3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Devon Life today click here

Pat Keenor: Who remembers Trumpton?

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:51 22 January 2015

Pat Keenor

Pat Keenor

Archant

Introducing our new columnist PAT KEENOR, who brings her lively, quirky, whimsical take on life in Devon to our pages every month in her Maid In Devon column

WHO remembers Camberwick Green and Trumpton? These TV programmes first aired on the BBC in 1967 so I’m guessing only older readers know all about firemen Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb.

For you young whippersnappers who can’t even remember Z-Cars or Farrah Fawcett’s hair in Charlie’s Angels, Camberwick Green and Trumpton were animated children’s shows relating to life in the two villages.

Of course it was an idealised version of life in - I suppose - the Edwardian era. After all there was no need to scare ’60s children to death with stories of drugs, sex and rock and roll, even if such shenanigans were going on in some parts of the country.

The Trumpton and Camberwick Green residents had to deal with crises like a shortage of flour or water or a swarm of bees. At one point villagers were up in arms over rumours of an electrical sub-station being built (shades of wind turbine objections here?).

Episodes had titles like Cuthbert’s Morning Off, so you can imagine not much vandalism, wife swapping or glue-sniffing in the park went on...although I’m not sure what dastardly deeds were afoot in the episode called Miss Lovelace and the Mayor’s Hat. The mind boggles.

There was even a village policeman, PC McGarry, keeping everyone in order. If you had a problem there was no need to phone some central number and wait for a police car to turn up from 20 miles away, log an incident number and then disappear into the night never to be heard of again. No, PC McGarry was hand to sort out the perpetrators. And Dr Mopp made house calls. Can I hear the sound of bitter laughter?

There was Chippy Minton the carpenter, Mrs Cobbit the florist, Mickey Murphy the baker and Windy Miller who ran the working mill, to name but a few of the businesses and trades.

The village where I live once bore a resemblance to Camberwick Green and Trumpton. We had a shop, a butcher’s, a hairdresser’s and a post office. All those have gone, most recently the post office which has been replaced by a big red monstrosity, a post box on the street side of the pavement. It takes up a lot of room and causes cars to stop on a busy road. So that’s progress for you. There are plans for an ‘outreach’ post office service, open two days a week in a community room; ‘outreach’ presumably being a synonym for ‘half as good’.

But after my initial reaction of anger at losing one more village service came a feeling of guilt. After all, how often did I use the post office? How often did I pop in there to buy a greetings card, a pack of ballpoint pens, or any of the useful things it sold? I tax my car online, I bank online and I do a lot of shopping online. I rarely buy a stamp. If I do, I get it from the supermarket.

I can count on the fingers of one hand how often I used the butcher’s and the shop. Until recently I worked 25 miles away from my village so it was easier to get everything I needed in the supermarket near my office rather than make a special effort on a Saturday to use local suppliers.

There are a lot of people like me in the village, commuters who take their custom elsewhere. So I guess I am part of the collective guilt for rural areas losing their services. Now I work from home more, I would really value those shops - but it’s too late.

But all is not doom and gloom. We still have Mr Crockett the Garage Man. Or, to be more accurate, a filling station with Spar shop. And another hairdresser’s has opened. Local people, too, carry on all those vital trades like plumbing and carpentry. And my village is still a pleasant place to live with very little crime. Replace Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb with Burrows, Burrows, Mister Leach, Tucker, Downs and Pike - and it’s not so very different after all.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 10:59

The South West Coast Path is celebrating 40 years by calling on people to help raise £40,000. To show their support, teams from Devon’s top tourist attractions are preparing to take to the trail. CHRISSY HARRIS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Away from the hustle of places like Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, North Devon is peppered with tiny coves, empty beaches and wooded walks leading to secluded bays that feel a million miles away from the tourist trail. BECKY DICKINSON reveals her pick of the best kept secrets on the North Devon coast

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

As part of her regular series where she visits Devon’s best places for 24 hours, Lydia Tewkesbury has this time been to Sidmouth

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ranging from rocky and windy walkways along the South West Coast Path to the sandy beaches on the picturesque coastline, the district of North Devon is one of the prettiest coastal areas in the South West of England. In no particular order, here are 10 of the prettiest villages in the district of North Devon

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In Devon’s towns and cities there’s an awful lot you can do in just 24 hours. For her regular feature, Lydia Tewkesbury travels to see what you can do in a day in Kingsbridge

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Villages in Devon are some of the prettiest in the South West. From beautiful little hamlets on the outskirts of the moors to seaside communities, we pick 10 villages in Devon you need to visit

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dust off your walking shoes and head to South Devon – here are 6 reasons why the area is so good for a stroll writes Victoria Rogers

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

There is something quite life-enriching about being by the water and in Devon there are plenty of ways to enjoy it, writes Fran McElhone. Including surfing, wild swimming, water skiing and more, here are 10 great ways to enjoy Devon’s water

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Encompassing large swathes of Dartmoor and plenty of the county’s most distinctive sections of coastline, it’s no wonder that the South Hams district is home to some of Devon’s prettiest places. We pick out 10 of the best towns and villages the area has to offer

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Devon is as beautiful underwater as it is above. Chrissy Harris highlights the best places to discover our county’s hidden depths… Here are 6 great places for crabbing, rockpooling and diving

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Simone Stanbrook-Byrne suggests a selection of 5 walks with stunning views to enjoy over the summer. Grab your boots and the relevant OS map and off you go!

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

From a hot tub Land Rover to a Romany caravan, Claire Saul picks out 7 Devon holiday lets that make hot topics for conversation

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Whether you’re up on Dartmoor, gazing down on the seaside from the South West Coast Path or visiting one of our stunning stately homes, breathtaking views are all around our county. We’ve picked 23 places where you can get Devon’s best views

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search