The Wombles’ names

What are the Wombles called?

The new-look Wombles in the Bloomsbury books
The new-look Wombles in the Bloomsbury books published in 2010 (click to enlarge)

The seven best-known Wombles appear throughout most of the books and TV programmes:

  • Great Uncle Bulgaria (old and wise – his full name is Bulgaria Coburg Womble)
  • Tobermory (handyman)
  • Madame Cholet (chef)
  • Orinoco (lazy and greedy)
  • Wellington (clever and shy)
  • Tomsk (sporty and strong)
  • Bungo (bossy and excitable)

However, there are many more Wombles in the Wimbledon burrow, and there are Womble burrows all over the world. In chapter 7 of The Wombles, Great Uncle Bulgaria mentions, “Family? Me? Oh yes, about two hundred and thirty of them.”

The 1990s TV Wombles
The 1990s TV Wombles: Orinoco, Tomsk; Shansi, Uncle Bulgaria; Stepney, Tobermory, Madame Cholet; Alderney, Wellington, Bungo (click to enlarge)

The 1990s television series focussed on ten to twelve Wombles – the core seven above, plus another five regular characters and visitors:

  • Alderney
  • Shansi
  • Stepney
  • Cairngorm, the MacWomble the Terrible
  • Obidos

Other Wombles mentioned in the books, short stories and TV episodes include:

  • Miss Adelaide
  • Nanny Alexandria
  • Cousin Van Amsterdam
  • Ms Atlanta
  • Bermondsey
  • Onkel Bonn
  • Cousin Botany
  • Cairns
  • Culvain
  • Uncle Dunedin
  • Eucula
  • Chieftain Fashven
  • Frau Heidelberg
  • Heilbronn
  • Workshop Master Hirado
  • Hoboken
  • Great-great-great Uncle Hohenzollern (Hapsburg Von Hohenzollern Womble)
  • Idaho
  • Old One-eyed Jamaica
  • Tante Lille
  • Livingstone
  • Moosonee
  • Great-great Aunt Matilda Murrumbidgee
  • Nanking
  • Normandy
  • Omsk
  • Cousin Ontario
  • Osborne
  • Perth
  • Quetta
  • Serengeti
  • Speyer
  • Stromboli
  • Great Aunt Thessaly
  • Honourable Cousin Tokyo
  • Winnipeg
  • Woy Woy
  • Cousin Yellowstone (Yellowstone Boston Womble)

There are also Water-Wombles in Loch Ness (including Nessie, Ross and Cromarty), and larger, snow-white Great White Wombles of Tibet – “Jeti or some such” – in the Everest burrow up in the Himalayas (including Dalai Gartok and Cousins One, Two, Three and Four).

The Wombles of Wimbledon all choose their own names out of Great Uncle Bulgaria’s atlas. Some of them spend a long time looking for a name that suits them, while others just close their eyes and point, and hope for the best!

To find out more about the Wombles’ characters and personalities, see the who’s who page, and visit the ‘Meet the Wombles’ section on the official Wombles website.

Which Wombles are in the band?

The Wombles on Top Of The Pops
The Wombles on Top Of The Pops: Orinoco, Wellington, Tomsk, Bungo

The official line-up is:

  • Vocals / sax: Orinoco
  • Lead guitar: Wellington
  • Bass guitar: Madame Cholet
  • Violin: Great Uncle Bulgaria
  • Drums: Bungo

Other Wombles sometimes join the band for live appearances, including Tomsk and Alderney.

Who are Wandle and Haydon?

Wandle the Womble and Haydon the Womble are mascots of past and present Wimbledon football clubs – see the football mascots page for more details.

Who are Waverley and Guildford?

Waverley Womble and Guildford Womble
Waverley and Guildford

Waverley Womble and Guildford Womble were the recycling mascots of Waverley Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council in Surrey.

Waverley was specially created by Elisabeth Beresford in 2002 for the council’s waste awareness campaign, to encourage residents to reduce, re-use and recycle. He’s a sporty Womble with a blue hat, and was described by the author as “an eager fellow who makes the occasional mistake but always puts them right”.

Guildford was created in 2003 and joined forces with neighbouring Waverley, appearing at school assemblies and in town centres.

In 2003, Waverley Borough Council had the highest recycling rate among Surrey’s 11 boroughs.

Who is Barrington Womble?

Barry Wom was the drummer in The Rutles – a parody of The Beatles. His full name was Barrington Womble, but the others persuaded him to change his name to Barry Wom to save time. He was played in the 1978 film by John Halsey.

Who is Yuri Womble?

“Remember Yuri Womble, Remember Yuri Womble, Remember-member-member…”

14 thoughts on “The Wombles’ names”

  1. I loved The Wombles so much I had an Orinoco toy which I had with me in hospital when I was 7 then that same year I organised 10 other neighbourhood children and myself to clean up our street in New Plymouth, New Zealand. I even made a scrapbook with the womble stories I collected out of our newspaper. I truly wish the World had embraced them and their Clean up message – so very SAD to see the world treated like one large dump site but that’s humans for you ?

  2. Crazy question and feel a bit silly asking but can you still get Womble hats? I ask as I was in a gang of kids in 1971/2 when the Wombles were big and we all were one of them. I was Wellington. Still have the badge but no hat. A lifelong friend recently passed on (Tomsk) at 57. Just felt like reminiscing but I found my hat was long gone.

    Another 57 year old kid

    • Hi Ron. I’m not sure what type of hats you have in mind, but there’s lots of memorabilia in Gill Seyfang’s collection on the Womble Burrow website, if it’s any help.

      If you had a blue-and-black cap like Wellington, is it possible that it wasn’t an official Wombles product?

    • Hi Ron. I am 56 years old and remember the hats. I was one ofvl the rare few to see the Wombles at Wimbledon Common one evening and met them all. It’s strange because when they spoke they all sounded like Bernard Cribbins . I saw Mungo approach Madame Cholet and rudely say “I did not order a bloody cheese salad” I laughed at the time!!

  3. Thank you for the information it is extremely helpful.

    Would you be interested in a list of Wombles from the books & TV series you haven’t included yet?

  4. Thank you for the quick reply and helpful information.

    The Womble who seems to sound like “ongus” is mentioned as by Great uncle Bulgaria as he and several other Wombles get off the airship as “here comes [ ongus?] and the Thames Wombles.

    Any information will be gratefully received as I am trying to find a definitive list of all Wombles mentioned.

  5. Hi, My partner and I have been asked to perform a song at the Christmas show at the local village hall Christmas party. We would love to do ‘Wombling Merry Christmas’ but what we need is two Wombles outfits….very cheap. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help.

  6. Do you have any contact details where I can purchase merchandise of Haydon and Wandle, Waverley and Guildford Womble. I have tried AFC Wimbledon and can only get a badge of Haydon.
    I am also seeking the bedspread, Mum wishes she hadnt given it away now.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Hi Kath – your best bet is eBay or other second-hand sites. You could set up a saved search so that you’ll get an email alert if anything comes up for sale matching those words. The mascots are quite hard to find though; the bedding should be easier to get hold of. Good luck!


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