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The Tailor of Gloucester

Every Christmas Eve I like to watch one of my favourite Beatrix Potter stories, The Tailor of Gloucester and since it's less than a week till Christmas now, it's a good theme for today's post.  Please note this post contains spoilers. :)

 In the 90s the BBC showed a TV series called The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends which consisted of TV versions of some of the Beatrix Potter books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Pigling Bland, Samuel Whiskers and The Tailor of Gloucester. I used to watch them when I was young and about 6 years ago I got the DVDs free with a newspaper and I still like to watch them now. The TV programmes were a mix of live action and animation. They usually started with Beatrix (played by Nimah Cusack) travelling back home and writing a story in a letter she was going to send to a child she knew and then went into the story itself with the cartoon.

The Tailor of Gloucester is Christmas themed. It's about an old tailor (voiced by Ian Holm) who lives in the kitchen of a house in Gloucester and has a workshop nearby. He is making a wedding coat for the Mayor of Gloucester, who's getting married on Christmas Day. It's a few days before Christmas and he's nearly finished making it but needs a skein of cherry coloured twisted silk. He sends his cat Simpkin out to the shops to get some items including the cherry twist. While she's gone he finds some mice she's trapped under teacups and sets them free.* When Simpkin gets back she's angry that the mice have gone and hides the twist. The tailor has fallen ill and he takes to his bed. In his delirium he talks about being unable to finish the waistcoat and having "no more twist". The mice hear him and decide to help.

Christmas Eve arrives and the mice have done what they can but are lacking the twist. On the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the animals can talk and Simpkin goes out around the town and observes the other animals talking and singing. When she gets back she has a change of heart.

Here's a clip from it.

If you'd like to watch the whole episode go here:

The songs are one of my favourite parts. :)  You can watch this clip for the songs:

I've just read that there was a live action TV adaptation of this in 1989 which also starred Ian Holm as the tailor. I can't find it on YouTube but here's the IMDB link:

Beatrix Potter lived in the Lake District and I'd like to visit Hill Top Farm where she lived and the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction one day. My grandma used to live in the Lake District too, so it would be nice to see where she grew up.

For more on Beatrix and her stories visit these links:

P.S. I normally do my 1000 Songs Challenge update every 2 weeks. I've done this post instead today but I'll do it tomorrow as well, otherwise the list can get too big to post in one go.

 *I thought Simpkin was a boy but when the mice are singing and she's at the window they sing "Miss Puss".


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