Tidy Bag

Wombles fans and family pay tribute to Bernard Cribbins

Me meeting Bernard Cribbins at a signing event in 2007

Bernard Cribbins, the voice of the 1970s Wombles television series, has died at the age of 93.

He was loved by generations across his seven-decade career, in which he appeared in a wide range of TV shows, films and stage productions and even made successful novelty records.

Tributes poured in from his friends and fans after the news was announced on the morning of 28 July.

Mike Batt said on Twitter: “Such a blow to hear about my friend Bernie Cribbins. What a great, talented life-force he was. Of course he voiced the ‘talking’ Wombles and I sang the songs, when we were both a lot younger! A lovely man who was warm, generous and wonderful company.”

Elisabeth Beresford’s daughter Kate Robertson said: “Very sad news about Bernard Cribbins. Had a very sweet chat with him earlier this year re a biog I’m writing about my mother Elisabeth Beresford, Wombles creator. He said their collaboration was one of his most enjoyable jobs. He was perfect as the narrator. Brilliant man.”

Marcus Robertson, Elisabeth Beresford’s son, told the PA news agency: “The Wombles were all based on members of the family. And Bernard was extraordinary, because Mum explained to him what the characters were like in real life, as it were. And Bernard was brilliant at taking the characters of all of us and reflecting them in how he did things, but particularly Great Uncle Bulgaria. When I watch The Wombles even now it is as if my grandfather is still alive. Bernard just got him to a tee, the way in which he interacted with the rest of the Wombles, the rest of the family, and particularly the way he used to talk to me. You know young Orinoco, he used to call him young Womble but in real life I was usually called young Marcus… but the way Bernard created that family in the burrow was just like our family.”

The official Wombles account tweeted: “Bernard Cribbins breathed life into the burrow, his voice was the soundtrack to our lives. We love him, and will miss him. Bernard, you will always be part of our Womble family. - Great Uncle Bulgaria”

Below are some of my favourite comments from Wombles fans on social media.

When I met Bernard at autograph events, he came across as a friendly, welcoming person who was quick with a quip, and it was obvious that he was still proud of his association with the Wombles.

I’d like to offer my condolences to Bernard’s loved ones. He’ll be missed.

https://twitter.com/McAtheist/status/1552571113775022081 https://twitter.com/babyboymonaghan/status/1552637457207885826

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