Trumptonshire Architecture

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

This affectionate and half-serious half-not look at the houses, buildings, shops, sheds, walls, windmills and cider presses that appeared in the BBC’s equally affectionately-remembered children’s shows Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley came about as a direct consequence of that miserable first lockdown, and was in many sense a reaction to – or to be more accurate against – it. If you really want to know how I was feeling during that depressing void in time and literally in space, you might want to have a read of The Abandoned Planet here; what’s relevant in this instance, though, is that like a great many others, I turned to watching, listening to and reading anything that I found familiar and reassuring in an attempt to somehow try and make it all make a little more sense. This included the likes of Agent Carter (which you can hear more about my love of here), Fist Of Fun, The Great British Tuck Shop by Steve Berry and Phil Norman, The Collins And Herrin Podcast (which led to it becoming one of my choices when I appeared as the guest on Looks Unfamiliar here), Stephen Fry’s Paperweight, Dazed And Confused, Caitlin Moran’s collections of columns, the BBC Radio 4 adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, black and white Doctor Who, and three certain children’s shows that I had watched relentlessly week in week out as a youngster – well, they did repeat them in constant rotation – and never quite lost my infatuation with. I never did quite get on with that Clown, though, but you can read more about that here.

More out of a need to find something to do one evening than anything else, I idly started posting off-screen photos of the various buildings in and around Trumptonshire, which I have always found fascinating partly because they are such wonderfully constructed sets and partly because none of them appear to actually belong in the same decade or even part of the world as each other, on Twitter accompanied by suitably sardonic and factual commentary in roughly equal measure. To my surprise this seemed to strike a chord and really took off, generating so many genuinely grateful and appreciative responses – although the relentless quoting of that Half Man Half Biscuit song did get a bit much after a while – that I felt compelled to see it right the way through. I may not have been able to contribute much on a practical level outside of jokes about Dominic Cummings always looking like he should be leaning backwards against a wall at a weird angle in an episode of The Paper Lads, waiting to step out in front of Gog and Ian and snarl “your route’s just been changed, paper lasses”, but by accidentally providing a lot of people with something to smile about, I’d like to think I was a little more useful than all those ‘By St. Cremberforce, Mistress Meaker – mayhap we have perchance chancified upon-eth ye entriggered liberals enbelieving forsooth they have to socially distance like the remoanstream media telleth them, I’ll be bound and I should very much say so, hey nonny no, what a pretty pass we have come to, a pretty pass indeed… Barkeep! a crisp, cool, soothing, delightful, estimable, nourishing, nutritious pint for I, methinks – and supped without a mask, by jingo!’ dimwits.

This is the original Trumptonshire Architecture Twitter thread, spruced up and brought up to date like Raggy Dan’s hat isn’t. If you just can’t get enough Trumptonshire action, or just want to express your gratitude for the original thread, you can find extensive features on Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley in Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of some of my columns and features with a personal twist, which is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.

Somewhere in a remote and tranquil corner of Britain – although geographical experts believe it may actually be somewhere around one o’clock in the afternoon on BBC1, at an indeterminate point between News After Noon with Leonard Parkin and those massive green hands typing and the Test Card – stands the county of Trumptonshire. Its principal regional subdivisions, Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley, seem to exist in a peculiar conflation of several eras of modern history all at once, crammed full of buildings that should not under any logical circumstances be next to each other but are. What can this tell us about the changing face of contemporary society? Probably absolutely nothing whatsoever, but that has never stopped anyone conducting any kind of a study before now, so it’s time to take a look at the weird and wonderful – and windmill-heavy – world of Trumptonshire Architecture. Seeing as we’ve got a musical box that’s would up and ready to play and may well even hide a secret inside – although you can be fairly sure it will be one of the puppets – what better place to start than…

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Camberwick Green.

Not that either really counts as ‘architecture’ as such, but we never actually find out what building the Clown or the Music Box are in, or indeed their connection on anything beyond an existential and appearing-in-the-opening-titles level to anything related to anything or anyone anywhere else Camberwick Green. The former appears to be on some sort of stage, presumably entertaining the paying locals – although he didn’t quite entertain everyone, but you can find out more about that here – with an act consisting entirely of turning a blackboard with some credits on the wrong way and occasionally looking to make sure that is actually has turned round, and the latter on a desk in a corner of an antiquarian slash academic’s study. There is also the distinct possibility that the storybook adjacent to it actually features an illustration of Colley’s Mill, which is a concept so mind-hurtingly intertextual that it is probably better to just move on and look at some of the actual buildings.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Possibly not the first port of call for anyone requiring a business class special delivery, the Post Office is very much a quaint ‘village shop’ type affair, and there were doubtless more than a few Post Office branches that actually still looked like this around in the early sixties.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

This quaintness continues through to the Post Office interior, with its decor badly adrift of then-modern fashion and the opportunity to buy tea, coffee and flour along with your stamps and envelopes. Possibly because this was constructed for the very first episode – in fact the original version of the very first episode, and you can find out more about why Peter Hazel’s delivery round had to be filmed twice here – it is the most well-appointed interior in Camberwick Green by far and indeed the one that is the most frequently seen by some distance. This is even reflected down to the small details, and the letters are actually properly addressed. Seriously, they are.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

While we’re here, ignore the sausages-seeking antics of Packet the Post Office puppy and take a look at those decorations on the front of the counter. Was this made by the same unidentified Trumptonshire woodcrafter as the Music Box…??

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

In spite of the proprietor’s rough and ready overalled appearance, Mr. Crockett’s Garage is both designed and rendered in a modernist style with pronounced touches of brutalism, and decked out in a colour scheme that suggests that it was last given a fresh lick of paint some time around 1958.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

The garage forecourt kiosk incorporates this little-seen and not particularly attention-catching business slogan, presented in a chortlesome vernacular that somewhat undermines the stylish efficiency that characterises the rest of the garage. World-renowned typographic experts have been unable to identify what that font actually even is.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Colley’s Mill, the home of Windy Miller and reputedly of millers and indeed Millers for generations before him, and quite possibly standing entirely unchanged for centuries. That perfunctory shed is presumably a more recent addition, however.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

So what’s inside that shed? An old-fashioned bakehouse, where Windy makes bread and cakes and also stores the This Is Your Life red book for safekeeping.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

We don’t often see much more of it than the very edge of it at the very edge of the frame, but here’s the well at Colley’s Mill in all its, erm, glory. Whatever it does, it’s doing it right now.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Dr. Mopp’s residential surgery is a large Edwardian townhouse that very much chimes aesthetically with his singularly antiquated appearance and surely less than roadworthy vintage car. It is, however, very much out of stylistic and chronological step with the other buildings on the Village Green, which as we shall see all seem to date from entirely disparate phases of modern history.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

A rare glimpse inside Dr. Mopp’s house, revealing a large open plan reception slash surgery slash dispensary area, with appropriately outmoded decor – although to be honest it’s a fair bet that many mid-sixties family general practitioners hadn’t updated their own practices in a long time – and what appears to be the very same unappreciated in its time wallpaper that caused the narrator of Three Men In A Boat such philosophical angst. To say nothing of the dog! No, he’s in the Post Office looking for ‘sausages’.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Presumably intentionally in line with his general character and appearance, chimney sweep Roger Varley’s cottage has a suitably shabby and battered look, especially that front door that has evidently seen better days. This building may hide a literal secret inside, though. Or outside, But more about that shortly.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Not too far away from the Post Office either in terms of distance or appearance, Mickey Murphy’s bakery is an old fashioned ‘little shop’ of the variety that were again probably still quite a common sight in the mid-sixties. Take a closer look at that upper storey, though…

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

This is, purportedly, one of presumably at least three rooms situated on the upper floor of the bakery. It’s about eight times the size of the entire building in every conceivable direction

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Unlike that cavernous upper storey, the actual bakery itself appears to be roughly in accord with the exterior dimensions, and looks reassuringly hygienically maintained too.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

This is the only glimpse we get round the back of the bakery, and in all honesty it is difficult to shake the suspicion that it’s actually just Roger Varley’s cottage very very slightly repainted. Or that the already mysteriously capacious interior is capable of housing two entirely separate buildings at the same time.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Jonathan Bell’s ‘modern mechanical farm’ is precisely what his hydraulically-driven introductory song suggests – a sturdy old farmhouse patched up and augmented as appropriate to move with the times. As is much more obvious in close-up, this patching is sometimes quite literal.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

The Modern Mechanical Farm itself appears to be suitably sparse and efficient, although it is more difficult to vouch for the technical veracity or indeed modernity of the machinery.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Thomas Tripp’s Dairy. An ugly, squat block of concrete with a window forced into it against its will.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

This is our only glimpse of the interior of the dairy. There’s not much to see here. Literally.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Pippin Fort. An outdated stonework military training academy, clearly retained as an operationally active facility on account of boasting a covert strategic advantage of some variety. In fairness, it could be kitted out with all manner of hi-tech mod cons inside. Except…

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Captain Snort’s sparsely decorated office marks him out as a man not given to obsession with the privileges of rank, and the Mess Hall – party trimmings aside – seems remarkably functional and spartan. Meanwhile, oddly, their telephone is up on the battlements.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Mr Carraway’s fishmongery is essentially a glorified market stall with some exceptionally unsteadily-applied wallpaper. Were pull-down shutters still a novelty in the mid-sixties?

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).
Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

There’s just enough time for a quick look at the Green itself. We’ve seen all of the surrounding shops and houses, but not the spectacular central tree – which is actually a plot device in itself in one episode, as well as the solitary venue involved when Paddy and Mary Murphy elect to play the most spectacularly useless game of hide and seek ever – or the variously bricked adjoining walls. Both, incidentally, were included in the mid-sixties Camberwick Green Village Playset, a massive seller at Christmas 1966 but now so rare and difficult that only oil barons can afford it, presumably with the intention of drilling under the Post Office in search of ‘sausages’.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Well, that’s the lot for Camberwick Green – unless you want to read more about the Peter Hazel The Postman episode here – and it’s, well, time to move on to somewhere else…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

…steadily, sensibly, never too quickly, never too slowly it’s time… for Trumpton!

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

While Camberwick Green’s design aesthetic is mostly rooted in the recent past, with Mr. Dagenham’s sports car and Farmer Bell’s machinery being the only real nods to sophisticated mid-sixties modernity, with Trumpton it’s very much a sense of a town that’s moved with the times…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

There’s a good deal in Trumpton Town Square that deserves to be looked at in greater detail, but how impressive is that full view? It looks fit to burst into activity. Which of course it does…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

A rare full close-up view of the statue of Queen Victoria in the Town Square, from the episode where Mrs. Cobbitt the flower seller didn’t turn up. She was prevented from travelling in by a tree that had fallen across the road rather than covertly plotting to pull it down.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Mr. Munnings’ print shop is a marked contrast to some of the other businesses in the Town Square, deploying a minimal look not dissimilar to those of the newer businesses finding their way into the lower floors of Fleet Street around the early sixties.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Inside, the print shop looks appropriately like a business that has found its way into a space rather than the other way around. There’s tons of disparate equipment, and it’s evidently been arranged for convenience rather than aesthetics. In the middle of it all, there’s that amazing printing press, which still looks impressive even now.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Trumpton Fire Station looks very, very similar to how actual fire stations really did look around that, and those big clanging doors looked and sounded as hefty and heavy as the genuine article. Also note that colourful wall sat next to it, subtly cementing the Fire Station as part of a bustling residential area.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

We never really get to see very much of the inside the Fire Station, sadly, other than occasional glimpses of Captain Flack’s office. Which apparently only contains a burgundy desk, a telephone, and a light-up map of, erm, Florence.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Similarly, we only get to see round the side of the Fire Station once, as part of the comically ill-advised attempt to put up their own posters advertising the Fire Brigade’s own Band Concerts. It really does give you a sense of just how massive the set must have been though. It does fit the whole Fire Engine in it after all.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Meanwhile, on the side of an unidentified building, this Trumpton’s only advertising hoarding. Note the adverts for Mr. Crockett’s garage from Camberwick Green, Harry Farthing’s pottery from Chigley, the Flower Show that seemed to be perpetually taking place in every single Trumpton book, and ‘France’.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

“…and all the houses look the same”, as Blur once sang on an album that in all honesty wasn’t a million miles away from Trumpton in some regards. They do admittedly all look the same, but how strikingly redolent of a real street do they look? Especially with the subtly different colours. You can see them in the background of the Town Square too. How enormous WAS this set??

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Miss Lovelace’s Hat Shop is unusual in that it looks like a more modern construction with an older-fashioned frontage built into it to impress local ‘aaaaaahhhhh!’ types. She always did come across as a bit of a pseud. Mind you, take a look at that boutique-styled exterior, and the plush arrangements in the window displays. You can’t say this isn’t a shop with character.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Inside – yappy dogs notwithstanding – the hat shop is exactly how you would expect a mirror-festooned mid-sixties designer emporium to look. Not entirely likely that Mr. Dagenham would be dropping by for a new custom-fitted three-button suit, though.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

It’s not strictly a building as such, but even so it’s still worth giving quick a mention to Mr. Antonio’s Ice Cream Van, mainly on account of the fact that it looks disconcertingly like something out of The Prisoner.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Mr. Platt’s Clock Shop looks deceptively bland from the outside, but…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

…inside it’s an absolute riot of clocks in all shapes and sizes – come on, who didn’t want that elephant one? – with old-fashioned wallpaper and battered woodwork that suggest he’s probably more focused on his craft than on his surroundings.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Around the back of the Clock Shop – although he also appears to suggest that it’s on the roof – Mr. Platt has a pigeon loft, in a yard complete with an authentically sloping wall. Unless it actually is on the roof, in which case we should probably start worrying.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

The only occasion on which we definitely do see the top of one of the buildings is when Mr. Robinson the window cleaner wreaks havoc with demarcation guidelines by having a look at Miss Lovelace’s chimney. That street lamp is a beautiful detail.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

We never really see inside Mr Clamp’s grocery, but the ever-so-slightly will-this-do facade built onto the front of an existing shop is exactly what you’d expect to see on an authentic greengrocers’ even now. Not that there’s exactly much room for customers to browse.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

This is the closest that we get to a look inside Mr. Clamp’s shop, and it appears to suggest that it was really just all one big storeroom with a huge great gap between the walls where the corner should be.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Chippy Minton’s bungalow and workshop, directly adjoining Mrs. Cobbitt’s bungalow which itself is unfortunately represented here with alarmingly realistic roof damage caused by a falling branch. Note that the streets with the varyingly-coloured houses are again visible in the background. At this rate, Trumpton is starting to look larger than its real world inspiration.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Inside The Mintons’ house there appears to be little bar a few cooking implements and a telephone, which is most frequently used for Chippy to phone up and query whether Dora has his tea ready. To be fair, she’s not exactly got a full restaurant kitchen’s worth of utensils at her disposal.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Chippy’s workshop – another interior that appears significantly bigger than the outside would suggest – is characteristically makeshift and cluttered with carpentry-related tools and associated debris, and is even equipped with a first aid kit. But there’s an alarming hidden detail…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

It may well be in keeping with his boorish proto-‘Leave’ women-do-the-cooking son-bullying not-having-nothing-to-do-with-them-namby-pamby-book-learning-types character, but you really wouldn’t expect to find swimwear model ‘lovelies’ up on Chippy Minton’s workshop wall. Yet there they are.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Not really architecture as such, but adjacent to the Mintons’ house is this particularly lovely view – so lovely, in fact, that a passing artist decided to paint it whilst a rarely-glimpsed Trumptonshire Blue Rabbit looked on.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

We’ve already seen the clock, but what about the Town Hall itself? It’s beautifully designed, calling to mind the sort of Town Hall that you would have seen on holiday in a coastal town that you’d never heard of before and still aren’t sure actually exists, and we get to see a good deal more of the interior than you might expect.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

The Mayor’s Office – done out in red baize and gilt trimmings with an old-fashioned desk – is exactly the sort of place you’d feel simultaneously both comfortable and intimidated in. You can practically smell the wax seals on the envelopes.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Behind the clock face, there is a gantry floor and mysteriously Tardis-like winding mechanism. It’s difficult to evaluate the technical accuracy of this setup, but it was always exciting whenever Mr. Platt had to go back there to wind the clock.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

On one occasion, of course, the clock still wasn’t working even after Mr. Platt had wound it, and the cause of this turned out to be a paint pot accidentally left in front of the clock figures by Walter Harking. While his hoist isn’t ‘architecture’ in any way shape or form, it’s still worth querying what that first letter was changed from, and why…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

The Loft is inevitably the least glamorous part of the Town Hall, albeit not one without its own attendant mystery – if the water tank was too big to get out through the hatch, how on Earth did it get in there in the first place?

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Pausing only to see some impressively realistic digging up of the impressively realistic pavements – and you can find out exactly why they were being dug up in a look at the episode where the telephone lines get crossed here – there’s only one location left to visit in Trumpton, and it’s something of a significant one…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

If they give out awards for municipal planning in Trumptonshire, then Trumpton Town Park should definitely be winning one. It’s tidy, orderly and well equipped, and we get to see quite a lot of it. Here, for example, are The Mayor and Mr Craddock picking up litter and inspecting a broken bench. Alright, so it may have needed a little more in the way of active ongoing maintenance.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

The Park also boasts a somewhat more meticulously maintained duck pond, as visited here by The Mayor and Cuthbert the Fireman, who inevitably fell in.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Mr Craddock’s maintenance shed – about to be used here by Raggy Dan as a temporary repository for, well, rags, bottles and bones – is as dull and functional as his moustache, and it’s not entirely clear why the roof is longer on one side than the other.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

Not all of the amenities are as modern and updated as they should be, though, as is more than adequately illustrated by the contrast between the modern lightweight greenhouse and the ageing crumbling brickwork chimney about to topple and wreck it. The Fire Brigade inevitably save the day, however, and just in time for…

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

The Bandstand – home to the Fire Brigade’s concerts – is a wrought iron affair given a lightly modern dash of paintwork but still remaining as rooted in the past as much as it moves with the times; and isn’t that just Trumpton all over.

Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).
Trumpton (BBC1, 1967).

With a rare glimpse of the vacated bandstand, and The Mayor’s impressive car (and the suspiciously named chauffeur ‘Philby’), that’s it for Trumpton. Unless you want to read more about the episode where the telephone lines get mixed up, which you can do so here. In the meantime, there’ll be no prizes – municipal or otherwise – for guessing where we’re headed next…

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

So where are we headed next? Camberwick Green? Trumpton? Chigley! May we come with you? No that doesn’t quite work. Anyway…

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Chigley is an area of Trumptonshire partially given over to light industry, and it didn’t get more lightly industrial than Creswell’s Chigley Biscuits and their angular modernist factory complete with a standard issue incomprehensible aerial thing on the roof.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Inside the Biscuit Factory, it’s all very clean and clinical and, well, efficient, with the sort of bare walls and gleaming white machinery you might well have seen in a James Bond film or Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. Or even – a lomtick – A Clockwork Orange. There’s even a lot of boiler suits around too, come to think of it.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

We don’t get to see very much more of the Biscuit Factory, although there are a couple of glimpses of the loading bay in operation, and how brilliantly of its time is that clock? Not too dissimilar to the late sixties Play School Clock in fact, as indeed is the seemingly random repositioning of the hands around the clock face.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

The only other interior area of the Biscuit Factory that we get to have a nose around is Mr. Creswell’s office, which looks alarmingly close to something that you would more normally have seen in a sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, although those sales figures that he’s ruminating over with Harry Farthing look decidedly healthier than those of Conquistador Coffee.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Harry Farthing’s studio and – presumably – adjoining family house have the look and feel of an adapted abandoned church or school hall. Not only was this very much in vogue with creatives in the late sixties, it was also actually literally the same sort of studio space as where Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley were filmed. The Church Studios in crouch end are now used as recording facilities by the dashing and exciting likes of David Gray and Mumford And Sons, and is there a blue plaque saying ‘NIBS MINTON fell over between takes here, 1967’? Well, what do you think.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

It doesn’t look too much like The Church circa 1969, but we do get to see the interior of Harry Farthing’s studio, including examples of his pottery on display and a closer look at that impressive decorative window.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Although we don’t get to see inside the Farthing family home, we do get a glance around the garden. Where, for undisclosed reasons, Harry is sculpting a bear.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Treddles Wharf, the canal quay with its own private railway access, as used by seemingly everyone in the county on an alarmingly casual basis. In other words, a combination of bits of buildings of different vintages with a great big modern crane bolted onto the front.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

The action is usually on the crane and the canal so there’s not much call to see much of the detail of the wharf, but there is a lone use of one of the lock-ups, and a brief glimpse of Mr. Swallow’s office, which appears to have been knocked together from damp discarded plywood.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

While it isn’t actually ‘architecture’ as such, a quick mention here for Mr. Rumpling’s barge. Given the disparity between the make-do-and-mend design and his highly professional uniform and attitude, it’s hard to shake the suspicion that he had it repainted this way as a cynical branding ploy.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

A lot of what we get to see of outdoor Chigley is essentially just open road, but there is the saga of the broken bridge, and the hastily knocked up replacement constructed the soldier boys from Pippin Fort, who conveniently have just been out on bridge-building exercises. No, really.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Just before the grand finale, here are a couple of Chigley locations that didn’t really fit anywhere else – Mr Clutterbuck the builder’s makeshift chairless office, a very low level municipal maintenance shed, a suspiciously Tardis-like phone box and – never actually seen or even referred to in Camberwick Green – Windy Miller’s cider press. Cheers!

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

So, let’s take a balloon ride across the Chigley rooftops – and past a village that appears to be Rubovia (and if you don’t know where or even what that is, you can find out here) – on the way to our final stop on the tour…

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Winkstead Hall – the Palladian Style ancestral home of Lord Belborough – appears to be the single largest building in all of Trumptonshire, even out-bulking Pippin Fort. Some of them may be taller, but none of them take up quite as much space.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

Famously, Winkstead Hall is home to Lord Belborough’s private railway. Surprisingly, we only get to see inside the engine shed once, and… well, it’s a shed. We do, however, get to see a lot more of the pump house and its meticulously maintained vintage water pump ‘Binnie’.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

“Hello, Winkstead Hall, Brackett speaking… you want to see the interior? I’ll inform his Lordship at once!”

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

The rooms inside Winkstead Hall that are on display to the general public include the opulent gallery, furnished with paintings of what are presumably historical Trumptonshire figures, and the library, which also seems to double up as Lord Belborough’s office when required. Frustratingly, there is never an explanation for the framed tinfoil hung on the corridor walls.

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).
Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

The grounds of Winkstead Hall are enlivened by an ornate fountain and an Edwardian walled garden – and there’s more about the episode centred around Mr. Bilton the gardener and his suspicion of ‘wireworm’ in Can’t Help Thinking About Me here – which finds itself caught up in an unfortunate encounter with a runaway mower. And then of course there’s…

Chigley (BBC1, 1969).

…the Dutch Organ and the stage where the Biscuit Factory workers hold their Six O’Clock dances. And that’s Chigley! And Trumpton, and Camberwick Green. Of course, there is also that Camberwick Green book where we get to see Mr. Dagenham’s flat, but that’s another storey.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

Buy A Book!

You can read much more about Camberwick GreenTrumpton and Chigley in Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here. You can also find out the story behind the albums based on Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley – and every other album released by BBC Records And Tapes – in Top Of The Box Vol. 2, available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.

Alternately, if you’re just feeling generous, you can buy me a coffee here. Mr. Dagenham will know where the latest hip joints are.

Further Reading

You can read more about Trumpton in Never Too Quickly, Never Too Slowly here, and Camberwick Green in Wound Up And Ready To Play here and The Fear Of A Clown here. You can also ready about some of their contemporaries in the Watch With Mother timeslot with features on Barnaby here, Bagpuss here, Mr. Benn here, The Herbs here and Bod here.

The Fear Of A Clown is a feature looking at my somewhat troubled history with one particular aspect of Camberwick Green; you can find it here.

Further Listening

Justin Lewis hazily remembered the the Welsh Language dubbed version of Trumpton on Looks Unfamiliar here.

Camberwick Green (BBC1, 1966).

© Tim Worthington.
Please don’t copy this only with more italics and exclamation marks.