Trumptonshire Folk

Trumpton firemenTrumpton was the major town of Trumptonshire, in which there was also a neighbouring village of Camberwick Green.

This was the name of the stop-animation children’s program which was first produced about this fictional English county. The shows were all named after the location, so there was Trumpton, Camberwick Green and Chigley (also a village).

Windy MillerThe characters are reminiscent of Playmobil models, and I used to think that’s what they were. I loved all of the shows and characters, especially Windy Miller who would always manage to walk out of his mill without having his head chopped off by the sails.

Other memorable characters are the women who worked at the biscuit factory and stopped for the six o’clock whistle and the firemen: Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb, and their commander Captain Flack. (Pugh and Pugh were twins) According to the Trumptonshire Web, these names are often remembered wrongly, but they very handily have the original role call on audio on the site.

The problem for my memory is that because of the shows being interlinked, some characters appearing in two or all three, and narrated by the same voice – Brian Cant – I always mixed them up. And if I mixed them up as a child, there is no way I’m going to distinguish them nearly forty years later. Luckily Wikipedia has some quite comprehensive information about Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green.

Opening and closing credits were different for the three programs, with the firemen playing a brass concert on the bandstand in Trumpton and one of the others finishing with the six o’clock whistle and all workers in the biscuit factory having a dance. One of the programs opened with a toybox like a drum opening up and a figure appearing, it would be a different figure each day and you would have to guess who it was. The last time I watched any of these programs was when I was about five, so I’m amazed I remember this much.

My favourite song was Time flies by when you’re the driver of a train and I still remember the tune. Brian Cant, in this BBC interview says that Wallace and Gromit was influenced by the Trumpton trilogy. It’s nice to know that it wasn’t just me that dreamed about making my own models and animating them. And at least the Aardman people actually did something about it.

If you’re interested in Trumpton trivia, you may want to try out the BBC quiz – at least one of the questions has already been answered for you in this blog!


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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