Friday, 19 January 2018

The Cosgrove Hall Film Exhibition at Waterside, Sale, Manchester

When we visited Waterside in Sale to watch their Winter show The Bear, we also took time to visit their exhibition space, where they have a Cosgrove Hall Film Exhibition running until February 17th. The exhibit is free to visit and well worth popping in if you are visiting or nearby and have half an hour to spare.


I'm a big fan of Cosgrove Hall and have been lucky enough to work with them a few times over the last couple of years. Based in Greater Manchester, they are the people behind loads of children's TV and movies, and are masters of both illustration and stop-motion animation.


Cosgrove Hall created several of my own childhood favourites, including Chorlton And The Wheelies, Dangermouse, Count Duckula and Jamie & The Magic Torch. Still in the business 40 years on, they have more recently brought us Pip Ahoy!, Bill And Ben, Fetch The Vet, Noddy and Roary The Racing Car among many, many others.


Bill And Ben were before, and after, my childhood, but they start the nostalgia off well. I was really taken by The Animal Shelf. I watched this with my eldest I think and I'd completely forgotten about it until I saw these models.


Engie Benjy here - I admit I Googled as I hadn't taken a note and didn't recognise it. This isn't something I've ever watched, but I kind of want to now I've seen the models....


It isn't just the actual finished models in the exhibit. There are also some original designs - from line drawings through to acetates from some of the illustrated animations - Jamie and the Magic Torch was my favourite programme as a 6 and 7 year old child. I still have a story book I was given for being brave at the dentist.


The model-making is so much more complicated than you'd realise. Inside the clay is a skeleton which can be posed almost infinitely.


It was a surprise to see that not all of the Cosgrove Hall models are clay - Andy Pandy and Looby Loo have foam bodies.


The detail on all is amazing, but the figures for Truckers (which was never as popular as it should be) are so finely decorated, it really gives an idea of just how long it must take to make them, before you can even start filming...



The Wind In The Willows models are showing their age a bit now - as am I - they're a little younger than me, at 35 years old. Not bad for clay models...


My partner found his favourite TV Show - he'd even worn the right t-shirt.


Chorlton And The Wheelies was the part of the display which had us both cooing the most. It was an really crazy storyline which rarely made any sense, but we both loved it. Fenella the Kettle Witch disappearing in only a handful of frames was a lovely reminder.



And her giant son, Clifford, who I believe was mysteriously Welsh (Chorlton has a Yorkshire accent!) and only ever appeared below the knee...



The Cosgrove Hall Exhibit will be at Waterside until February 17th, 10am until 5pm Monday to Saturday, and open during late night events too. Free entry to all and definitely well worth visiting. Find out more on the Waterside website


Last year when we went to the Winter performance at Waterside Arts they had an exhibit of models, props and design drawings from Aardman Animations, including Wallace and Gromit and Pirates. I wrote about that exhibit too - you can find my Aardman Animation Exhibition post here...



This exhibit is free for all.

12 comments:

  1. Big smile on my face as I seen the images for these puppets it takes me back! Shall be getting along to see these wonders!Thanks for the work involved putting it on Best Wishes , Carla Fox

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    1. Thanks Carla! I really appreciate your comment. Glad it made you smile :)

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  2. Hi There, Are there any late nights in Feb for the Cosgrove Hall Exhibits? Thanks , Carla Fox

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    1. I honestly don't know. if you give Waterside a ring then I'm sure they'll be able to help you - 0161 912 5616! Fingers crossed :)

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  3. Aww I love this. I used to love the wheelies and I was terrified of that witch. There was a castle near my grandparents house in England that my dad told me was the castle in this and I was terrified of it. This looks so cool. Thanks for sharing xx

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    1. Thanks Susan! Thank you for such a lovely comment. I bet if the castle was anywhere in the Northwest it might well have been - they were based in Didsbury for most of their life :)

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  4. We visited this place yesterday too. I resisted the urge to nick all the cels and the Igor statue!

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    1. It was amazing wasn't it - Igor would look great in the hallway :D

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  5. We visited this place yesterday too. I resisted the urge to nick all the cels and the Igor statue!

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  6. Thank you so much Jenny for this review, I had the pleasure of curating this exhibition and so rewarding to hear some feedback and shared love for the puppets and productions. Wishing you fun travels to you and your family.

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    1. Thank YOU Georgia - we loved it. There were lots of people around when we were there and everyone was full of nostalgia. I'm looking forward to the next one! :D

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    2. Georgia... I missed this exhibition. Would you know where I can view the Chorlton And The Wheelies characters? Thanks.

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