Return to Womble Lovers' Front Door (site index) -- Womble illus. by Johanna Cormier

Introduction

Page Contents What are Wombles?
About the Author. (Elisabeth Bersford)
How I became acquainted with Wombles. (Johanna Cormier)

What are Wombles?

Wombles are the ultimate recyclers. They go through Wimbledon Common picking up the things those untidy humans have left behind like newspapers, gum wrappers, bus tickets, forgotten umbrellas, etc. They are very clever with their paws and make use of all the things they find.

When they reach working age, each Womble chooses his or her name from Great Uncle Bulgaria's Atlas. (Bungo closed his eyes and chose his own name randomly. Which just goes to show what kind of a Womble he is.)

Each Womble has her/his own distinct personality. There's Tobermory who keeps the workshop in order, Orinoco who's always trying to catch forty winks, Madame Cholet the cook and many many more.

The Wombles originated as a set of stories by Elisabeth Beresford. They were originally illustrated, by Margaret Gordon, to look a bit like teddy bears with their bright eyes and round furry bodies. The stories were adapted for television and Ivor Wood created puppets that looked quite different. These became the basis for future illustrations and how most Womble Lovers imagine them to appear.

In addition to becoming a popular British Children's TV series they also became a top of the charts music band with music composed by Mike Batt.

About the Author, Elisabeth Berseford

When living in south London Elisabeth Berseford began the story of the Wombles while walking on Wimbledon Common with her two children Kate and Marcus. One of her children had trouble pronouncing 'Wimbledon' and thus the Wombles were born. In fact, Orinoco was based on her son Marcus.

She wrote the first Womble book in 1968.

Elisabeth Beresford enjoys writing children's books with a magical background. Many of her books have been translated into Danish, Dutch, German, Spanish and Japanese. In addition to writing, she enjoys gardening and surfing.

She has traveled around the world as a radio and TV journalist and is married to the TV sports commentator Max Robertson.

In February of 1998 she was invested as a Member of the British Empire for her contributions to children's literature and charity work on Alderney.

How I, Johanna, became acquainted with Wombles.

I'm American and most Americans have no idea what a Womble is.

When I was about thirteen my father gave me a copy of The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford that he had bought in England. Until recently (~1995/6) the only people I knew who knew about Wombles were the people I had loaned my book to.

Where did I find these other Womble informed people? In Terry Pratchett's Discworld... well on the Discworld MUD that is. ;) I was delighted when I saw references to Wombles on the Mud. (Not only has this place got Pratchett, it has Wombles! Now what site could be cooler than that?)

My first book was The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford. It's a 1968 children's novel, UK edition published by Puffin books. One of my favorite children's books, this book has the original illustrations by Margaret Gordon where the Wombles look a bit more bear like and without as many clothing clues to identify them. This explains why my concept of what Wombles look like doesn't conform as strongly to the ideas of those who grew up with the Ivor Wood's style Wombles.

A few years ago (~1994), I borrowed some more Wombles books through inter-library loan. They were very short and very simple but you might be able to get the novel the same way. I really do recommend it. The children's librarians always seem nicer too. :)

As a current update, I have just (July 1998) moved to England for a year and have the enviable opportunity of searching for Wombles books at Car boot sales and used bookstores. Am I in heaven or what? *grin*

In August of 1998 we made a trip to Wimbledon common. It has taken several months but at last you can look at our photo journal of the day.
Do you have anything Womblish to add to these pages? If you do please let me know. I posted my first Womble page, January 1996. Since then I've gotten great responses and the pages have grown rapidly. Thank you all.

May Wimbledon Wombles fill your heart,
--Johanna

Return to Womble Lovers' Front Door (site index) Return to Womble Lovers front door.
You're missing a really cool animated horizontal rule
Disclaimer: The Wombles are (TM) Elisabeth Beresford/Filmfair. I have done my best to keep these pages legal and within the guidelines of fair usage.

This Page Last Updated on September 29, 2009.


© Johanna & Daniel Cormier, 1996-2000
Please address email with 'Womble' included somewhere in the subject line to: johanna@designwest.com
Illustrations by Johanna Cormier, based on Illustrations by Margaret Gordon and Ivor Wood's Puppets