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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

      Lord Belborough and Brackett take Bessie for a spin...

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Chigley     (1968)
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producers: Gordon Murray for the BBC
stop-motion animation
       episodes: 13 x 15mins


"Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train
     And I ride on the footplate there and back again..."


A short distance from Trumpton, and a quick drive away from Camberwick
     Green you'll find the quiet hamlet of Chigley. Life in Chigley focuses around
     the activities at Winkstead Hall, The Chigley Pottery, Treddles Wharf and
     The Biscuit Factory. What a contrast to Trumpton life, or the bustle of
     Camberwick Green! Chigley days are lazy, languid days, where time passes
     at a more respectable pace and folk can potter through each day at ease
     with the world. And if a problem arises - a broken crane at Treddles Wharf,
     or an overabundance of fruit in Lord Belborough's orchard - everything is certain
     to have been solved by the close of the day. Which is the cue for the 6 o'clock
     whistle, marking the end of the shift at the Biscuit Factory and the
     commencement of the Tea-Dance at the park. Presumably the selfsame park
     featuring at the end of every Trumpton episode (Was there ever any clashing
     of venues, we wonder?)    
       Brackett 'plods' on...

     If there was a Chigley "star2 as such, it was surely Lord Belborough. He dwelt
     at Winkstead Hall with his faithful butler Brackett. It was a crumbling estate,
     open to the public and maintained by funds generated from the entrance fee.
     Belborough was passionate about trains and frequently took his renovated
     steam engine Bessie for a spin along the railway, through the Trumptonshire
     countryside to Treddles Wharf to collect deliveries or assist folk in some way...

     Chigley was the third and last of Gordon Murray's Trumptonshire series,
     and the show built upon established
elements and characters from both
     Camberwick Green and Trumpton. Indeed
 Chigley episodes invariably
     started in Trumpton Town Square, or Camberwick Green. Characters
     like Mr Antonio the Ice Cream Man or Micky Murphy the Baker then made
     their way to the little hamlet. Of course the world has moved on a pace from
     the days of the Trumptonshire series and Chigley's world is perhaps the one
     most dated now. The Biscuit Factory would have been forced out of business
     long ago, Treddles Wharf would have closed and Winkstead Hall no doubt
     transformed into up-market apartments
but to focus on such developments
     is to miss the point. Chigley and indeed the whole of Trumptonshire provide
     us with a snapshot of English life from a slightly earlier, innocent era. A
     place where folk had simple jobs, knew their place in the scheme of things
     and greeted each day with a smile and wave. Yes, we can all mock its
     "dated" depiction but let's be honest, its an era we wouldn't mind
     returning to if we could.

     Trumptonshire creator Gordon Murray had previously brought us the puppets
     of Rubovia. He later brought us Skip And Fuffy and The Gublins. Animators
     Bura And Hardwick also brought us the delights of  Toytown featuring Larry
     The L-L-Lamb whilst scriptwriter Alison Prince  had previously written the
     adventures of Joe.

     Like both previous series only thirteen Chigley episodes were ever filmed,
     and repeated ad-infinitum over the years, perpetuating the myth that many
     more had been made. A myth perpetuated further by the myriad of Trumptonshire
     tie-ins that were launched alongside the three series and which continue to be
     made to this day. In particular Robert Harrop's superior figures, musical boxes
     and buildings which have caught the eye of many a collector of late...


    Episode Titles

    Lord Belborough's Secret
        The Broken Bridge
    Bessie to the Rescue
             Clay for Mr Farthing
    The Balloon
                          Trouble with the Crane
    The Fountain
                        Apples Galore
    The Garden Wall
                    Willie Munn
    Binnie and Bessie
                   A Present for Lord Belborough
    Lord Belborough's Lucky Day


      Chigley folk

   Lord Belborough - owner of Winkstead Hall
- the butler 
     Mr Bilton
- the gardener 
     Harry Farthing
 - potter
     Winnie Farthing
 - his daughter
     Mr Swallow
 - wharf operator
     Mr Cresswell
 - biscuit factory owner
     Mr Fletcher - factory manager
     Mr Rumpling - barge owner
     Mr Clutterbuck - builder
     Horace - brickie/labourer
     Cyril - brickie/labourer
     Mr Gubbins - dustman
     Mr Sneed - dustman

     + "Bessie" - Lord Belborough's steam engine
     + "Binnie" - static steam engine/water pump


     Broadcast info

     The series premiered with "Lord Belborough's Secret" on BBC1
     6th October 1969, and it continued to air once a week, through to
     the 29th December...

     Chigley on DVD

     UK DVD Chigley: The Complete Collection
Region 2 / all 13 episodes / Universal / June 2006

     UK DVD Chigley: Stories From Chigley
           Region 2 / 8 episodes / Firefly / March 2002

     UK DVD The Complete Collection
                Trumpton / Camberwick Green / Chigley / 3 disc set / April 2003


     Chigley created by Gordon Murray

     scripts:         Gordon Murray, Alison Prince
     songs:          Gordon Murray, Freddie Phillips, Alison Prince
     animation:    "Bura and Hardwick"
                         Bob Bura, John Hardwick, George Debouch,
                         Pasquale Ferrari, Colin Large, Len Palace
     sets:             Andrew Brownfoot, Margaret Brownfoot
     and voices:   Brian Cant


      On the web

       Trumptonshire Web
       The Trumptonshire Web. The search engines favourite and The Hound's
       too, stuffed with info and interviews with all the main creative personnel,
       production sketches, a Trumptonshire map, a cuddly toy...Well, you get
       the gist. There's a stack of information to sift through here. Informative and
       definitive, really - you won't find better!...

       Jay offers up an excellent alternative here, with lots of Trumptonshire
       information and opinion...

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© Gordon Murray / F2008