following excerpt was taken from an article written for the Newsletter
by Sally McNally, daughter of Anne Hogarth and Jan Bussell.
Each of the quarterly newsletters contains stories
about behind the scenes with Muffin.
"In 1933, my father, Jan Bussell, scribbled an
outline of a mule on the back of an envelope and asked a Punch and
Judy man to make him a kicking mule and a clown - presumably to
be kicked. My parents had been touring with their show "the
Hogarth Puppets" for some time and had got very slick, consequently
the running time was a little short and they needed a new act. This
act with the clown being kicked and tossed around the stage proved
very popular with the children but they actually found it rather
boring to perform so it was eventually dropped. The clown was used
in the puppet circus with various other acts but the mule was put
on a shelf and forgotten.
In 1946, shortly after television resumed transmission
after the war, Annette Mills was appearing fairly regularly in Children's
Subsequently, Annette came to our house and met my mother, Ann Hogarth,
and she asked if they could make puppets to illustrate her songs
- no, they replied, but perhaps you could write songs to illustrate
our puppets! She agreed to this and my parents showed her all the
puppets that they weren't actually using at the time. Annette immediately
chose the mule and named him Muffin - then she also selected the
clown and called him Crumpet. My mother sat down and wrote a twelve
minute script, Annette wrote the songs, including, of course, the
signature tune "We want Muffin" and they made their first
appearance together the following Sunday..."
Excerpt taken from the Muffin The Mule Collectors'
Club Newsletter No 1