Creator of much-loved Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley sees 1960s children’s TV trilogy preserved for future generations
December 2011: BBC Studios and Post Production digitally restores all 39 episodes of the first children’s animated colour television series.
Gordon Murray, the 90‐year old creator of the much‐loved 1960s children’s television series’ of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley has had his wish fulfilled to see his beloved trilogy digitally restored by BBC Studios and Post Production. The unforgettable capers of the famous cast of characters - including fire crew Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub - will now be preserved forever for future generations to watch and enjoy.
In a far-sighted and ambitious move, Murray with the help of his ‘Trumptonshire’ son-in-law William Mollett, decided to locate, restore and future‐proof the trilogy. “We had no great expectations when we started out the process,” said Mollett. “Even if we did manage to find the original footage, we weren’t holding out much hope for the state it would be in after nearly 50 years.”
But after finding some footage buried deep in his father-in-law’s attic, he then approached the BBC to see if they could track down the missing 50-year-old original footage. They eventually traced it to a BBC vault in Perivale, West London, but it soon became very clear that the age of it meant that the restoration would be a painstaking task.
Gordon and William enlisted the expertise of BBC Studios and Post Production who took the footage and frame by frame meticulously cleaned, scanned and digitally restored it. “My mission was to preserve and future-proof the trilogy for new generations to enjoy,” said Murray. “I’d love to see the people who first watched it back in the 1960s to enjoy it again in pristine digital quality with their grandchildren. I’m so delighted it’s been so lovingly brought back to life. I was really worried it had been lost forever, and I can’t imagine a world without Trumptonshire,” he added.
“It was a great honour for us to be involved with the restoration of this fantastic piece of television history,” said Debbie Manners, chief operating officer at BBC Studios and Post Production. “The trilogy holds a very special place in the nation’s hearts, and transports us back to a simpler and more innocent age. The beauty of today’s sophisticated digital techniques means we can now avoid classic footage being consigned to the annals of TV history, and keep and improve it for future generations to enjoy.”
The fully re-mastered series of Camberwick Green, which first aired on the BBC on 3 January 1966, is available to buy on DVD and Blu‐ray via Amazon.co.uk from 16 December 2011.
Gordon Murray, creator of Trumpton