Ivor the Engine

1959 | United Kingdom

5 minute animation series from the prolific team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin which concerned itself with the adventures of a small green railway engine running out of the Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company, which was, according to the narrator, "In the top left-hand corner of Wales." Ivor was driven by Jones the Steam who worked alongside his colleagues Owen the Signal and Dai Station, the man who looked after Llianog Station. Ivor's boiler was fired by Idris the dragon and the little engines ambition was to sing in the choir like his friend Evans the Song. 

All the films were made in the barn of Peter Firmin's 18th century farmhouse near Canterbury, the cowshed acting as his studio whilst Postgate was assigned the pigsty. According to Postgate the shows airing at 1.15 in the afternoon clashed with board meetings at Associated Rediffusion, but not wishing to miss a single episode the board members ordered a television be wheeled in, the meeting stopped whilst they watched Ivor and then the television was wheeled out again and the meeting resumed. The series moved to BBC in 1976.

Published on December 23rd, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

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