The day Humpty and Jemima went to school – but no sign of Brian Cant


Brian Cant and Lionel Griffiths were legends to anyone who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Playschool hosts taught us how to tell the time, they taught us how to pretend to be acorns – you had to be there – and, most importantly of all, they told us what was hiding behind the square, round and arched windows every day.

Their knowledge was limitless and, quite frankly, if they had told the country’s five-year-olds to rise up and take over the world we’d have given it a go.

As long as it didn’t involve crossing the road by ourselves or being late for tea...

But Brian and Lionel didn’t do all this alone.

They had help from five very special toys: Humpty, Jemima, Hamble, Big Ted and Little Ted – and the lucky children of West Chiltington School got to meet the first two in 1983.

The toys were visiting the school with Playschool director Terry Marsh and it turned out the grandmother of three of the children was a regular contributor to the programme.

Joyce Thomsett was the author of the Josh Jolly’s Party stories, which were often read on the programme.

She joined her grandchildren at the school where Humpty and Jemima were passed round for inspection and cuddles before the visit ended with a sing-sing.

Were you one of the children at West Chiltington School?

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @wscountytimes

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

The County Times – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.