One of my favourite TV shows as a child was

Bagpuss

: "an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams." 

If you haven't seen the show then here is a quick summary. Each episode starts with shots of sepia photographs and the voiceover tells of a little girl called Emily (the illustrator of the show Peter Firmin had a daughter of the same name) who owned a shop that didn't sell anything. Instead Emily would display in the window any broken or lost items she had found and hope their owners would pass by and pick them up one day. Bagpuss would be in the window too with each item in front of him.

Incredibly only 13 episodes were made in the 1970s but its allure remains constant and it is often shown on TV still. We had a friend's ten year old daughter come to stay one night last week and guess what she was clutching to her chest as she arrived...a Bagpuss.

You may wonder why I am reminiscing about Bagpuss? Well, from tomorrow (25th October) until Sunday (30th October) Whiteley's shopping centre in Bayswater, London is opening a pop-up shop and exhibition to celebrate Bagpuss, plus the Clangers too. There will be a chance to see the original Bagpuss (and of course Professor Yaffle) and Clangers puppets, meet some of the creator's behind the shows and hear the Bagpuss theme tune sung by the show’s music composer, Sandra Kerr.


Apparently Bagpuss was meant to be a ginger cat but a mistake was made when he was dyed...who knew? I can only ever imagine him pink.

The good bit is that proceeds made from some of the Bagpuss products that will be on sale in the pop-up shop will go to Asthma UK and money from some Clangers merchandise will go to Yorkshire Cancer Research.

I wasn't such a fan of the Clangers - funny mice that lived on their own planet and squeaked - my brother liked them though. There will be  a corner of the pop-up shop transformed into the Clangers' planet if that is your bag.

The Bagpuss & Co Exhibition and Gift Shop will be at Whiteleys Shopping Centre in Bayswater, London, W2 4YN, from 25 to 30 October 2011. Visit www.whiteleys.com. It is recommended that you bring your children (or yourself!) early to avoid disappointment. 

Opening times: 

Tues-Thurs 11am-6pm; Fri-Sat 11am-7am; Sun 12pm-5pm

Love Lovely x