A few weeks ago, my mum kindly pulled out an article in The Times newspaper and popped it in the post to me, knowing that I would love to read it. Now, I confess, that with the end of my three children’s summer term rapidly approaching when this article arrived in the post, I plonked it on the side in our kitchen along with all the other ‘must do’ things. Yesterday I finally managed to grab five minutes peace to myself and read this article about the truly wonderful and inspiring Peter Firmin.
It was just a month ago that this wonderful man and creative genius very sadly passed away. He was an incredible artist, puppet maker and animator, probably best known for his involvement with ‘Bagpuss’, ‘The Clangers’, ‘Ivor the Engine’, ‘Basil Brush’ (my favourite!) and ‘Noggin the Nog’.
All these fantastic programmes I watched and loved as a child. I had no idea then that these puppets were originally made from discarded rubbish such as yoghurt pots, pipe cleaners and pegs! The quirky pink skin of the Clangers at the time was actually knitted by Peter Firmin’s wife Joan!
The enchanting programmes themselves were made in a disused cowshed in Peter Firmin’s backyard under Smallfilms production company, which was formed by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. Oliver Postgate was the phenomenal ‘writing part’ of this hugely successful duo and their production company was active from 1958 to the late 1980s.
I can only hope and dream that my own creation, the Whimsy Wood Family, will be half as successful as Peter Firmin’s wonderfully whimsical world…. Rest in peace sir. I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. Thank you very much for the hugely inspiring legacy of animation and creativity that you leave behind. 🙏📚✨