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The Womble Connection

What are Wombles?

Wombles are characters in a BBC children's series. For more detailed information on the show, go to, or The Womble lovers page, . Wombles are cute little critters that live on Wimbledon common and recycle and teach tots the values of friendship etc. I never saw the TV series, but I read the books as a kid and loved them.


Okay, so what do Wombles have to do with the Borribles? Well, Rumbles can't pronounce 'W', remember? They're the Wumbles fwom Wumbledon. Yes that's right. The Rumbles=The Wombles. I was traumatized upon making this discovery. I loved The Borribles and I loved The Wombles, and I had cheered as those cute, furry, loveable critters got mercilessly slaughtered. It's the equivalent of cheering for the deaths of the Teletubbies, or Barney. Actually no, I've wished death on tubbies and Barney many a time and felt no remorse. It's like cheering for the deaths of the muppets for God's sake.



"The Wombles are the tidiest creatures in the world. Everyday a small groups of working Wombles go round clearing up the rubbish which has been left behind by people and as they are very clever with their paws they often turn this rubbish into all kinds of useful things. They live in large and extremely comfortable and cosy burrows under the ground....the Wombles keep well clear of people as they feel that if grown-up humans started getting inquisitive about the way the Wombles work the Wombles wouldn't get a moment's peace"

From The Invisible Womble by Elisabeth Beresford

Here's the clincher:

Womble Character: Great Uncle Bulgaria. Head of the Wombles.

Rumble: Vulgarian. Chief Rumble.

Method of death: electrocuted in bathtub.


Womble Character: Bungo. The bossiest Womble. (My favourite Womble)

Rumble: Bingo. Chief Warrior of the Rumbles.

Method of death: killed by Bingo Borrible in single combat.


Womble Character: Madame Cholet. The Womble chef.

Rumble Character: Chalotte, the Rumble chef.

Method of Death: tipped into boiling soup by her namesake.


Womble character: Tobermory. The Fixit Womble.

Rumble character: Torreycannon, the fixit Rumble.

Method of death: crushed under car.



Womble character: Orinocco, the lazy Womble.

Rumble character: Orococco, the doorkeeper.

Method of death: broken neck, caused by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Womble character: Tomsk (strongest Womble).

Rumble character: Stonks (strongest Rumble).

Method of Death: skin ripped off, killed by fall, who knows? There wasn't an autopsy. But it was a pretty horrible way to go.


Womble character: Wellington.

Rumble character: Napoleon Boot, the librarian. (Now even I have to admit that's pretty funny.)

Method of Death: crushed by bookcase.


These ones I'm guessing at -- Alderney Womble (no pic available) = Sydney Rumble.

Actually I've changed my mind after redaing the following description of Miss Adelaid from The Womble Spot.

"Miss Adelaide: Miss Adelaide is the closest thing that the Wimbledon Common Wombles have to a schoolteacher, and she runs the Womblegarten where she keeps all the young Wombles busy learning the art of Wombling. She and Madame Cholet are old friends. She wears pince-nez spectacles and a hat with roses around the rim. Miss Adelaide's name is taken from the most boring capital city in Australia. "

"Cousin Yellowstone Boston Womble appeared in "The Wombles" book. He was kidnapped off the Common by humans and ran away, hiding on a boat to escape. It was in this way that he travelled around the world and settled in America." -- could this be the inspiration for Adolf Wolfgang Amadeus Winston?

Note: Womble lovers are none to fond of The Borribles, as can be seen in the following review of GRIMMS - The Womble Bashers Of Walthamstow.

FH: "An anti-Womble record done, not surprisingly, in the style of an early Wombles record. Not nice, but more palatable than Michael de Larrabaiti's book "The Borribles" which has the Wombles slaughtered off one by one by a gang of anti-heroes who will remain kids all their life as long as they don't get their ears clipped."

Are the Rumbles identical to the Wombles? No. The Rumbles are much nastier & more rodent like. The few glimpses we have of their society indicate it is warlike and expansionist, and perhaps even facist.

But -- and this is interesting, why include the Wombles at all? The Borribles is more than a "bash" book. What does the Womble/Borrible crossover mean?

"The Borribles, we are told, are created when children are abandoned, or neglected. Forced to fend for themselves, they transform into Borribles. The Wombles, for those who remember the books and show, represent the nicer aspects of childhood. They are killed off by their namesakes, nameless Borribles who need a name to belong to their new society. To paraphrase Chalotte Borrible 'It's strange having to kill someone with the same name as you…It's like killing yourself.' Reading this symbolically, the children have to destroy their own innocence in order to win acceptance and survive on the streets."

Deep, yes? And you thought it was just a children's story!

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