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 new year means one thing in the collecting world, new coins!
Each year, collectors eagerly anticipate the arrival of The Royal Mint’s Annual Set.
Featuring five brand-new commemorative designs, the coins celebrate some of the biggest anniversaries and events of the year.
Last year, the coins were issued for the first-time featuring King Charles III and as expected, all premium specifications sold out in a matter of hours.
Then, a little later in the year, the UK’s new circulating coin designs were revealed – again selling out and instigating a whole new wave of collectors.
2023 truly was a monumental year for coinage, and 2024 is likely to follow suit. So, let’s take a look at the 2024 coin designs…
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, otherwise known as the RNLI, was founded over 200 years ago by Sir William Hillary. Ever since, crews and lifeguards have been working hard to save lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The coin’s reverse design features some of the most recognisable RNLI symbols, with the flag in the centre surrounded by a life ring and rope.
British Olympians and Paralympians 50p
This year, the 2024 Olympics will take place in Paris, France – exactly 100 years since the city last hosted the games. The Paralympics will also be held in France for the first time, making the games the biggest event ever held in France. 202 competitors from Great Britain will participate in 17 sports, in the hopes of clinching Gold.
The coin itself features a geometric design of an Olympian and Paralympian set against the Union Jack, with a small Eiffel Tower at the bottom.
Winston Churchill £2
The first £2 coin in this year’s set, honours 150 years since the birth of famous politician, Winston Churchill.
Having led Britain to victory during the Second World War, Churchill served as Prime Minster twice. However, the design of this £2 coin takes us back to a younger Churchill, depicting him as a young man during his time in the Cavalry arm.
National Gallery £2
The National Gallery also celebrates its 200th anniversary on a UK £2 coin. Founded in 1824, the gallery was initially opened with the ambition of making art accessible for everyone.
Soon after, a dedicated building was commissioned and built in Trafalgar Square in 1838 – the very building that now features on the new £2 coin.
Today, the gallery holds over 2,300 paintings from renowned artists like Monet, da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Buckingham Palace £5
The final commemorative coin in the set features one of the most recognisable buildings in the world – Buckingham Palace. The official residence of all British monarchs since Queen Victoria, the palace is now the headquarters of King Charles III.
Each Brilliant Uncirculated and Silver Set will also come specially paired with the 2024 Definitive Coins. From the 1p to the £2, these coins saw a complete re-design in 2023 and are now available in the Annual Coin Sets for the first time since 2022.
How to secure yours
The 2024 Annual Coins are available in a variety of different specifications. From the official Royal Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Pack to the Base Proof edition with exclusive Royal Mint medal, to the strictly limited Silver Proof and Piedfort Editions.
Why is the Sixpence placed in Wedding Shoes and Christmas Puddings? Today we will explore some of the top questions surrounding the Sixpence coin, uncover the stories and traditions behind this tiny yet iconic coin.
1. What is a Sixpence Coin?
The Sixpence was once widely circulated in the United Kingdom and its former colonies. Worth 2.5p, it remained in circulation until 1980. The coin’s design and composition have evolved over the centuries, reflecting the changing faces of monarchs and the artistic trends of each era.
2. Why is the Sixpence Coin Associated with Weddings?
One of the most enduring traditions involving the Sixpence coin is its association with weddings. For many years, the father of the bride would slip a Sixpence into his daughter’s shoe before she walked down the aisle. The Sixpence stood for good luck, and to show that the father wished his daughter prosperity in her marriage.
3. What is the Meaning Behind the Rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe”?
This famous wedding rhyme includes a set of superstitions and customs believed to bring good luck to the bride on her wedding day. The inclusion of a Sixpence in her shoe represents wealth and financial prosperity in the marriage.
4. What is the Sixpence Christmas Tradition?
Beyond weddings and everyday circulation, the Sixpence coin has found its way into another cherished tradition – Christmas puddings. Dating back to Victorian England, it became a popular custom to include a silver coin in the mixture when preparing the Christmas pudding. The thought behind this was not only to add a bit of festive surprise but also to give luck and prosperity to the person fortunate enough to find the coin in their serving of Christmas pudding.
5. Are Sixpence Coins Still in Circulation?
In the United Kingdom, Sixpence coins ceased to be legal tender in 1980. However, these coins are still cherished by collectors and are often found in antique markets and online auctions. The historical value and unique designs of these coins make them sought-after items for all collectors.