Producing puppets that work well is – and always has been – of paramount importance to David, who learned his craft from Bob Pelham and by working across the various departments of the original Pelham Puppets factory in the late 1960s through into the early 1980s.
Maintaining the Pelham Puppet tradition.
Scroll down the left hand column to see how the new range of Pelham Puppets are designed and made.
Scroll down the right hand column to discover the variety of work that David has produced over the years and recent examples of puppets he has made for theatre and private commissions.
Each puppet is made with the same skill and care as the original puppets that you may remember from your own childhood. Each face is painted individually, so you can be sure that no two puppets will ever be exactly the same.
David continues the tradition of using recycled materials for puppet making, just as Bob Pelham did in 1947. All the puppets are made from components and items originally produced for some other purpose!
The heads are still wooden spheres, the feet are still made from toggles and the bodies are made from banister rails. Legs and arms are made from dowelling, (for the prototypes he used broom handles, but the quality of the timber was not good enough for puppet making.)
The “t- shape” control bars are the same style and size as used for the original ‘Type LS’ or animal control bars so that children as young as five or six can manage them, (under supervision at first) but are designed to have a range of movements and control to appeal to older children as well, should they want to develop the hobby and stage shows at home or as part of a school project.
In fact, the puppets are proving increasingly popular with children, across the UK and beyond, many of whom are discovering the wonderful world of puppet theatre for the first time.
Several thousand puppets have been produced and sold in the last few years and the demand is steadily increasing. Without exception, all the “feedback” regarding the quality of the product and service has been very positive and complimentary. We aim to keep it that way.
As Bob Pelham once said, many years ago,
“A puppet is not just a toy, but it has to walk, act and dance for someone!”
Below are examples of large puppets of vintage Pelham puppet characters produced by David in recent times.
If you would like to have a special puppet made, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
David Leech has been involved with puppets and puppet theatre from a very young age and has produced and presented shows in theatre and television in the UK, Canada, USA and Spain.
In addition to producing Pelham Puppets David makes puppets to order for private customers, theatre, pantomime and television. Scroll down the page to see some examples of past work.
He is editor of the Newsletter for the British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild and has always specialised in making marionettes for the professional stage and televison as well as producing puppets for children to use and play with.
COLLECTING PELHAM PUPPETS
This 116 page book includes a brief history of Pelham Puppets and contains hundreds of colour and black and white photographs of the puppets from 1947 through to the 1980s.
Ten years later in 2008 David’s 2nd book PELHAM PUPPETS – A COLLECTOR’S GUIDE was published by CrowoodPress. This hardback book features the complete story of Pelham Puppets and includes a tour of the original Pelham Puppets Factory and several chapters about the puppets that will interest Collectors.
Below are some examples of commissions recently produced by David. More information can be found on his Facebook page here.