The Military Army Blog

Gordon Murray creator of puppet show Trumpton dies aged 95

  • Gordon Murray, creator of much-loved puppet shows, has died aged 95
  • TV producer made triology Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley
  • Has been praised for his work and hailed ‘a true hero of children s TV’

|

11

View
comments

The creator of popular BBC children s series Trumpton has died at the age of 95. Gordon Murray, who created the much-loved Trumptonshire puppet trilogy first screened in the 1960s, passed away yesterday. The trilogy Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley were shown weekly on the BBC for 20 years and captivated generations of children with their innocent snapshots of Middle England.

Gordon Murray Creator Of Puppet Show Trumpton Dies Aged 95

Gordon Murray (pictured) – known for his much-loved Trumptonshire puppet triology – died yesterday aged 95

Each series was named after a fictitious English village and followed characters such as aristocrat Lord Belborough and Windy Miller and his brigade of firemen. They were narrated by Brian Cant and ran for a total of 39 episodes between 1966 and 1969, airing before the midday news on BBC One. The BBC continued to broadcast them throughout the 1970s and 80s.

Camberwick Green, which was made using stop-motion animation, was the first children s show to be aired in colour on the BBC in 1966. Justin Johnson, children s programmer at the British Film Institute, described Murray as a true hero of children s TV . He said: The Trumptonshire Trilogy was a beautifully observed picture of everyday middle England. Ordinary, everyday people doing everyday tasks.

Gordon Murray Creator Of Puppet Show Trumpton Dies Aged 95

Gordon Murray, who created the much-loved Trumptonshire puppet trilogy (pictured), passed away yesterday

Gordon Murray Creator Of Puppet Show Trumpton Dies Aged 95

Murray set up a puppet company in the 1950s and was scouted by a BBC producer while touring theatres in the UK with the company

It worked because the scripts were always well constructed with believable characters. Every week, Lord Belborough on his train, the Trumptonshire clock or the Fire Engine being called out. Murray was born in London in 1921 and attended Emanuel School in Battersea, South-West London.

Gordon Murray Creator Of Puppet Show Trumpton Dies Aged 95

In 2011, Murray’s series were digitally restored and re-released after the original footage was found in the family s attic and in the BBC archives

After leaving school, he began working as a journalist and joined the Territorial Army before being enlisted in 1939 in the London Scottish Regiment. In 1944, he took part in the Normandy landings as a platoon commander having been commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals and landed on Gold Beach.

After the war, he worked as an actor in repertory theatre where he met his wife, ballet dancer Enid Martin. Murray set up a puppet company in the 1950s and was scouted by a BBC producer while touring theatres in the UK with the company. He first appeared on television as a puppeteer in 1954 on Bengo, a children s programme about the adventures of a boxer puppy.

Having turned down the chance to become the BBC s head of children s programmes, Murray started his own production company which launched the Trumptonshire trilogy. The three series used eight-inch 3D models with heads made out of ping-pong balls and clothes out of foam latex. In 2011, the series were digitally restored and re-released after the original footage was found in the family s attic and in the BBC archives.

Murray lived with his family near Stamford, Lincolnshire, in recent years. He is survived by his daughters Emma and Rose and his four grandchildren.

  • SHARE PICTURE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*