The Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood will be entering the magical worlds of The Clangers and Bagpuss in a major new exhibition at the museum next spring.

All of these characters were created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, filmed on a rural farm in Kent and brought new life to children’s television. The Clangers, Bagpuss & co  will be the first major exhibition looking at Smallfilms (Firmin and Postgate’s production company) and films that haven’t been seen  for decades.

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Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. Credit line: Courtesy Smallfilms & Four Corners books.

Postgate and Firmin’s quirky characters and ideas helped to shape childhood memories for millions of children across the country. As well as telling the stories of The Clangers and Bagpuss, the display will also take visitors behind the scenes of some of their other creations such as Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.

Alice Sage, curator of the exhibition said: “We all hold a special place in our hearts for one or more of Smallfilms’ creations. Beyond  marvellous, captivating stories, Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s work encouraged children to look at the world with curiosity. Oliver’s distinctive voice as narrator never spoke down to their young audience, and they weren’t afraid of dealing with complex ideas in a magical way. The stories have stood the test of time. As well as looking at how these programmes were made, we also hope to capture the spirit of these timeless gems.”

This exhibition will bring together the original puppets alongside archive footage, sets and storyboards, photos and scripts to capture the story of some of the most fondly remembered children’s shows created.

Visitors will also be able to see Oliver Postgate’s stop-motion film camera, learn why Bagpuss went from orange to pink and find out what Major Clanger was really saying from the original shooting scripts.

Also running alongside the exhibition will be a series of events, film screenings and animation discussions for visitors to take part in.

The Clangers, Bagpuss & Co will run at the V&A Museum of Childhood from the 19th March to the 9th October 2016. Entry to the exhibition will be free for visitors. 

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