The Creator Of Wimbledon's Wombles Has Died

Elizabeth Beresford, 84, suffered heart failure

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The creator of the famous Wombles of Wimbledon Common, Elizabeth Beresford, has died at the age of 84.

She died at 10.30pm on Friday in the Mignot Memorial Hospital on Alderney in the Channel Islands after suffering heart failure, her son Marcus Robertson said.

The original idea for the Wombles came when Miss Beresford took her children, Kate and Marcus, for a walk on Wimbledon Common.

Kate said how wonderful it was to be walking on "Wombledon Common" – which created the name of the Wombles.

Meanwhile her mum noticed the amount of rubbish lying around, and the story about the cuddly litter-pickers was born.

The original womble, Great Uncle Bulgaria picked the famous names of Orinoco, Tobermory, Alderney and Tomsk from a children's atlas in his study and so the characters came to life.

All the characters were based on Miss Beresford’s family, with Marcus turned into the role of Orinoco, who was naughty, lazy and always pinched food. Great Uncle Bulgaria was his grandfather.

The books, which spawned a hit children's TV series in the 1970s, were re-published by Bloomsbury Publishing in November.

December 25, 2010