Oliver Postgate the creator of the Clangers (see photo) and of other children's (and adult) favourites died yesterday at the age of 83. He fitted into a famous background.
His maternal grandfather was George Lansbury the noted pacifist who was leader of the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935, whilst his father Raymond was a leading social historian and mystery writer. His father's sister, Margaret married GDH Cole who was a leading socialist theorist, historian, academic and a prolific writer. Oliver's father Raymond also worked in 1938 with GDH to produced a classic about British working class history entitled "The Common People".
Margaret Cole and her husband wrote over 30 detective stories together, whilst she was also a significant socialist activist and writer. Angela Lansbury the actress is George Lansbury's grandchild and Oliver's cousin. She is still seen on our TV screens in repeats of the long running detective series "Murder, She Wrote".
Oliver Postgate was a conscientious objector during the second world war, as his father had been during the first world war. GDH Cole had the closest possible links with the New Statesman and Oliver came to blog for them in his later years.
It is good to find such a close family resemblance in the arts of creativity and socialism. Perhaps it is why the Clangers have always been favourites of mine.