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Duration 00:60

Joe & Petunia – Acceptance of the Country Code

Cartoon couple Joe and Petunia appeared in a number of films starting in the late 1960s. The animations covered subjects such as the Coastguard, the dangers of worn tyres and saving water.

Behaving in a way that is common to characters in many early public information films, they are utterly unaware of the dangers caused by, or around them, which are obvious to any onlooker.

This particular, film from 1971, aims to bring about awareness of the Countryside Code. Originally drafted in 1950, the code has used other animated characters, which have been used to illustrate it through the years.

Norman Thelwell first created popular characters in the 1950s, and most recently the Countryside Agency have run a campaign featuring the famous Aardman ‘Creature Comforts’ animated characters, which helped to launch an updated version of the code in 2004.


PETUNIA: Oh, Joe! I have enjoyed our country walk.

JOE: Yes, we’ve come a long way, Petunia. Look! You can see our tracks right across that yellow cornfield.

PETUNIA: Oh yes! It’s ever so nice in this field. I’m glad those cows have gone.

JOE: Aye! They’ve taken themselves off for a walk down that road – look – through that gate I opened – the one marked “Private”.

PETUNIA: Our little Bingo is having a lovely time playing with those sheep. The exercise will do him good.

[sound of enthusiastic barking and baa-ing of terrified sheep]

[Joe throws a stone. A bottle smashes.]

JOE: Hey, hey! I’ve hit that bottle, Petunia! It smashed up a treat.

PETUNIA: Very clever.

JOE: You know, there’s a farmer there with a purple face.

PETUNIA: I expect it’s all that sun and the open-air life, Joe.

JOE: Now he’s doing one of those country dances.

PETUNIA: I don’t think he looks very friendly.

JOE: Maybe you’re right. It can’t be anything we’ve done.

PETUNIA: No! But I won’t stay where I’m not wanted. Come on, Joe!

FARMER: When folk come out to the country, why oh why won’t they follow the Country Code?


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