Tributes paid to Trumptonshire creator Gordon Murray who has died aged 95


The BBC has led tributes to Gordon Murray, creator and puppeteer of the Trumptonshire series, who has died at the age of 95.

His son-in-law William Mollett confirmed the news in a statement to the corporation.

Trumptonshire creator Gordon Murray (YouTube/screengrab)

The broadcaster's children's channel CBBC wrote on Twitter: "RIP Gordon Murray: a children's TV legend."

The British Film Institute said they were "saddened to hear of the passing".

Murray was best known for his Trumptonshire trilogy of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley.

The shows, characterised by their use of stop-motion animation, were first shown weekly on the BBC in the 1960s.

He was born in London in 1921 and, as a child, developed a love of marionettes.

After serving in the Second World War, he established a puppet touring company and was recruited to the BBC by producer Freda Lingstrom.

He made his mark in the BBC children's department in the 1950s, working as a puppeteer on TV show Bengo and creating fantasy puppet series A Rubovian Legend.

Murray left the BBC in 1964 and formed his own production company. Camberwick Green made its debut in 1966, with Trumpton following a year later and Chigley in 1969.

All three were set in the fictitious English county of Trumptonshire and narrated by BBC children's presenter Brian Cant.

Trumpton's firemen - Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb - and their theme song have long resonated with fans.

In Chigley, the slow walk of Brackett the butler at Winkstead Hall was a favourite. Meanwhile in Camberwick Green, it is Windy Miller who is arguably the standout character.

The enduring popularity of the series has seen Trumptonshire make its way into pop culture over the decades.

In May, Radiohead released a video for their single Burn The Witch which appeared to be inspired by the BBC children's series.

Murray continued making children's programmes, such as 1977 stop-motion series The Gublins, but few matched the impact of his earlier work.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Camberwick Green's first broadcast, Murray explained the thinking behind the show.

He said: "I wanted to produce a programme where the location was the star and not the characters, which meant that I could have lots and lots of people with no star characters."

The programmes, which were digitally restored in 2011, found a new lease of life when they were broadcast on Channel 4 and Nickelodeon Junior.

Murray is survived by his two daughters and his grandchildren.