This collection of hand-illustrated greeting cards from Mr Squiggle and Friends creator Norman Hetherington to Pat Lovell is representative of a wonderful working friendship.
Mr Squiggle the marionette was the popular ABC children's character with the pencil nose who lived at 93 Crater Crescent, The Moon. Mr Squiggle and his friends Rocket, Blackboard, Gus the snail and Bill Steamshovel were the artistic creations of Norman Hetherington. Norman's wife Margaret shared in their creation and worked behind the scenes on the show's script. For 15 years, Mr Squiggle was ably assisted on screen by ‘Miss Pat’, Patricia Lovell.
Every year Norman created a new Christmas card design, often featuring characters from Mr Squiggle and Friends, for his Christmas mail-out to family, friends and colleagues. The cards he sent to Pat Lovell were a lot more personal and they wonderfully document particular stages in her career as well as the film and television industry more broadly.
Celebrating picnics, anniversaries and colour TV
A ‘Happy Anniversary’ card (above right) marks the 5th anniversary of Mr Squiggle on TV which occurred in 1965.
You can see a selection of his other cards to Pat Lovell in the gallery below (click on image to open).
Norman’s 1975 Christmas card celebrates the introduction of colour television, with a black-and-white Mr Squiggle diving into a pot of colour. Another card from 1975 depicts an alarm clock ringing at 4:15 am and the Mr Squiggle characters in bed while Miss Pat runs out the door. This card marks the end of Pat Lovell’s time on Mr Squiggle and her transition to presenter on ATN-7’s early morning Sydney Today show. The card is signed by members of the cast and crew and includes Mr Squiggle’s signature line ‘You have been such a help, Miss Pat’.
There’s also a good luck card to Pat wishing her all the best for the Sydney premiere of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), a project she initiated and on which she served as a producer. The illustrated characters remark that, ‘Life always was a PICNIC with you, Miss Pat’ and ‘Yummy, I like hanging rocks’ appears on the reverse side of the card.
The ink and watercolour cards have an elegant simplicity to them, and Norman often added a festive touch with a shiny star sticker or a gold-sequinned cardboard moon.