The Flumps (BBC1, 1977)
Following on from The Wombles that I reviewed recently, here’s a look back at another stop-motion animated children’s series that featured some rather bizarre furry characters that first had some success on TV in the 70s. The Flumps was created and written by Julie Holder, and it centred around the adventures of a family. What is a Flump exactly?
Well they are rather hard to describe. They are circular and have rather big eyes and noses (their mouths, as we’re familiar with in these type of shows now, don’t move), they also like to wear hats, wiggle their fingers, and had Yorkshire accents (all of the voices were provided by Gay Soper). The distinctive opening theme was played on the trombone (later used in an advert). They often liked to play in the garden, and their house looked much nicer than the one the Wombles lived in.
The family consisted of six main characters. Grandpa (who liked to play a rather unusual musical instrument called the Flumpet, a sort-of horn thing, and he had a moustache), the Mother and Father, and the children Posie, Perkin, and Pootle. The stories featured were fairly gentle, as the Flumps learned about things, such as growing some vegetables or organising a party for a birthday (the children also liked to ride around on the Flumpcycle).
There would also be some musical interludes, and unusual sequences like having a dream about going to the moon. The way that they all waved at the end was rather nice too. This was another show that was a success, and it is a surprise to learn there were was only one series of The Flumps which consisted of 13 episodes that were about 15 minutes long).
However, there were over 20 repeat runs (that’s almost as many times as the average number of repeats for The Chase), spread over about a decade, meaning it was regularly shown until the late-80s, which is where I saw some of the episodes (once again, I think that they were shown as part of BBC2’s See-Saw slot that I watched regularly). It seems that it wasn’t ever shown as part of the main CBBC afternoon strand though.
There have been plenty of episodes released on VHS and DVD, and there were also some books and annuals released at the peak of the show’s fame. When I went to have a look at if any of the episodes were on YouTube, it was good to know that not only are they all on there, but the views of every episode were well into five figures, so there must be plenty of other people out there who along with myself fondly enjoyed their stories.