Thursday, 30 June 2016
R.I.P. Gordon Murray
Previous to creating the Trumptonshire Trilogy in the mid to late 1960s he had worked for the BBC as a puppeteer and then producer on The Woodentops and Captain Pugwash.
After leaving the BBC in 1964 he formed his own company and over the course of 1966, 1967 & 1969 he and his team produced 39 episodes (13 each) of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley using stop motion animation by Bob Bura, John Hardwick and Pasquale Ferrari, music by Freddie Phillips and narration by Brian Cant. Murray later burned all (but one) of the original puppets used for the series.
These sublime pieces of slice of life whimsy were and still are beloved of generations and have made regular appearances ever since in pastiches in Spitting Image, Life on Mars, the video for 'Burn The Witch' by Radiohead and not to mention featuring in two songs by Half Man Half Biscuit, 'Time Flies By (When You're the Driver of a Train)' and 'The Trumpton Riots'.
Here's a lovely short interview with him uploaded in 2011.
If you happen to pass a fire station, windmill, steam train or bandstand today spare him a thought.
There are lots of Trumptonshire videos available on line so I'm only going to add a couple here.
First here's episode 2 of Camberwick Green which is the one I remember most strongly from my childhood.
and second here's an upload of one of the several Trumptonshire albums.