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
Release
Original network BBC 1
Original release 6 October (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 trilogy. Production details are identical to Camberwick Green.

As in Camberwick Green and Trumpton, the action centres on a small community, the village of Chigley, near Camberwick Green in Trumptonshire. Chigley is more of an industrial area than Camberwick Green.

A digitally restored version of the series from the rediscovered original film masters emerged in 2012.[1]

Overview[edit]

Winkstead Hall, a stately home, is central to life in Chigley. The aristocratic owner, Lord Belborough, and his butler Brackett, also operate a heritage railway. They are called on to transport or collect goods in every episode, much to Lord Belborough's delight, as he loves driving the engine, Bessie. Another character frequently delighted by these excursions is Winnie Farthing, whom Lord Belborough and Brackett nearly always invite to join them for a train ride. The notable song unique to Chigley, "Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train", was always sung during these sequences. Winkstead Hall and its grounds are regularly opened to the public, who have access to the picture gallery and tea gardens (both regularly seen). Other parts of the Hall and its estate which also feature in the programmes include the library, the hall, the kitchen garden (and greenhouses), the engine shed (home of Bessie), and the pump room (home of Binnie, Lord Belborough's stationary steam beam engine).

Chigley features many guest appearances by characters from the previous two series. This was at least partly for economic reasons, as it allowed the re-use of theme songs and puppets, thus saving money on recording and manufacture.

Lord Belborough invites everyone to the grounds of Winkstead Hall after the daily 6 o'clock whistle (which marks the end of the day's work at the local biscuit factory), when he plays his vintage Dutch organ, while the workers dance. This scene forms the conclusion of each episode.

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

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

Characters[edit]

Winkstead Hall[edit]

The Winkstead Hall estate is a large stately home whose activities, including a heritage railway, dominate life in Chigley village.

  • Lord Belborough - the owner of the hall, a peer of the realm, and driver of the steam locomotive Bessie; he appears in every episode.
  • Mr Brackett - Lord Belborough's butler, and fireman on the steam railway; he appears in every episode.
  • Mr Bilton - Lord Belborough's gardener, who suffers with rheumatism; he appears in 3 episodes.
  • Mr Roger Varley - the Camberwick Green chimney sweep is also employed part-time at Winkstead Hall as maintenance engineer for the steam engines Bessie and Binnie; he appears in 2 episodes.

The Villagers[edit]

Only a relatively small number of Chigley villagers is introduced in the series, as many storylines involve existing Trumpton or Camberwick Green characters visiting Chigley.

  • Mr Swallow - the wharfinger at Treadle's Wharf, at the intersection of Trumpton Canal with both road and rail networks; he appears in 10 episodes.
  • Mr Harry Farthing - the potter at Chigley Pottery, who is also a sculptor; he appears in 8 episodes.
  • Winnie Farthing - the potter's daughter; she appears in 10 episodes.
  • Mr S Rumpling - the bargee, whose canal boat (based at Chigley and registered at Trumpton) is a major source of supply to the village; he appears in 6 episodes.
  • Mr Clutterbuck - the local builder; he appears in 2 episodes.
  • Horace - a labourer employed by Mr Clutterbuck; he appears in 1 episode.
  • Cyril - a labourer employed by Mr Clutterbuck; he appears in 1 episode.
  • Corporation dustmen - the two corporation dustmen, one of whom is named as Harry, appear in 1 episode.
  • Dancing women - two unnamed Chigley women dance with the factory workers at the six o'clock whistle; they appear in all 13 episodes.

The biscuit factory[edit]

The factory is the village's chief source of employment. Cresswell's Chigley Biscuits is the company which owns and operates the facility, and operates a fleet of delivery lorries transporting the finished biscuits from the factory to the railway station at Wintlebury.

  • Mr Cresswell - the owner and general manager of the factory; he appears in 4 episodes, and is referenced in a fifth.
  • Mr Fletcher - the loading bay supervisor; he appears in the closing dance scene of every episode, and in the storyline of 3 episodes.
  • Mr McGreggor - one of the delivery drivers; he is chiefly known for being unavailable for work in episode 12.
  • Mr Patterson - one of the delivery drivers; he is commended for his skill in not knocking down Jimmy Rankin in episode 4.
  • Willie Munn - works on the biscuit cutting machine; he is the nephew of Mr Clamp, the Trumpton greengrocer, and he has a starring role in episode 12.
  • The workers - a large number of unnamed factory workers are seen throughout the series, in and around the factory, and at the evening dance after the six o'clock whistle; they appear in every episode; the number of workers is unknown, but at least 16, as that number are seen on screen together at the six o'clock whistle.

Visitors[edit]

Chigley was frequently visited by tradesmen and other characters from neighbouring communities, allowing the re-use of Trumpton and Camberwick Green figures. (See the Trumpton and Camberwick Green character lists for fuller details.)

  • The Fire Brigade - Captain Flack, and Firemen Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, and Grubb appear in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • The Mayor - the Mayor of Trumpton appears in 3 Chigley episodes (1 by name only).
  • Mr Troop - the Trumpton Town Clerk; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Philby - the Trumpton mayoral driver; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Mr 'Chippy' Minton - the Trumpton carpenter; he appears in 3 Chigley episodes.
  • Mrs Dora Minton - Chippy's wife; she appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Nibs Minton - Chippy & Dora's son; he appears in 3 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Munnings - the Trumpton printer; he appears in 3 Chigley episodes (once by name only).
  • Miss Lovelace - the Trumpton milliner; she appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Clamp - the Trumpton greengrocer; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes (twice by name only).
  • Mrs Cobbit - the Trumpton flower seller; she appears in 3 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Platt - the Trumpton clockmaker; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes (once by name only).
  • Mr Toni Antonio - the ice-cream seller; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Wantage - the telephone engineer; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Fred - the telephone engineer; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Mr Craddock - the Trumpton Park Keeper; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • PC Potter - the Trumpton police constable; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • PC McGarry - the Camberwick Green police constable; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes.
  • Captain Snort - the commanding officer of Pippin Fort; he appears in 6 Chigley episodes.
  • Sergeant Major Grout - the second-in-command at Pippin Fort; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes.
  • Privates Armitage, Featherby, Higgins, Hopwood, Lumley, and Meek - the Pippin Fort soldier boys; they appear in 4 Chigley episodes.
  • The Pippin Fort Sentry - he appears in 3 Chigley episodes.
  • The Artist - first seen as a visitor to Trumpton, he also visits Chigley in 1 episode.
  • Mr 'Windy' Miller - the Camberwick Green miller; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Dr Mopp - the Camberwick Green doctor; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Carraway - the Camberwick Green fishmonger; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes (once by name only).
  • Mrs Dingle - the Camberwick Green postmistress; she appears in 3 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Mickey Murphy - the Camberwick Green baker; he appears in 4 Chigley episodes (once by name only).
  • Mrs Murphy - the baker's wife; she appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Paddy Murphy - the baker's son; he appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Mary Murphy - the baker's daughter; she appears in 1 Chigley episode.
  • Farmer Jonathan Bell - proprietor of Bell's Farm; he appears in 7 Chigley episodes.
  • Mrs Honeyman - a Camberwick Green housewife; she appears in 2 Chigley episodes with her baby.
  • Mr Thomas Tripp - the milkman and proprietor of Tripp's Dairy; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Crockett - the proprietor of Crockett's Garage; he appears in 7 Chigley episodes.
  • Mr Dagenham - the salesman; he appears in 2 Chigley episodes.

Unseen characters[edit]

  • Mrs Tripp - the milkman's wife; she is mentioned, but not seen.
  • Mrs McGarry - the policeman's wife; she is mentioned, but not seen.
  • Millicent Mopp - the doctor's sister; she is mentioned, but not seen.
  • Mr Wilkins - the Trumpton plumber; he is mentioned, but not seen.
  • Jimmy Rankin - a boy who narrowly avoided being knocked down by a Cresswell's delivery van.

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.

5 years later, in 1989, the BBC released a video with the three more episodes (ep.13 A Present for Lord Belborough, ep.11 Apples Garlore and ep.10 Trouble with the Crane).

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Chigley 1- A Present for Lord Belborough (BBCV 4232) 6 February 1989 A Present for Lord Belborough, Apples Galore, Trouble with the Crane.

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

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

In 2011, Chigley and the two earlier series Camberwick Green and Trumpton were digitally-restored from the rediscovered original film masters.[2][3]

Credits[edit]

  • Script & Puppets: Gordon Murray
  • Music: Freddie Phillips
  • Narrator: Brian Cant
  • Sets: Andrew & Margaret Brownfoot
  • Animation: Bob Bura & John Hardwick
  • Assistant Animators: Pasquale Ferrare, George Dubouch
  • Recording & Sound Effects: Music Features MF
  • A Gordon Murray Production MCMXIX.

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)". They also released a single entitled "The Trumpton riots" containing many character references.
  • 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]