I have loved my puppets ever since the day of my 6th birthday in 1958 when I was given my first Pelham puppet "The Bom".It was an expensive present indeed at the time but I remember how I loved him immediately and ran my fingers all over his detailed uniform.From then on I was keen to get my hands on more of the characters.As the years went by I acquired a Witch, MacBoozle, Cinderella, The Minstrel, and the Pink Panther among others.My Father was Master of a cargo ship and was away on long voyages lasting over a year sometimes.Each time he returned home he would take me to the toy shop in town to choose a puppet. It was his way of making up for the long times we had apart.
I never had a Pelham puppet theatre but I used to play with a friend in our street and we would improvise with chairs and boxes and sheets.We spent many happy playtimes with our puppets making up stories and putting on shows for our parents and friends.
Once I grew up my puppets were put on the back burner and my mother stored them away carefully. My interest was renewed when one day she returned them to me when I was in my late twenties. She and my Father were moving to a new bungalow and she just didn't want to throw them out. I'm so glad she didn't as my own children played with them when they were small and experienced the same enjoyment I did.
When the computer age dawned and Ebay arrived I got quite excited when I realised might be able to buy old Pelham puppets.I remember typing in Pelham puppets into the search box and being so delighted when a list of them appeared for sale. From then on I started collecting seriously. I read everything I could find on the subject I wanted to know every little fact about them.
I soon realised I had to be discerning about what I bought. I made a few mistakes but I learnt by experience what to look for and it was like Xmas each time a new parcel arrived. Postman Pat in his little red van was always making deliveries. In fact our postman became so interested in the puppets I had to open parcels there and then so he could see which one had arrived.
With the computer I made soon made friends with other collectors in the UK and the USA. Some of them already had wonderful collections so it was nice to talk to people with the same interest. Soon we were swapping stories and hints, helping each other find puppets we didn't have and talking about anything and everything Pelham.
Today I have about 350 different Pelham puppets in my collection. Its not the biggest or the best collection by any means but I am very happy with what I have put together over the years. I have an interest where there is always something new to discover, that has connected me to friends across the world and has given me something special to pass on to my own children.