Well, he had a good innings. Gordon Murray the creator of the stop-motion Trumptonshire Trilogy has died at the age of 95. Some favoured Camberwick Green – I don’t think Chigley was as popular – but for me the stand-out series was Trumpton. Perhaps it was Captain Flack’s weekly recital (Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb) that called out his firemen to an emergency that seemed never to involve flames, or even smoke, that stuck in the mind. Or maybe it was the announcement at the start of the show that presaged the storyline for that episode:
Here is a box, a musical box,
wound up and ready to play.
But this box can hide a secret inside.
Can you guess what is in it today?
Either way, Murray’s were innocent stories for innocent minds, governed by his wish for children to have a joyful childhood (as quoted in the Graun’s obituary):
“I am very upset, because I’m an old man now, at the short length of childhood that children have. They don’t have childhood for long and I think that’s a wicked shame, because childhood is the most marvellous thing you’ve got to remember for the rest of your life.”
‘Amen’ to that. Here’s my tuppence worth:
You painted a bucolic scene
With your stories of Camberwick Green,
But with Pugh, Pugh
And Barney McGrew
It was Trumpton that lit up the screen.