Sat 09 May 09 - Sun 01 Nov 09
Visitors to The Bowes Museum this summer can wallow in a trip down memory lane at the major Toy Tales exhibition.
The exhibition, is a celebration of 60 years of BBC children’s television programmes, guaranteed to inject a dose of rose-tinted nostalgia for those carefree days of childhood.
Whether you’re two or seventy-two, there’s bound to be a favourite among the wide range of puppets, props and stage sets on show, which fires the imagination. Younger audiences are sure to have fun comparing the baby boomers’ preferences from yesteryear - with their shaky sets and visible puppet strings - to their modern counterparts reinvented for today’s generation.
Remember the days before daytime TV, when Watch with Mother was a post-lunch treat before an afternoon nap? Then come along and renew your acquaintance with Andy Pandy, Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men and Rag, Tag and Bobtail. Reminisce about memories of grainy black and white TV images of puppets such as Muffin the Mule and Pinky and Perky, compared to the hi-definition colour of today’s favourites like Charlie and Lola and 64 Zoo Lane.
Or how about that much-loved favourite Paddington Bear, with his luggage label and his marmalade sandwiches, Sooty and Sweep, Basil Brush, The Magic Roundabout, Teletubbies, Postman Pat and current favourite In the Night Garden?
All these and more are represented in various forms, including puppets, videos, original scripts, story boards, props and drawings.
The exhibition will also pay tribute to the animator, puppeteer and author Oliver Postgate, who died in December 2008. Postgate, together with Peter Firmin, set up the company Smallfilms in a disused cowshed at Firmin’s home in Kent, producing animated footage on a shoestring budget to great acclaim. Their successes include Bagpuss, once voted the most popular children’s TV programme of all time. Peter Firmin is kindly lending the Museum his collection of The Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog, for this unique exhibition.
Artist Linda Birch, whose popular painting workshops at the Museum always have a waiting list, is loaning some original Bagpuss story boards relating to her time as an illustrator of the famous feline.
©Paddington and Company Limited/FilmFair Limited 2009, Licensed by Copyrights Group
Bagpuss, © 2009 Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin
Major from The Clangers, © 2009 Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin
Programme of eventsToy Time: Toy Handling Session
28 May, 11.00 – 12.00 & 2.30 – 3.30
Learn about how historic toys move and what they are made of by handling replicas and studying the Museum’s permanent collection. To complement the exhibition, Toy Tales, which runs until 1 November. Drop in session, no booking required. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission to the Museum applies.
Teddy Bears’ Picnic
27 June, 11.00 – 1.30
Bring along your teddy bear and join in with the fun and entertainment to help celebrate Paddington Bear’s birthday. Bring your ‘poorly’ teddy to the ‘first aid’ tent where newly qualified doctors from Darlington Memorial Hospital will be on hand with bandages and plasters to dish out some ‘Teddy TLC’. Why not bring along your own marmalade sandwiches? Free outdoor event. Children must be accompanied by an adult and be supervised at all times.
Being Animated about Toy Tales: A Culture Shock Project
3 & 7 August, 10.00 – 4.00
Create an animated digital story based on childhood toy memories. You will need to bring photographs to the workshop, & a previous visit to the Museum’s toy display and Toy Tales exhibition is necessary. Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be aged 7 or over. Call 01833 694602 for further information or to book.
Paint a Puppet - Watercolour and Ink Workshop
7 & 14 August, 10.00 – 4.30, £26 adults, £20 Friends
A practical session led by artist Linda Birch, who will demonstrate how to create a character, with particular reference to The Bowes Museum’s Toy Tales Exhibition. Booking required on 01833 690606.
Toy Time: Toy Handling Sessions
11, 18 & 25 August, 11.00 – 12.00 & 2.30 – 3.30
Learn about how historic toys move and what they are made of by handling replicas and studying the Museum’s permanent collection. To complement the exhibition, Toy Tales. Drop in session, no booking required. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission to the Museum applies.