Urban explorer discovered rundown remains of iconic cottage from 90s kid’s show Tots TV

An urban explorer has discovered the rundown remains of the iconic cottage from popular kid’s television show Tots TV – shortly before the owner burned it to the ground. 

Simon Stokes, 29, stumbled upon the famous cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon in November last year. 

Eerie images show the dilapidated wooden structure overgrown with weeds and encroaching branches – a world away from its 1990s glory days.

Inside the shell of the Tots TV set, crumbling wooden beams in the ceiling are seen, along with a rotting roof, broken windows and piles of leaves blown in from outside. 

Smash-hit children’s show Tots TV saw its three puppet main characters – ragdoll friends, Tilly, Tom and Tiny – use a magic sac or bag to help them on their adventures in the 20-minute episodes.

The puppets also had a pet donkey – creatively named Donkey – and a were offered a helping hand around their house from Jack the gardener. 

BEFORE: Eerie images show the dilapidated wooden structure overgrown with weeds and encroaching branches - a world away from its 1990s glory days (pictured)
NOW: The dilapidated building is captured in pictures taken by an urban explorer. It has been taken over by weeds and branches
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BEFORE AND AFTER: Eerie images show the dilapidated wooden structure overgrown with weeds and encroaching branches (right) – a world away from its 1990s glory days (left)

An urban explorer has discovered the rundown remains of the iconic cottage from popular kid’s television show Tots TV – shortly before the owner burned it to the ground in Stratford-upon-Avon

Smash-hit children's show Tots TV saw its three puppet main characters - ragdoll friends, Tilly, Tom and Tiny (pictured) - use a magic sac or bag to help them on their adventures in the 20-minute episodes

Smash-hit children's show Tots TV saw its three puppet main characters - ragdoll friends, Tilly, Tom and Tiny (pictured) - use a magic sac or bag to help them on their adventures in the 20-minute episodes

Smash-hit children’s show Tots TV saw its three puppet main characters – ragdoll friends, Tilly, Tom and Tiny (pictured) – use a magic sac or bag to help them on their adventures in the 20-minute episodes

Simon Stokes, 29, stumbled upon the famous cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon (pictured) in November last year

Simon Stokes, 29, stumbled upon the famous cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon (pictured) in November last year

Simon Stokes, 29, stumbled upon the famous cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon (pictured) in November last year

Stills taken from the series show the iconic blue staircase used by the puppets. The staircase still stands in the later pictures, but it is crumbling

Stills taken from the series show the iconic blue staircase used by the puppets. The staircase still stands in the later pictures, but it is crumbling

The staircase in the show

The staircase in the show

Stills taken from the series show the iconic blue staircase used by the puppets. The staircase still stands in the later pictures, but it is crumbling

One episode saw the puppets take a trip to Loch Ness in Scotland where they went on the hunt for the world-famous monster. A total of 276 episodes were made before the show (pictured) was eventually taken off air in 1998

One episode saw the puppets take a trip to Loch Ness in Scotland where they went on the hunt for the world-famous monster. A total of 276 episodes were made before the show (pictured) was eventually taken off air in 1998

One episode saw the puppets take a trip to Loch Ness in Scotland where they went on the hunt for the world-famous monster. A total of 276 episodes were made before the show (pictured) was eventually taken off air in 1998

Mr Stokes, from Wolverhampton, located the cottage after researching the property and using a drone.

The images were taken shortly before the owner burned the house down, with some locals saying the number of trespassers eager to get a glimpse of it became a nuisance in recent years.

Mr Stokes said: ‘The cottage is quite hidden, so I sent my drone up to help me find it and I then discovered the roof of the property poking through the trees.

‘Since the lockdowns, I have become really interested in photography and exploring abandoned locations. With nothing open, it made sense to get out and explore.

‘I was excited to have found the location, but it was disappointing to see it had been left to rot and had been vandalised because I had grown up watching the program in the 90s.

‘There wasn’t much left but you can see the iconic blue stairs which stand out and also the unique windows.

‘I was there for around 30 minutes to capture pictures and wondering how it got in such a state.

Mr Stokes, from Wolverhampton, located the cottage (pictured) after researching the property and using a drone

Mr Stokes, from Wolverhampton, located the cottage (pictured) after researching the property and using a drone

Mr Stokes, from Wolverhampton, located the cottage (pictured) after researching the property and using a drone

The images were taken shortly before the owner burned the house down, with some locals saying the number of trespassers eager to get a glimpse of it became a nuisance in recent years

The images were taken shortly before the owner burned the house down, with some locals saying the number of trespassers eager to get a glimpse of it became a nuisance in recent years

The images were taken shortly before the owner burned the house down, with some locals saying the number of trespassers eager to get a glimpse of it became a nuisance in recent years

The house (pictured) has no floorboards so that puppeteers could hide below ground level - which was rarely shown on camera - during filming

The house (pictured) has no floorboards so that puppeteers could hide below ground level - which was rarely shown on camera - during filming

The house (pictured) has no floorboards so that puppeteers could hide below ground level – which was rarely shown on camera – during filming

Tots TV - which was written by two of the show's puppeteers - first aired in January 1993 and continued until April 1998 when production stopped after more than 15 years entertaining British children on ITV

Tots TV - which was written by two of the show's puppeteers - first aired in January 1993 and continued until April 1998 when production stopped after more than 15 years entertaining British children on ITV

Tots TV – which was written by two of the show’s puppeteers – first aired in January 1993 and continued until April 1998 when production stopped after more than 15 years entertaining British children on ITV

So popular was the show, that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000. Pictured: The cottage where it was filmed

So popular was the show, that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000. Pictured: The cottage where it was filmed

So popular was the show, that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000. Pictured: The cottage where it was filmed

The series - designed for pre-school children - saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The cottage in the woods

The series - designed for pre-school children - saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The cottage in the woods

The series – designed for pre-school children – saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The cottage in the woods

So popular was Tots TV (pictured), that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000

So popular was Tots TV (pictured), that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000

So popular was Tots TV (pictured), that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000

The series - designed for pre-school children - saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The puppets' cottage

The series - designed for pre-school children - saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The puppets' cottage

The series – designed for pre-school children – saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes. Pictured: The puppets’ cottage

‘Although, since I was there, I have read that it has been destroyed by the owner.’

The house has no floorboards so that puppeteers could hide below ground level – which was rarely shown on camera – during filming.

It is not the first time the dilapidated cottage has been rediscovered.

In 2018, Youtuber ‘Lost with Lou’, from East Sussex, tracked down the secret location and shared footage of himself wandering around.

Tots TV – which was written by two of the show’s puppeteers – first aired in January 1993 and continued until April 1998 when production stopped after more than 15 years entertaining British children on ITV. 

During that time, producers won a number of accolades including two BAFTAs.  

So popular was the show, that it was syndicated world wide, with Discovery Kids buying the series in 2000. 

This put it on television screens in Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Falkland Islands.

A series of episodes were then set in the USA due to its popularity across the pond.

A number of Christmas specials were made – including one filmed in Rovaniemi, Finland – which were also released to acclaim, and made available as educational video specials which went on sale in 1997.

The series – designed for pre-school children – saw the little puppets rely upon a magic sac or bag to help them through the narrative of the episodes.

It aimed to introduce youngsters to nature and a plethora of animals and aquatic life.

One episode saw the puppets take a trip to Loch Ness in Scotland where they went on the hunt for the world-famous monster. 

A total of 276 episodes were made before the show was eventually taken off air in 1998.

The programme was the second puppet show by producers Ragdoll Productions. A previous show called Rosie and Jim featured little puppets who lived aboard a narrowboat. 

Link hienalouca.com

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