Very few people make any money from writing technical or biographical books, especially minor interest ones such as on puppetry unless they manage to create the definitive book on a specific area, or are already well known.   We all, however, like to see ourselves in print. Therefore I offer you Ted's (and Kath's) story; internet version. Where possible I have described my life as applicable to the puppet but some other stuff is bound to have crept into it for interest or continuity. Please do not think that I am trying to give myself top shelf rating. We never considered ourselves as more than hack puppeteers who did our best to provide a good show and to help others along the way. We had our fair share of failures and always gave grateful credit to our many puppet friends for their help and encouragement.

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Puppet Folk

or

How To Make A Puppeteer

 

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To Kath, without whom I would not have been a puppeteer.

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Introduction

In 1961 I had been an amateur/semi-pro puppeteer for ten years. I was young and knew it all. Had I written a book then it would have been full of instructional plans, how to string and manipulate marionettes, how to produce shows; in other words, the definitive marionettist. Had it been written and even more unlikely, had it been published, it would, no doubt, have been called "All You Ever Need Know About Marionettes."

Now, much older and wiser, I realise how little I know and that my book, like too many others, would have been no more than a summary of previous books on the subject with their assertion that, "This is the only way to do it!". Nevertheless, people still ask, "How do you make puppets or become a puppeteer?" as if it was something learned in a few minutes of explanation.

In order to make a puppet one must be merely an artist/craftsman but to be a puppeteer takes a little more preparation. It may be advisable to go back and choose the right grandparents and absolutely essential to choose the right partner, or remain single!  So if you are looking for book on puppet-making, look elsewhere but if you would be a puppeteer, read on.

As this has not passed through a publisher or a proof reader and as I went to a technical school and not a grammar or art school, words and drawings may not be of the highest order but it is mine, all mine (apart from a short passage from Kath!).

Although this is not a 'how to make it' book there will be some 'constructional/how to do it' details where, as far as I know, Kath or I are the originators!

 

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"Oi larfed at they li'l darncin' figgers"

Old Wiltshire country-woman on seeing our first show at Lyneham village hall in 1951.

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                                            Chapter I  -  1933/46 - Background)                                              

                         

Chapter 2  -  1947/50 - Kath and Carmen

 

Chapter 3  -  1950/51 - Life at Lyneham 

 

   Chapter 4  -  1951/52 - A Beanpole Palladium

 

Chapter 5  -  1952 - Changi

 

Chapter 6  -  1952 - Far East Follies

 

Chapter 7  -  1952/54 - Life in Singapore

 

Chapter 8  -  1954/58 - Back at Melksham, with transport

 

Chapter 9  -  1958/59 - A Touch of the Trans-Atlantics

 

Chapter 10  -  1959/61 - RAF Feltwell

 

Chapter 11  -  1961/63 - Missiles, You're Fired

 

Chapter 12  -  1963/65 - RAF Halton and the BP&MTG

 

Chapter 13  -  1965/73 - The Cold, Wet, Grey Place

 

Chapter 14  -  1971/85 - Folk Puppets

 

Chapter 15  -  1973/77 - Teaching is not all a Bed of Roses

 

Chapter 16  -  1974/89 - Does it Fluggen?

 

Chapter 17  -  1975/90 - Fiddler's Folly

 

Chapter 18  -  1976 - Annecy

 

Chapter 19  -  1977/88 - Tettenhall College

 

Chapter 20  -  1975/95 - Beresford Country

 

Chapter 21 - 1988/2007 - Going Professional

 

Chapter 22  -  1988/2008 - New Shows

 

Chapter 23  - 1988 - New Workshops

 

Chapter 24  -  1989/Present - Soup Day & Burnhill Green

 

Chapter 25  -  1990/92 - Mistelbach & Ghent

 

Chapter 26  -  1993/Present - On Anon to PuppetLink

 

Chapter 27 - 1994/2003 -Twinning)

 

Chapter 28  - 1993/Present - The Belgian Connection - 1

 

Chapter 29 - 1995/96 - The Belgian Connection - 2 

 

Chapter 30 -  August 1996 - The Belgian Connection - 3

 

Chapter 31 - 1997/2001 - Brugge & Gooik Again

 

Chapter32 - 1997/2001 - Brugge & Gooik Yet again

 

Chapter 33 - 1990/2001 - Working the Parks

 

Chapter 34 - Museums

 

Chapter 35 - Special needs

 

Chapter 36 - Some Memorable Gigs

 

Chapter 37 - Making for Others

Chapter 40

Chapter 38 - Locum

 

Chapter 39 - 2007-Present - Slowing Down

 

Chapter 40 - Loose Ends