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Click on either of the above images to download a zipped mp3 of the start to "Play School."


"A House"...."with a door"

", two, three, four",

"Ready to play ?"

"What's the day ?"


"Here's a house",

"Here's a door",

"Windows, one, two, three four",

" Ready to knock ?"

"Turn the lock"

"It's play school."

Play School began life on 21st April 1964. It was first shown on the BBC and in black and white. Early presenters included the brilliant Brian Cant (later to find similar fame in the BBC2 children's program Playaway), Gordon Rollings (fans may remember him in cameo performances in Superman 3 (man in flat cap) and Superman 2 (man fishing)) and Virginia Stride (I may be wrong here but there was an actor of the same name in the 1972 film "I want, what I want." Playschool hardly changed in terms of its form from the very first episode in 1964 to the very last one shown in 1988. Pets, toys, stories, the windows, dressing up, and playing were all a vital part of a British child's growing up and hence kids of all ages were glued to their sets every afternoon. I don't know how many episodes were produced but there must have been thousands. Correct me if I'm wrong here but I seem to remember Play School being shown on television just before Jackanory on a week day. Hopefully the following images and information will bring back happy childhood memories. If anyone has any further information, corrections or was involved in the making of Play School in any capacity then please drop Little Gems a line at as I and many others would love to hear from you.

The Toys (the real stars !)

Benjamin the rabbit
A reflection of Humpty (1966)
Jemima on a ski slope
(with Virginia 1965)
Teddy also on a ski slope
(with Virginia 1965)
Humpty (1970)
Little Ted
Little Ted playing football
Hamble and Big Ted (1976)
Hamble and Big Ted (1970)
Hamble eventually needed a
good wash and so was later
replaced by Poppy
Jemima looking very fetching in that straw hat
Jemima (1970)

The Square, Round or Arched Window

In 1964 the presenter would often say the following as we prepared ourselves to go through either the square window, the round window or the arched window. As soon as the window is chosen the camera zooms in and the harp begins to play. Where will it take us today.

"One of our three magic windows can open wide to show both town and countryside."

The Windows in 1964
The Windows in 1964
(Virginia beside)
Windows in 1966
The Windows in 1966
(square is now square)
Windows in 1978
The Windows in 1978
(big change - arch and round)

The Play School Clock(s)

The Clock in 1964
The Clock in 1964
The Clock in 1965
The Clock in 1965
The Clock in 1968
The Clock in 1968
The Clock in 1971
The Clock in 1971
The Clock in 1978
The Clock in 1978
The Clock in 1983
The Clock in 1983
The Clock in 1988
The last Clock in 1988 (Liz Watts)

The Play School Pets

The first mice
Henry and Henrietta Mice
(with Virginia)
Virginia with rabbit
Not sure of the name of this
little long eared fellow (1964)
Peter the rabbit
Peter the rabbit (1965)
with Phyllida
Benjamin the rabbit
Benjamin the rabbit (1971)
Buffy the rabiit
Buffy the rabbit (1978)
brought in after Pippa died
Elizabeth the guinea pig
Elizabeth the guinea pig (1978)
(behind Buffy)
Becky replaces Buffy
Becky is brought in to
replace Buffy (1984)
Who could forget K'too (1976)
(always in a bad mood)
Katoo and Sparky
K'too and Sparky (1984)
(often fought with each other)
Gerbals in 1984
The Gerbils in 1984
Dad was Sooty and the small
ones were called the sweeps

Bit and Bot the Goldfish (1964)
(picture to come soon)
The mice in 1976
The white mice in 1976

Click below to see the Play School hosts

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