The Wombles

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The Wombles Title

The Wombles were created by Elisabeth Beresford in 1968 and first appeared in a series of childrens novels. Wombles are pointy-nosed furry creatures (though the characters in the original books resembled ordinary 'teddy bears') that live in burrows, where they help the environment by recycling rubbish in useful and ingenious ways. Although Wombles live in every country in the world, the stories focus on the life of the Wimbledon Common burrow in London, England.

The Wombles was adapted as a British children's television programme, The Wombles, a series of five-minute stop-motion episodes produced by FilmFair for the BBC and voiced by Bernard Cribbins. The first series aired in 1973 and the second in 1975, sixty episodes in all. In 1977, a feature-length live-action movie called Wombling Free appeared, starring David Tomlinson and Bonnie Langford.
The Wombles were re-invented from 1998 as a cartoon after FilmFair was acquired by the Canadian company Cinar Films in 1996, with a number of new geographically-named Wombles being introduced.

Characters

  • Great Uncle Bulgaria - The Wombles' leader
  • Tobermory - Engineer and handyman
  • Orinoco - Overweight shirker
  • Bungo - Over-enthusiastic and bossy
  • Tomsk - Athletic womble
  • Wellington - Scientifically inclined womble
  • Madame Cholet - Cook
  • Alderney - Madame Cholet's assistant
  • Miss Adelaide - Womble schoolmistress
  • Stepney - East End womble with dreadlocks

All voices by Bernard Cribbins.

Theme Tune

The theme tune, "The Wombling Song", was written by Mike Batt. The version of The Wombling Song released as a single was a very different and more lush arrangement compared to the TV version, with a brass band replacing the solo oboe. It was so well received that a band called The Wombles was formed, they had a number of hits mainly during 1974/75. A number of Wombles LPs were released containing some clever songs. Strangely, easy listening troupe The Mike Sammes Singers released a whole album of Wombles covers, and even the Ship's Company of the HMS Ark Royal (yes, a bunch of sailors) released a Wombles medley, thus destroying the professional image of the Royal Navy at a stroke!

Lyrics

Underground, overground, wombling free,
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folks leave behind.

Uncle Bulgaria,
He can remember the days when he wasn't behind The Times,
With his map of the world.
Pick up the papers and take them to Tobermory!

Wombles are organized, work as a team.
Wombles are tidy and Wombles are clean.
Underground, overground, wombling free,
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we!

People don't notice us, they never see,
Under their noses a Womble may be.
We womble by night and we womble by day,
Looking for litter to trundle away.

We're so incredibly, utterly devious,
Making the most of everything,
Even bottles and tins.
Pick up the pieces and make them into something new,
Is what we do!

Merchandise

DVDs

The Wombles - Orinoco And The Big Black Umbrella
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Wombling Free - The Movie
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Gallery

External Links