Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ollie Beak update

You'll all be sitting on the edge of your seats wondering if Ollie Beak survived......well, I went to the Horse Chestnut tree where I left him and he'd gone from the branch he was grasping last night, and after a good search, I assumed he had either recovered and flown off, or he had fallen off and been taken by a predator, a Fox or a Badger.  

However, just as I was about to leave, I spotted him on the ground about 10-12 yards from where he was, those big eyes watching me Owl!  After a couple of weak flights a few paces, I managed to catch him and put him in a box and drove off to the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre.  They assessed the new patient and as I already knew having held him, he was very thin and in need of food, despite looking plump in the photos yesterday.  

He seemed very disinterested in grub and I wasn't too hopeful of a good outcome, but when I telephoned late this afternoon, they said he was feeding and looking a lot brighter, but he wasn't grasping with one of his talons, which probably explained why he was underweight and weak, being unable to catch prey.  They're going to feed him up over the next couple of days, then have a look at the leg when he's stronger, so fingers crossed everyone!

Those of you under 50 will wonder who Ollie Beak is/was.  Well, here he is with Fred Barker (no relation) the dog.
 Every Tuesday and Friday tea time from 1963 to 1966, children throughout Britain settled down in front of the telly to watch the antics of Ollie and Fred on The Five O'clock Club, hosted by Muriel Young (below, with Pussycay Willum)
Ollie and Fred, with assistance from Muriel and Howard Williams (later replaced by Wally Whyton), would introduce star turns of the day, while Fanny and Johnny Craddock taught the kids Happy Cooking, Graham Dangerfield talked about pets, and Jimmy Handley (father of future Magpie presenter Jenny) made models.
There were also guitar spots from show regular Bert Weedon.  Ah, innocent days...but nostalgia's a thing of the past....


  1. Well I'm torn between loving you and hating you now Peter ..... You're a hero for helping Olly beak and I'm so pleased you had a decent wildlife centre nearby. I couldn't find anywhere locally to help the sickly hedgehog in our garden a few months ago.

    But ..... how cruel to post the dates of the programmes I recall so clearly (was it only yesterday)!!!!???

    Fanny Craddock was hubby's heroine and he learned all he knows about cooking from her ... mainly have a long suffering spouse or downtrodden assistant (Sarah) to do all the cleaning and tidying up after you!!

    1. Hi Sue, yes I am indeed lucky to have the perfect sanctuary nearby, otherwise it's off to the Vet's. Amazing how memories take you back to a time and a place isn't it..45 or so years ago, gulp!
      He cooks and you clean up eh? Well at least he cooks!

  2. Ahh, how lovely, you can't beat a little walk down amnesia lane, can you?

    Great work with the owl, Peter. Well done you, sir.

    All the very best and condolences regarding your uncle.


    1. Indeed you can't can you?! Thank you Dave, I'm much obliged

  3. I hope the little fell picks up Peter
    At least you have given him/her a chance of survival.You are a good Samaritan!!! Keep us posted will you.
    Love the memorabilia. I had forgotten the ollie and fred program till you showed the pics. I was 11-13, so chasing a football was my priority (not girls at that time). What would kid of today think of programs like that I wonder. For now all the best.Trevor.

    1. Thanks Trevor, will do! I'm thinking I might do a painting of him and auction it off to give the proceeds to the Sanctuary.
      Very different now isn't it with mobiles and the internet, but it's great to reminisce though isn't it!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Well done indeed for watching over the little fellow, Peter. Owls, like so many of our native birds & wildlife, are struggling through hard times because of the current lengthy spell of unfavourable weather.
    You mentioned the great Bert Weedon (my "Guitar hero") - did you know he passed away in April, aged 91? I had the honour of meeting him & performing on stage with him on several occasions, events which are high in my list of abiding memories.


    1. Dead right Terry - not many big insects and other prey about.
      I did know Bert Weedon died in April and that brought a lot of memories back - I bet your memories of him are very proud ones - he came across as such a nice bloke and was almost everyone's guitar hero.

  6. I remember 5-o-clock Club well....for some reason most of the girls in my class at school adopted nicknames from kids' TV, and I spent several years known as Fred Barker, I think because I had my hair in untidy bunches and looked vaguely (I hope!) like him. I last saw "Pussycat Willum" in 2009 at a school reunion.


Please leave a comment !