EVERY generation of children has its television favourites, from Trumpton to the Teletubbies, from Balamory to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Speak to anyone in their late seventies today about childhood telly and they will probably, at some stage, mention Muffin the Mule, the pioneering puppet character broadcast live from Alexandra Palace, that debuted on the BBC when it returned to broadcasting in 1946 after closing down throughout the Second World War.

My own earliest memories of TV include evocative series names such as Watch with Mother, The Woodentops, The Flower Pot Men and Andy Pandy – all in black and white, of course.

But the programme that really brought my imagination alive – and, quite probably, kick-started my lifelong love of all things historical – was Noggin the Nog.

Originally broadcast between 1959 and 1965, it was created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, who is said to have based his drawings of the fictional Viking-like king and his people on the carved 12th-century chessmen found on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, which he saw in the British Museum.

There was something about the relaxed, gentle and very English tones of Oliver Postgate as he narrated each episode that burned a memory on my synapses that is impossible to erase: “Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin the Nog, as it was told in the days of old…. In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale….”

Accompanied by a simple but haunting bassoon refrain and some richly-observed characters – including Noggin’s friend Thor Nogson, his nemesis Nogbad the Bad, the eccentric inventor Olaf the Lofty, Grolliffe the friendly ice dragon, and, my personal favourite, Graculus, the wise old messenger bird – the Saga of Noggin the Nog became a cult classic, loved and revered to this day.

As well as having its own website and a large array of books and CDs, a theatre company even staged its own live version at the Edinburgh Festival.

But Postgate and Firmin didn’t stop with just one character; they went on to create a raft of other TV series that delighted children for decades.

Among the best known was The Clangers, about a family of knitted mouse-like creatures with anteater-style long snouts who live in space and speak in high-pitched whistles.

And then there was Bagpuss, regularly voted the nation’s favourite children’s show, despite the fact only 13 episodes were made in 1974 and then repeatedly broadcast for years and years. Bagpuss, for those who don’t know, was a saggy old cloth cat who lived in a tired little shop full of toys that needed mending.

Other Postage/Firmin classics included Ivor the Engine, which followed the adventures of a small green steam locomotive who lived in the “top left-hand corner of Wales,” and The Pogles, who lived in the roots of tree in Pogles Wood.

A couple of years ago, all the characters from all those childhood-defining shows were brought together in a popular and well-received exhibition at the Museum of Childhood in the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), in London.

The exhibition – Bangers, Bagpuss & Co – has subsequently visited six major regional museums and now it’s Bradford turn. It will run from Saturday, August 4, to Sunday, October 7, at Cartwright Hall, in Lister Park.

For anyone brought up on these charming and memorable programmes, there is a fantastic opportunity to get really close to the characters and discover what went into their creation because Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service is looking for volunteers to act as gallery assistants to help people make the most of their visits.

Staff are looking for people with good interpersonal skills, who can communicate well, to help maintain interactive elements of the exhibition, answer questions and generally help “visitors, especially children, to have a great experience in a warm, fun and welcoming atmosphere.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, said: “Volunteers contribute to our museums and galleries in so many different ways, from engaging directly with visitors to working behind the scenes with our collections teams. They help us provide valuable services that we would not otherwise be able to offer.

“This exhibition will bring to life the wonderful worlds of Bagpuss, The Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine and we’re looking for people who can help us to make sure that visitors get the most of their experience at the gallery.”

Comedian, actor and author Stephen Fry once wrote of the worlds that Postage and Firmin created: “The levels of charm, narrative pleasure, characterisation, wit and lack of condescension apparent in all of Postgate’s work were rare enough then; today they are all but extinct.” What better reason to make this an exhibition you must not miss?

* Anyone interested in volunteering at the exhibition should contact Sonja Kielty on 01274 436027 or e-mail sonja.kielty@bradford.gov.uk by Monday (July 16).