Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley
On this page - A collection of anomalies,quirks & continuity errors. And all shown here for the 1st time anywhere.
Returning to the theme of scale and perspective,check out the size of the milk bottles in relation to the people in Paddy Murphy's episode (in particular).
Truely the most generous measure of a "pint" you're ever likely to see !
Happy customers,and a hernia for Thomas Tripp the milkman.
Semi-skimmed red top ? Why not gloriously self-indulgent full cream ? Because,obviously,there's no such thing as coronary heart disease in Trumptonshire.
" Good Lord Paddy. Do you expect me to drink it or sell it wholesale ?! "
" Up to you Mr.C,but if we stand here any longer you'll have to scoop it out ! "
In Mr.Dagenham's episode - The helicopter was great. But ....
# 1. Wires - Not as intrusive as the Gerry Anderson stuff. In fact they're invisible enough for me to make the pic clickable for a blown-up version.
# 2. It appears to have a petrol tank .... but no engine !
# 3. The downdraft is extremely selective about what it rustles.
# 4. And the sound effect sounds like a domestic vacuum cleaner.
Ever wondered why the houses along the fireman's call out route had
No guttering .... no chimneys .... no telephone wires .... no curtains ....
and ... no house numbers or names ?
The reason is simply that the set makers ran out of time to add them.
Which is particularly poor planning for a bit of stock footage that appears in every episode.But true nonetheless.
Mind you,it is quite refreshing not to see all the modern aesthetic clutter like tv aerials, satellite dishes, exterior electricity meters et al.
Just a couple of dialogue-only observations to finish off Camberwick ....
In Mr.Murphy's episode :-
Mrs.Honeyman mentions "the church bazaar",but a church is never actually shown.
In Mrs.Honeyman's episode :-
Captain Snort informs us that "...we certainly need a better electricity supply..."
Which,of course,pre-supposes that you have one to start with.
Which is interesting when there's not a pylon in sight .... anywhere .... in the entire series.
In the Greenhouse episode ....
The fire brigade remove the unsafe greenhouse chimney .... "and not a pane of glass broken"
Which is slightly less impressive when you look closely and realise it doesn't actually have any.
And,unsurprisingly,Mr.Bilton's greenhouse in Chigley follows suit. ( shown further down )
" Are we in Trumpton or Camberwick dad ? " ...." I'm not even sure this van is ours son ! "
In The Mayor's Birthday episode ....
It's clearly stated that the Mayor wants a painting of the Town Hall to "put on the wall behind his desk".
And that's exactly where it's seen hanging in subsequent episodes .... except the one called "Mr.Platt and the Painter", where it goes awol.
"Troop. Please call continuity immediately !"
In the Telephones episode ....
We see the engineers van parked in a certain position. below. Then in the space of 15 seconds real time footage there are a couple of cuts and it appears in a slightly different position each time -clearly moved by the animators so as not to restrict the revised view.
The edge of the animating table can clearly be seen in shot here.
And it's a persistant and glaring error with Colley's Mill scenes throughout the 1st 2 episodes -sometimes with the whole edge in view with front-on shots.
At which point they clearly spotted the mistake,but didn't have time to refilm.
So they simply made sure it didn't happen again.Which it didn't.
2 from the Roger Varley episode ....
No.1 - When Mickey Murphy is mixing,you can clearly see the wire in his arm where the sleeve ends and the hand begins.
Not the only example by any means,but certainly one of the most noticeable,and probably explains why sales of short-sleeve tops were particularly slow in Trumptonshire.
No danger of arthritis.But did Dr.Mopp have a "pale pink medicine" for metal fatigue ?
Eggs,sugar and flour and maybe just a quick squirt of WD40 ?
No.2 - Black-coloured doughnuts ? Yes,black,see below left. .... Answers on a postcard c/o Mrs Dingle please.
And not just black doughnuts,but sado-masochism too ( some bakery ! )
Because,if you look closely,you'll also notice the rather vicious-looking animating pin used to attach them to his hand.
Which is visible in quite a few frames,when the doughnuts aren't either flush to his hand or it's masked by the bag.
Still with Mr.Carraway .... have a look at the wall behind him,above left .... and also,right.
Ceramic wall tiles suffering from bad bubbling and pleating ?
Of course,I suppose it may actually have been a tile-effect wallpaper.
In which case let's hope it wasn't the work of Trumpton painter/decorator Walter Harkin.
And one last one from Mr.Carraway for now .... (no pic)
We're all familiar with Cod & Plaice and even "A Fish called Wanda".
But how about an unusual fish called "Dab",which is mentioned in his song ?
A convenient rhyme.But how commonplace was it even back in the 1960's we wonder.
In the "Mrs.Cobbit & The Ice Cream Man" episode ....
the Mintons drive through Trumpton and pass Dr.Mopp's house,who lives in Camberwick of course.
Hmmm,well houses can be "samey",so it's clearly just a lookalike.
Which explains the similarity between their van and Mr.Carraway's of course.
And the fact that the wall to the left of the Fire Station looks remarkably similar to the stretch of wall used to adjoin Dr. Mopp's property in Camberwick
And .... well,you get the idea.
And,speaking of that dodgy greenhouse chimney ....
As it's being toppled - right - there's a brief unintended view of the interior wooden support frame used in the modelling.
And the ultimate irony for our hapless firemen ....
A chimney lined with wood and still no fire !
Mind the Gap ! Windy on the edge of the abyss in "flat earth" shocker.
Do any breeds of milking cow have horns ?
I wasn't aware they did.But Windy's "Bess" would seem to prove me wrong.
What I do know for certain though is that our 4-legged friends don't have a clearly visible join where the head meets the body -as this one does.
Although both Windy and cow clearly don't seem concerned. So,hurrah.
It should also be noted that Bess is the identical clone of a different cow seen in Farmer Bell's milking parlour .... some 30 yrs before Dolly the Sheep.
And,that's about it I think .... Conclusions ?
Well,it would obviously be very easy to read this page and think that the process left more than a bit to be desired.
But stop motion is a very exact science. And what you need most of all is time. And time costs money.
Neither of which the BBC could afford to give them.
So,yes there were mistakes made.
And,yes this was a pretty rudimentary form of stop motion.
But they did what they could with what they had .... no-one noticed any of the above .... and we're still talking fondly about the results over half a century after the event.
So sometimes "less really is more".
If your attention often wanders to an interesting inanimate object in the background,you'll love these.
Because it's "carpets and curtains" time,Camberwick-style.
Some may have been slip-ups.
But others were simply the result of pragmatic corner-cutting.Done deliberately to save some time.
Primarily just a bit of fun. But also a small window into the fascinating world of stop motion animation.
Camberwick. In no particular order ....
In episode 13,"A present for Lord Belborough" ....
a couple of good "now you see it,now you don't" continuity blips.
Shot one [below] just has a tree behind the wall.
We then follow Mr.Antonio to another part of the garden where he cuts the grass,and when we return the tree's gone and is replaced by some bushes.
Unfortunately it doesn't end there,because the middle shrub clearly hasn't been anchored down sufficiently.
And over the course of several frames it slowly leans over to the left before finally disappearing from view altogether.
Some more mid-series landscaping.
Pic 1 is from Ep.1. Cue a rethink ....
And pic 2 shows how the Pottery frontage looked for the next 12 eps.
Less cluttered without the telegraph poles and less of the mound in view.
No bumper,headlights or plates.
And more on number plates to come.
Not just Mickey,but Windy & Paddy too.
Ostensibly holding some cakes ....
But Windy's actually pondering the utter pointlessness of human existence,using the suitably empty box as a metaphor.
Oh,and Paddy has rollerskates with wheels that don't actually rotate.
As alluded to above,vehicle registration was somewhat haphazard in Trumptonshire.
Some got no number plate at all .... Some got a personalised one like Farmer Jonathon Bell (JB1) .... And some got almost what we'd call normal,like Mr.Carraway.
And far be it for me to suggest that "JB1" caused some number plate envy,but before Camberwick had run its course,Doctor Mopp had swapped "1901",which was visible in the early episodes,for "MOP1" - both shown below.
Pics above .... Out with the old "1901" plate and in with the new "Mop1" .... plus .... 2 un-plated vehicles.And some others include .... Thomas Tripp's milk float .... Mickey Murphy's van .... and .... Mr.Dagenham's car.
And on we go ....
Short of both time and money,the production team re-used materials where it was thought no-one would either notice or care.
Which was not only perfectly sensible but pretty well-executed too.
Because how many of these next ones would you really have noticed at the time ? ....
The orange lorry actually appeared in all 3 series. Below,from left to right :-
As "the workmen's lorry" in Camberwick.
As Mr.Clamp,the greengrocer's lorry in Trumpton.
And as the dustcart in Chigley, complete with a new rigid back section to replace the green canvas.
More noticeable though was probably the one,shown below,that started out as Mr.Carraway's fish van in Camberwick.
And then turned up in Trumpton being used by the father and son carpentry team of Chippy and Nibbs Minton ....
.... sporting the full grey side side panel that had been partly over-painted green,and minus the number plate.
Note - Carraway's pic is from episode 11.So that's a painting in the back and not an enormous bit of plaice !
Not that vehicles were the only things recycled in Trumptonshire of course. Above -The life of a jobbing actor
Buildings,scenery,props and even people were all pressed into repeat service when required ....
Like Walter Harkin - above right -who was the painter and decorator in Trumpton of course.
But only after he'd also appeared as one of "the workmen" in Camberwick.
And,when in his "workmen" guise,he also ventures into Trumpton as one of the onlookers at the band concert.
Although,you won't be surprised to hear that Mr.Harkin doesn't join him !
And whilst the hair and 'tache make him one of the most memorable moonlighters ....
it's also no coincidence that you never see Camberwick's PC McGarry and Trumpton's Constable Potter together either !
To the right,
2 pics from Captain Snort's episode.
2 trees in the background
But when we return to the scene a little later on,someone's had the chainsaw out.
In Mr.Crockett's episode - Mr.Crockett removes the army truck's radiator cap [to the right of the spout] and raises his watering can to fill her up. No water of course .... which is just as well when there's no hole for it to go in.
In Dr.Mopp's episode - who knew the bakery was a tardis ? Complete with a nice animator's in-joke too,because there's enough room to fly that kite inside. And,like most old houses,it's probably draughty enough to do it too !
That drunken bush incident is particularly amusing in real time actually. And well worth a look if you can be bothered.
And it's also more proof -as if it were needed- that Stop Motion animation may well a fantastic medium but it isn't very forgiving when you're as pushed for time as the Trumptonshire team were.
And those examples aren't the only ones where scenery movement caught them out ....
Gordon Murray even admits they had to reshoot bits of the pilot episode,that later doubled up as Camberwick's very first episode "Peter the Postman".
The troublesome scene being the bit at the beginning where he walks through the woods.
Because they discovered,after shooting,that the heat of the lights had softened some of the trees sufficiently that they visibly drooped down as he passed by.
And,as with the drunken bush,it wasn't picked up at the time simply because it happened very slowly as they shot frame by frame.
Some more examples that weren't picked up ? ....
Try Camberwick Episode 9 from about 11 minutes in ....
The barriers behind P.C.McGarry move on their own several times as he walks up and down in front of them.
And one from Doctor Mopp's episode in Camberwick ....
When the Doctor and Windy are watching the thrushes nest,keep your eye on the bush in front of Windy.
The first 2 photos show restricted views of Lord Belborough's train journey during the 1st episode.
Cue a rethink ....
And the cluttered foreground was tidied up with the removal of the greenhouse and hen houses,which were banished for the rest of the series.Giving way to the much clearer sort of sight lines shown in pic 3.
And you may recognise the hen houses from Jonathan Bell's Camberwick farm. Re-used here in a different location,as the line didn't go to his farm.