top of page
Gordon Shapley

Gordon Shapley was first appointed Hon Secretary to the British Puppet Guild in 1956 and after what can only be described as forty years of active and devoted service, the Editor asked Gordon to look back over his long and distinguished period of office. He became interested in Puppetry completely by accident. In the early days all puppetry organisations were voluntary, basically just the Guild and the EPA then came the JIC (Joint International Committee), followed by the establishment of British UNIMA and the first fully professional organisation was set up.


In London, for instance you could attend a British Unima Meeting at the EPA HQ which might not finish until close to midnight, but London Transport could still safely take you home to the suburbs. Gordon was a man of few words but did write his memoirs as Guild Secretary which covers the period starting in 1956 when he was raw and untried. It was titled Dear Diary and in it he made reference to so many of the lovable people who had done so much for the Guild over the years.

Gordon said we had lost so many good people over the passing years, but he just wanted to mention one, our former president Cecil Madden MBE. Paying weekly visits to his Chelsea home gave Gordon an insight into all that he did for the Guild and puppetry over so many years. Gordon always looked forward to the annual visit to the Puppet Barge in Little Venice and the Covent Garden May Fayre. Both of these Guild events still happen today.

bottom of page