Colchester Museums delighted to announce the huge success of Big TV Weekend at Colchester Castle

PUBLISHED: 15 April 2024

Colchester Museums is thrilled to announce the success of its Big TV Weekend event, held on April 6th and 7th. The event attracted a large crowd of visitors eager to delve into the fascinating history of television puppetry.

Held in conjunction with the Castle's latest exhibition, Thunderbirds and Co: The Joy of Puppetry and supporting local charity Headway Essex, the Big TV Weekend exceeded expectations, showcasing rare and iconic puppets not featured in the exhibition itself. Guests were treated to a vibrant array of displays, engaging talks, and captivating demonstrations, creating an unforgettable celebration of early television children’s shows.

A highlight of the weekend was the opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the beloved television series Stingray, and to witness the original 'Marina' puppet on display, offering a unique glimpse into television history.

As the festivities continued into the evening, exclusive ticketed events provided access to some truly special guests. Attendees had the privilege of meeting Ronnie Le Drew, best known as Zippy from the popular Rainbow series, and Mary Turner, the lead puppet operator and sculptor from iconic Gerry Anderson TV series such as Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet.

In response to the overwhelming success of the Big TV Weekend, Colchester Museums is excited to announce that some of Mary Turner's original puppets will remain on display in the exhibition including the original Joe 90. This rare opportunity offers a compelling reason for both avid fans and newcomers alike to visit the Castle and experience the magic of puppetry firsthand.

Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council said: “It’s great to see television history come to life at Colchester Castle. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the pre digital age, of TV puppetry, and take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with Thunderbirds and Co: The Joy of Puppetry. The exhibition is included in the cost of Castle admission. You can upgrade your entry to a Museum Pass for a small extra charge, giving you unlimited entry for a whole year.

The exhibition is on display until the 30 June. Discover more here: Thunderbirds and Co: The Joy of Puppetry | Colchester Museums

Page last reviewed: 15 April 2024


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