Chigley

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Chigley
Genre Stop motion animation
Written by Gordon Murray
Narrated by Brian Cant
Theme music composer Freddie Phillips
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Producer(s) Gordon Murray
Running time 15 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC 1
Original run 6 October 1969 (1969-10-06) – 29 December 1969 (1969-12-29)
Chronology
Preceded by Trumpton

Chigley (1969) is the third and final stop-motion children's television series in Gordon Murray's Trumptonshire sequence. Production details are identical to Camberwick Green.

As in Camberwick Green and Trumpton, the action centres on a small community, in this case the fictitious village or hamlet of Chigley, near Camberwick Green in Trumptonshire. Chigley is more of an industrial area, and according to Gordon Murray, the three communities are at the corners of an equilateral triangle. The names of the places in the series have been based on real villages in East Sussex: Camberwick Green from Wivelsfield Green, Trumpton from Plumpton and Chigley from Chailey. A digitally restored version of the series from the rediscovered original film masters emerged in 2012.[1]

Characters[edit]

Unlike Trumpton, Chigley includes many guest appearances by characters from the previous two series, including Windy Miller of Camberwick Green, and the Trumpton Fire Brigade, complete with their famous roll-call. This was at least partly for economic reasons, as it allowed the established characters' theme songs to be re-used, thus saving money on recording.

Notable new characters include Mr Swallow of Treddle's Wharf, Mr Cresswell, owner of Cresswell's Chigley Biscuit factory, Harry Farthing the potter and his daughter Winnie, and last but not least the aristocratic Lord Belborough of Winkstead Hall and his butler Brackett, who also operate a private railway that seems to run through most of Trumptonshire.

As with the other series, everybody's problems appear to be sorted out by the end of each episode. However, then Lord Belborough orders everyone to the grounds of Winkstead Hall after the 6 o'clock whistle which sounds the end of the day's work at the local biscuit factory. Belborough plays his vintage organ, while the workers gather for a dance. Then the episode fades out.

Lord Belborough's song (by Gordon Murray and Freddie Phillips)[edit]

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train

And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.

Under bridges, over bridges, to our destination

Puffing through the countryside there's so much to be seen;

Passengers waving as we steam through a station,

Stoke up, fireman, for the signal is at green:

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train

And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.

In the cutting, through the tunnel,

Rushing, clanking, on the track;

Wheezing pistons, smoking funnels,

Turning wheels go clickety-clack:

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train

And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.

(The Trumptonshire Web)

Episodes[edit]

  1. "Lord Belborough's Secret" (6 October 1969) Dr Mopp
  2. "Bessie to the Rescue" (13 October 1969) Farmer Bell
  3. "The Balloon" (20 October 1969) The Mayor
  4. "The Fountain" (27 October 1969) PC McGarry
  5. "The Garden Wall" (3 November 1969) Mr Crockett
  6. "Binnie and Bessie" (10 November 1969) Roger Varley
  7. "Lord Belborough's Lucky Day" (17 November 1969) Thomas Tripp
  8. "The Broken Bridge" (24 November 1969) Mr Carraway
  9. "Clay for Mr Farthing" (1 December 1969) Mr Wantage and Fred
  10. "Trouble with the Crane" (8 December 1969) Mr Rumpling
  11. "Apples Galore" (15 December 1969) Mickey Murphy
  12. "Willie Munn" (22 December 1969) Mr Clamp
  13. "A Present for Lord Belborough" (29 December 1969) Mr Antonio

Note: Episode titles were given in Radio Times, but were not shown on-screen.

VHS and DVD Releases[edit]

in 1984, 15 years after its broadcast on the BBC in 1969. Longman Video released one video with the first four episodes as part of its 'Children's Treasury' collection.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Chigley (SLL 5025) 1984 Lord Belborough's Secret, Bessie to the Rescue, The Balloon and the Fountain.

later in 1989 the BBC released a video with the last three episodes (including ep13 A Present for Lord Belborough as the first episode, ep11 Apples Garlore as the second episode and ep10 Trouble with the Crane as last episode).

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Chigley 1- A Present for Lord Belborough (BBCV 4232) 1989 A Present for Lord Belborough, Apples Galore, Trouble with the Crane.

then in 1996-1997 Telstar Home Entertainment as part of its 'Star Kids' range released two videos.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Let's Visit Chigley (TVE 3014) 1996 Bessie to the Rescue, Lord Belborough's Secret, The Balloon. the Fountain
A Ride To Chigley (TVE 3021) 1997 Trouble with the Crane, A Present for Lord Belborough, Apples Galore, The Broken Bridge.

In 2011 Camberwick Green and the two later series were digitally restored from the rediscovered original film masters.[2][3]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The indie group Half Man Half Biscuit parodied the Chigley Train Song in their song "Time Flies By (When You're the Driver of a Train)".
  • In the comic book Preacher, the train song was sung by Jesus de Sade, a sexually depraved character, whilst riding a bicycle, naked.
  • The Oasis song "Champagne Supernova" contains the line "Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball". This was, according to lead guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher, inspired by Brackett the Butler from Chigley.
  • In the first episode of the 2003 BBC sitcom Early Doors, bar patrons Joe and Duffy et al. tease bartender Ken about his hobby train set by serenading him with the first line of the Chigley Train Song.

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]