Top Picture: Captain Pugwash and Cut Throat Jake
Bottom Picture: Canoe Lake in 1950
Now here is a character from our childhood, Captain Pugwash as we all know he is a fictional pirate who starred in a series of British children's comic strips and books created by John Ryan. The character's adventures were adapted into a TV series, using cardboard cut-outs filmed in live-action (the first series was performed and broadcast live), also called Captain Pugwash. He first appeared on our screens in 1957 and a series using the traditional form of animation was first aired in 1998.
Our hero – Captain Horatio Pugwash – sailed the high seas in his ship called the Black Pig, ably assisted by cabin boy Tom, pirates Willy and Barnabas, and Master Mate but as I expect we all remember his mortal enemy was Cut Throat Jake, captain of the Flying Dustman.
Actually Captain Horatio Pugwash is almost as old as us as he made his debut in a comic strip format in the first issue of The Eagle in 1950, then appeared regularly as a strip in the Radio Times. In 1957 the BBC commissioned a series of short cartoon films. John Ryan produced a total of 86 five-minute-long episodes for the BBC. He used a real-time technique of animation in which cardboard cutouts of the characters were laid on painted backgrounds and moved with levers. The characters' voices were provided by Peter Hawkins. The last series of Pugwash shorts by John Ryan was in 1975.
The book The Battle of Bunkum Bay gives some useful clues as to the era in which the stories are set. In this book, the King of Great Britain strongly resembles George 1 and the King of France resembles Louis XIV, suggesting that this story took place in 1714–15. However, one of the few direct references to a date is in the original TV series is the episode 'Pirate of the Year' where Pugwash enters the "Pirate of the Year contest 1775"
A number of spin-off books were written by John Ryan, and in the 1980s he drew three new Pugwash comic strip storybooks: The Secret of the San Fiasco, The Battle of Bunkum Bay and The Quest for the Golden Handshake.
Prior to the 1974-1975 series, the first Generation of Captain Pugwash episodes were filmed in black and white and were first shown on British TV, between 1957-1966. These early episodes, number a total of 87 episodes, with the producers using the production codes of CP001 to CP087, respectively. These earlier episodes are in addition to the later 30 episodes, from second generation of the series, which was produced in colour, during 1974-1975. Captain Pugwash also sold overseas, to various TV stations, including Australia’s ABC Television. There the show was screened by the ABC, during weekday afternoons, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Now who do you remember?
The pompous but likeable captain of the Black Pig. Although he boasts of being the "bravest buccaneer", he is actually quite cowardly and stupid. His greed often gets him into trouble. Despite all this, he usually wins the day – either with the help of Tom the Cabin Boy or through sheer luck. Strangely enough, despite being a pirate, he is rarely seen committing any acts of piracy.
A dopey character, who has a tendency to use the wrong word at times and to mispronounce common words. He has a teddy bear in his bunk and is quite mild-mannered. It is not clear why he is the mate, as he does not appear to have any authority over the rest of the crew. He was present in the first ever Pugwash story, in which he was depicted as being constantly sleepy.
The most aggressive of the pirates, but in reality just as harmless. He is quite rebellious and grumpy, and is perhaps marginally more intelligent than Willy, the Mate or the Captain. He was not portrayed in the 1997 series.
A simple sailor from Wigan. He appears to be the youngest crew member (apart from Tom). He is gentle and against using violence. He does, however, have the occasional brainwave and has been the crew's saviour (admittedly sometimes more by luck than by design).
Tom the Cabin Boy
It might be argued that without Tom, Pugwash would have been sunk long ago. He is the most intelligent and resourceful member of the crew, the only one who can cook and the only one who can actually sail a ship. Although Pugwash would never admit it, Tom's ability to think up schemes is probably the only thing that prevents him from being a total failure as a pirate. Tom is an expert concertina player and part of his repertoire is The Trumpet Hornpipe (the Captain Pugwash theme). He was portrayed with a Home Counties accent in the first television adaptation, and with an Irish accent in the 1997 series.
Cut Throat Jake
Captain Pugwash's fearsome arch-enemy, captain of the Flying Dustman. When he is not scheming to bring about Pugwash's downfall, he is a rather more competent pirate than his enemy and always seems to have plenty of treasure. He speaks with a West Country accent and is easily recognisable by his eye patch and enormous black beard.
 Characters added in the later series
This character replaced pirate Barnabas, who featured in the older series. His catchphrase is "No good will come of this, mark my words!" Jonah appears to be of a Jamaican origin. He is the tallest of the crew as he often hits his head on the ceiling of the ship's lower deck. He is also one of the strongest of the crew as he serves as the Black Pig's carpenter.
Pugwash was well known for what can only be called Pugwashisms
"Dolloping doubloons or Dolphins" "Coddling catfish!" "Lolloping landlubbers!" "Suffering seagulls!" "Staggering stalactites!" “Nautical nitwits!" "Plundering porpoises!" "Kipper me capstans!" "Tottering turtles!" "Dithering dogfish!" "Scuttling cuttlefish!" "Stuttering starfish!" "Blistering Barnacles!"
Cut-Throat Jake has occasionally been known to utter the similar exclamation, "Scupper me skull and cross bones.”
The series had a memorable signature tune The Trumpet Hornpipe which was played by accordionist Tom Edmundson. He had learned the tune from Jimmy Shand and it appears to have been popular from the mid-19th century, but its composer and country of origin are unknown. In the United States it is known as the Thunder Hornpipe. Other background music was provided by renowned BBC music arranger and pianist, Johnny Pearson.
That’s all me hearties take care
From the Web Page 10 years ago, another of those occasional look backs.
The Power of the Pound in the days when LSD was cash!
Things were different in a lot of ways when we were at school especially at home in the day to day life, the age of the convenience food had not really arrived quite yet, but Mrs Perfect Housewife in an Ideal Home had according to the advertisers in the magazines. Whilst sorting through a drawer recently I can across a lot of things from my teenage years and earlier. Letters (you’ve got to be a romantic to keep them!), my ration book made out in my name and registered in Parry’s stores on the Havant Road in Farlington, my National Identity Card, my grandmothers tobacco coupons and the weekly shopping book that once belonged to my father in law. Do you remember that your parents made out a shopping list in a book each week and then took it into the local shop and then a couple of days later it was delivered it to your door, either by bicycle, a la Arkwrights or in Parry’s case a rickety old green Morris van. The book I found was dated 1967, a little later than our school years but still close enough for us to get the feel of the economy and the cost of things, so most of the prices I quote come from that little hand written book.
What we bought:
The ‘in’ drink for the smart set at this time was most certainly Babycham (I’d love a Babycham) but there were other products that tried to get in on the action and tried to be adopted by the smart set. Remember Pony (the little drink with the big kick), Cherry B (what did the B stand for?) and Schweppes Bitter Lemon at just 11d. per bottle. Still on the alcohol front there were those TV ads featuring a set of cartoon country yokels, all singing ‘Coates comes up from Somerset where the cider apples grow’, other Cider brands were Woodpecker and Gaymers. For the younger set there was Corona in the distinctive wire clasped bottles, in some areas, ours being one, Corona was delivered once a week from a specially converted and angled flat bed Bedford lorry. There was Tizer (the appetizer), Cidrax and Peardrax, Kiaora squash and a new brand range of cordials under the Tree Top label. This brand was unusual because it not only came in the usual flavours of orange and lemon but also some strange exotic ones like passion fruit and mango! Or you could go and get a carton of milk (plain or strawberry flavoured) from the Milk Machines that were sited around the area, our local one was outside Fishy Francis’ Chip shop in Drayton.
Maybe you knew someone who was old enough to drink and fancied a beer, the drink to have then came from the Brickwoods Brewery in Queen Street, one of their Sunshine Ales range perhaps, a Little Bricky, or even a glass of Watneys Red Barrel. After a few of these you would then need a Disprin at 9d a packet to fight off the hangover.
Some dehydrated and ready prepared food had already found its way onto the market; Vesta Beef or Chicken Curry at 3/- maybe a Paella or the eastern dish Chow Mein at 2/9d. Talking of eastern things there was always the exotic promise from Fry’s Turkish Delight from Big Fry and washed down with some Schhhh Tonic water advertised by William Franklyn. These were the days that saw the introduction of products such as Milky Way (the snack you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite) and Smash potato flakes with their little robot men, plus Homepride flour with its little bowler hated flour graders. Also being very politically incorrect in our modern times was the golliwog on the jars of Robertson’s jams and marmalades.Birds Eye and Findus introduced frozen peas and then frozen runner beans at 1/2d, broad beans at 1/5d and brussel sprouts at 1/9d. Maybe for a pudding your mother would buy a Quick Jel at 6d, a flan case at 1/6d and tinned strawberries at 2/2d so you could make a make a sponge flan with tinned cream, which cost 9d. Or maybe a Birds Instant Whip was more convenient. In the kitchen your mother probably did the weekly wash using Daz 2/1d or Lux Flakes 2/11d, she cleaned the floors with Flash 1/11d. and did the washing up with Squeezy 1/2d. but don’t forget that a bottle of 1001 carpet shampoo cleaned a big, big carpet for less than half a crown. In the bathroom could be found bars of Lifebuoy soap, 11d, and for the ladies Camay (you’ll feel a little lovelier each day…..) at 1/4d, those were the days of the introduction of designer aftershave, stand clear of the Hi Karate and Brut !!! and can you remember those terrible Izal and Bronco toilet rolls?
It only cost us 4d to post a letter and 1/6d to get into the cheap seats at the cinema and a ticket for a pop concert at the Guildhall was about 5/-. To buy a daily local paper it cost 4d for the Evening News or if you wanted the weekly publication the Hampshire Telegraph that was also 4d an issue. We were still in the hey day of coach excursions and I recently came across an advertisement from Southdown Motor Services promoting day trips to Warwick Castle and Coventry for 25/6d and Bournemouth for 11/6d.
Looking back at these products and prices I fear I am getting to sound rather like my grandmother did, but then she always added ‘but those were the days’, I now know exactly how she felt.
You remembered all the Solent Road School Masters and Mistresses except one. I wonder if it was because she was so awfully terrifying that you blanked it out for the sake of your sanity. What about Miss Moore............she used to take the 11 + class and was an absolute tyrant. She scared people into passing the 11+. I think she probably had the highest pass rate in the iniquitous history of the system that caused so much grief to hundreds of thousands of kids of that era. The 11+ shaped your whole future and if you were a bit off on the day of the test......tough. There was no real redress. My own wife Carol was one of those that failed the 11+..She is extremely bright and can do "killer" Sudokus of stated required 2 hours 30 minute duration in less than half an hour.......they take me days and I got distinctions in A level maths.
Back to Miss Moore....a lady who wore lacy shirts and a grey hair bun. She would cane at the drop of a hat. She made us learn our tables up to 16 times tables. She would stand us all on our chairs and strut around the class firing 5 X 13, 6 X 9 etc into your face. If you got it right you sat down. If not you stayed stnding on your chair, Eventually there was always one last quivering wreck who was faced with a wrath filled Miss Moore firing ridiculously difficult requests into their face. Some of the unlucky remainders of this treatment are probably still suffering nightmares to this day. I remember we used to write with red painted wooden pens, the nibs of which were removable for cleaning. We took them home on Fridays for such cleaning and brought them back on Mondays. I remember an occasion when Jon Caple forgot to bring his nib. He was too frightened to tell Miss Moore that he tried to write with a milk straw. Miss Moore caught him of course...........not surprising as after a few minutes there was ink everywhere.........he was dragged by his hair to the front of the class. What followed would today be on Sky News.
She scrabbled on top of "The Cupboard" for her three canes, a thick one, a medium one and a wickedly thin whippy one. She brandished them in his face screaming "which one do you want!!!!!!!" The poor lad weepingly chose the medium one and received SIX cuts on his hand in front of us all. I would guess the readers of this letter will scarce believe me but it happened, my God it really happened.
News and Views:
Ronald Wolfe writer of Educating Archie, The Rag Trade and On The Buses has died aged 89 after a fall, he was a cousin of the actor Warren Mitchell. He worked as a radio engineer for Marconi before contributing scripts to BBC radio series and writing material for Beryl Reid's stage shows. In 1953, a year after she joined Educating Archie he was asked to produce scripts for it and eventually became head writer. The programme also featured Ronald Chesney performing his "talking harmonica" novelty act and at times included Benny Hill, Dick Emery and Bruce Forsyth. Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney continued in the same roles for a 1956 BBC television special and the 1957 series Archie in Australia but, when ITV launched Educating Archie (1958-59) on television, Ronald Chesney abandoned performing and worked on scripts, doing the same for the final two radio series, finishing in 1960.
Chesney and Wolfe then created another BBC radio series, It's a Deal (1961), for Sid James, the The Rag Trade, Meet the Wife (1963-66), The Bed-sit Girl (1965-66), Sorry I'm Single (1967), with Derek Nimmo as an eternal student; and Wild, Wild Women. Then there was Romany Jones (1972-75and Yus My Dear (1976). But Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe enjoyed huge success with On the Buses. Originally turned down by the BBC the idea appealed to Frank Muir, head of entertainment at the newly launched London Weekend Television and the rest is history.
On this Day 14th January 1960-1965
On 14/01/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day had been Elvis promoted to sergeant in US Army.
On 14/01/1961 the number one single was Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1964 the number one single was Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was forthcoming trial of the alleged Great Train Robbers.
On 20/01/1965 the number one single was Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.