Guernsey Post celebrates 50 magical years of Bagpuss with commemorative stamps

Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau is delighted to release commemorative stamps to mark the 50th anniversary of Bagpuss - the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world.

The British classic children’s series first aired on 12 February 1974, capturing the nation’s hearts and becoming one of the best loved children’s programmes of all time (stamp issue date: 25 July 2024).

Created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, the stories are set in a "lost and found" shop owned by a girl called Emily, a role played by Firmin’s daughter. Emily displays these belongings in the window, so their owners could come and collect them. She would leave objects in front of her favourite stuffed toy, Bagpuss, whose “think bubble” became a way to illustrate the stories and mend or explore the objects that Emily had found.

When Emily leaves the artefacts alone, the marvellous moggy and his friends come to life; we meet Professor Yaffle the woodpecker bookend, Gabriel the toad, Madeleine the rag doll and the magical mice. Gabriel and Madeleine provide songs and stories, although the mice often sing too.

The six mice - Charlie, Jenny, Janey, Lizzy, Eddie and Willy -  carved on the side of the "mouseorgan" wake up and scurry around, singing in high-pitched voices. 

Madeleine, the rag doll made of scraps, sits happily in a wicker chair and acts as a mother to the mice, telling stories and singing songs with Gabriel, a banjo-playing toad, who lives on top of the round tin on the shelf. 

Professor Yaffle, the carved wooden book-end, likes to think he is the brains of the outfit and the mice love nothing better than to play tricks on him to bring him down a peg or two. 

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: - “We are absolutely delighted to celebrate the 50th birthday of Bagpuss with our Alderney stamp products depicting the wonderful saggy old cloth cat and his friends. Despite only 13 episodes ever being made, Bagpuss is considered one of the U.K.’s most beloved TV shows and has captured the hearts of people across the world.”

The stamp products, including a commemorative Prestige Folder, will be available to pre-order from 11 July 2024 at or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0)1481 716486.

Tags: Bagpuss