organ (no sorry I can't stop saying it). 
The dress originally worn by Emily in the opening credits. Well it was the 70s after all.
 Bagpuss has been replicated in so many different ways I think it took a while to sink in that this really is the original Bagpuss. It was such a shame he was behind glass as I just wanted to give him a big cuddle.... 
The rest of the gang were there too. 
Professor Augustus Barclay Yaffel - yes that really is his full name
Madeline with Gabriel in the background
Sadly this was the closest I could get to Gabriel Croaker - was trying out a new camera which was great but it has a fixed lens so no zoom facility 
 Next up the Clangers - they do make me smile but I must admit I didn't watch them as much as Bagpuss or Ivor - possibly as they came out a little earlier than when I was born. But they still make me smile

  Ivor the Engine was just brilliant. I could spend hours listening to Ivor puffing along through the Welsh Valleys
 Just look at these detailed drawings 
Jones the Steam's body parts
Dai Station 
And Evans the Song
You could even have a go at making your own short animation using some cut outs from Ivor and an iPad - sadly I didn't have a go - too many boys trying out their animation skills :) 
As well as the characters and original art work there were also text explaining the inspiration behind some of the characters. Noggin the Nog is inspired by the Lewis Chessmen.
I often feel that Noggin the Nog is deemed the poor relation to Ivor the Engine or Bagpuss but I love it. 
It was great to see all the moving parts of the characters which brought them to life
And here is a shot of the equipment they used with a sneaky shot of OH in the background
 There was also a sofa where you could sit and watch some of the films which were going round on a loop. I loved these two kids just sat entranced by the whole experience. What was so wonderful about this exhibition was the look of wonder on people's faces whether they were in the forties like me or if they were four. So there you have it. If you loved Bagpuss or any of Smallfilms creations do go and see this wonderful little gem. AND it's free and you can take as many photos as you want which is always an added bonus.  A great little exhibition.

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