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 2024 UK RNLI 50p has just been released, and it’s set to be a standout issue this year.
Given the RNLI’s revered status and the coin’s unique design, it’s going to be highly sought after by collectors.
We already know this coin is going to be incredibly popular. How? Just look at the engagement it received when we revealed it as part of the Annual Set this year.
So why has this UK 50p coin been released?
The United Kingdom celebrates a significant milestone in maritime history with the release of a special commemorative coin. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), renowned for its heroic lifesaving efforts, marks its 200th anniversary with a dedicated 50p coin. This release is a tribute to the bravery and dedication of RNLI volunteers over two centuries.
The 50p design
Click on the flashing points in the interactive image below to discover more about the designs and specifications.
The coin’s reverse, designed by John Bergdahl, features a striking depiction of the RNLI flag, gracefully encircled by a lifebuoy. The inscription “200 YEARS” and the dates “1824 – 2024” honour the bicentennial of the RNLI.
The obverse showcases the 1st portrait of King Charles III by Martin Jennings, surrounded by the inscription “CHARLES III • D • G • REX F • D • 50 PENCE • 2024 •”.
History of the RNLI
Since its inception in 1824, the RNLI has played a pivotal role in maritime rescue operations around the coasts of the UK and Ireland. Founded by Sir William Hillary, the RNLI was established out of a necessity to provide a dedicated lifesaving service, which was notably absent despite the high frequency of shipwrecks around the British Isles. The RNLI’s foundation marked the beginning of a noble mission to save lives at sea, a mission that has continued unwaveringly for nearly two centuries. As a charity funded primarily through donations, it has been instrumental in saving over 140,000 lives, thanks to the valour of its volunteers.
Given the popularity of the RNLI combined with the popularity of the UK 50p coins, it is certain our stocks will not last long.
The RNLI 50p range includes a variety of different specifications, including the Brilliant Uncirculated 50p, the Silver Proof Colour 50p, and the Gold Proof 50p.
But there is one that stands out of them all and has been selected as the ‘Writer’s Choice’… The RNLI Silver Proof Piedfort 50p.
And the reason is: the edition limit.
The UK 2024 RNLI Silver Proof Piedfort 50p – double the thickness, double the weight of a standard 50p – has an edition limit of JUST 1,824. It is over two times more limited than its standard silver counterpart.
50p coins are already the favourites amongst collectors. Now add Silver Proof, Piedfort, colour AND a remarkably low edition limit to it and it becomes a must-have.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a pivotal event on June 6, 1944, that significantly altered the course of World War II and influenced the fate of nations.
D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord, was an immense Allied invasion executed by Land, Sea, and Air. The mission: secure a stable position in Western Europe, paving the way for the liberation of nations oppressed by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.
A crucial element of D-Day involved the simultaneous landing of Allied forces on five Normandy beachheads: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. This coordinated effort stands as the largest amphibious assault in the history of warfare.
More than 156,000 Allied troops from Great Britain, the USA, Canada, and other nations participated in this invasion. These brave individuals worked together meticulously to establish a secure foothold in Western Europe.
Operation Overlord featured an extensive naval armada with over 5,000 vessels and air support from more than 11,000 aircraft. This combined effort was essential for the success of the landings.
In the lead-up to the beach landings, thousands of paratroopers were airdropped behind enemy lines to disrupt German defenses and secure strategic objectives, adding an extra layer of complexity to the plan.
The invasion force brought an unprecedented amount of firepower, including tanks, artillery, and well-equipped infantry. The objective was clear: to overwhelm German defenders and establish a secure beachhead.
However, the human cost of D-Day was immense. On that single day, thousands of Allied soldiers lost their lives, and many more were wounded. The beaches of Normandy hold a sacred place in history, symbolising the price paid for the pursuit of freedom.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-day, a brand new range of commemorative coins have been issued. Take a look at the brand new designs and shop the whole range via the link below.