Oliver Postgate R.I.P.

I was so sad to hear of the death on Monday of Oliver Postgate. My childhood TV viewing was full of gems from him. Sadly, I was just beyond the age for the ‘Watch with Mother‘ lunchtime slot when Bagpuss came along, but I have always loved the Clangers

Some years ago, when my daughter was smaller, I got her this Mother Clanger figure, who will do a classic Clanger whistle when you squeeze her tum, but needless to say it ended up as my mascot by the computer.

Another thing I got a while ago, but haven’t read fully yet (but is now promoted up the pile ) is Postgate’s excellent autobiography Seeing Things, which is out of print but you may be able to get it used as I did. See if you can get the original version with the CD-ROM with it though, it’s a delight. As well as containing the entire book, it has many clips from all Postgate & Firmin’s series, plus extra notes on the chapters and more, all with the characteristic Postgate delivery telling you all about it on top, and Firmin illustrations throughout.

In the lands of the North, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the men of the Northlands sit around their great log fires and they tell a tale…

These words from the start of each episode of Noggin the Nog epitomise the art of their simple storytelling. However I’ll finish this post with a typically modest quote from the blurb on the back of his memoir, Postgate says:

I have never felt that the twelve or so worlds which Peter Firmin and I put together are in fact creations. We may have altered the scenery a bit, looked at it from a different angle perhaps, and the worlds have certainly taken on a life of their own. Even so, they are all really versions of this one, with troubles and delights that we can recognize – if they were’t they wouldn’t be interesting.
I am always delighted when people tell me how much they enjoy the films, but I am not being modest when I say that I did not create that joy. The ingredients are everywhere, I was just the cook.

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Source: Own Copy. To explore on Amazon UK, please click below:
Seeing Things by Oliver Postgate, Canongate paperback (no CD)

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