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Characters & songs:
   Camberwick Green

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The production team: 
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   Episode guide
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   Trumptonshire analysed.
   In search of the real
     Trumptonshire villages
   Rubovia & Gublins

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Television books reviewed

(all with Trumptonshire content)

There are several general TV titles available at the moment, with considerable variation in subject matter and accuracy. If you're into TV trivia, then any of the general TV books will keep you interested for a while, but (in my opinion) "TV Heaven" and "The Guiness Book of Classic British TV" are probably the best.

While you would be lucky to find any of these on the shelf of your local book shop, most of them are available from Amazon. 

TV Heaven

TV Heaven

Written by Jim Sangster and Paul Condon, published by Collins, 2005
ISBN: 0007190999

Weighing-in at very nearly 1000 pages this book surely covers almost every TV programme ever shown in the UK - maybe the title should have been something like "The Ultimate Reference".

The format is very straightforward - a section on each TV programme listed in alphabetical order, with cast list, programme description and trivia. Even the more minor entries have over 100 words. The cult programmes are each given their own major section (4 pages on Trumptonshire) and there are a few b&w photographs along the way.

With a cover price of £19.99 it's the most expensive book listed here, but in terms of information-per-pound it beats all the others.
I'm staggered that two people could have researched and written so much.

If you only buy one TV reference book, make sure it's this one.

Cult TV

Written by Jon E. Lewis and Penny Stempel, published by Pavilion Books Ltd 1993
ISBN: 1-85793-926-3

Now in its second edition, this publication describes many classic TV series, including American imports, seen in the UK. Illustrated with B&W photographs.

It describes Camberwick Green as "a village idyll of picturesque shops and neat little houses in which puppet-people lived happily ever after".

The book goes on to mention: "Gordon Murray, creator of Camberwick Green was also the man behind that other puppet-tale Trumpton(1967) in which we met the redoubtable Captain Flack of the Trumpton Fire Brigade, and his plucky fire fighters Hugh, Pugh, Barney Mcgrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grubb."

The Golden Age of Childrens' Television

Written by Geoff Tibballs, published by Titan Books, 1991
ISBN: 1 85286 407 9

Geoff Tibball's tongue in cheek humour gives a brief look at many of the earlier generation of children's programmes from 1950-1975. Well illustrated with numerous photographs.

It describes the Trumptonshire series as "animated soap operas". "The hero of Camberwick Green was Windy Miller, while many of the tales of Trumpton revolved around those intrepid fire-fighters Hugh(!), Pugh, Barney, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grubb."

Besides the text, the book gives two (rather confused) lists of Camberwick Green and Chigley characters, and several large b&w close-up photographs of the Trumptonshire characters in their sets. While not being 100% accurate this is still a very entertaining book.

The Golden Age of Childrens' Television Quiz Book

Written by Geoff Tibballs, published by Titan Books, 1992.

ISBN: 1-85286-450-8

A follow-on to the book above, with more information in a question and answer format. Entertaining stuff, with a "Trumpton Job Centre" quiz, in which the reader has to pair up various characters with their occupation. In the acknowledgements, the author thanks "everyone at Titan books for still believing that there really is such a place as Trumpton".

Again Geoff Tibballs humour:"What a wonderful place Trumpton must have been to live in - no gangs roaming the streets, no unemployment, and no danger of The Krankies appearing there in high season."

Strangely the Trumpton character list now lists the fire brigade as: Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Guthbert, Dibble and Grubb.

The Guiness Television Encyclopedia

Written by Jeff Evans, published by Guiness Publishing Ltd.
ISBN: 0-85112-744-4

An alphabetical listing of programmes seen on British TV, key people, and TV related terminology, but no illustrations.

Under the Camberwick Green/Trumpton/Chigley entry the author devotes the best part of a page to Trumptonshire, and describes the programmes as a "rustic puppet trilogy". "Brian Cant's whimsical delivery and the quality of the animation and characterisation have made this little trilogy into children's television classics".

The Guiness Book of Classic British TV

Written by Paul Cornell, Martin Day, Keith Topping, Published by Guiness Publishing Ltd.
ISBN: 0-85112-628-6

Now in its 2nd edition, this excellent book reviews only British made television programmes. It not only gives the obvious information but also looks at what was happening behind the scenes of British TV, and includes original transmission dates.

The description of the Trumptonshire trilogy is undoubtedly the most comprehensive of the books featured here. "Generations of children (and their equally addicted parents) sat enthralled by a soap opera populated by puppets whose mundane trials and tribulations were on a par with anything on 'real' television.

You can tell one of the authors was a big fan: "Under 40 episode were made, but each one was a gem. There is a mythical part of Britain that is forever, Trumptonshire"

The book also includes a picture of Gordon Murray with some of the Camberwick Green characters. Highly recommended (even without the Trumptonshire section).

Into the Box of Delights

Written by Anna Home (Head of BBC Children's Programmes), Published by BBC Books.
ISBN 0-563-36061-5

Unlike the other books reviewed here "Into the Box of Delights" is a history of children's television, with particular emphasis on British production (but not just BBC programmes). Having an extensive knowledge of the children's TV industry, Anna Home describes the thinking behind the continuing development of children's programmes and the events that produced the programmes which reached our screens. This book gives a valuable insight into the background of many classic children's programmes. Illustrated with many black and white and colour photographs, including one showing many of the characters crowding around the fire engine in Trumpton town square.

Excellent in its own right, especially for a behind the scenes look, but not a TV trivia book.

Cracking Animation

Cracking Animation

Written by Peter Lord & Brian Sibley, Published by Thames & Hudson
ISBN 0-500-28168-8

"The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation" provides a wonderful introduction to the world of animation. It covers all aspects of the animation process, from model making and set design to photography and music. I particularly liked the way the book brings in contributions from the whole team, giving an insight into how many different disciplines are involved in successful modern-day animation.

One of the best features of the book is its comprehensive selection of 450 detailed colour pictures. Aardman's Wallace & Gromit appear in many pictures along with other lesser known stars such as Wat and Adam. There are some great close-up shots of the characters being put together, plus photo sequences showing how the characters are adjusted frame by frame to create the illusion of motion.

In the section describing the devlopment of animation over the last century there is a mention of the classic children's animators including Gordon Murray, Oliver Postgate and Serge Danot.

"One film maker who found the confidence to cut the strings and turn to stop-motion photography was Gordon Murray who, at the beginning of the Sixties, was producing elaborate puppet plays about the bewigged inhabitants of a Ruritanian principality named Rubovia, but who within only a few years was producing  stop-motion films about the small-town dramas in idealised rural communities (represented by model-village settings and characters in 1930's costumes) called 'Camberwick Green' (1966) and 'Trumpton'(1967)."

This book will also appeal to fans of films such as "The Wrong Trousers" who have no great desire to make their own animation, but simply want to know how it was all done.