Memories are made of what exactly?

Knitted penguins.

Back in the goodness knows when, we acquired a TV. A large wooden box with a small square of thick greyly opalescent glass set, centrally near the top with two black Bakelite nobs either side of a speaker. It was an exercise in faith because you needed a large dollop of unreasoning belief to consider the image that appeared in the foggy soup of 405 lines to be a recognisable picture. And you needed to toss logic out of the window if you wanted to think the sound had any link, tangential or otherwise to the grainy scribblings that you were peering at with some sort of myopic group delusion.

I was maybe five or six.

The first programme we saw on that pulpit of optical obfuscation was, I was told, gardening but in black and white with a healthy dose of sleet it could just as well have been orthopaedic surgery.

Disappointment doesn’t really describe the let down. But I was a resilient child – the Archaeologist was my older brother; that situation would breed resilience in soggy toilet paper – so I persevered with this new fangled, to me, technology. I began to interpret the shapes and linked sounds. And I found children’s TV.

Now let’s face it; I wasn’t a discerning viewer. The sophistication of the likes of Andy Pandy and the Woodentops weren’t obvious to many.

But, while a lot of my generation remember these characters from their nascent TV viewings, no one seemed to remember the Pingwings and especially the shoe polish tree. Now I’m an aged crumbly old soak these days, I admit but I was bloody certain such things as Pingwings existed and I would occasionally look for them.

However, while I knew there was such a thing, I got the name slightly wrong, remembering them as Pengwengs and my searches drew a blank. I was mad; making up these nonsensical details, apparently.

Then, just yesterday there was a piece on some radio programme about the creator of the Clangers

another famous piece of educational tomfoolery: Oliver Postgate, who also came up with the notion of Noggin the Nog and that most sumptuous of cartoonish villains, Nogbad the Bad

And something told me it was he, the genius, who’d been behind the Pingwings. And lo! The great knowledge bank of wikipedia did the honours. Now I had the right spelling, I had youtube and… yes! The episode of the Pingwings and the Ice Cream Tree presented me with the proof I needed.

There was a shoe polish tree. My work here is done….

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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22 Responses to Memories are made of what exactly?

  1. Mary Smith says:

    I never heard of the Pingwings – a forerunner to the Pingu cartoons which my son loved. I remember the Woodentops and Andy Pandy and Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men. I loved the Clangers but I think they were later. A lovely trip down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Nope… never heard of them… but glad you found your evidence!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    I don’t remember the Pingwings either, even though I know we are of similar vintage. I remember the others mentioned very well, so that is strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great trip down memory lane. The Woodentops were my favourite, and I loved Spotty Dog. My friend and I were dressed up to the nines on a night out in posh frocks, and walked up the road like Spotty Dog. The driver wouldn’t let us on the bus, saying we were drunk!
    We had Trumpton, Bill and Ben, The Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Captain Pugwash too , but you could keep Andy Pandy (though Des O’Connor did a great impression of him, with Jack Douglass as Teddy (hysterical) and Lulu as Looby Loo) Oh it was great to be a kid!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    I Remember 🤗💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All before my time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are not characters or cartoons we had here but I get what you mean about memory. Funny how and what we recall well or fragmented. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    How uniquely satisfied we can be, tracking down old childhood memories. I searched for music I remembered from my parents’ 8-track collection and finally, after years of searching lyrics, YouTube and bluegrass websites, I was satisfied to find my own fiddling pingwings of a sort. They are rather clever puppets.

    Liked by 1 person

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