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


About the Collection

The Archive contains a mixture of 2D and 3D animation material and is split between the two. Cosgrove Hall created and adapted both hand drawn animated series and film, and stop motion series. The 2D store contains hundreds of plan, script, storyboard and editing material from an assortment of Cosgrove Hall Films series, including Engie Benjy, Fifi and the Flowertots, Bill and Ben and the Likeaballs. 2D also encompasses select hand drawn set design and character design on paper, hand drawn backgrounds. Hand painted transparent cels from Dangermouse, Avenger Penguins and Victor and Hugo.

We also have an extensive array of 3D assets from Cosgrove Hall Films, including puppets from your favourite animated series, such as Wind and the Willows, Truckers, Engie Benjy, Fetch the Vet, Oakie Doke, Fetch the Vet, Noddy, Postman Pat, Cinderella and many more. Set parts from Fool of the World and the Flying Ship and Wind and the Willows. Props from Noddy and Engie Benjy. Model-making materials, including spare puppet parts, armatures and a selection of original moulds. The 3D store also contains some costume, mainly from Wind in the Willows and Truckers.

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.



Fantastic night last night at AniMates @watersidearts_ ! Lovely to see new and familiar faces there and share work, stories and upcoming opportunities.

Got to hear Steve Boot discuss his influences starting with Tex Avery. Steve discussed his first ambitious stop motion projects and how he overcame technical difficulties of animating by simplifying sets and characters. @mcranimation director Steve Henderson then explained the importance of establishing animation archives, his upcoming research projects with our archive and gave us a preview of what’s coming up at MAF. 
Special thanks to Jess @creative_industries_ for organising.

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Support the Archive

Please support future events and projects by filling out a survey about your interest in CHFA

Socket commissions

Animation Short Film Event

Submissions now open for animation screened at CIT’s Meet the Puppetmasters Conference 2019


Socket: A Robot Odyssey

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