Episode Guide

“The Gublin Legends”
(Trumptonshire-style stop-motion puppets, 13 plays, colour, 5 minutes, 1979)
Scripts & puppets by Gordon Murray
Narrated by Gordon Murray
Production by Gordon Murray Puppets Ltd
Made for BBC television and transmitted as part of “Noel Edmonds’ Multicoloured Swap Shop” 

Eleven episodes from the series were released on VHS (PAL) in 1984 by Warner Home Video (long OOP) 

Point of Interest: Gordon Murray wrote the Gublin Legend short stories in verses
using a simple 4-line ABCB rhyming scheme, generally with 8, 7, 8, 7 syllables,
One verse in Mr. Dilley's Mermaid uses 8, 8, 8, 8 for dramatic effect.

Source Production Information Status



Before the day was out,
there arrived a panting servant, "Come and see my master's snout!"
(mouse-over to see what happens next). 

Obadiah and Flo
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. Having lost his nagging wife down a hole, a woodsman is jumps at an opportunity to make a fortune, pretending to be Doctor Demijohn M.D., a talented specialist in diseases of the nose. The best of plans don't always work out, however.

In a very humble cottage,
   Many, many years ago,
Lived a Gublin, Obadiah
   And his wife, whose name was Flo

Obadiah was a person
   Who preferred a quiet life
But a peaceful situation
   Was prevented by his wife

"Fetch the firewood. Wash the windows.
   Pick some mushrooms. Mend the door.
Dig the garden. Where's the water.
   Cut the rhubarb. Sweep the floor."

How she niggled. How she nattered.
   How she nagged him through the day.
If she'd only stop her chatter.
   If she'd only go away!

But on one momentous morning,
   In a nearby wood with Flo,
Obadiah, fetching faggots,
   Felt a tremble from below.

That was odd, said Obadiah,
   As he straightened up his back.
Then he saw that Flo was standing
   On a fast-expanding crack.

"What's the matter. Get a move on.
   We shall be here half the night."
Were the final words she uttered,
   As she disappeared from sight.

Obadiah stood astounded.
   Then he cried, "Well bless my soul!"
For his wife had just descended
   Down a rather nasty hole.

He waved his spotted hanky,
   And he shouted down, "Hello!"
But there wasn't any answer
   From the late, departed Flo.

Here's a novel situation,
   Thought the Gublin, I can see
That she wants to go exploring.
   So she won't be back for tea.

He wandered slowly homewards,
   And he listened to the birds,
Which at last were unaccompanied
   By Flo's long flow of words.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



Alastair McLaren and his new wife
Bessie, together with Bessie's father the Laird.
"Now the Laird's enlarged his household, and he feels when all is done, that he hasn't lost a daughter, he has simply gained a son."

Bessie o' the Glen
or The Inversneekie Doonie
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. A Scottish laird's daughter wishes to marry a farrier but is told that won't do, due to a stringent social barrier. With the aid of a canny Doonie, luck's pendulum finally swings her way and the laird changes his mind, leaving her free to marry.

In an antiquated castle
   Amid mountains raw and peaky
Lived a noble Scottish Gublin
   Called the Laird of Inversneekie.

He was loved by all the ladies,
   And respected by the men.
And he had a bonnie daughter
   Known as Bessie o' the Glen.

On the day we start our story,
   He approached her, and he said,
"You're a grown-up lassie Bessie,
   And it's time that you were wed.

Here's a list of worthy suitors.
   Each has pleaded for your hand.
I have checked them all for title,
   ancient castle, wealth and land.

And he hastily departed,
   Thus avoiding any ructions
To tell his wife he'd carried
   Out her most precise instructions.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Points of Interest: Included in Children’s Seventies TV Favourites video compilation. CTD11047. © Contender Ltd. 1998.  VHS PAL, colour.
The exterior castle settings appearing in this story are the Rubovia Castle settings previously used for the "Rubovia" stop-motion puppet series.

Held by Double:Take,
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



Catching the King & Queen quite by surprise, the third fairy cried, "Here's something
more! To avoid conceit, his ears will point to aft, instead of fore." 

The Barber of Cartina
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. A mischievous fairy casts a spell over a prince, which remains a secret until he visits his barber.

In the kingdom of Cartina,
   There was great relief and joy
When the Queen at last gave birth to
   An attractive baby boy.

Many messages and presents
   Soon arrived on every hand
And the usual brace of harpies
   Filtered in from Fairy Land.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



The vicar


Mr. Dilley sharing discourse
with mermaid Lucy Lock,
Sunday afternoons on arather isolated rock.
 

Mr. Dilley's Mermaid
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. Featuring Harry Dilley, a vicar, the vicar's daughter Agnes, a crooked traveling showman called Titus Leach, and a mermaid called Lucy Lock. Harry's friend Lucy the mermaid is abducted by showman Titus, who exhibits her as "The only mermaid in captivity". The vicar arranges for Lucy's rescue, achieved with the aid of  Women's Institute raspberry preserves.

In the little town of Fowey
   On the rugged Cornish coast,
Lived a man called Harry Dilley
   Who delivered Cornish Post.
...

In the garden, Mr. Dilley,
   With the Vicar and his daughter,
Entertained the little mermaid,
   With her tail kept moist in water.

"How enchanting!" cried the vicar,
   "Why, the hardest heart would soften
In the presence of such beauty.
   We must all do this more often!"

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Point of Interest: Mr. Dilley's Mermaid appears as a picture story in The Multi-coloured Swap Shop, Book 4, pp.92-95, 1981.

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



Princess Tina did not expect this when she kissed  the handsome prince!
 


Mouse over the picture to
free the frog from his Princely enchantment!

 

The Prince Frog
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. Featuring Mr. Wiffin, a Coachman, King Alfonso, Princess Tina, and a Prince Frog. A wizard tries to conjure up a husband for an unattractive princess, but all does not go to plan.

...

Now this youth was very handsome
   And the Girl was all agog,
So she simply has to kiss him—
   And he turned into a frog.

...

Croaked the creature, "You've released me
   From a spell I've suffered since
I was captured by a conjuror
   And turned into a prince."

...

Now, he's back on his predictions
   And unkindest cut of all,
He is paying by installments 
   For that wretched golden ball.

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Point of Interest: The Prince Frog appears as a picture story in The Second Multi-coloured Swap Shop Book, 1979

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



Now Abdul's busy making sandals, and he looks back to the past, and considers that it's safer to stick closely to his last. 
 

The Magic Tree
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. Featuring a sandalmaker, his son Abdul, a Caliph, a mule, a genie, a tree, and a whole lot of ‘Bunzibub’. A young man tries to find a magic tree with the help of a genie, but his adventure nearly costs him his life.

There was once a sandalmaker
   And he lived in old Baghdad
With his son, whose name was Abdul,
   An extremely pleasant lad.

Now this boy desired adventure
   And his father was afraid
That for Abdul sandal making
   Was a rather timid trade.

So he sent him on an errand
   With a pair of brown, size 3,
For conveyance to the Caliph
   At the Palace, C.O.D.

...


At the sound of 'Bunzibub' the magic tree bursts into bloom, 
much to the astonishment of Abdul the sandalmaker's son.

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Point of Interest: The Magic Tree appears as a picture story in The Multi-coloured Swap Shop, Book 3, 1980.

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



The candle maker's nephew,
Jeremiah makes another
batch of candles. 
 

The Kendal Candle
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. A candle maker accidentally discovers an old recipe for a candle that burns bright as a beacon. He is so excited by the business potential of this new candle, that he fails to notice that it doesn't burn away. The story unfolds from there with predictable results.

Just before the innovation
   Of the incandescent lamp,
Lived a Kendal candlemaker
   By the name of Sydney Cramp.

He'd inherited the business
   From his father, and he made
A modest range of products
   For the public and the trade.

...

Very gingerly his uncle
   Raised the lid and looked inside.
"It contains a piece of paper
   With some writing on!" he cried.

"This is really quite amazing.
   It's a kind of recipe
For a very special candle,
   Kendal Marvel No. 3

"It's been signed by dear old Grandpa,
   Willy Cramp, who as you know,
Was the founder of the business 
   Nearly ninety years ago.

"We must try out this prescription.
   What a secret to possess!"
And they left poor Aunty Linda
   With a sordid, sooty mess.

...

He applied a lighted taper,
   And his knees began to weaken
When he saw the candle burning
   With the brilliance of a beacon.

"Look at that!" he cried. "Eureka!
   It's a winner that we've made.
We will now set out to swallow up
   The wholesale candle trade."

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



The Emperor shows off his 
amazing mechanical willow warbler. 
(Mouse over for a 2nd picture)

The Emperor's Willow Warbler
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. The Emperor of china is given a beautiful musical box, but his nephew damages it with his bow and arrow.

Long ago in distant China,
   In the Great Imperial Palace
There was once a pretty cleaner,
   Who was known as Bucket Alice

She would wash and dust the vases,
   From the dynasty of Ming
With such beautiful devotion
   That she never smashed a thing.

Her routine remained unchanging,
   'Till a page turned up one day
And he told her she was wanted
   In the garden right away.

"I have bought another treasure."
   Said the Emperor. This bird,
Though constructed out of silver
   Is the sweetest thing I've heard

It was made by Nanky Tonky,
   Who is master of such things
And one simply can't believe it 
   Works by cogwheels, rods and springs.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



In the centre of the window
was a honey-coloured hat!
 

The Honey-Coloured Hat
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. Draper's assistant Willy Bhatt's desire to own a honey-coloured hat not only gets him such a hat, but also The Order of the Garter, B.E.M. (British Empire Medal), and O.B.E. (Officer of the British Empire), not to mention the hand in marriage of Miss Marsham.

An assistant to a draper
   In Dillhampton, Willy Bhatt,
Had a desperate desire
   To own a honey-coloured hat.


"If I wore a tinted topper,
   Of a sunny, honey hue,
I would win both fame and fortune, 
   And perhaps Miss Marsham too."

His employer, Mr. Perket,
   Only smiled and shook his head.
"There's a wealth of weirdy notions
   In your noddle, Will," he said.

At that moment, Sandy Monkton
   Put his head inside the door.
"There's a very handsome headpiece
   In the cast-off clothing store."

They both rushed around the corner,
   And Sandy said, "There! Look at that!"
In the centre of the window,
   Was a honey coloured hat.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



The King of Naples is about to
get a rude shock when he
opens the Royal Treasury.
 

The Dancing Princess
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. When the King of Naples' discovers he's short of money due to his daughter's excessive purchases of dancing shoes, he determines to find out what is going on. He soon finds out that under the power of an evil warlock, who makes her dance the night away every night, she wears our a new pair of shoes each night. 

The was once a King of Naples,
   Known as Niccolo the Strong.
Who was normally as happy
   As a Naples day was long.

But he got extremely flustered,
   And he blustered and he cussed,
When he found his cash box empty
   And discovered he was bust.

"Who's been mopping up the money?
   What on earth's been going on?
Who is guilty of this folly?
   Where has all the lolly gone?"

Mr. Bailey, court accountant,
   Mumbled glumly, turning puce.
Fumbled with his frilly collar,
   Stumbled out some trite excuse.

"You're supposed to check this daily!
   Come on Bailey, no pretense.
Tell me quickly, who's the culprit.
   Who's been pinching all the pence?"

Princess Amethyst, his daughter
   Entered full of charm and cheer.
"Here's my shopping list, this quarter.
   Why the paddy, Daddy dear."

Bailey took the proffered paper,
   Gave the list a quick peruse,
Then he cried, "I've found the answer!
   Ninety pairs of dancing shoes!"

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.



Charlie, alas, is unaware that
 transmogrifying feathers
should be used with special care
 

Charley's Feather
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Legend short story told in rhyme using stop-motion puppetry, against a background of specially composed music. A story about the use and abuse of power in the form of an enchanted feather that is able to swap any two objects. 

On the seamy side of London,
   Back in days beyond recall
There was once a scruffy theatre
   Known as Guffy's Music Hall.

The most popular attraction
   Was the Can-Can girl's quadrille,
With a conjuror called Carlo 
   At the bottom of the bill.

Carlo's real name was Charlie
   And within his heart he knew,
That the day was not so distant
   When he'd meet his Waterloo.

It was Friday, First performance,
   When his magic box got stuck
Due to truculent behaviour
   From a discontented duck.

...

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.
  The Prudent Prince
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick. 
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.
  --13th episode title is unknown--
Runtime: 5 minutes (PAL, 25 fps)
16 mm colour film

A Gublin Film by Gordon Murray, 1979. 
Animators: Bob Bura, John Hardwick.
Voices: Gordon Murray
Music: Freddie Phillips

Held by Double:Take
an independent distributor of children's television programmes. 
M&E track available.