Taken from Pelpup News 57, September 1955
Bob Pelham wrote:
"In 1947, in the back room of a solicitors office the first puppet came to life. She was a nigger girl with large square feet, clumsy hands, a long blunt nose, and a bright red dress, and her name was Chloe.
She wriggled and kicked as exited hands tried to dress her and attach the strings - a moment later she was flinging her arms about and leaping in the air. She was alive - and how happy she was!
Then she stopped, and for a moment she thought. Then in a loud, clear voice she commanded me to make thousands, nay tens of thousands more like her. She said that children in all the lands of this world wanted puppets like her to play with.
I wasted no time in obeying Chloe's command. I gathered I think it was five employees, two of them disabled soldiers, and puppets began to be made.
Now the next thing was how to get them to these "waiting children".
A great number I sold to my friends and to their friends because they became immediately convinced that they were simple to work and ideal for children. But I had to get them into shops. But could I do this?
Not a shop in the land would take them. They had never heard of puppets before. "Puppets?" they would say. "What are Puppets?" "people never ask for Puppets, so I could not possibly stock them."
Eventually I persuaded Hamleys of Regent Street to let me demonstrate them behind a counter. So there I was for three weeks demonstrating puppets. That did it.
The ice had been broken. I returned home with enough money to pay all my debts and wages to date. But I had to remain in Marlborough and get on with production with renewed vigor.
Our stocks were depleted and everyone was very happy - battle had been won.
But sales had to continue, so Dorothy Mercer volunteered to go up to London and continue the demonstrations for a time, but she liked it so much (or was it London!) that she stayed for seven years, and incidentally she has just left because she is getting married.
May I take this opportunity of wishing you, Dot a very happy married life.
From that moment on puppet sales mounted, and of course I had to expand. It wasn't as easy as that. Other shops had to be persuaded to demonstrate the puppets, and a lot of hard work was put into their sales promotion by William Seely in London.
Then I met A.W. Harrison who had returned from a successful business career in Ceylon. We joined up and he took on the business side and I concentrated on production and design.
Mr. Harrison has now retired and I wish to express a great deal of thanks for all he has done for the firm. Due to his continued efforts and wise judgment the firm has prospered."