B-RIP-A-Brac

Apparently I’m getting to the age where my childhood is dying off. Batman went last week and now it’s Brian Cant.

I mean, come on guys.

I liked Brian Cant. I liked it when he popped up on Play School. But I loved it when he presented Bric-A-Brac.

Bric-A-Brac was a children’s show set in a shop filled with all manner of nick-nacks and, well, bric-a-brac. As far as I can remember, each episode was themed around a letter of tge alphabet – like a pre-pubescent QI – and Brian’s character, as the shop keeper, would bring out a series of items beginning with that letter.

The thing I loved though – and I mean really loved – were the little mechanical toys he’d bring out. A show without a mechanical toy was a Bric-A-Brac not worth knowing.

One that stuck with me – in much the same way as the chocolate biscuit factory from Bagpuss – was a wind-up model of two trams/cable car type things that ran up and down an incline on rails. As one went up, the other went down.

I found it endlessly fascinating.

So much so that I still remember them now, painted green, chugging up and down. And I remember always hoping, as the show started, with its theme tune made of of plunks, plonks, plinks and boings, that it would be that particular episode. Just so I could see then again.

I think, probably, Bric-A-Brac is the reason why I can’t resist having a go with anything interactive. You give me a button to press, handle to turn or crank to wind and I will do it.

And, even now, I’ll probably still get a sense of joy from it akin to watching Brian Cant wind up a novelty money box or an automaton that would somersault. Or, of course, two box cars going up and down a mountain.

I miss those simpler times…

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