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Toonhound presents...






British TV series
Mr Ship with Robin and Rosie


  Cockleshell Bay
   (1980 - 1986)

producers: Cosgrove Hall Productions
                      for Thames Television
    animation: stop-motion animation
      episodes: 104 x 10mins

   "Cockleshell Bay is a town near the sea,
    with seagulls and sunshine and sand..."

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   "Cockleshell Bay" is a gentle series focusing on the seaside adventures of
   twins Robin and Rosie Cockle. Their parents Christopher and Helen Cockle
   run a guest house called The Bucket and Spade and the twins have buckets
   of fun and adventures with their "salty" friends, Mr Ship, Gran Routy, Paddy
   Fingal and his old donkey Fury, and even Ben Gunn the seagull...

   Here is a soft focus snapshot of seaside life in Britain in the early 80's. It's
   of an era before mobiles and DVD technology, when make-believe was still
   possible, where ice cream was a "trea"' and family friendships were at the fore.
   Stories focused on pirate games, dressing up, losing things and finding things,
   and looking after folk. Though seemingly old-fashioned in its conception,
   Cosgrove Hall were actually breaking new ground with the show. Here was
   a stop-motion series without "cooky" cartoon characters and fantastic worlds.
   Cockleshell Bay was populated by real people in familiar and indeed, familial
   settings. The naturalism and detail was extraordinary, with knick-knacks,
   toys and household objects on every shelf around the house, weathered
   paintwork on the exteriors, tussock grass whispering on the shoreline whilst
   seagulls called overhead. And bravely, the producers went on to include an
   impending pregnancy in later episodes (more below).

   Robin and Rosie began their seaside adventures in a collection of interstitial
   animations mafdde for Thames Tv's "Rainbow". Here they were billed as
   "Robin and Rosie of Cockleshell Bay". Theirs were the third round of stop
   motion stories created for the show, following in the foosteps of Sally and
   Jake and Grandma Bricks of Swallow Street (see The Rainbow Connection).  

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   Gran Routy

   Buckets of info...

» In the very first episode Fresh Start, we learn that Robin and Rosie's parents
      moved to the seaside from the town of Ruffington, because "Daddy doesn't want
      to work in a factory any more, and Mummy doesn't want to live in a town..."

» In this same episode the twins meet Mrs Routy for the first time, and we learn
      that she has eleven grandchildren; which is why everyone calls her "Gran" Routy.
      Robin informs her that their own Granny died, so Mrs Routy assumes the
      mantle. Oddly enough, it's Gran Routy who tells the twins that their rundown
      new home is to be a Guest House. Obviously, their own parents overloooked
      that little detail!
» Mr Ship is really "Mr Shipham", just like "Gran" Routy.

» Next door to the Cockles' home is Pine Villa. The Cockles' own Guest House
      doesn't get its name until episode two, New Names. After suggesting the names
      High Tide and The Anchor, Robin and Rosie eventually come up with The Buket
      and Spade - after Mr Ship gives them a bucket and spade for the beach...
  » We don't meet Fury until episode two, either. He stays in Mr Ship's yard, but
      he actually belongs to Arthur Fingle - "Paddy" Fingle -  who gives rides to
      children on the beach. Ben Gunn gets his introduction in episode three,
      The Pirate Seagull
» Trivia Hounds will note that somewhere towards the end of the series, we
      learn that Mrs Cockle is expecting a new addition to the family. Indeed, in
      Robin and Rosie's New Room the twins are even presented with a new attic
      bedroom to accomodate the iminent arrival. Then in A Name For Baby Cockle,
      the fifth member of the Cockle family is given a name...

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     Cockleshell Bay on DVD

     UK DVD
  I Love Cult Kids
                 One episode is included on this Cult Kids compilation
                 Region 2 / Contender / April 2002

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     Cockleshell episodes

     A Fresh Start                          Ostriches and Obstacles
Cockleshell Christmas
     The Pirate Seagull                    
Robin and Rosie's New Room
     The Grand Old Duke of York       
A Name For Baby Cockle
     Happy Birthday, Gran Routy
     The Pirate King
     Lost and Found
     Bucket and Spade
     Dressing Up

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      Cosgrove Hall Productions Ltd

      producers:             Brian Cosgrove, Mark Hall
      director:                Jackie Cockle
      writer:                   Brian Trueman
      music:                   David Rohl, Stuart J Wolstenholme
      puppet designs:     Bridget Appleby
         Peter Saunders
      illustrations:          Avril Turner
      animators:            Andrea Lord, Steve Moss
      sets & props:         Chris Walker
      camera:                Jim Noble, Joe Dembinski
      film editors:          John McManus, Ellis Ward
      narrator:               Brian Trueman  

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     On the web

      Little Gems
The Cockles, Mr Ship, Fury, Ben Gunn - they all appear here in a fine
      selection of screen grabs, plus an additional page profiles a handful
      of episodes, with yet more grabs  - *sigh* - A real gem, is this, with
      plenty more bites of series information to get your teeth into...

      index »    previous »   next »    

© Cosgrove-Hall Productions Ltd / F2007