white lettering superimposed on photograph
Source: YouTube

Rag, Tag and Bobtail was a BBC children’s television programme that ran from 1953 until 1965 as the Thursday programme in the weekly cycle of Watch With Mother.[1] The scripts were written by Louise Cochrane,[2] and the series was produced by Freda Lingstrom and David Boisseau. Narration was by Charles E. Stidwell, David Enders, and James Urquhart. The three main characters were Rag, a hedgehog; Tag, a mouse; and Bobtail, a rabbit; five baby rabbits also appeared occasionally.[1] All the characters were glove puppets, created and operated by Sam and Elizabeth Williams.[3]

Each 13-minute episode was filmed using a camera that scanned slowly along a simple countryside set, with no close-ups or cutaways. Twenty-six episodes were made, of which two were never broadcast. One surviving episode gives the flavour of a typical storyline: Tag is divining for water using a hazel twig, and discovers a muddy pool. He moves on to look for more water, and the pool is discovered by the babies, who are out playing in the sunshine. They jump into the mud and splash about, having a great time, until Bobtail comes along and sees that the mud has turned them all black. Bobtail has no water to clean the babies with, but Tag saves the day when he discovers a hitherto unknown stream of fresh, clean water.[1]

Citations



Bibliography


Feeney, P. (2009). A 1950s Childhood: From Tin Baths to Bread and Dripping. The History Press.
McGown, A. (n.d.). Rag, Tag and Bobtail (1953–54). Retrieved from http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1045658/index.html
Spencer, D. (2008). A Smudge on my Lens. Matador.

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