Gordon Murray for the BBC animation:
stop-motion animation episodes: 13 x 15mins
is the clock, The Trumpton Clock. Telling the time,
steadily, sensibly, never too quickly,
never too slowly.
Telling the time... for Trumpton!"
in the countryside not far from Camberwick Green is the busy market
of Trumpton. This is the town that gives
its name to the county Trumptonshire
in which all three of Gordon Murray's fondly-recalled
series are set.
Trumpton's centrepiece is the splendid town
hall and clock which sits adjacent
to an always-bustling square complete with
a big bronze statue of Queen Victoria.
The town hall is the seat of The Mayor and
his assistant Mr Troop and its magnificent
clock is maintained by Mr Platt the
Clockmaker, and kept presentable by Walter
Harkin the Painter and Decorator. But the
clock tower isn't the only memorable
feature of the town, because the infamous
Trumpton Fire Brigade must surely
share centrestage. Captain Flack, The
Pugh Twins, Barney McGrew,
Dibble and Grub would race to the assistance
of Trumpton townsfolk in distress.
They rescued The Mayor's hat from a
tree, fixed the statue of Queen Victoria,
searched for missing artists and members
of their own crew, removed paint pots
from the clock tower, rescued Mr Robinson
the window cleaner, helped remove
an old tank from the Town Hall attic, and
lift broken trees and branches from
people's property but they never once
actually dealt with a real fire.
That said, they came close on two occasions.
In the episode "Telephone"
a series of crossed-wires sends them
off to Mrs Minton's house mistakenly
expecting flames. and in "The
Rag and Bone Man" they arrive just in time
to stop Park Keeper Mr Craddock from setting
fire to Chippy Minton's rocking
horse with his savings inside.
So why the lack of smoke and flames? - It
boils down to a tight schedule
and budget, prohibiting such time-consuming
Trumpton's thirteen episodes were produced
over a short nine month period
and broadcast ad-infinitum on through
the seventies and indeed, eighties
encouraging the illusion of there being
more episodes out there than there
actually were. The crossovers between
the Trumptonshire villages blurr the
line further. Most notably, Captain
Flack's brigade perform at the bandstand
in the park at the end of every episode -
the self-same stand and park that
feature in the 6 'o'clock Tea Dance
at the end of every Chigley episode.
Today all three Trumptonshire series
are available on various home video and
DVD formats and associated memorabilia
abounds. The Hound particularly
favours the splendid figure ranges from
Robert Harrop and Royal Doulton. Keen
collectors should also keep their eyes
peeled for the original tie-in storybooks
published by Hamlyn when the series'
launched. These large format hardbacks
feature a bounty of photographs from each
episode accompanied by fabulous
illustrations from Ken Woodward.
Trumpton creator Gordon Murray had previously
brougt us the puppet delights
of Rubovia. After Camberwick Green,
Trumpton and Chigley came two new
and Fuffy who featured on "The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop"
before the arrival of the The
Animators Bura and Hardwick also famously
brought us the delights of Toytown
featuring Larry The L-L-Lamb. Meanwhile, scriptwriter Alison Prince
had previously written the adventures
Troop - his assistant
Philby - his Driver
Cobbit - flower seller
Mr Platt - clockmaker
Miss Lovelace - milliner
Mitzy, Daphne, Lulu - her dogs
Constable Potter - policeman
Chippy Minton - carpenter
Nibbs - his son
Dora- his wife
Mr Robinson - window cleaner
Walter Harkin - painter & dec.
Mr Munnings - printer
Raggy Dan - rag & bone man
Nick Fisher - bill sticker
Mr Craddock - park keeper
Mr Bolt - borough engineer
Mr Wilkins - plumber
Mr Antonio - ice cream seller
Mr Wantage - tel. engineer
Fred - his assistant
Trumpton Fire Brigade
The Pugh Twins
(+ Cuthbert's Aunt)
Miss Lovelace and the Mayor's Hat
Mrs Cobbit and the Ice Cream Man
Miss Lovelace and the Statue
Mr Platt and the Painter
The Mayor's Birthday
The Rag and Bone Man
The Window Cleaner
Cuthbert's Morning Off
The series premiered with "The
Bill Poster" on BBC1 3rd
and it continued to air each week for
thirteen weeks, until 28th March...
Many folks will know that the three
Trumptonshire series have been given an
incredible, collectable new lease
of life here in the UK, thanks to Robert
Over the last few years they've produced the most extraordinary
of figures, vehicles, buildings, Xmas pieces
and - best of all - music boxes.
Knowing quite where to start is very
difficult, the range is huge! Some folks
simply collect the smaller figures,
whilst others have grabbed at those fabulous
music boxes and sent secondary prices soaring.
And then there are all sorts
of limited edition pieces to drool over...
Murray, Alison Prince songs: Gordon
Murray, Freddie Phillips, Alison Prince animation: "Bura
Bura, John Hardwick, George Debouch,
Ferrari, Colin Large, Len Palace sets: Andrew
Brownfoot, Margaret Brownfoot narration and voices: Brian
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
Jay offers up an excellent
alternative here, with lots of Trumptonshire
information and opinion...