Wednesday, April 05, 2006

how chuffed?

How chuffed was I to discover that Oliver Postgate was a Quaker (you might need to click on the 'Quaker Successes' menu button) - Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers, Noggin the Nog... now there's a heritage to be proud of =)

Fantastic.

How come I didn't know this before?????? Blow learning about Elizabeth Fry in Children's Meeting - this stuff is important! How much more streetcred could we have possibly wanted?

4 comments:

Lovin' Life Liz said...

I'd never heard of those shows he wrote! Did they not make it across the pond?

Anna Dunford said...

Oh no - deprived childhood or what... if you ever see them on dvd or video - or the books for that matter - watch, read, absorb and maybe you'll understand what shaped a whole generation or more in Britain. So few episodes but but such an enormous impact.

David Sterratt said...

Hi Anna,

I've known Oliver Postgate was a Quaker for a year or two now, though sometimes I get confused and say it was Peter Firmin.

We've got the Clangers, Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine and the wee man loves them all. Currently his granny is reading him the entire saga of Noggin the Nog (recently republished by the Dragons' Friendly Society), and he awaits each weekly episode with great anticipation.

Watching these programs as an adult, one notices more of the subliminal messages. For example the American/Soviet flag that is brought to the Clangers' planet by an astronaut is turned into a tablecloth. Or the machine which produces so much plastic junk that the Clangers decide they are better off without it.

Another children's program with a pacifist message is Mr Ben (also on DVD). Mr Ben quite often subverts violence, for example by tricking the big game keeper or redistributes wealth (when he is the cook).

It is incredible what these old animatins convey without the aid of computer graphics or legions of animators. Having said this, some modern animations have good messages too -- e.g. Bob the builder, though I find the animation less charming than many of the 70s classics.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

although associated with the Society of Friends in various projects and for some years an attender, Oliver Postgate was never a Quaker. For more information see his autobiography "Seeing Things"