The first puppets Bob Pelham produced had solid wooden heads which were shaped on a lathe. There was no uniformity and they came in all shapes and sizes. This was a problem as it took such a long time to produce just one puppet.However in 1948 when visiting a fair Bob discovered some wooden balls that were used to throw at the coconut shy.He soon found himself a supplier and from that moment on Pelham puppets began to be mass produced.
This was the head used on LS and SS puppets from 1948 onwards.It was the most basic head used for many characters It was a solid round wooden ball dipped in a base colour and then hand painted with a face
This was used for the SM puppets This was a head that incorporated a moving mouth so that the puppets could appear to talk.It was slightly bigger than the standard wooden ball head and was developed just to make the puppets a little more realistic.
Gill Leeper came to work for the Pelham company in 1949.He was a master woodcarver and the puppet heads he designed were instantly recognisable because of their amazing faces and his eye for detail. He was responsible for the Alice in Wonderland and the Punch and Judy ranges as well as many other individual puppets.Unfortunately he died in a road accident in 1957