In 1999 I set up the Dragons Friendly Society with two heroes of childrens' television Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin in order to take care of some of their programmes which were languishing a little.
Their company was called Smallfilms. Here is a lovely reminder from Charlie Brooker of who they were and what they did.
Pogles' Wood was one of those programmes, and Oliver and I went through the archives at the BBC (and his own shed full of film cans) and produced three DVDs. The first series, 'The Pogles' the BBC showed only once because they found it too scary for daytime TV. We followed this with two DVDs of Pogles' Wood of films chosen by Oliver as his favourites.
However we didn't go on to clean up everything. Most of the first series eluded us as the sound had deteriorated (being an optical variable density sound track which had sat in a pig sty on Peter's farm through forty winters and summers) and rather than throw money at a full scale restoration project, Oliver said 'desist!' and was quite fierce about it, so we did.
The need was to preserve the films though, so over the years we have rummaged through the BBC library, and found, between their copies and our own, the best film stock to record from. So they are all safe now, digitized and ready to share.
So why Kickstarter? Why a DVD... surely they are going to die out in this future world of downloads?
Well yes, probably they will, but not just yet. Downloads will follow, but a lot of our customers want to give Oliver and Peter's programmes as a gift.
For they are often shared and precious childhood memories.
So for Christmas this year we are going to bring out the final haul of treasures from Pogles' Wood - a DVD called 'Pogles' End' which along with the others (The Pogles, Pogles Wood, Pogles Choice) will give you a complete (but a little disordered) collection.
Pogles Wood in its second series developed a format which heralded the later arrival of Bagpuss. Pippin and Tog would find something or have a need of advice from the magical Plant, the Plant would tell a story and matters would be transformed, but the first series was commissioned to be educational and about the countryside, and so we have some marvellous scenes of farmers and their children working in the Kent countryside where Oliver and Peter lived, and Peter still does.
Hopefully some of the children filmed will be joining us for our celebration of all things Pogle in October, and we have some invitations for the early birds amongst you too!
Does that sound ok? So please help if you can. Spread the word, send us a little money, and if you are fast enough to grab one of the tickets- come and spend a magical afternoon with Peter Firmin and his wife Joan and a host of family and friends and fans in the barn, where it all happened.
And I believe the Pogles are coming along too!
If you are not successful in that we will still provide lots of wonderful things in time for Christmas.
If the kickstarter film we made seemed a bit dull, we tried some other ways of getting the message across...
The Dragons Friendly Society
Risks and challenges
There are no risks to you. All you are doing is making a pledge, no money will be taken until we have achieved our goal - and all the prices show significant savings on the RRP
And the new DVD will * fingers crossed* be ready in time for Christmas, with your name (or that of a loved one) on the credits! (No 'vulgar' pseudonyms please!)
There is always the possibility that we may have to postpone or cancel the event at Peter's in the event of ill health, but we cheerfully don't anticipate this.
Many thanks for your helpLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)