Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Yorkshire coup in Barnsley – Small World Exhibition of work by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin

Bagpuss talking to Professor Yaffle

There may not be many places that are goodtogo in Barnsley, but this fantastic exhibition of some of the models and artwork that spawned memorable children’s TV creations such as the Clangers and Bagpuss, is certainly one of them. Hurry! You’ve only got until 5th November 2010. Additionally there are three big screen areas where you can sit and watch re-runs of everything from Noggin the Nog to Danger Mouse as well as screens for international cartoons and special features.

What’s great about this exhibition is that it is self contained on one level (2nd floor of The Civic Centre, Barnsley) and you can wander in and out of the screenings and into the small exhibition room at will. In the display area you will discover models of the Clangers and their associates alongside mini-screens with headphones where you can enjoy episodes of Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine as well as a filmed biography of Postgate and Firmin which reveals such fascinating facts as that Oliver Postgate was the grandson of Labour MP George Landsbury and a conscientious objector in the Second World War. Indeed Ivor the Engine was made as a representation of the concerns of ordinary working class people in socialist Wales. A cause close to Postgate's heart.

One of the most impressive aspects of this event is the framed drawings and cut outs for the 2D cartoons, that is those that did not use 3D models, such as Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. These are beautifully detailed and coloured. Additionally there are examples of the artwork from when some of these cartoons were serialised in Pippin comic in the 1950s and 60s. 

For anyone growing up in the 1960s, 70s or 80s this exhibition is an absolute must. You will find many of your favourite childhood cartoons here. All in all small but beautifully formed, and there’s a wonderful, and very reasonably priced coffee shop next door as well. We had a main course pasta dish, cake and a latte coffee for £8.95 using the post 2pm offer on cake and a hot drink.  A special mention should also go to the staff at both venues who were extremely helpful and friendly.

Small World Exhibition at The Civic, Barnsley until 5th November 2010. Free admission. www.smallworld.co.uk

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I have always enjoyed problem solving for friends and family and as a teacher for the last 18 years this is part of what I do every day. During the last year I have been rediscovering a passion for writing and I have recently produced a short story and several reviews for my blog www.doctorfinkel.blogspot.com - Places to visit and eat/drink in Leeds, Yorkshire UK. I am also offering my services as a freelance writer.