LOST HISTORY

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LOST HISTORY

Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 11:53

It's a shame that so much Punch history has been lost. Because we are only after all very small community, having no well funded organisation that can handle research this will continue.
In a recent post on Sunny Huddersfield, topic went towards old puppets. I had met Pat Plant who told me my Ghost, Doctor, and I realised also a Blackman, Hangman and beadle were all by Franlin Spence , who greatl influence Bryan Clarke. I find this type of history so interesting.
David Wilde asked about origin of my Punch and some Quisto figures.
I've tried in the past to research the history, and had a go again recently.
I got a job lot of almost 3 sets of puppets about 20 years ago. I was told at the time that they had been used up in the North East, and along the coast up above Whitby. They were a mix of Wal Kent, the punch has just retired, Quisto, and what I now know are Franklin Spence. There wasthe remains of a fit up, and a backcloth and props.
I tried quite recently to contact the local newspaper in Middlesborough, their sort of nostalgia section, and asked them for any help they could come up with. Heard nothing so far.
Anyway, the Punch is rather similar in size and style to David's Hancock Punch, ther is a large Quisto Dragon, and the only clues to go on are the name 'D.Tipper' embrodered into the costume of a small monkey, and the backcloth of a street scene, now sold, had the name 'Kilbourn' written on, possibly the signature. It looked from the condition and sparse info given that these figures had been used up until theearly 1960s and then packed away.
Do the names Tipper and Kilbourn ring a bell with anyone?
I wonder if the PJF could send out a press release to a chunk of local newpapers asking if readers had Punch memories, and photos, especially if they knew the Prof, suppose it could be done by email, but busy people might stop and give more consideration to an actual letter, suitably illustrated, just a thought.
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Postby David Wilde » 04 Aug 2007, 22:09

Les,if you look inside your Quisto heads you mite find a small peice of paper attached in the head,Quisto used to write the year he made the figure and sign the paper,use a small torch,at least you mite find out when they were made!

I did look in mine and most of them had the paper inside,quite amazing really that you mite be the first person to look at it in 50 years!

One of the problem with Quistos is that so many of them I have seen there eyes have fallen out,or are missing one!

Les did you buy them of a Punch man or auction?

You mite be quite surprised les how much infomation has been colated or is known still,Geoff interviwed Quistos son a few years ago makes really intresting reading!
Last edited by David Wilde on 04 Aug 2007, 22:52, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 22:44

Yes David , one Quisto I think only one, has the label inside with an address, "St Pauls ... .something" ...can't remember if there's a date, I'll check soon. All the eyes are intact.
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Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 23:00

As a way of sharing visual information I have finally got round to joining a photo-sharing site, I've joined flickr, which works very simply http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1231/954 ... 58f71d.jpg even for me, so far I've uploaded about 60 shots from this years gigs.

The plan is to soon take photos of my own puppets and some in local museums and create a separarte themed 'set'

Link for current, and future pics is:

www.flickr.com/photos/properpunch/

Still finding my way around all it does, there is a free option but about £15 per year gives sort of 'unlimited' uploads/storage. Other people can view, and easily download a selection and even choose an image size to suit their needs.

...and there is the option to link pics via the photo's URL by adding it to a posting on this message board.

That is about as much techy thinking that I can handler in a short space of time. I've a tram to catch.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1231/954 ... 58f71d.jpg
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Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 23:01

FIRST LINK NO WORK, 2ND AND 3RD OK!
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Postby David Wilde » 04 Aug 2007, 23:04

I noticed your pics the other day and wached them in a slide show,I noticed the baby seems to be in your opening when you are not working,any special reason?
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Postby Chris » 04 Aug 2007, 23:07

Your first link should work now Les. Just needed editing.



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Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 23:14

Thanks Chris, didn't actually mean to put it twice.
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Postby lesclarke » 04 Aug 2007, 23:23

I leave the baby there just so the booth doesn't look empty and dead between shows, usually with curtains half open to invite curiosity. Also if I'm not working with other acts I leave music playing, not too loud for same reason. I suppose music also acts as bit of security when I go away for a tea-break. The baby is also the first figure to appear in my show.

Haven't tried the slide show yet.
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Postby Professor Eek » 05 Aug 2007, 09:00

Great photo's Les
==============================
incredibly bad magic and dreadful balloon modelling thrown in for free
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Postby lesclarke » 05 Aug 2007, 10:57

Links below to some pics showing half a dozen puppets I'd like help to get identified. I think I remember seeing a policeman same as this with a caption Stan Palmer/Stan Quigley, was that maker or prof?
The Green man(?) extending neck figure looks Wal kent style, hands etc, and came in a set with a large/ish Wal Kent style Punch, typical WK costume, but unlined. The Dog(?) came in same set. Anyone got knowledge or opinions?

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1070/101 ... e6d5_b.jpg

The next three are the Clowns, glass eyes, 2 with fabric hands one extending neck and springy arms. Hands fitted wrong arms! The clown on right has 'squirting' system, through end of nose.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1336/101 ... 867b_b.jpg
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Postby lesclarke » 05 Aug 2007, 11:01

What's that about foolproof and determined fools, in this case I'm in a hurry to get out in the sun!
POLICEMAN, GREEN MAN, DOG link:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1030/101 ... 762d_b.jpg
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Postby James » 05 Aug 2007, 14:28

Quisto policeman, and wal kent longneck. Am looking at the pics on my phone, so rather small, not sure about the clowns.

Im not sure what you mean about lost history Les. Whilst, as yet, there isn't a public archive there are many private ones, with puppets, papers, photos and footage, collected by Geoff Felix, David Wilde, Michael Dixon, Ray da Silva, and to some extent myself. I wouldn't worry about info being lost, if anything the issue is having space to store it all...which is where I suppose Michaels idea of a national (digital?) archive comes in.

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Still haven't had my copy of the Evening Star, the delivery service is terrible!
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Postby lesclarke » 05 Aug 2007, 15:54

In addition to the relatively well known profs there were also lots of local performers, many probably part-timers, and their history has been lost in the last 30 or so years.
Locally, in Huddersfield that is, we had Prof Thomas, Thomas Turner, who worked at Morecambe for many years. In a recent bit of pre-publicity for the Huddersfield event the local paper illustrated P&J with a pic of me, a well-known old postcard showing a show in London, and picture of Prof Manley the more well-known Punchman at Morecambe.
Prof Thomas' puppets are still within the same Councils area, but on display at a museum in Dewsbury rather then Huddersfield, with no menion of the Huddersfield connection.
By coincidence I'm working at that museum this Friday and so will try and arrange to take photos out of the display cases.
I'm sure many of thes old profs had an interesting tale, and some interesting figures.
It would be good to eventually see some of this private material made more widely available. It all takes money and time of course.
I think that issues like this were on the minds of those who were keen to bring the various Punch organisations under one umbrella several years back, as grant bodies prefer to deal with a single 'governing' organisation when handing out money for research etc.
Perhaps we need to think about going down that route again?!!!!!!
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Postby James » 05 Aug 2007, 20:39

I think the majority of these private collections would be opened by appointment, to anyone with a serious interest.

And of course George Speaights archive is also viewable by appointment from the Theatre Museum archive holdings, along with a superb set of Tickner figures, amongst many other puppet related items.

Glen Holden and Ian Denny are doing good work putting some of their archives, and material collected by Doug Hayward onto Ian's website.

The issue of public access is a difficult one, especially when it is easy to spend vast sums of money building up a collection.

In terms of different organisations, umbrella organisations and the like, for me it is a very thorny issue. Perhaps life would be easier if the original schism hadn't happened and we had all stayed as one, i.e. The Guild.
Still haven't had my copy of the Evening Star, the delivery service is terrible!
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