Punch & Judy are a rather sinister and disturbing couple, but puppet shows do have a certain magic appeal and I do love folk art, so I was thrilled to find a collection of old glove puppets this week, at a fair in Manchester, quite intricately made and probably originally from a seaside booth...
...here, for your delectation, are Mr Punch, Judy, the Baby, the Policeman and the String of Sausages.
They remind me of seaside holidays, years ago, when little JJ and I spent happy hours on the beach at Southwold, watching very special puppet shows. Two lovely ladies, helped by their children who drifted about with cut-out waves to symbolise the sea, told the story of a pirate, a mermaid, some rubbish and the "last herring left alive in the North Sea". (You see, even in the early 1980s, we were aware of looming ecological disasters.)
This wonderful show was created by Meg Amsden of the Nutmeg Puppet Company, still flourishing after nearly 30 years.
And here is a film of Meg and her puppets in action.