The Clangers

Clangers from BBC Cult ClassicsThey were aliens for children, little pink knitted creatures with long noses that made funny noises and lived in the craters on the moon.

The Clangers used dustbin lids to cover the crater holes and wore metallic clothes that looked a bit like armour. They would make things out of scrap, a bit like The Wombles, and ate blue string soup. The Soup Dragon would come to steal the soup. It was marvellous. I loved the voice of the narrator (Oliver Postgate). He sounded very friendly.

I actually didn’t know they were pink until I was much older, because we watched it in black and white. Likewise with Bagpuss, which I’m sure I’ll blog about at some point.

I don’t remember any of the storylines, but they all sort of meld into one in my brain, where the soup dragon comes after the clangers and they manage to get rid of him but not before he’s stolen the string out of the soup. I also seem to remember there was usually a message about peace and loving each other, not overcrowding or polluting. There nearly always was that sort of message in children’s TV of the Seventies.

Froglets!I’d forgotten about some of the characters like the Iron Chicken and the Froglets until I started researching for this. Also I have found out that the blooping noises they make with a whistle are actually translatable into real words, including swearing!

According to Wikipedia, the last episode was a four-minute election special broadcast on my fourth birthday. I must have missed that one. I seem to remember there was a power cut on my fourth birthday but it might have been my fifth.

As the episodes are only 10 minutes long, a whole one can be fitted on YouTube. Lovely. Treat yourself to some nostalgia.

EDIT Tues 9th Dec 2008. I found out this morning that Oliver Postgate has sadly died. His death is a great loss to imagination and creativity.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


2 Responses

  1. No, no, no – you’re being very unfair to the poor Soup Dragon! She made the soup, and the Clangers went down into the deep caves to collect it from her. I seem to remember that the name came from ladies of the NAAFI in World War Two who doled soup out.

    My favourite bit of the Clangers was the cloud that rained musical notes.

    Oliver Postgate was wonderful. Not only the Clangers and Bagpuss, but also Noggin the Nog:
    “In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale….”
    It’s the most wonderful start to a story, even now.

    And then there was The Herbs, and Ivor the Engine – the man was a genius.

  2. I stand corrected! Yes indeed, the soup dragon was benign. My memory is at the three-year-old level so should be excused. I remember the cloud, and there was also a music tree that had notes on it like leaves. Ah, memories!

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