4MI-2013-11-28030
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Turin-Brakes6
D812668
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Civic-Service-18
Duke-of-Kent086
Remebrance-18-1
Roving-Crows1
Big-Bull
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
EARLY-MORNING-CANTER-473-
Brooks-Williams1
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
White-Horse
Animals06
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Tina-May5
MBORO-HOCKEY-YOUTH-473
BABRURY-XC-JUMP-473
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
JazzFestSat572
Gordon-and-Sam
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
Camilla-MSM
Landscape
Inbox-1
MYFC005
Snowy-High-Street
George-Wilding-301
Brazier
Musical-Time-Machine5
FROSTY-MORNING-
Remebrance-18-3
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
D4S0472
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Hares017cropped
YELLOWHAMMER-473-
IMG9097
Inbox2
Ogbourne
D4S9273
Sunset2
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
Remebrance-18-2
Pete-Gage-Band1
Sunset
TdB-Pewsey044
Scouting-for-Girls7
IMG8472
SBJ

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tony Gray

Tony GrayTony Gray

 

Bob Pelham and Pelham Puppets are fondly remembered by Tony Gray. Tony was owner of Ducks Toy Shop, Marlborough from 1965 to 2008, a former Marlborough mayor and town councillor. He has recently been presented with a life-time achievement award by Marlborough town council.

Tony told marlborough.news: “ Initially Bob Pelham had his own shop in Kingsbury Street and in the post war period used a lot of ex-army materials, convoluted tubes from gas masks, as well as wooden coconut balls. As the business expanded to the factory down by the Kennet, off London Road, Pelham Puppets became a huge employer in the town with wonderful esprit de corps among the workers.”

Tony shared his memories of Bob Pelham who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1980.

“Bob Pelham was a very shy man. He seemed to communicate through his puppets. He would come to the shop on a Saturday morning with new puppet designs and walk up to kids with the puppets. The kids would talk to the puppet and not to him.”

Ducks Toy shop became one of the main retailers for the puppets, along with Hamleys in London and Schwarz in New York.

‘We used to go down to the factory to pick up the puppets and this gave us the pick of the bunch. At Christmas we would have a special animated (motorised) Pelham Puppet display in the window of Ducks.”

Tony and his wife with Bimbo the ClownTony and his wife with Bimbo the ClownWhen Tony became Mayor of Marlborough in 1971 he invited local businesses to a trade fair and asked them to mount a display. Bob Pelham created an eight foot Bimbo the Clown puppet especially for this event. ( See photograph of Tony and his wife with Bimbo the Clown.)

The puppets were always successful, especially with American tourists visiting Marlborough. Some of the best-selling puppets in Ducks included Muffin the Mule, Mcboozle, and in 1966, World Cup Willy. In the 60’s and 70’s The Magic Roundabout characters were very popular, particularly Dougal the dog.

Bob Pelham was meticulous in sourcing exactly the right materials for his puppets. He went to Iceland to buy Icelandic sheepskin for his Dougal puppets because he believed that Icelandic sheepskin had just the right texture for Dougal’s coat.

 

 

 Back to Marlborough Puppetry Festival

 

 

 

 

Print Email

Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Brooks-Williams1
TdB-Pewsey044
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Remebrance-18-1
Turin-Brakes6
Big-Bull
Gordon-and-Sam
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Snowy-High-Street
Roving-Crows1
Landscape
Tina-May5
Camilla-2012-10-19152
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
D4S9273
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Musical-Time-Machine5
Ogbourne
D4S0472
Sunset2
Hares017cropped
IMG9097
SBJ
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Scouting-for-Girls7
Remebrance-18-2
Duke-of-Kent086
JazzFestSat572
IMG8472
White-Horse
Sunset
George-Wilding-301
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Pete-Gage-Band1
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
MYFC005
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Camilla-MSM
D812668
CivicSelfie1
Animals06
Remebrance-18-3
Brazier
4MI-2013-11-28030
Civic-Service-18