If we're talking about the same "Space Firebird", its a work by the "God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka, an animated part of his "Phoenix" saga, so information on it should be fairly available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_2772I
also saw "Time Masters" at an early age (Andy, you may well be right about the timing, and Christmas and bank holidays were always a good time to show interesting animations in the days before satellite T.V.; I saw Hayao Miyazakis "Laputa" for the first time just after one Christmas many aeons ago...! ), and laboured for a long time under the impression that it was an anime originating from Japan (as, apparently, a lot of people do!). As it happens, I had the same thing but in reverse for "Star Fleet", which I thought was a Gerry Anderson series (because, after all, how many other puppet-based sci-fi shows were there?). It was literally years before I found out the truth!
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.