|Comment||Sooty with his creator Harry Corbett who bought the original puppet in Blackpool to amuse his children. Harry was born above Springfield Road fish & chip shop, his mother was Harry Ramsden’s sister. Harry Corbett often entertained customers at his uncle’s famous White Cross fish restaurant in addition to his TV appearances. Sooty and friends were inherited by Harry’s son Matthew, when he retired the puppets were sold to Richard Cadell another well known puppeteer in 1999. Sooty is still seen on children’s television and live shows.|
J488 – Harry Corbett, c1970.
Harry Corbett – c1970
Popular children’s entertainer, Harry Corbett was born above the fish shop on Springfield Road, Guiseley, he was the nephew of Harry Ramsden. He bought the original Sooty puppet in Blackpool to entertain his children and was to become a favourite TV performer. Here is with Sooty, Sue and Sweep.
From our facebook page 26 May – 02 June 2023
Went to school with Peter Corbett aka Matthew when he took over Sooty from his father. Remember going to their house on Park Gate Crescent from junior school. We were all given a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate by Marjorie Corbett.
I always thought that she was the brains behind Sooty! I think she was also the voice of Soo.
As a little girl of 5 my mum had taken me to see the sooty show. In the interval we went to the loo and I trapped my finger in the door. I was taken to sit in a chair whilst a lady bandaged my poorly finger, I do remember crying very loudly. A gentleman came over to see why I was crying. He bought me an orange juice and a tube of rowntree pastels. He also gave me a photo of himself with his little hand puppet. Sooty signed the photo for me and kissed my cheek. I dont have the photo anymore but I’ll never forget meeting Harry Corbett and Sooty.
My Nana used to babysit him.
Remember walking past his van every morning at the bottom of Oxford Avenue on my way to school.
He came to our school in Otley when I was 5 to do a show. Also in later years his workshop was on the Main Street in Menston where I was then living.
Great memories … but note that Harry started as a conjuror/magician. I remember well when he came to entertain at Guiseley Baptist; he did a long series of conjuring tricks, and ended up saying that every conjuror ought to be able to pull a white rabbit out of a hat. So he picked up his top hat, waved his wand over it etc., and instead of the expected white rabbit out popped Sooty. So what started as just one item in a conjuring act later developed into an industry!
Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 24 July 2022.
Last updated: 02 June 2023.