Pied Piper

The Professor Branestawm Stories: Colonel Bransestawm, read by Jimmy Thompson 1967, Pied Piper 7″ EP

You didn’t have to screw Pied Piper records together yourself, but they came in sets, and were, as they proudly proclaimed. ANOTHER MECCANO PRODUCT. I never much liked Meccano. I did spend a few hours bolting bits of red and green metal together to form models, but the results were aesthetically unpleasing. They inrxplicably switched to blue and yellow metal, but it didn’t help. None of my kids took to it either, nor my grandkids. I once asked a plumber what he was doing the next Saturday. He said he was taking his two sons to spend a couple of happy hours browsing through the tools in a B&Q store. In contrast, we are not a family fascinated by tools.

A vintage Meccano car

It’s one of the rarer children’s labels. All twenty-four of the releases are dated 1967 too. As with other children and spoken voice in the UK, the EP was the default format, playing at 45 rpm. To their eternal credit, they not only credited the narrators, but put photos of them on the sleeve. They also used first rate readers like Johnny Morris and Anna Massey. It was setup as a quality operation.

George The Reluctant Dragon 1967

Cover designs used extracts of illustrations from the original books, and had a nice inset picture of the reader. The sets concept meant five Lorenzo the Llama EPs all written and read by Johnny Morris,:

There were five Jellyco the Magic Budgerigar read by Muriel Young, five Professor Branstawm EPs read by Jimmy Thompson and five George The Reluctant Dragon read by Christopher Trace (who is the co-author of the stories).

Princess September centre label 1967

Anna Massey read through four EPs, including Somerset Maugham’s Princess September. It appears that centre labels were coloured in groups for each reader.

They use the standard Meccano Liverpool address, and date from 1967. Didn’t the Pied Piper use his music to draw children to their doom?

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