Elisabeth Beresford – Wombles to the rescue

50 years ago the cute, furry, pointy-nosed Wombles, the fun-loving recyclers of rubbish hit the television screens. The creator, Elisabeth Beresford, who was way ahead of her time with Great Uncle Bulgaria guiding his team to gather and re-use litter, was born in August 1926, an outstanding year for fame, talent and celebrity.

  Starting in January 1926 was George Martin, the Beatles’ impresario, followed in March by Jerry Lee Lewis, in April by Harper Lee, Hugh Hefner and Ian Paisley. May notably had Queen Elizabeth 11, David Attenborough, Miles Davis.  June brought forth Marilyn Monroe and Mel Brooks; and August produced Fidel Castro, Tony Bennett and Elisabeth Beresford. October also spawned Chuck Berry and Jimmy Savile.

  There are some years which generate more distinction – and notoriety – than others.

  Most of the above had a formidable Fixed T Square of Neptune in Leo opposition Jupiter in Aquarius square a relentlessly drive Saturn in Scorpio.

  Beresford was born 6 August 1936 in Paris with a novelist father and a literary though eccentric upbringing in Brighton with inquisitive and mischievous brothers involving her in their, often explosive, scientific experiments. She married a sports commentator and her prolific writing career was driven as much by fear of debt and the need to support her family as it was by her creativity.  In addition to producing over 140 children’s books, she wrote romantic fiction for women’s magazines, was a regular contributor to the BBC Today program, Woman’s Hour and Woman’s World (Central Office of Information).

  Her daughter, Kate Robertson, has just written a biography of her life. What a reviewer called “the story of an ordinary and yet, extraordinary woman.” In addition to her Fixed T Square onto Calvinist Saturn, she had her Sun and Mercury in Leo square Saturn; plus a charming, emotionally intense Venus Pluto (Moon) North Node  in Cancer.

A determined Mars in Taurus was unaspected except for being conjunct Chiron. Such an unintegrated  Mars tends to be uncompromising, highly energetic, on the go non-stop. She had planets in all three Water signs which may have formed a creative Grand Trine of Saturn trine Uranus trine Cancer Moon which sounds likely.

  A fascinating woman who entertained and delivered a message at the same time – and supported her family.

3 thoughts on “Elisabeth Beresford – Wombles to the rescue

  1. The Wombles were one of my favourites growing up – even had (and still have somewhere at the back of the airing cupboard) a pillowcase with them on! Seeing the 50th anniversary came up in February I watched a couple of episodes, with the wonderful theme tune by Mike Batt and narrated by good old Bernard Cribbins.

    Children’s TV in the 70s was a veritable feast of these types of show. The slot just before Nationwide inhabited by Paddington voiced by Michael Hordern, The Magic Roundabout Emma’s (Thompson father, Eric I believe), Roobarb (Richard Briers) and Ivor the Engine among others. At other times it was the Mr Men (Arthur Lowe), Trumpton/Camberwick Green/Chigley (Brian Cant), Mr Benn (Ray Brooks) and Bagpuss.

    The Wombles was something of an exception as it was 60 episodes over two series whereas most of these shows only had about 12 episodes and would get repeated over and over. I treasure the familiarity that gave me whereas modern TV is all about commercialising with constant new episodes and all that brings with loss of continuity, needing to come up with new stories and inserting new characters to kickstart them. The quality is more often than not sacrificed.

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