Cast - where are they now ?
In November 1999 the UK press suddenly took an interest in the fate of all the Trumptonshire puppets, after Gordon Murray "admitted" that he had burned them years ago. The cremation of the Trumptonshire cast is not actually news, and the revelation dates back to at least 1996 when Fred Harris interviewed Gordon Murray for the Radio 4 programme "Trumpton Riots".
The Daily Telegraph of Wednesday 10th November carried an article: "The bonfire that did for Trumpton Fire Brigade". The article carried an (uncredited) picture of the Trumptonshire Web's Windows Miller, purporting to be Windy Miller, and a picture of Gordon Murray with the caption "no regrets". The following day, the Daily Telegraph carried a follow up article: "Soldier escaped Camberwick Green bonfire". It told how Gordon Murray's daughter, Emma, gave one of the Pippin Fort soldier boys to a friend, Steve Fletcher, as a birthday present in 1986. This puppet, which now lives in a shoe box in Stamford Lincs, may therefore be the only surviving citizen of Trumptonshire. The following day again (Friday 12th November), The Scotsman newspaper carried an article "The Lord Lucan of Trumpton", and speculated that "Rumours of Windy Miller's death in an inferno may be greatly exaggerated". The article carried 'quotes' from Gordon Murray, myself and Freddie Phillips, plus a picture of Windows Miller and one of Gordon Murray and puppets taken in the 'sixties.
So, where are they now ? Gordon Murray maintains that he burnt all the puppets he had in his posession. Therefore, of the original cast, perhaps only the soldier boy puppet remains.
But Tim Worthington writes:
Steve Fletcher, owner of the last(?) remaining
original Trumptonshire puppet, and his Pippin Fort soldier boy.
However, some of the characters have been remade for various reasons. In 1988 a set of Camberwick Green characters was supplied to Hovis for an advert for Windmill Bread. It is believed that the adverts were shown for a short time in the Granada region in the late eighties, but it seems the product was withdrawn soon after. It is not clear whether these puppets were also destroyed on Gordon Murray's bonfire.
In 1998 the BBC comissioned the recreation of many classic children's TV characters from the sixties and seventies, as part of their "Future Generations" corporate trail, starring little Scott Chisolm. As part of this promo, Windy Miller, Miss Lovelace, and all of the Trumpton Fire Brigade were brought back to life in the Trumpton town square. Having completed the trail, the puppets were loaned to the London Toy Museum, which sadly closed in 1999.
The puppets created for the BBC promotional
trail "Future Generations"
Windows Miller - specially remade and photographed for the Trumptonshire Website by me.