For the child in us all

Types of Control


The Early Plywood Control-This was flat and made in a very basic T bar shape.Strings were attached directly to it.

Another early control with the paper label still attached.


The Standard Control (with crossbar set back from centrepoint)-This was used on the earlier brown boxed puppets.There were no buffers and strings were tied directly to eyelets


The Standard Control ( with crossbar at centrepoint) with buffers-This is probably used on more Pelham puppets than any other control.A split pin is used to hold the two pieces of wood together and the control can fold. It has 4 buffers,A Red for the hand strings A Yellow for the back string and two blue ones for the leg strings.A hook was attached on the top.

The Smaller Standard Control with buffers-This was used for a short time. Some brown boxed puppets have them and so do some hatter boxed puppets as well so they were probably made around 1955.

The SM Puppet Control with buffers

The JC Control

The Small Animal Control-Examples of the small animal controls after the Pelham company stopped using buffers on them.

The Large Animal Control

The Jumpette Control- A very simple 3 stringed control with an elastic string in the centre to make the puppet jump.

The Minipup Control

The Display Puppet Control

The Plastic Control

The Last Control- This was used on puppets after 1986 All the buffers were red and all black strings were used too.

All the controls had a basic simplicity to them because all the Pelham puppets were designed with children mind.

The later controls had coloured buffers to match the colour coded strings in an effort to make untangling easier.


The coloured buffers that were used on the controls are not available to buy any more. Believe it or not there is not one plastics company out there that makes anything near to the originals which could be used as a replacement. You can buy  black and white buffers on ebay but they are not the same somehow.

I discovered some coloured beads  a few years back which  if you are careful you can cut to the correct shape of a buffer  I have found these are ideal as a replacement as they come in the correct colours or as near as.

The Standard Control (with crossbar set back from the centrepoint)


The Buffers

The buffers were introduced in 1956.They were ingenious.They immediately made a big difference.Children could see where the strings went and they could untangle them more easily.They were used on the standard controls and the JC/animal controls.They were a great step forward and were used even after the company was sold.

A hook went through the buffer and screwed into the control It could be turned easily and  hence strings could  be removed or replaced when untangling.

Today the coloured buffers are not manufactured. You can find similar black and white ones in DIY shops but somehow its not the same using these as replacements.(See page Hints)