DO today’s children even know what sticky back plastic is?

This week Blue Peter - the world’s longest-running children’s television show - celebrates its 65th anniversary. Over the decades it has been a staple of popular culture, forever ingrained in childhood memories.

“We each have our Blue Peter,” says Tony Walsh in his rousing poem Setting Sail, written to celebrate 60 years of the programme. My Blue Peter was the dream team - Noakes, Judd and Purves - with devoted dogs Shep and Petra and the disappearing cats, Jack and Jill.

Like everyone else of my generation, I grew up watching Blue Peter. When I look back at my early childhood it seems that, even though it was the 1970s, life hadn’t moved on much since the post-war years. I don’t think the school regime had evolved - the cane was still being used as punishment at my primary school - and much of children’s TV was as plummy and matronly as Listen with Mother.

But Blue Peter was quite relaxed, for its time, presented by an affable young team in open-necked shirts and corduroy flares. It was jolly, informative, occasionally daredevil, with Noakes, Judd and Purves at the helm, like fun teachers on a school trip. I liked the sense of authority. I didn’t care for the laid-back vibe of Magpie on the other side, or the custard pie anarchy of Tiswas. The Blue Peter presenters were grown-ups, in charge, and that felt safe.

For us kids of the Seventies, the appeal was also Blue Peter’s hands-on approach to making stuff. From the coat-hanger advent crown to Tracy Island, it showed how we too could turn yoghurt pots, a washing-up liquid bottle, a tub of glitter, a roll of string and a handful of buttons into something resembling the “here’s one we made earlier”.

There were stunts too - the presenters climbed cranes, swung from trapeze wires, jumped out of ‘planes, and John Noakes famously ascended Nelson’s Column on a wobbly ladder, with no safety harness. Noakes, born in Shelf, was endearingly boyish and enthusiastic, with one of the first northern accents we’d heard on telly. “Geddoff me foot!” he yelled, as Lulu the baby elephant dragged the zoo keeper across the studio floor. If you want a laugh, Google that clip. It’s still hilarious.

Blue Peter explored the world too - the Summer Expedition took the team to places like India, Africa, Australia, the North Pole - offering a new global perspective to the kids back home, sitting on the living-room rug.

Blue Peter was a big deal for my generation, and maybe children of the 80s and 90s, but today’s young viewers live in a very different world. Is Blue Peter still relevant? Helen Skelton, who presented the show from 2008-2013, believes it is.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I say to everybody who ever asks me, ‘Is Blue Peter still on?’ go to YouTube, look at Tony Walsh’s poem. It reminds you why that show is so important and so relevant.

“Blue Peter was telling kids to be whoever they want to be before everybody else was saying it. It was talking about sustainability and making stuff and recycling before it came on the agenda. Our job was to excite kids about the world and I hope it’s doing that for a long time to come.”

The BBC says the programme, now on CBBC and iPlayer, continues to inspire children. A new Blue Peter book badge was launched last month, and the Prince of Wales was recently given a green Blue Peter badge for launching an environmental solutions prize. Ed Sheeran and Marcus Rashford are among the celebrities presented with Blue Peter badges.

Today’s children may not be sending sackloads of letters every week, or spending hours making stuff out of yoghurt pots and string, but I’d like to think that Blue Peter will have a place in their hearts.

We kids of the Seventies could be forgiven for looking back with a shudder - BBC1’s The Reckoning is a sinister reminder of how the Devil himself prowled in plain sight through our childhood telly years. In a world that often seems rudderless, Blue Peter is our time capsule and reminds us that we were safe.