Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oliver Postgate RIP

This morning I heard the sad news that yesterday, Oliver Postgate died aged 83. Oliver was the creator of much-loved kids' TV from the era when I first watched it - ie. when I was a kid - including Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers, Bagpuss, and my personal favourite Pogles' Wood (pictured). His son Daniel is a children's author, and wrote my youngest son Harrison's current favourite book, Smelly Bill.

Amongst the many tributes that will be blogged this morning, may I be the first 1920s labour history nerd to point out that Oliver was the son of Raymond Postgate and Daisy Lansbury, both lifelong, active socialists, and therefore the grandson of George Lansbury. Which, of course, makes him the cousin of Angela Lansbury; he was born in the same year as her too. And the nephew of my personal hero Minnie Lansbury, although she died before Oliver was born. And, like all GL's descendants, quite possibly also the descendant of a Tolpuddle Martyr. George's wife, Bessie Brine, was probably - although it has never been proved for sure - the granddaughter of Tolpuddle's James Brine.

So I think we can assume that Ivor the Engine had a sup at the South Wales NUR club after finishing a good day's chuffing.

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