The Clangers (1969 – 1974)

Five Clangers, pink, mouse-shaped creatures wearing black shoes and the females different colour tabards or waistcoats and the males armour, stand on the surface of a blue, moon-like planet some in and some next to their crater shaped burrows some of which are covered by metal dustbin lids.. In the background is the dark night sky with twinkling stars an iron chicken flying in the top right of the image. The Clangers are waving at the chicken satellite.

The Clangers (1969-1974) © Channel 5

Creator: Oliver Postgate, Peter Firmin
Production Company:
Kent Locations Used:
Blean – Canterbury

The Clangers (1969-1974) was a children’s stop-motion TV series which was broadcast on BBC One. The series consisted of short 10-minute episodes chronicling the lives of the Clangers, a family of pink mouse-like creatures who live below the surface of a far away planet populated by music trees and speak only in whistles. They lived in crater like burrows that were covered with dustbin lids to shield against meteor impacts and lived on blue string pudding and green soup from the planet’s soup wells harvested by the soup dragon.

The series was created by Smallfilms, a TV production company founded by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, who also produced popular children’s stop-motion animated programmes Bagpuss (1974), Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog. The production was a collaboration between the two men, with Firmin making the models and drawing the artwork, and Postgate writing the scripts and voicing and animating the characters.

The Clangers, as well as Smallfilms other productions, was shot in a studio in Blean, near Canterbury. The studio was originally a disused cowshed at Firmin’s family home.

Peter Firmin sits against a white background. He is wearing a navy-blue jumper with a light blue shirt underneath. He holds two puppets in his hands, one of the Froglets, an orange oval-shaped alien with black stick legs, the other the spotted green Soup Dragon. In front of him, on a table, stand six other puppets – three Clangers, another two Froglets and the Irone Chicken., a metallic bird made from Meccano.

Peter Firmin and the Clanger puppets at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury © Kent Online

Blean is a village in the district of Canterbury which is home to the popular Blean Woods Nature Reserve, one of the largest woodlands in England. Smallfilms’ Bagpuss (1974) was also shot in Blean.

The series is a fondly remembered British classic. A revival series began airing in 2015 narrated by Michael Palin and airing on CBeebies.

The Clangers (1969-1974) was broadcast on BBC One from Sunday 16th November 1969 until Friday 10th November 1972. A final special episode was broadcast on Thursday 10th October 1974. The series is now available to purchase on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.