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Worzel Gummidge

Worzel Gummidge is a walking, talking scarecrow character in British children's fiction who originally appeared in a series of books by the English novelist Barbara Euphan Todd. The first paperback version of the first book, released in 1941, has the distinction of being the first story book published by the famous children's imprint Puffin.

The books were adapted for radio and television a number of times, most successfully with former Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee taking the lead role from 1979 to 1981 in the ITV series Worzel Gummidge, originally produced in the UK (this series was ranked among the top 50 greatest British children's programmes) and later in New Zealand (1987–1989). For the TV series Gummidge had a set of interchangeable turnip, mangelwurzel and swede heads, each of which suited a particular occasion or endowed him with a specific skill.

The books are:

1              Worzel Gummidge (1936)

2              Worzel Gummidge Again (1937)

3              More About Worzel Gummidge (1938)

4              Worzel Gummidge And Saucy Nancy (1947)

5              Worzel Gummidge Takes A Holiday (1949)

6              Earthy Mangold And Worzel Gummidge (1954)

7              Worzel Gummidge And The Railway Scarecrows (1955)

8              Worzel Gummidge At The Circus (1956)

9              Worzel Gummidge And The Treasure Ship (1958)

10           Detective Worzel Gummidge (1963)





Series 1

                1."Worzel's Washing Day" (25 February 1979) When the Peters family moves into the caravan on Scatterbrook Farm, young John and Sue make the acquaintance of Worzel Gummidge, a scarecrow come to life and full of mischief.

                2."A Home Fit for Scarecrows" (4 March 1979) John and Sue offer Worzel a proper chair for his home in the barn if he will teach them Worzelese; the sly scarecrow also gets the idea to filch a full set of furniture from the villagers.

                3."Aunt Sally" (11 March 1979) Worzel takes the afternoon off to go to the village fête to see his intended, Aunt Sally, even though the ladylike wooden figure considers associating with a scarecrow to be beneath her station. Aunt Sally takes advantage of his feelings for her and persuades him to exchange places with her so she can escape being sold to a museum.

                4."The Crowman" (18 March 1979) A lonely Worzel begs his creator the Crowman to make him a handsome head so he can get a wife; after a disastrous visit to the home of Mrs. Boomsbury-Barton, the foolish scarecrow learns that it is more important to be handsome inside than out.

                5."A Little Learning" (25 March 1979) Worzel turns the farm upside down looking for his Clever Head. When he finds it at the nearby school and puts it on, he encounters a teacher who takes him for a genius.

                6."Worzel Pays a Visit" (1 April 1979) When Worzel is told that the runaway Aunt Sally is working as a housemaid at Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton's home, he decides to pay her a call. But the mistress is away, and Sally pretends to be the lady of the house and invites Worzel in for tea. Result: chaos.

                7."The Scarecrow Hop" (8 April 1979) Aunt Sally is in a despondent mood after being sacked from her position as lady's maid to Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton. To cheer her up, Worzel asks her to the charity ball. Problem is, the only dance he knows is the comical Scarecrow Hop, which they do with surprising results.


                Series 2

                1."Worzel and the Saucy Nancy" (6 January 1980)

                2."Worzel's Nephew" (13 January 1980)

                3."A Fishy Tale" (20 January 1980)

                4."The Trial of Worzel Gummidge" (27 January 1980)

                5."Very Good, Worzel" (3 February 1980)

                6."Worzel in the Limelight" (10 February 1980)

                7."Fire Drill" (17 February 1980)

                8."The Scarecrow Wedding" (24 February 1980)


                Series 3

                1."Moving On" (1 November 1980)

                2."Dolly Clothes Peg" (8 November 1980)

                3."A Fair Old Pullover" (15 November 1980)

                4."Worzel the Brave" (22 November 1980)

                5."Worzel's Wager" (29 November 1980)

                6."The Return of Dafthead" (6 December 1980)

                7."Captain Worzel" (13 December 1980)

                8."Choir Practice" (20 December 1980)


                Christmas special

                1."A Cup o' Tea and a Slice o' Cake" (27 December 1980) – Unusually this double-length musical special did not have the Worzel Gummidge title sequence, "A Cup o' Tea and a Slice o' Cake" being its only on screen title followed by "Starring Jon Pertwee" as per the standard titles.[10]


                Series 4

                1."Muvver's Day" (31 October 1981)

                2."The Return of Dolly Clothes-Peg" (7 November 1981)

                3."The Jumbly Sale" (14 November 1981)

                4."Worzel in Revolt" (21 November 1981)

                5."Will the Real Aunt Sally...?" (28 November 1981)

                6."The Golden Hind" (5 December 1981)

                7."Worzel's Birthday" (12 December 1981)


When I was a lad at school around 13 years old, our Maths teacher used to call me Wol. At the end of the year as we were moving up a class I plucked up courage to ask why he called me Wol. He told meit was thename of the deslexic owl in Winnie the Pooh. With my Harry Potter glasses he said I looked like the Wise Old Owl in the Winnie the Pooh stories.


Being the vain person I am I took it as a compliment

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