The Wombles (1973 TV series)

The Wombles is a stop motion animated British television series made in 1973–1975. The Wombles are creatures that live underground, collecting and recycling human rubbish.

The Wombles
The Wombles series 2 titles
Created byElisabeth Beresford
Written byElisabeth Beresford
Directed byIvor Wood[1]
Voices ofBernard Cribbins
Narrated byBernard Cribbins
Theme music composerMike Batt[2]
Chris Spedding
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes60
Producer(s)Graham Clutterbuck
CinematographyBarry Leith
Running time5 minutes per episode (approx.)
Production company(s)FilmFair London
Original networkBBC One
First shown in1973
Original release5 February 1973 
24 October 1975
External links

After the first Wombles book, published in 1968, was featured on the BBC1 children's television programme Jackanory,[3] the BBC commissioned producer FilmFair to create a television series of the books. The series was produced by Graham Clutterbuck and directed by Ivor Wood using stop-motion. The characters were all voiced by actor Bernard Cribbins. Sets and model making were by Barry Leith. Two series of 30 five-minute episodes were produced, with the first series airing in 1973, animated by Ivor Wood, and the second in 1975, animated by Barry Leith.

The original television series was regularly screened for many years. After FilmFair was acquired by the Canadian company Cinar Films in 1996, a new series of episodes was created, with three new Womble characters. In the UK, the series was purchased by ITV and was screened on their CITV brand.

Series 1 (1973)

  1. Orinoco & The Big Black Umbrella (5 February 1973): Orinoco goes for a spin on a windy day.
  2. The Rocking Chair (6 February 1973): Great Uncle Bulgaria's rocking chair breaks and Orinoco gets stuck in a tyre.
  3. A Sticky Ending (or A Sticky End) (7 February 1973)
  4. Great Uncle Bulgaria's Keep Fit Lesson (9 February 1973): Great Uncle Bulgaria relives his younger years with a football.
  5. A Safe Place (12 February 1973): Great Uncle Bulgaria needs somewhere to store an old history book.
  6. Peep-Peep-Peep (13 February 1973): Wellington invents a telephone using cans and string.
  7. The Purple Paw Mystery (14 February 1973): Tomsk makes a mess of making ink.
  8. Bungo's Birthday Party (16 February 1973): Bungo thinks the others have forgotten his birthday.
  9. The Invisible Womble (19 February 1973): Orinoco becomes convinced he's become invisible.
  10. Orinoco Sees The Light (20 February 1973): Orinoco's joke that Wellington should try planting a lightbulb has an unexpected outcome.
  11. The Conkering Hero (21 February 1973): Wellington finds a new use for conkers.
  12. One Pair Of Feet (23 February 1973): Wellington nearly gets spotted by a Human Being and is saved via a cardboard box.
  13. Tobermory On Television (26 February 1973): Tobermory puts on his own TV show.
  14. Crossed Lines (27 February 1973): Great Uncle Bulgaria demands that Tobermory improves the Burrow telephone system.
  15. Blow The Womble Down (28 February 1973): Orinoco finds a vacuum cleaner.
  16. Madame Cholet Returns (2 March 1973) madame cholets first appearance
  17. Weighing In Time (18 June 1973): Orinoco is shamed into exercising by a new weighing machine.
  18. Musical Wombles (19 June 1973)
  19. Wombles And Ladders (20 June 1973)
  20. Orinoco And The Ghost (21 June 1973): Orinoco is reluctant to go out at night after hearing a scary story.
  21. A Game Of Golf (22 June 1973): Tomsk teaches Great Uncle Bulgaria to play golf.
  22. North, South, East, West (25 June 1973)
  23. The Picnic (26 June 1973): Tomsk and Bungo foolishly trust Orinoco to carry their picnic basket.
  24. Games In The Snow (27 June 1973): The Wombles get snowed in after a night of heavy snow fall.
  25. The Snow Wombles (28 June 1973): The Wombles hold a snowman making competition.
  26. What's Cooking? (29 June 1973): The Burrow chimney is blocked
  27. Spring Cleaning Time (2 July 1973)
  28. Marrow Pie (4 July 1973): Orinoco grows a marrow.
  29. The Cement Mixer (5 July 1973)
  30. The Circus Comes To Wimbledon (6 July 1973): The young Wombles put on circus acts.

Series 2 (1975)

  1. Bungo Up A Tree (15 September 1975): Bungo gets stuck up a tree.
  2. Time And Slow Motion (16 September 1975): Tobermory organises the young Wombles' tidying-up methods.
  3. Tomsk In Trouble (17 September 1975): Tomsk cannot make his bed so builds a hammock.
  4. The Largest Womble In The World (18 September 1975): Orinoco uses a coat and a pair of boots to trick Bungo and Tomsk.
  5. Running Out Of Steam (19 September 1975): Wellington, Tomsk and Bungo make their own train.
  6. Orinoco's Midnight Feast (22 September 1975): Orinoco's greed ruins a midnight feast.
  7. Speak Up (23 September 1975): Tomsk accidentally joins the water pipe to the telephone pipe
  8. The Vanishing Pancake (24 September 1975): Orinoco goes fishing for pancakes after being shooed out of the kitchen.
  9. Madame Cholet & the Blackberries (25 September 1975): Nobody will pick any blackberries, and that makes Madame Cholet angry.
  10. The Fruit Machine (26 September 1975): Orinoco and Wellington make a 'mid-morning snack machine'.
  11. Portrait Of Great Uncle Bulgaria (29 September 1975): Great Uncle Bulgaria's portrait is ruined.
  12. Very Behind The Times (30 September 1975): An enormous road to be built causes panic.
  13. Burrow Hot Line (1 October 1975): Papers and wet laundry get muddled on the washing line.
  14. Trunk Call (2 October 1975): Tomsk gets stuck in a hollow tree trunk.
  15. MacWomble The Terrible (3 October 1975): A Scottish relative comes to stay.
  16. A Single Piper (6 October 1975): MacWomble's constant bagpipe playing drives everyone crazy.
  17. Porridge For Breakfast (7 October 1975): MacWomble sends the young Wombles out to gather bracken to make porridge.
  18. Highland Games (8 October 1975): The Wombles do their version of the Highland Games.
  19. Home Sickness (9 October 1975): Seeing that it is Burns Night, MacWomble is feeling homesick. So the other wombles decide to cheer him up.
  20. Goodbye MacWomble (10 October 1975): MacWomble decides to head back home after the Loch Ness Monster has been sighted.
  21. Hiccups (13 October 1975): Tomsk and Bungo get hiccups after eating hot buttercup crumpets.
  22. Wellington's Film Show (14 October 1975): Wellington makes a film about the Wimbledon Burrow.
  23. Pirate Gold (15 October 1975): Tomsk and Wellington hunt for pirate treasure.
  24. Warm & Cosy (16 October 1975): The Wimbledon Burrow needs insulating.
  25. Autumn Leaves (17 October 1975): Wellington, Orinoco and Tomsk invent a new way to collect fallen leaves.
  26. The Wombles Times (20 October 1975): The young Wombles make their own newspaper.
  27. Operation W.R.A.P. (21 October 1975): The young Wombles learn first aid.
  28. The Secret Snorer (22 October 1975): Orinoco is tasked with guarding the Wombles' herb garden.
  29. Womble Fool's Day (23 October 1975): The young Wombles play practical jokes.
  30. Womble Summer Party (24 October 1975): The young Wombles perform magic tricks.


  • World Womble Day (1990 - 25 mins special for CITV): The Wimbledon Wombles plan a surprise party for Great Uncle Bulgaria's 300th birthday.
  • The Wandering Wombles (1991 - 25 mins special for CITV)


  1. "My family and other Wombles". Times. London. 11 August 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  2. "The world of Wombles author Elisabeth Beresford". BBC. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  3. "Elisabeth Beresford". Daily Telegraph. London. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
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