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Stop motion celebrated like never before at the V&A Museum of childhood

OliverDr Rachel Moseley, Director of the Centre for Television History, Heritage and Memory Research at the University of Warwick has identified new documents and ideas that have contributed to the research behind ‘Clangers, Bagpuss & Co.’ a major new exhibition at the V&A Museum of childhood, opening to the public this week.

The magical worlds of The Clangers and Bagpuss are explored like never before in this new exhibition running from 19 March to 9 October 2016, entry to the exhibition is free.

Created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, and filmed in a barn in rural Kent, these characters brought new life to children’s television. Clangers, Bagpuss & Co is the first major retrospective of Smallfilms - Firmin and Postgate’s influential and much-loved production company – and includes films not seen for decades.

ClangersOliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets and artwork are cornerstones of 20th century British culture and their quirky and inventive programmes shaped the childhood memories of millions. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and The Clangers, the exhibition goes behind the scenes of some of their other creations: Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.

From Watch with Mother in the 1960s to 21st century CBeebies, Smallfilm’s endearing characters and captivating imaginary worlds have been staples of children’s television across the globe. The Clangers returned to the small screen in 2015 and have been embraced by a new generation of fans.

Before the days of CGI, Smallfilms used detailed craftsmanship and bold ingenuity to create enchanting animations. Working in a barn and an adapted pigsty in rural Kent, the pair were able to maintain their creative independence and uniqueness of vision. The exhibition brings together the original puppets alongside archive footage, sets and storyboards, photos, scripts and filming equipment, all set in a playful recreation of Oliver and Peter’s film studio.

Talking about Rachel Moseley's book, Hand-made Television, Alice Sage, curator of the exhibition, said:

“Rachel Moseley’s book brought out, to me, the most interesting aspects of Smallfilms work: the infusion of nostalgia, and the concerns with materiality. I was inspired by her analysis of stop motion as a handmade craft process. Her research into the commissioning process included work in the BBC archive, which identified wonderful documents which I was able to feature in the exhibition.”

MoseleyDr Rachel Moseley, Director of the Centre for Television History, Heritage and Memory Research at the University of Warwick said,

“It was a genuine joy to be able to participate in some way in bringing the significance of Peter and Oliver's Smallfilms work to even greater public appreciation than it already had. The exhibition absolutely expresses the spirit of Smallfilms: attention to the tiniest detail, the enchantment of childhood and the importance of children's material culture in memory and imagination.”

For further press information please contact: Alex Buxton, Tel: 02476 150423, Mob: 07876 218166,

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Notes to editors

The V&A Museum of Childhood aims to encourage everyone to explore the themes of childhood past and present and develop an appreciation of creative design through its inspirational collections and programmes. The Museum is part of the V&A, housing the national childhood collection. The galleries are designed to show the collections in a way which is accessible to adults and children of all ages.

V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA. Nearest tube:

Bethnal Green. Open daily: 10.00 – 17.45, last admission 17.30. Switchboard: 020 8983 5200

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co is a FREE exhibition

The exhibition opens on 19 March 2016 and runs until 9 October 2016

For further details contact Alex Buxton

Tel: 02476 150423

Mob: 07876 218166