Previously unseen story from The Wombles' creator shared with daughter for the first time

  • ITV News' Jonathan Wills met Kate Robertson to surprise her with an unseen piece of her mum’s writing

Author Elisabeth Beresford, known as Liza, may have been best known for the Wombles of Wimbledon Common, but she also wrote many adventure and mystery books based on the Channel Island of Alderney, where she lived for over 30 years.

Earlier this month, her daughter Kate, who is credited for inspiring the cuddly characters that are still popular today, visited the island for its Literacy Festival.

She explained how the characters were created: "We were on Wimbledon Common, I ran down to the Queensmere and said: ‘How wonderful it is to be on Wombledonn Common’, and she said ‘That’s it! The Wombles!

“And she said ‘That’s it, I’m going to get them picking up the rubbish, and they’re going to be called Wombles'.

“I supposed it was born out of her slight poverty during the war as everybody had, they had to recycle everything - they reused things all the time, much as we’re beginning to do now.

“So, I think they’ve got that relevance with today where we definitely need that feeling of working in a team, being a community."

Kate may be familiar with most of her mum’s works, but Jonathan had a piece of her mum’s writing that she’s never seen before.

“You’re never alone on a building site” was written for Jonathan’s father while he was doing work at Elizabeth’s home in St Anne 50 years ago.

She wrote: “I shall miss everybody, Phil and Joe, Tommy and Bob, Eddie and John, Rodger the carpet, and Nick the immortal sergeant and master builder because we’re never alone on a building site.

“I wonder if they’ll miss me?

“E.B. October 1997”.

Kate said the transcript showed her mum’s good humour: “It makes me think that she’s got a great sense of humour, that your father was a great friend, and she could never stop writing, so any excuse."

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