A mound of batter puddings
A few days ago I wrote of the Terror of Bexhill-on-Sea: 'The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler'. You'll remember the predicament that Neddie Seagoon and Major Bloodnok faced, having arrested the Hurler but cast adrift on a lifeboat.
Greenslade: And that, we fear, is the end of our story, except of course, for the end. We invite listeners to submit what they think should be the classic ending. Should Seagoon eat the batter pudding and live, or leave it and in the cause of justice, die? Send your suggestions on a piece of batter pudding.
As it turns out, people really did send the Goons batter puddings, as page 7 of the Radio Times issue of 29 October 1954 illustrates.
The accompanying story attempts to explain - the emphasis is mine:
In a recent edition of The Goon Show, Messrs. Milligan, Secombe, and Sellers devoted their attentions to tracking down a mysterious character who terrorised the inhabitants of Bexhill-on-Sea by pelting them with cold batter puddings. At the end of the episode, drifting at sea in an open boat and ravenously hungry, they faced a grave problem: whether or not to eat the puddings which were their evidence against the Phantom [sic] Batter Pudding Hurler.
Listeners were sympathetic. More than two dozen cold batter puddings of all shapes and sizes were sent to the BBC with instructions to hand them to The Goons. 'Tell them to save the evidence and eat my pie,' said most of the kindly correspondents. Faced with a mound of fast-decaying batter puddings, Spike Milligan is grateful but apprehensive. 'Helppppp!' he says in a plaintive letter, 'I beg you to ask listeners to send no more.'
It is just one small indicator of the kind of people listening to the show - and the sensation the show was creating.
Goons image and text sourced from the Radio Times, via the BBC's Genome project. Batter puddings from iStockphoto.