Welcome to the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive


Waterside is delighted to welcome you to the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive.

Since October 2017 Waterside has become home to the internationally acclaimed animation collection. Including some of the best-loved children’s characters Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, Chorlton & the Wheelies and many more Cosgrove Hall creations.

The Chorlton-cum-Hardy based studio was founded by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall in 1976, it quickly became the UK’s largest animation house. Cosgrove Hall Films produced quality animation by bringing together some of the biggest talents, puppet-makers, actors and animators in the UK to create, adapt and produce popular animations, including Noddy, Animal Shelf and Postman Pat. They also brought characters from popular childhood fiction to life in animations such as Roald Dahl’s The BFG (1989), Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows (1983), and Terry Pratchett's Truckers (1992). Puppet-makers Mackinnon & Saunders started their careers at the studio, as did BAFTA-winning animator Barry Purves and Art Director Bridget Appleby.

Clips from interviews from Brian Cosgrove, Barry Purves, Peter Saunders and Westley Wood

With the help of ITV, Westley Wood, ex-development producer for Cosgrove Hall, rescued the archive with the sole intention of preserving its history and artifacts. Westley says ‘The work from Cosgrove Hall Films is part of Manchester’s cultural heritage and was important to the development of the animation industry in the UK. It’s with enormous gratitude and pleasure that we are working with the Sale Waterside team, to set up a new home and preserve the archive for people to love and enjoy for generations to come.’


Learn more about the legendary Manchester-based animation studio, Cosgrove Hall Films


Wind in the Willows

Mole, Badger, Toad and Ratty. Image: Jason Lock photography

We’re delighted to announce that we have acquired 25 original Wind in the Willows puppets.

The Wind in the Willows was one of the studio’s first major successes in stop motion. The animated film was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films in 1983, adapted from the Kenneth Grahame classic. The film earned Cosgrove Hall Films a BAFTA and an Emmy award, and this success led to the creation of a stop motion series for ITV also produced by Cosgrove Hall Films. The show was voiced by Sir David Jason, Michael Horden, Peter Sallis, Richard Pearson and Ian Carmichael.

Thanks to the generosity and kindness of both Andrew Dunning and Lee Young - the MD at Duke’s Auctioneers – Waterside has been gifted these treasures for posterity and its archives.


Animation at Waterside

More about our venue: Waterside are custodians of the CHF archive, our role is to house and preserve the collection. In 2017-2018 Waterside hosted a celebratory Cosgrove Hall Films exhibition and host a number of animation related networking events and talks. Visit the Waterside website for future animation events, exhibitions and updates.


Socket: A Robot Odyssey

Introducing a new animated short from producers at Cosgrove Hall Films Archive