The Wombles fur

A rare and interesting treat for you all today with a find from Josiane Wood. After last weeks post on the designing of the Wombles it seemed like the perfect time to share this little nugget.

Whilst digging around in her cupboards Josiane, Ivor’s wife, found a piece of the very same  gold velvet material that was used for the fur of the Wombles. As you can see from the picture below it’s still in remarkable condition and is unmistakably Womble.

The Wombles fur

The Wombles fur

In Ivor’s creation of The Wombles puppets he didn’t have much to go on in terms of colour. The book illustrations only give away one coloured image on the front cover where there is a hint of the gold/brown that we’ve come to recognise. Like all of Ivor’s work, his colour choices are spot on and The Wombles are no exception. The gold and grey fur perfectly contrast against either the green of brown of their surroundings making sure they always stand out. What we also have to imagine is that most of the TV sets would have shown in black and white and on a small screen back in the early 70’s so a good idea of colour contrast would have been key in the design to make sure that the characters were easily recognisable.

Lots more to come so stay tuned for more treats and don’t forget to follow the blog on bloglovin too!

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3 thoughts on “The Wombles fur

  1. harrisonfw says:

    Towards the end of the first novel, when Cousin Yellowstone meets a very surprised Great Uncle Bulgaria, Bulgaria says “…You’re thinking what an old doddery Womble I’ve become, and in those days my fur was only starting to turn gray. Yours was dark brown as I recall… .”
    The audiobook read by Bernard Cribbins has not had these words altered and I don’t have the reissue of the first novel with the Nick Price to see if this inconsistency between the books and TV series was ever corrected.

    I don’t know if Monica Sims is still alive but, as she was head of the BBC Children’s programming when the TV series was planned, it would be worth getting her perspective on the redesign of the Womble characters. As has been alluded to in previous posts on this site, she wanted characters that didn’t resemble teddy bears, hence Ivor Wood had to submit several iterations before she was satisfied.


    • Tom Sanders says:

      Great info Harrison, much appreciated. Looks like some more digging has to be done on the subject. I guess with GUB’s large grey sideburns they did make him look older and greyer than the other Wombles but it would certainly make an interesting comparison.
      To my knowledge Monica Simms is still alive. I’ll look to contact her as it’d be great to hear her point of view. I read a lot of correspondence between her and Ivor and Graham Clutterbuck at the BBC written archives. Working on getting permission to publish so once I do I’ll share with you all.It’s interesting read.


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