I wanted to produce a programme where the location was the star and not the characters and this meant that I could have lots and lots of people - but no star characters. I started Camberwick Green with Peter the Postman because I thought that he could visit all the other people in turn, delivering his letters.
Gordon Murray left the BBC after being approached for the job as head of Childrens TV. He decided he was a better as a "creative" so left with a view to becoming an independent producer. He put his own resources into the first series, Camberwick Green, which, after its success, he was asked by the BBC to produce a further series. He decided to go "down the road" to Trumptonshire which allowed him to introduce new characters. The final series, Chigley was set in a hamlet adding yet more characters including Lord Bellborough and his butler. The market for merchandising was in its infancy. As a consequence of increasing business, Trumptonshire and the Magic Round instigated the BBC to set up BBC Worldwide to handle the commercial opportunities for brand licensing now common to many BBC productions such as the Teletubbies and Doctor Who.
A lot of Camberwick Green is very much dependant on Freddie Phillips' work. Alas he died died in Ewell, Surrey, in October 2003. He wrote the music, played the guitar, recorded the music and the dialogue and produced all sorts of extraordinary sound effects, including the windmill. He was a character, with a capital "C".
Freddie Phillips was a British musician and composer, best known for his work Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley. Mainly a classical guitarist, Phillips worked and performed in the fields of opera and ballet, including with The Royal Ballet, and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His television career began with providing musical scores for a pair of short films by Lotte Reiniger, and composing short pieces for use in television continuity. Around this time he began his involvement with Gordon Murray, firstly with A Rubovian Legend, and later the Trumptonshire trilogy. Phillips wrote individual songs for the characters in the latter programmes, as well as the theme music. The songs were sung by Brian Cant.
Phillips also provided many of the sound effects for the programmes, and was noted for his experimental attitude towards creating the sounds he wanted, including use of an early multitrack recording system, reverb, and adjustment of tape speed to create different effects. Many of Phillips' recordings were made available as vinyl records, particularly the Trumptonshire and Rubovia series. In 2003, Antony Harding of the folk group July Skies and Ben Holton of Epic 45 recorded "For Freddie Phillips", an acoustic guitar instrumental inspired by Phillips' work, under the group title of Play Hours and Half Holidays.