Many apologies to my father in advance for blogging so early regarding a subject he is less than fond of, but recently a Christmas quiz asked for the names of as many wombles as we could remember (including bonus points for guest wombles) and I'm afraid we only managed 4.
Elisabeth Beresford developed the characters around members of her family, and named them after places the family had associations with:
Great Uncle Bulgaria - the Wombles' leader, was based on Beresford's father-in-law
Tobermory - an engineer and handyman, was based on Beresford's brother, a skilled inventor
Orinoco - a shirker who loved sleep and food, was styled on Beresford's teenage son
Bungo - over-enthusiastic and bossy
Tomsk - athletic Womble
Wellington - scientifically inclined, named after her nephew's school
Madame Cholet - a cook, was styled on Beresford's mother
Later character names for the second series developed in the same manner:
Alderney - Madame Cholet's assistant, was named after where Beresford lived at the time of the second television series
Shansi - often paired with Alderney, as Bungo was with Orinoco
Miss Adelaide - schoolmistress
Stepney - East Ender with dreadlocks
My partner Ian would say his worst problem is his lack of a memory, and yet he can remember with extreme clarity many many things from his childhood. This includes a knack for childrens programmes theme songs (not just the tune, but also the lyrics - something I am completely incapable of). Remarkably the wombles isn't one of the ones he knows.
Underground, Overground, Wombling Free,
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folks leave behind.
He can remember the days when he wasn't behind The Times,
With his map of the World.
Pick up the papers and take them to Tobermory!
Wombles are organized, work as a team.
Wombles are tidy and Wombles are clean.
Underground, Overground, wombling free,
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we!
People don't notice us, they never see,
Under their noses a Womble may be.
We womble by night and we womble by day,
Looking for litter to trundle away.
We're so incredibly, utterly devious
Making the most of everything.
Even bottles and tins.
Pick up the pieces and make them into something new,
Is what we do!