I subscribe (in the sense of paying) to only one news source on the Internet, and that is The Telegraph. It’s the only newspaper my family read throughout the latter half of the 20th century (after the servants had ironed it, of course*) I do so because their coverage is (relatively speaking, these days) rational, diverse (in the best sense of the word), and interesting. The cooking pages are sublime. The “living” pages (AKA, what used to be called the “Women’s” section) are useful, and there is much else to be admired. Most of all, perhaps, the obituary section (Dad’s is here. We shall not see his like again).
And yet. Today, in the obituary section, was a paean to Denise Bryer, who’s died at the age of 93. She’s the woman (I learn) who voiced one of the characters on an early BBC television show directed at young children called “Bill and Ben (The Flowerpot Men).”
Denise voiced the character known as “Little Weed.”
I can’t tell you, back there in the late 1950s, what those programs meant to me. They were known as Watch with Mother, a step forward from Listen with Mother, (“Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.”) which were the earlier programs on the radio.
Watch with Mother began broadcasting on BBC television in 1952 or so. There were five different programs, one for each day of the week. Mondays was “Picture Book.” Tuesdays was “Andy Pandy.” Wednesdays was “Bill and Ben (the Flowerpot Men),” Thursdays (my favorite! which should come as no surprise) “Rag, Tag, and Bobtail,” and Fridays “The Woodentops.”
Hopelessly old-fashioned and non-woke, all. I loved them.
Can’t think of anything that illustrates that last point better than the fact that I shed a little tear to know that Little Weed has died.
*Joke. Just call it my “newspaper privilege.”