I couldn’t believe my luck … I recently went on a journey of a lifetime to Canterbury Museum, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of my most treasured childhood TV series — Bagpuss.
This visit wasn’t just a trip down memory lane, it was an immersive dive into the enchanting world of a show that has captivated hearts for generations. The Beaney House, with its commitment to art and knowledge, provided the perfect setting for this celebration, showcasing the magic that has made Bagpuss an enduring icon we all know and love.
The highlight of my visit was the incredible opportunity to meet Emily Firmin, the real-life inspiration and the actual little girl that features in the Bagpuss series. Emily, daughter of Peter Firmin, the co-creator of Bagpuss, shared heartwarming stories about the show’s production, her role in it, and the creative atmosphere her family fostered.
One of the most surreal moments was hearing Emily recite the lines she used to wake up Bagpuss on the show. With a voice that bridged the years, she recited:
“Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry cat-puss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright
Be golden and light
Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing”
These iconic words, so familiar yet so powerful, transported me back to my childhood, and brought back some fantastic memories of my own.
Emily shared some fascinating insights into the making of Bagpuss. She spoke of how her family’s farm was transformed into a film studio, with barns converted to bring to life the magical world of Bagpuss and his friends. Her mother’s sewing machine, which stitched the costumes, became a symbol of the show’s handmade charm. Through Emily’s stories, I gained a vivid picture of a creative and collaborative effort that brought Bagpuss to life, highlighting the contributions of her family to the series’ unique look and appeal than won the hearts of everyone who watched.
One of the most captivating parts of the conversation for me, was learning about the behind-the-scenes moments, such as the family watching the first bits of film with a cup of tea before they were edited.
Beyond the nostalgia, hearing about Emily’s journey from the little girl who inspired a nation to an accomplished artist was truly inspiring. She spoke with passion about how her parents influenced her career, leading her to create art that reflects the creativity and craftsmanship Bagpuss was so famous for.
Meeting Emily Firmin and hearing her stories was an absolute pleasure. Her generosity in sharing her experiences added a deeply personal touch to my visit. The exhibition, the interview, and the whole day was not just a tribute to Bagpuss but a celebration of creativity, family, and the timeless appeal of storytelling.
Happy 50th Bagpuss.
Did you Know? Bagpuss and his friends, Professor Yaffle, Gabriel, Madeleine and the Mice are featured on a set of new 50p coins to mark 50 years since the classic children’s television first appeared on our screens.
Bring Bagpuss into your home, click here to secure your magical 50p coins now! >>>>
The recently issued 100 Years of BBC UK 50p proved incredibly popular, with all limited edition presentations selling out within just 2 hours of release.
Did you manage to secure one for your collection?
The British Broadcasting Corporation has provided information, education and entertainment globally for a century. We thought what better way to mark their 100 year anniversary than looking at some of the important events that the BBC has broadcasted.
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 was the first major service to be televised by the BBC. 27 million people in the UK watched the ceremony on television and a further 11 million listened to their radio broadcasts.
Queen Elizabeth II Jubilees
During her incredible 70 year reign, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated many jubilees. Most significantly, her Platinum Jubilee in 2022 was one of the most watched televised events of recent times.
A record breaking 13.4 million people across the UK watched the Platinum Jubilee celebrations on television in June.
You can secure the ultimate Platinum Jubilee souvenir today – the Platinum Jubilee weekend collection. Click here to get yours >>
The six 24 Cart Gold-Plated Commemoratives feature iconic photographic images from the historic weekend celebrations.
The 1948 Olympic Games were held in Wembley, and the BBC televised the games for the first time, screening over 50 hours of coverage during the 2-week event.
When the Olympics returned to London in 2012, the BBC covered all the events and a staggering 51.9 million people – 90% of the population – tuned in.
In 2021, a UK 50p was authorised for release to celebrate Team GB’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – which was once again televised by the BBC.
The FA Cup Matches
2022 marked 150 years of the FA Cup. During BBC One’s coverage of The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, viewer numbers peaked in the final half hour of the match with 8 million people watching.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup, The Royal Mint issued this £2, which sold out in all limited-edition presentations within just HOURS of issue!
The marriage of Charles and Diana took place in 1981 and remains one of the most-watched programmes on the BBC, with over 28 million people tuning in to either watch or listen to the coverage.
In 2011, Prince William married Kate Middleton and more than 13.6 million people watched the coverage on BBC One, making theirs the third most-watched Royal Wedding.
Which of these BBC broadcasts do you remember watching or listening to?
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the BBC and to celebrate, the Royal Mint has released a brand new UK 50p. Over the last century, the British Broadcasting Corporation has been providing information, education and entertainment globally, broadcasting some of the world’s most exciting highs, but has also delivering some of the biggest lows.
Developed in partnership with the BBC, the reverse design takes inspiration from the BBC World News logo.
Sold out within 2 hours
The Royal Mint experienced queues of over 6,500 on their website, and in less than 2 hours of release, all premium specifications of the 100th Anniversary of the BBC 50p had completely sold out at the Royal Mint.
With all gold and silver specifications selling out so quickly at The Royal Mint, demand for the brilliant uncirculated BBC 50p is sure to rise significantly. However, you can still secure it in gold and silver specifications on our website whilst stocks last.
The BBC 50p Range
Celebrating an incredible 100 years of the British Broadcasting Corporation providing education, information and entertainment to the world with this brand new release. Prices from just £4.99 (+p&p).