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Funeral Directors and services   -   Oliver Postgate

Creative genius of children's television Oliver Postgate, died aged 83 on 8 December, 2008, after a long illness. He created some of the best-loved characters with a list of credits that includes Ivor the Engine, the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Pogles' Wood. But probably his best-loved and most endearing character was a pink and white striped cat, Bagpuss, hailed at the start of the 1974 television programems as: "The most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world". His work, often with puppeteer Peter Firmin, was screened by the BBC from the 1950s to the 1980s. They worked together on a former farm under the Smallfilms title, their first work being a set of stories called Alexander the Mouse, made in a converted cowshed and using magnets to move the characters. Oliver worked with Peter Firmin for 14 years in all, most memorably on Bagpuss, with Peter's daughter Emily as the little girl who appears in the opening titles of all the episodes. The stories centred around broken object being brought to her shop to be mended and sold on. Characters include Madeleine the rag-doll, Gabriel the Toad, Professor Yaffle and the mice from the marvellous mechanical mouse organ. Peter Firmin said: "I created the visual character of Bagpuss after I had the idea of a cat with visible thoughts, but it was Oliver who breathed life into the creation by supplying his thoughts and voice." There were just 13 episodes, which the BBC repeated 27 times over 16 years, before the series was pulled from schedules for being too old fashioned. Despite that, Bagpuss has been voted a top children's television programme in numerous polls in the years since. Ivor the Engine was one of the first animated films out of the Smallfilms stable, with a series of five being made by Associated Rediffusion in 1959, with 26 more to follow. A series of 40 was remade in colour in the mid-1970s. Five Sagas of Noggin the Nog were made in black and white for the BBC between 1959 and 1965, the viking and other Postgate favourites enjoyed a revival through the work of fan club The Dragons' Friendly Society. The Clangers series were made in 1969 and 1971, showing moon mice who lived beneath the surface with their burrow protected by dustbin lids. Twenty-six episodes were made. A six-episode series called The Pogles was made in 1964 but the serial (which explained how Pippin came to live with Mr and Mrs Pogle) was only screened once before being deemed too frightening for a pre-school audience. The characters returned - including Tog and Plant - in Pogles' Wood and 25 less scarey episodes were made for Watch with Mother. Mr Postgate, born in 1925 in Hendon, Middlesex, lived his later years in Kent. He was the cousin of actress Angela Lansbury and the grandson of politician George Lansbury. He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War, avoiding prison by agreeing to become a stretcher bearer for the Red Cross. Oliver married Prudence Myers in 1957, becoming stepfather to three children before the couple had twins and then a son. Prudence died in 1982. His outspoken political views also saw him become an anti-nuclear campaigner and more recently a blogger for New Statesman magazine. Bagpuss itself has been subject to theories of being a political allegory. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1987. His autobiography, Seeing Things, was published in 2000.


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Originally printed on December 9, 2008 in the Family Announcements.
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POGLE

I WAS MADE IN 65 STILL POGLE NOW TO ALL.

By POGLE on 29 Aug 2010

When we saw that...

When we saw that Oliver Postgate had died my wife and I wept as if we had lost a dear friend. We had. Although we never got to meet him we felt that we had known him all our lives. Through his wonderful work he nurtured us, soothed us with his beautiful voice, and delighted us through our childhoods - inspiring our imaginations and guiding our sense of right and wrong. In adulthood we've found his creations every bit as wonderful, maybe even more so, and without even the excuse of having our own children to share them with!

In fact one of the significant things in knowing we were meant for each other was when we realised what Postgate and Firmin fans we were. References from his work have become part of our personal vocabulary, and when we were testing our compatibility further by compiling a list of 10 people to form a committee to run the world, Oliver Postgate was high on both our lists. We are sorry to say that we shall never see his like again. Like the greatest artists he probably didn't fully acknowledge what he achieved, but he made us the people we are.

By Simon Wagener on 22 Jan 2009

That magnificent voice that...

That magnificent voice that drew me into such different worlds, the four year old boy I was adored Ivor the Engine and the terrific ( but hammy in hindsight) Welsh accents. Noggin the Nog held me spellbound and his styling and craft that gave children and parents a lovely shared experience. May he Rest In Peace

By steve rainbow on 21 Jan 2009

I loved the clangers...

I loved the clangers and bagpuss as a child. one day i was working in a Japanese
restaurant in covent garden one of the first in London called Ajimura and lots of famous people came in. One day i was serving a tåble and i recognised the voice of Mr Yaffle the woodpecker from bagpuss and i just could nt help myself but just exclaimed oh my god you are Mr Yaffle to Oliver's tåble ..his co-diners burst out laughing, he did have the most beautiful evocative voice one which must have comforted so many children and adults .
Well i shall always remember thåt voice ånd his amazing body of work it was a beautiful and wonderful memorial to leave on this earth
well done Mr Postgåte you shall never ever be forgotten!

By theresa richardson on 31 Dec 2008

Hi. i never new...

Hi.
i never new oliver but i new his work,its such a grate lose that hes gone.
as a small boy i was at home alot because of illess so i remember watching BAG PUSS quite a bit back then and still do.
even to this day i still get a grate feeling when i watch BAG PUSS, althou there was only so meany shows made it seemed like there were hundereds of them.
i was quite saddened to find that Oliver Postgate had past on,still i whould like to thank him and his c.o. workers for giving me a grate time as a child as my childhood wasent all that good.

meany thanks.

mick.

god be with you.

By michael kinsella on 26 Dec 2008

I love Bagpuss it...

I love Bagpuss it was a wonderful programme for me when i was growing up i'm sad Oliver Postate has passed away a wonderful man that made Bagpuss i still love that saggy old Bagpuss
yours alway Mandy Yates aged 40yrs thank you for making my childhood great xx
You gave us all you had to give, gifts both great and small,
But most of all you gave us love, the greatest gift of all.

By mandy yates on 24 Dec 2008

I grew up with...

I grew up with Postgate and Firmin's work. It is an indelible part of my childhood that would have been worse for the lack of these magical cartoons and creations. Bagpuss, Noggin, Ivor, they all have a place in my heart. My own kids love them too, two generations given this wonderful contribution to growing up. Thankyou so much. Your immortality is assured.

By Fiona Hyde on 16 Dec 2008

Few artists are, and...

Few artists are, and were able to change the way that we see things, to re-calibrate our consciousness. In this way he was a true surrealist. Good by, old chap.

By FRANCIS JAMES on 15 Dec 2008

I was very lucky...

I was very lucky to meet Oliver Postgate in 2000 when he did a book tour. The venue was St Anne's church, Manchester. My view was obscured initially when he started to speak but I was transported back to being 3 again when I heard that magical, gentle voice! Whilst queuing for the book signing, I saw Bagpuss and some of the 'cast' of the Clangers! There are many excellent children's programmes around today, however, there is still room to take today's children back to when Oliver Postgate's gentle, calm programmes graced the airways. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant then and promised him my own child would grow up to know and hopefully love his special brand of creative magic too. I kept that promise, although he would never have known, and today, both my children know and watch his programmes. I want to thank Oliver Postgate for his charm, his special brand of quiet, soothing story telling and for delighting generations of children everywhere. Many condolences to his family to at this very sad time. He will not be forgotten. He has left this world a little brighter thanks to his enduring legacy. Rest In Peace.

By Karen Braddock on 15 Dec 2008

I always loved the...

I always loved the really intimate atmosphere he created. You could snuggle up and believe he was telling the story to just you.

By ivor josephson on 15 Dec 2008

Oliver's stories were the...

Oliver's stories were the soundtrack of my childhood, and never was there a more beautiful, gracious, noble and gentle soundtrack. The chasm that exists between his stories and today's childrens' entertainment has nothing to do with technological progress and everything to do with values, poetry, tenderness and beauty.

I thank him and honour his memory.

By James Henderson on 14 Dec 2008

As a child, I...

As a child, I remember being transported by Noggin - the only other animation that I found as magical were the exquisite low-fi silhouettes of Lottie Reineger (then shown regularly on TV). The thing they had in common was that they created a complete and fantastic world that required a little work from you, the viewer, but repaid a thousand times over. But it wasn't until I watched Bagpuss with my own small children that I fully appreciated the beauty and delicacy of Oliver Postgate's voice and words and realised the part that they played in filling out the stories that he and Peter Firmin created. Any similar sense of poetry and enchantment is sadly missing from most childrens' entertainment of the last 20 years. Oliver Postgate was a unique talent and, from what I have read, a man courageous in his beliefs and principles. It saddens me to know he is no longer with us, when we most need modest men of enchantment and quiet idealism, such as he was.

By Alex Lawson on 14 Dec 2008

When I was small...

When I was small I remember sitting in front of the television and wishing and wishing at the start of - I think - Watch With Mother - that it would be Pogles Wood. I loved it.

Later I watched Bagpuss and the Clangers - I loved those too - but Pogles Wood remains my favourite.

My youngest brother wrote to Oliver Postgate when his own daughters started watching Bagpuss, saying what a joy it was to have that connection. Mr Postgate took the time to write back.

He has left such a treasure of work.
Thank you Oliver Postgate.

By Alison Fraser on 12 Dec 2008

Sitting in front of...

Sitting in front of the tv as a child watching Ivor the Engine, i used walk around after making the noise of Ivor and rotating my arms like the pistons.

Oliver will be missed. his creations live on. Farewell

By Iain Stewart-Closs on 12 Dec 2008

Oliver Postgate's voice caused...

Oliver Postgate's voice caused the hairs on my neck to stand up. I loved every one of his creations, despite being in my late teens and early twenties for Bagpuss.

I will cherish the memory his appearance on Radio 5 Live's Up All Night as it was the last time I heard those magnificent tones.

Rest In Peace Oliver

By Tim Brownsett on 12 Dec 2008

Quite simply Oliver Postgate...

Quite simply Oliver Postgate was children's television in the 50s and 60s.
His warm reassuring voice and command of this kind
of film making ensured that we were all amused, entertained,
educated and connected.
I will never forget Noggin, Ivor, Bagpuss etc.
His films would never be made nowadays and that is a pity.
You will be missed Oliver.
The small screen was very much a big screen in my young life.

By Ian Herne on 11 Dec 2008

When Oliver Postgate fell...

When Oliver Postgate fell asleep
The world lost the gentlest of men
So Noggin the Nog
And Nogbad the Bad
Lowered their heads
And were terribly sad
Ivor the Engine was stopped in his tracks
Their famous creator would never be back
The Clangers wrung their Knitted loops
The Soup dragon wept in the soup
And Bagpuss moved up
Along Emily's window
To make room for him
In a glorious slumber

By Maureen Taylor on 10 Dec 2008

He was a great...

He was a great Animator. An important cog in the wheel that gave entertainment, lateral humour and the sense of wonder to children.
His animation work gave me creative inspiration as a youngster, and also now, as a professional designer.
I know am not alone in this.
I hope that many continue to enjoy and make the most of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin''s remarkable and timeless films.

By Emma Kelly on 10 Dec 2008

Thank you for memories...

Thank you for memories of a magical childhood

By Penelope Polins on 10 Dec 2008

Clangers, Bagpuss, Ivor The...

Clangers, Bagpuss, Ivor The Engine - these are all brilliant and I have most of them on DVD. To say they are classics is a great statement of fact, but these were a PHENOMENOL benchmark in British TV and animation, which probably explains why Bagpuss is still recognised as the greatest TV cartoon animal ever. Today we say goodbye to a genius who illuminated childrens lives to such a degree that even now they still look back with fondness on such great creations as Professor Yaffle, The Soup Dragon, Idris, Charlie Mouse and Major Clanger. Thank you Oliver, to say we will miss you is an understatement. Your childrens TV legacy will always live on and will continue to amaze children for many years to come. Thank you.

By Martin Duhig on 10 Dec 2008

My earliest memory is...

My earliest memory is of Pogles Wood. I was mesmerised by this as a little girl and was recently given a copy of the first series as a gift. It was in black and white of course and just as fasinating now as it was then. I still love it.
Ivor the Engine... Nogin the Nog...Magic. Then Bagpuss of course!!
His voice is so distinctive and is etched in my brain forever. The man is a Legend. Thanks for such wonderful memories, Mr Postgate....

Shirley Davies aged 47!

By shirley davies on 10 Dec 2008

A sad day!!! but...

A sad day!!!

but with out him i would not have been introduced to some of most well known characters created
noggin the nog,bagpuss and ivor the engine

i have my own clanger knitted to me which i shall always keep

thankyou oliver

chris

By chris morecroft on 09 Dec 2008

I would just like...

I would just like to say that i have some very treasured memories as a young girl watching nogin the nog and ivor the engine they brightened up a very difficult childhood for myself and my sister Oliver had such a beautiful gentle voice, also later on bagpuss and the fantastic clangers his joy will live on for ever in our grandchildren may god bless you Oliver Postgate my deepest sympathy also to Olivers family. anne hanley

By ANNE HANLEY on 09 Dec 2008

Goodbye Oliver, you are...

Goodbye Oliver, you are truly one of my heroes. I can honestly say that your works influenced me for life, and very much for the better. I'll never forget the impact seeing the Earth through the Clangers' eyes, through the telescope that mysteriously arrived on their planet, made on me at the age of 9 or 10. And your words of philosophical wisdom went in deep, too. You were a master propagandist on behalf of gentleness, beauty, reason, joy and love: there can be few better achievements in life.

To all who share my affection and respect for Oliver Postgate, why not support the Romanian childrens hospice he devoted much time, money and effort to in his later years? Contact it at: www.hospiceofhope. co.uk.

By John Allaway on 09 Dec 2008

God bless you my...

God bless you my friend whose magical instantly recognisible voice lit up my childhood. Bagpuss is such a big part of my life like my own child !!!!!!! I have him everywhere at home & even on my car as a personal registration plate.

By tracy williams on 09 Dec 2008

God bless you my...

God bless you my friend a man who lit up my childhood with his instantly recognisable voice, Bagpuss is like my own child he's eveywhere in my house even on the private plate of my car. xxxxx

By tracy williams on 09 Dec 2008

I grew up watching...

I grew up watching Bagpuss and Ivor the engine and enjoyed enery single episode Thank you very much Oliver and God bless you.

By mark russen on 09 Dec 2008

I just heard the...

I just heard the 18.30 news and the sad news that Oliver Postgate has died. Instantly I was catapulted to my childhood sat in front of the television being totally captivated by his fantastic voice and story telling.
My favourite was Bagpuss followed by Ivor the Engine. A sad day for all that sat and listened to his storytelling.

By Dave Stone on 09 Dec 2008

What very sad news....

What very sad news. A part of my childhood passed away with Mr Postgate. Childhood would not have been so exciting, or memorable, without Noggin, Ivor or The Clangers - the very stuff of my youth.
Rest in deserved peace, Oliver Postgate, and thank you.

By Jon Crombie on 09 Dec 2008

Bagpuss still enthralls me....

Bagpuss still enthralls me. it also makes me feel warm and secure just like it did when i was a child. oliver postgate's voice is as familiar as a family member.

By claire alexander on 09 Dec 2008

I just wanted to...

I just wanted to express my gratitude for a man i never met, but who made my life so much nicer. my childhood wasnt the pleasant time it should have been, but his work made me forget my problems and brought some magic into my life, in only for a little while. i just want to say that i will miss him so very much. thank you oliver.

By fi oakes on 09 Dec 2008

My family and I...

My family and I were fortunate enough to meet Oliver & Naomi in 2006. My Uncle, James Greaken had been a great friend of them both. Due to ill health, my Uncle now lives with me. He is heart broken at the news. What an honour it was to have met such a magnifisant gentleman, who will be very sadly missed. Not only by us but my Uncle Jim also. Our thought's are with you Naomi. Take Care.
Alison & Jim Forbes xx

By ALISON FORBES on 09 Dec 2008

This is not a...

This is not a memory of the great man himself but a tribute to a true genius, although I did not grow up with Noggin the Nog I did grow up with Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and the Clangers. My daughter has also grown to love bagpuss almost as much as myself. May he rest in peace and his family accept my condolences in their time of this sadness xx

By Lisa Herbert on 09 Dec 2008

Bagpuss is sitting on...

Bagpuss is sitting on my PC moniter watching me type this! He was a present from my son who remembers the fun we had watching him and, of course, the Clangers and the wonderful Soup Dragon! What a wonderful legacy to leave - joyful memories that last a lifetime! Thank you, Oliver.

By Helen Park on 09 Dec 2008

Thank you Oliver, from...

Thank you Oliver, from a generation.

By Nik Hewitt on 09 Dec 2008

Nogin the Nog -...

Nogin the Nog - my favourite series of all time. What a wonderful story teller. I was with him by the fire side listening and loving it. Very happy childhood memories. Thank you.

By andy hartley on 09 Dec 2008

My childhood was full...

My childhood was full of Oliver Postgate and his wonderful creations. Noggin the Nog, The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, and of course, the wonderful Bagpuss, (sorry, but just don't remember Pogles Wood).
My very happy memories were passed on to my Children, who also love and cherish them, as I did.
I hope they will pass them on to their children.
Little did Oliver know he would leave a legacy for children of so many generations.
So simple, so gentle, and so full of love.
God bless you Oliver, may you find the reward you so richly deserve.

By Jennie Bebbington on 09 Dec 2008

We have the whole...

We have the whole family of Clangers at home. Mummy Clanger was distraught this morning.

Thank you, Oliver, for allowing us to escape from the world's horrors into whimsy and fancy and the safety of the Blue Planet.

You will be sorely missed.

Deborah & Bruce

By Bruce Reader on 09 Dec 2008

I remember so very...

I remember so very fondly Olivers wonderful voice from my childhood. From a cowshed near Kent, Smallfilms created beautiful worlds. These stories stirred my imagination and led to a deep love for animation that I still have today at the age of 43.
Thank you soo much Oliver and all at Smallfilms.

By Paul Amphlett on 09 Dec 2008

You leave us with...

You leave us with so many happy childhood memories that will live on in our children, grandchildren & great grandchildren forever more.
Thank you for all your wonderful stories. RIP

By Sanrda King on 09 Dec 2008

Unlike children's TV today,...

Unlike children's TV today, Oliver Postgate's work was unforgettable. Gentle, intelligent and beautiful to watch. Thank you for givng me so much joy as a child and some wonderful memories, like sitting with my mum who died when I was 19, watching Bagpuss and the Clangers together. I now do the same with my daughters.

By Liz Cole on 09 Dec 2008

Six years ago my...

Six years ago my friend Suz bought me a Small Clanger. He knocked around in my car for a while before asserting himself and I now have several families of Clangers (small, medium, large, and massive) occupying strategic positions in my house.

Small and family (medium) have travelled to New Zealand, Australia, and -oh - all sorts of places. They and the warmth and love of their creators, Mr Postgate and Mr Firmin, have travelled with them too. They've shared those highs and they've been there to succour me through my lows.

Thanks Oliver and wherever your beliefs tell you that you will now be I hope that you are allowed to make it happy and mischievous.

With love for allthat you gave us and best wishes to those that you left behind.

Mike

By Mike Allum on 09 Dec 2008

A truly fantastic voice...

A truly fantastic voice for storytelling and while he will be much missed, thank goodness his memory will live forever through his work. Thank you Oliver.

By Davis Parnell on 09 Dec 2008

Bagpuss was a wonderful...

Bagpuss was a wonderful creation, but do look at the website oliverpostgate.co.uk for some interesting reflections from the great man

By charles barber on 09 Dec 2008

I met Oliver in...

I met Oliver in the mid 80's.
Having been brought up on a diet of Oliver made childrens programmes the images and sounds followed me into adulthood. I loved his voice and wanted to use it for the b side of a single that I was releasing with Shelleyan orphan. I really wanted to use Olivers voice as I knew people would recognise it but maybe could'nt place it and thought it would be perfect.
I wrote a letter to him and he replied asking me to send him a copy of what I wanted him to do. He responded by saying, although he liked it it was'nt for him and thanked me for thinking of him. I wrote him another letter and asked if there was something I could do to make him change his mind. Once again he declined and said he was only really putting his name to political projects that he believed in like CND. I went to his house and he exploded, asked me in for tea, gave me lunch and supper and gave me his life story, what a wonderful day!

By Jem Tayle on 09 Dec 2008
Picture Tributes
 
POGLE
29 Aug 2010
 
Marian Postgate
21 Aug 2010
 
Elaine Pritchard
9 Dec 2008
 
Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate
Oliver at the editing table.
Oliver in the studio doorway.
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