This latest display at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood takes a nostalgic look at some of the quirkiest children’s television programmes created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. 

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Taking visitors on a brief but charming journey through some of the most beloved characters created for television such as Bagpuss and the Clangers, the display features a wide range of props, scripts, drawings and technology used to create the programmes that endeared thousands of children.

On another level, it is also a nostalgic look at how far technology has come in creating television for children – but personally having seen this display it seems far better the way in which animated programmes used to be made rather than the reliance of computers and technology. There is a certain charm to knowing that each frame took a lot of time to compose and a lot of attention paid to getting it right.

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But despite the fact that technology has now moved on, the stories involving Bagpuss, Clangers and Ivor the Engine still have plenty of charm to put a smile on the face of anyone who comes to see this display – whether you grew up with the shows or not.

Incredibly detailed drawings of characters from all angles and the scribbled notes alongside them, really reveal the energy and detail both Postgate and Firmin put into the creation of the television shows that are still fondly remembered now.

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Never overwhelming with information, but visitors can still pick up interesting bits of information such as why Bagpuss had a change of colour and techniques that were used in creating the programmes as well as reading from some of the original scripts used.

Children will love the opportunity to see these characters close up and adults will love the chance to engage with the characters who they used to watch on television constantly and find out how the programmes were made from beginning to end.

It might not be the most in depth display, but it has been well thought out and researched to ensure that everyone will take something away with them after wondering through. A nostalgic and fascinating look at children’s television at its best.

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co runs at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood from the 19th March to the 9th October. For more information about this free exhibition visit: http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/exhibitions/clangers-bagpuss-co/

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