Wimbledon Common's Wombles Make A Comeback

They're wombling free again...

The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are making a comeback - nearly 40 years after they first became environmental campaigners.

The Elizabeth Beresford books, which spawned a well-known TV series in the 1970s, are going to be re-published and will be available for sale from November 1.

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, first published in the 1960s, became a TV series in the 1970s, narrated by Bernard Cribbins. There's a womble, named Haydon, still around as a mascot for AFC Wimbledon (left).

Bloomsbury Publishing are re-printing The Wombles and The Wandering Wombles, available for £5.99 from November 1, with the remaining books due for release in early 2011.

October 25, 2010