Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Pugh, Pugh, Barney MacGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub

And not 'and' Grub, either. A mistake even the Telegraph obituarist made the other day in his oration for the gentle genius that was Gordon Murray.

Yes, in case you missed it among the confounded noise from Westminster or Wimbledon (or Wales!) that wonderful, whimsical story-teller and puppeteer Gordon Murray died last week.

Responsible for such timeless gems as Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green, Murray and his made-up worlds were part of the lives of many more children than even the massed ranks watching wall-to-wall CBeebies nowadays.

Because, back then, fifteen minutes following the lunchtime news (or before the six o'clock bulletin) was all you'd get. So it had to be good. And they were. Crafted and polished like poetry, and with hidden depths that meant that even though there were only about a dozen episodes of each series, you could watch them again and again and see something new.

I heard Murray interviewed a few years ago. Apart from being dismayed by the disclosure that he'd burnt all the puppets (which was nothing short of an act of vandalism) I was struck by his great sadness.

He explained his motivation in creating the puppet worlds he was so famous for. 'Childhood is all we've got,' he said, 'to sustain us as adults. And I'm so very sad that these days, childhood so very short. I hope I helped make it last a little longer.'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...