Monday, 9 April 2012

Ivor the Engine

Ah, Bank Holiday Monday!

Personally, I can think of no better way of spending a wet one than in the gently nostalgic embrace of Ivor the Engine - a bank holiday bargain at just £3.49 (of my own money - this ain't no sponsored post) or else The Clangers or some other piece of Smallfilms perfection from the genius team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. So far this morning, Ivor's hatched a dragon, sung in the Eisteddfod and saved a fox. All in a day's work on the Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Limited.

Later we'll be making the acquaintance of the soup dragon and the iron chicken, or perhaps paying a trip to Camberwick Green, singing 'Time flies by' on the train to Chigley and joining Captain Flack in the Trumpton Fire Brigage roll call (Pugh, Pugh, Barney MacGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub).

Over the years I've made quite a collection of classic children's TV programmes. Sometimes (like this morning) I even let Charlie watch them. And I'm glad to say he's as captivated by them as I used to be. (What am I saying, 'used to be.' Still am!)

All of which leads to the inevitable conclusion that we were lucky - so lucky - to have them all as a part of our childhoods. We may only have had a short slot before the news at six o'clock or an hour or two on a Saturday morning but perhaps because the time was so short, the programmes were so good.

Of course kids today have the untold riches of CBeebies. Personally, though, I can't help thinking that the old ones are the best. And you can find most of them somewhere on YouTube. It makes a happy hunting ground on a wet Bank Holiday Monday. Here's one I found earlier...

What will you go hunting for today?


  1. Am huge Ivor fan. We have the collection. Love simple stories - no over top moral message.
    , just characters being nice. My top vote goes to clangers

    1. I think it's Oliver Postgate's lovely, gentle voice that makes programmes like Ivor and The Clangers so enjoyable. Imagine if he HAD wanted to impart some overt moral? We'd have all been in thrall to him for certain!

  2. We love Ivor too! We have the complete collection on DVD and just love it. Oliver Postgate made the originals in a shed in his garden, imagine that today? Didn't he do Noggin the Nog as well. Uh oh, nostalgia setting in.

    1. He did WM - another classic. There was a BBC Four film about him not so long ago - fascinating viewing, even of it shattered a few illusions along the way!

  3. @AutismMumEire: Ah those were the days, we had all the engines, books and videos for the boys, and many time I tripped over tracks that went every which way, I think we started off with Thomas and friends and worked backwards to Ivor, but the years passed and alas hornby came on the scene, was not the same for me anyway I loved those cute little faces and the Fat controller, We spent many an afternoon at the Nene Valley Railway, and the few trips to the York Railway Museum, Ahhhhh.

    1. Ah, Nene Valley Railway! We took Charlie on their Santa Special last Christmas and he loved it.


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