BBC (ended 1967)



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Welcome to the Trumpton guide at Here is the clock, the Trumpton clock. Telling the time steadily, sensibly. Never too quickly, never too slowly. Telling the time for Trumpton. Gordon Murray's 1967 series for the BBC, Camberwick Green, was an immediate success and an instant classic, and naturally he was asked to produce a second run of episodes. But, feeling that he had exhausted the possibilities for the village setting of that series, he instead came up with a sequel. Trumpton carried on the style of Camberwick Green, but this time the setting was a busy market town, complete with town hall and resident mayor. There was a whole new cast of characters, including Mrs Lovelace (and her yappy dogs), Chippy Minton the carpenter and, most famously of all, the town fire brigade, whose roll-call ("Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb!") became the series' catchphrase. But the main theme remained: whether in a small village or a bustling market town, the residents always helped each other out and a problem shared was a problem solved. Unlike Camberwick Green, Gordon Murray didn't pen his own screenplays for Trumpton. Instead, children's author Alison Prince was drafted in to turn Murray's stories into scripts, and added a lot of ideas (and humour) of her own. Freddie Phillips wrote a brand new batch of songs to introduce the characters, and once again Brian Cant provided all the voices. The result was a sequel that more than lived up to its predecessor and, like Camberwick Green, would be repeated over and over for more than twenty years.moreless
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  • Here is a clock, the Trumpton Clock...

    ...Telling the time, steadily, sensibly; never too quickly, never too slowly; telling the time for Trumpton.

    Thus began every episode of 'Trumpton', the middle of the three Gordon Murray series made in the late 1960s. It says much for its impact on me that I wrote the above quotation from memory!

    Trumpton was the largest of the three settlements in Trumptonshire (Camberwick Green being a village and Chigley a hamlet). In Trumpton was located the Town Hall, which boasted the rather grand Trumpton Clock. The Town Hall was presided over by the Mayor, with help from Mr. Troop the Town Clerk and the services of their chauffeur, Philby. In the town centre were most of the shops, including Mr. Clamp the greengrocer, Mr. Platt the clockmaker, Mr. Munnings the printer and Miss Lovelace (with her three dogs Mitzi, Daphne and Lulu) the milliner. Under the statue of Queen Victoria in the centre sat Mrs. Cobbett, selling her flowers.

    This tranquil setting was often visited by labourers who lived outside the town, notably Chippy Minton the carpenter and his son Nibs (odd name!) Whenever the good citizens of Trumpton had a problem, the would always call...The Trumpton Fire Brigade! (Altogether now - Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb.) Led by the long-suffering Captain Flack, the boys would come out to get cats down from trees, rocking-horses off bonfires - almost anything, in fact, apart from putting out a fire. And, they ended every episode by giving a band concert for everyone in the park.

    In all seriousness, however, the makers of 'Trumpton' recognised the importance to children's stories of a good plot, rounded characters, repeated features (e.g. the Fire Brigade and Clock sequences) and a satisfying ending. It says much that, twenty-odd years after last seeing it, I can remember so many of the characters and story lines. Bring it back - I think today's children would enjoy it.moreless