Children’s classics lovingly restored to former glory
THE creator of childhood TV classics is delighted his masterpiece is being brought into the 21st century.
Gordon Murray (90), who lives in Southwick, near Oundle, created the much-loved 1960s TV series Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley.
With the help of his son-in-law William Mollett they decided to try and find the original copies of the show to preserve the popular series for generations to come.
William said: “We had no great expectations when we started out the process.
“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 Gordon’s attic, William 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 clear that the age of the film meant that the restoration would be a painstaking task.
The reels were taken to BBC Studios and Post Production who took the footage and frame by frame meticulously cleaned, scanned and digitally restored them.
Gordon said: “My mission was to preserve and future-proof the trilogy for new generations to enjoy.
“I’d love to see the people who first watched it back in the 1960s 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.”
The series almost did not get made in the first place because animation was expensive and the BBC said it could not afford it.
But when bosses saw the beautifullycrafted work they commissioned three series.
And now a new generation can enjoy life in Trumptonshire and its unforgettable cast, including fire crew Pugh, Pugh, Barney Mcgrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub.
Gordon said: “BBC Studios and Post Production have done a marvellous job at getting them all ship-shape. They have rubbed out all the mistakes and cleaned them up. They are perfect and I am absolutely delighted.”
The fully re-mastered series of Camberwick Green, which first aired on the BBC on January 3, 1966, is available now to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk
BRINGING BACK TO LIFE: The Trumptonshire trilogy creator Gordon Murray, right, with son-inlaw William Mollet and characters from the Trumptonshire trilogy Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green.