First shown in 1966, this thirteen part children’s TV show has become something of a cult classic, despite only one series ever been made.
In common with many kids TV shows of the time (Bagpuss, Trumpton) it made use of stop motion puppets. The inspiration for the name is believed to have stemmed from the East Sussex village of Wiveslfield Green, supported by the nearby villages of Plumpton (Trumpton) and Chailey (Chigley). Trump ton and Chigley being the other two spin off shows.
The series has been repeated many times on the BBC until 1985, and then on Channel 4 from 1994 to 2000.
Each episode begins with a shot of a musical box which rotates while playing a tune. The narrator then speaks…
“Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside. Can you guess what is in it today?”
The lid of the box then opens and the puppet character that is central to the episode emerges. After a brief introduction, the background appears and the story begins.
Each week the story would revolve around one of the village’s central characters. Each week the villagers undergo such domestic crises as a shortage of flour, a swarm of bees, a water shortage and rumours of an unwanted electrical substation being built in the village.
At the end of each episode, the narrator bids farewell to the puppet character who was seen at the beginning and the latter disappears back into the musical box.
Written And Created By: Gordon Murray
Narrated By: Brian Cant
Original Transmission Dates: 3rd January – 28th March 1966