Camberwick had its village green and Trumpton its town square.But Chigley didn't really have a central hub.
The notional heart was Winkstead Hall,the home of Lord Belborough.
And his private steam railway was used to link the various other locations.Regularly shuttling between the 2 of the 3 other main locations -Chigley Pottery and Treddles Wharf. [the line didn't go directly to the Biscuit Factory]
So,just as every Trumpton episode had a fireman call-out sequence,every Chigley episode had a train journey.
And just as every Trumpton episode ended with the fireman's band concert,every Chigley episode ended with a dance.
There were no opening titles to speak of.Just the caption,shown above,fading into the opening scene which was always a different character just about to embark on a trip to Chigley.And when they agree to Brian's request to join them,off we go
Next :- the 4 main locations,and all the characters who only appeared in Chigley [highlighted in red]
The design of Winkstead was loosely based on Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire.
Owned by Lord Belborough.
There was no mention of a Lady Belborough or any other family members.
He did have staff of course.
With his main on-screen partner being his butler,simply called Brackett.
The only other member of staff ever seen was the gardener,Mr.Bilton.
And,housed a very short walk from the Hall were his Lordship's working steam engine called Bessie and his stationary pump engine called Binnie :-both in the white-walled engine shed.
Best Song ? "Time Flies by ...."
Easily the standout effort from a disappointing playlist
Best Character ?Lord Belborough.
He had the best song .... best boys toys .... most memorable voice .... and even the most distinctive walking style,with his hands at chest height and elbows pointing outwards making look him like Dick Van Dyke about to launch into a chorus of "the old bamboo". Not that he ever did sadly.
On this page - everything ......except the song lyrics,which I still need to add.
The Trumptonshire TrilogyCamberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley
Overview .... Like its 2 predecessors,Chigley had 13 x 15 minute episodes.
It was first broadcast on BBC 1 in the Watch With Mother lunchtime slot on October 6th,1969
and ran for 13 consecutive weeks.
Whilst all the initial broadcasts of Camberwick and Trumpton were in black and white,
Chigley's debut straddled the changeover to colour.So only the first few weeks were in monochrome. Although you did need to have a colour tv set and live in an area that was covered by a colour transmitter to benefit -which many didn't.
Chigley also had the slightly more dubious honour of being the last of the 3 series to have a full re-run on the BBC 
Size-wise,it was the smallest of the 3 locations.
Being little more than a hamlet,in comparison to the town of Trumpton and the village of Camberwick.
And because of the sparser population,a lot of familiar characters from the first 2 series reappeared throughout,helping to beef it up and tie all 3 locations together as part of the County of Trumptonshire.
Belborough and Brackett enjoyed a very similar star/straight man relationship to that of the Trumpton Mayor and his town clerk,Mr.Troop.
Bilton was a much more peripheral character.
He only appeared in one episode (aside from being a passive onlooker).
But he's notable for being the only character in the whole of Trumptonshire to be given a noticeable accent.
Brian Cant normally just used varying degrees of intonation and pitch to differentiate one character from another.But he drew on his own Suffolk roots to give Bilton a distinct country lilt.Subtle rather than full-blown "yokel" and completely appropriate to the character.But still an unusual departure nonetheless.
Belborough and Brackett were involved in the 3 main stock footage sequences in Chigley :-
The 1st was a well-used ploy to get the storyline running ....
Brackett takes a phone call requesting his Lordship's services in the train.And he lollops down a long,galleried corridor to either the study or library to pass on the message.
Very much shades of the Captain Flack phone call sequence in Trumpton. And the garish modern art depicted above the phone and along the corridor was very 1969,when the series was written of course.And probably more than a little inspired by Lord Bath's well-documented artistic endeavours at Longleat House.
The 2nd bit of stock footage had them emerging from the Hall in their overalls,to take the short walk to the engine shed (below) and set off on Bessie.
And the 3rd was the actual steam journey itself.Although there were a few more variations than the fireman's call-out loop that was used in every Trumpton episode.
The train configuration was always the same ie.train...tender...and 3 seated wagons,which also doubled as freight wagons -even being used for a loose load of coal during the Binnie & Bessie episode.
Brackett always accompanied him on the footplate -presumably to shovel the coal, although he was never actually shown doing it.
And,as with Winkstead's artwork,the idea of using a stately home railway was almost certainly pinched from Longleat, who started theirs in 1965.
Cresswell's Biscuit Factory
Pic 1 :- The factory was actually in the grounds of the Hall.
Pic 2 :- Mr.Cresswellwas the hands-on owner in his white coat. His green dungaree'd number 2 was Mr.Fletcher.
And the 3rd pic shows one of the workers -Willie Munn,who was the nephew of Camberwick greengrocer,Mr.Clamp,and featured in his own eponymous episode.
Every Chigley episode ends the same way. (2 pics below)
The clock above the biscuit factory entrance hits 6 o'clock,the whistle sounds and all the workers stream out to take the short walk to an open air dance hosted by Lord Belborough in the grounds of Winkstead Hall.With music provided by his Dutch organ.
Shades of the fireman's band concert that ended every Trumpton episode of course.
And also the Camberwick Windy & Farmer Bell idea that the old ways could live happily side-by-side with the new. With a modern,efficient 60's Corbusier-style factory intertwined with some good,old school traditions and Lord of the Manor patronage.
The main look inside the factory is during "Bessie to the Rescue".Some nice gleaming white machinery that shells the eggs,mixes,shapes,bakes and packs.With the boxes emerging out at the loading bay,to the right hand side,and into the waiting CCB vans for delivery.Pics below.
Cresswell crumbs ....
Q. "Cresswells" ....
a play on words of Crosse & Blackwell ?
Q. Shots of Cresswell's staff never featured any women.But the inference was that the 6 o'clock dance was for factory employees.
So .... who were the 2 ladies dancing ?
Chigley Potterywas owned and run by Harry Farthing,who was both a ceramics potter and stone sculptor and had a suitably bohemian beard.
His daughter Winnie was also featured regularly,took a lot of trips on the train and was the only child that lived in Chigley.
No sign of a Mrs Farthing,and I'm pretty sure she was never even mentioned either.
Like most Chigley characters,Harry was less than memorable quite frankly,although Winnie seems to have struck more of a chord.Presumably because of her appearance and the voice Brian Cant gave her -imagine Valerie Singleton as a young girl
Pottery chards ....
In the 1st Chigley episode the foreground view of the Pottery included a large mound of greenery and a telegraph pole and wires.But this was obviously reassessed and thought to be too cluttered,and the view,shown above left,is the one that appeared in the remaining 12 (the train journey scenery was also thinned out a bit too - more on the oddballs page)
Only one interior room was ever shown -the studio above the front door with the big round window. 3rd pic.
The railway line on the doorstep was a regular stopping-off point for Lord Belborough on the way to Treddle's Wharf .....
Potentially one of the most memorable bits in Chigley,with the convergence of cranes,trains and boats.
And it probably should have been used as more of a focal point than it was.
Sadly,whilst appearing in most of the episodes,it was never really developed to its maximum potential.
And somewhat symptomatic of the missed opportunity was the crane.Which was very sparingly used and just an uninspiring box cab with a subdued "whirr" for a winch.When it should've been centre stage as a high-victorian wrought iron,steam-powered effort with some bright paintwork and lots of puffing and clunking sound effects.
And the "wharfinger",Mr.Swallow,didn't help either.
Be honest .... Who actually remembers anything about him .... or his song ?
Quite apart from knowing what a "wharfinger" actually was.
He was usually to be found up on the viaduct talking to the train occupants,or at the controls of the crane.
He's shown in the 2nd pic,below,which is also the only interior shot of the building we ever see.
No family were ever mentioned either,which might have helped him a bit.But Windy and others had proved it shouldn't really have been necessary.
The river was the exclusive domain of Mr.S.Rumpling,the "bargee",pic 3.
Again somewhat underwhelming unfortunately.With a one-dimensional barge that just looked nice and went "chug-chug" and no personality or a decent song to compensate.
Not that we were ever going to see him towing Lord Belborough on water-skis [sadly]
Train,barge & even Doctor Mopp in 1st pic.
Treddles Wharf was a great idea,but wasn't nearly as memorable as it could,or should,have been
Mr.Clutterbuck the builder and his 2 brickies Horace and Cyril
They only appeared in "The Garden Wall" episode.
And it was never made clear which one was Horace and which one Cyril.
The 2 "corporation dustmen" pictured are widely known
as Mr.Gubbins and Mr.Sneed.
But they only appear in the "Lord Belborough's Lucky Day" episode,and those names are never actually mentioned.
The most we ever get is when one says "me and my mate,Harry".
My current thinking is that those names were probably added later for one of the LP releases.But I've yet to check.
Chigley's lack of impact discussed ....
The only thing that really seems to have caught the popular imagination was Lord Belborogh's iconic song "time flies by when I'm the driver of the train".
And if the volume of spin-off merchandise is an accurate gauge of popularity [which it usually is] then Chigley was indeed a very poor third of the three Trumptonshire series.
All of which is maybe a little puzzling when you consider that it was basically just more of the same.
But Camberwick and Trumpton had been repeated mercilessly for nigh on 4 years by the time Chigley hit our screens.
And it was simply unable to provide enough freshness and innovation to combat inevitable Trumptonshire burnout.
Successfully maintaining the continuity,but just too indistinct to make anything like the same impact.
Perhaps not that surprising when you consider the tv law of diminishing returns.
Because if Camberwick was an all time classic,and Trumpton merely confirmation of its genius then Chigley was probably just on a hiding-to-nothing.
A tried-and-tested product,but ultimately just a victim of its' enviroment -a bit like a Siberian ice cream salesman.
But,ask yourself the following :-
1. Imagine if the other 2 series hadn't been made and Chigley was a stand alone show with all the necessary continuity tweeks.
Would it have had the same impact as Camberwick when it came out,and be hailed as a classic now ?
2. Or,put another way .... would Windy have been as popular if he'd only appeared in Chigley ?
Or would he have been as popular if he'd only appeared in Camberwick and it had aired last of the 3 rather than 1st ?
In short,Chigley was undoubtedly less effective simply because it was 3rd of 3.
But .... there were also some major self-inflicted wounds too because :-
a) The new characters are largely forgettable,with the notable exception of Lord Belborough.A point driven home whenever one of the Camberwick & Trumpton inhabitants arrive on screen and you suddenly think things are looking up.
b) The songs are far less memorable.
Be honest. Apart from "Time Flies By",how many of the others doyou actually remember ?
c) Chigley has no heart.It's just a disparate collection of locations rather than a community.
There's no bustling Camberwick village green or Trumpton town centre.And whilst I realise hamlet's don't have such things,it does little to help generate the feeling that Chigley is actually a specific location.
Something that's further undermined by the regular appearance of Camberwick and Trumpton characters,who may have helped reinforce the idea of the "oneness" of Trumptonshire but only at the expense of Chigley's own identity.
Best costume anomaly (aka the Doctor Mopp award):- The women who take part in the daily dance,above right.
Looking a bit like a cross between something out of "Gone With the Wind" and potato pickers from an old Soviet newsreel. Completely bonkers of course.And a colourful,if puzzling,way to end this look at all things Chigley !
Final Footnote :- The Chigley song lyrics will be added in due course.
But maybe we should have known the game was up right from the start,with the severely under-stated opening title sequence ....
Each one has the same languid little instrumental as we meet a Camberwick or Trumpton character just about to set out on a journey to Chigley. When Brian asks "May we come too ?" we ride with them, using stock footage from the first 2 series to get us there .... and the same songs too.
Yes it's effective.But so are breeze blocks,and I don't know anyone who gets particularly inspired by them either.
At best,it's rather underwhelming.And,at worst,it's just plain lazy.
Either way you could argue that it sets the tone for what's to come.
A good decision not to do a 4th series.
But just about enough to be thankful they didn't just settle for 2