THE PELHAM PUPPETS PUPPEDIA

For the child in us all

The First Heads

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.

 

 

The  Standard Wooden Ball Head

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

The Larger Wooden Head

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.

 

 

The Moulded Head

This was used for the SL puppets.The moulded head allowed for much more freedom in making characters look realistic. It was hollow and made by putting a pumice and glue mixture into a metal mould and drying it. That made it lighter than a wooden head but much more susceptible to cracking and breaking.Collectors usually avoid puppets with damaged SL heads. Once damaged they drop in value considerably.

Gill Leeper Heads

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