Trumpton and Beswick came together very late in the day in 2001.
Quite why it took so long is anyone's guess, and it nearly didn't happen at all as the factory ceased trading soon after.
There were 10 seperate characters produced,each with a limited editon of 2,500.
The first 6 made their debut in the very first issue of the Doulton Direct catalogue,dated Spring 2001.
TR1 Captain Flack TR2 The Mayor TR3 PC McGarry TR4 Windy Miller TR5 Doctor Mopp TR6 Mrs Honeyman
They featured again in the next issue (Summer 2001),
And were then joined by the last 4 in the Autumn 2001 issue.
The thumbs show the 2 pages from that Autumn issue with all 10 featured.
(Note - if the text isn't fully legible your browser has automatically reduced the size )
TR7 Mrs.Dingle TR8 Johnathan Bell TR9 Mickey Murphy TR10 Mrs Cobbett
So that's 8 from Camberwick,2 from Trumpton and none from Chigley.
And I think it's pretty clear the intention was to keep rolling them out over time.
Which brings us neatly onto why they didn't ........
Which is guesswork as no-one seems to know.But it's probably one of these two.....
1} Uncertainty over Beswick's future and its' imminent closure in 2002.[most likely]
2} A commercial decision based purely on poor sales of those initial releases.
Alhough I've yet to find any evidence of actual numbers sold.
So ..... what are they worth now ?
Completed sales remain visible on ebay for 3 months before being removed.
And they're as good a guide as any as to current values.
But they can also give a distorted view due to all the variables involved.
Not so much the "condition" of the figures themselves,because very few ever have any damage.But more specifically whether they came with the box and certifcate .... how well the listings were executed .... the fact some buyers are simply happy to pay over-the-odds irrespective of what's on offer .... and so on.
Nevertheless,there are some things that you can almost take as gospel :-
1} Prices,in general,have cooled off considerably  compared to 10-15 years ago
2} The figures in the 2nd batch of releases have always been worth considerably more than the 1st batch.
Is it possible that production was curtailed and not all 2,500 were actually made ie.simply less of them in circulation ?Because,even if sales had been poor,the unsold ones would surely have found their way into circulation somehow.
4} Full sets of 10 crop up as rarely as you'd expect.
3} the lowest priced figures have always been,Mrs Honeyman & The Mayor -for reasons I've also yet to fully establish.
The Mayor gets sole-billing here simply because he's the only one I've ever had in my possession to photograph.
Similar quality efforts of all the others,plus the book prices would be great. Email on home
Are they any good ?
Irrespective of all the talk about factory closures & resale values,what do you actually think of them ?
Well,I'm not a ceramics collector.
And I confess to knowing little about the relative merits of different manufacturers and production methods.
But what I can say is that I thought the Mayor was a bit disappointing close-up.
With a general lack of detailing in the moulding.An indeterminate dirty yellow colour passing for the gold of his chain of office.And that ubiquitous cobbled base that just seems unnecessarily obtrusive and quite twee - or,if you're being really unkind,just plain "naff" !
But maybe I just got carried away with all the Beswick hype and expected too much.
And it's easy to forget they only cost £40 when new,so they were hardly high-end pieces of art.
How about you ? Would you buy them ? And,if so .........
As an investment just because they're Beswick.
Because you rate them as pieces of ceramics.
Or simply because of the happy memories they represent.
Final thought ........
Is that really the last we'll ever see of Beswick ?
I somehow doubt it
Although I fear the likely doomsday scenario is that someone will effectively just buy the brand name from Doulton. Transfer all production overseas and produce items that do little to reflect,or respect,the Beswick heritage.
Which is pretty much what Woolworth's did with the Chad Valley toy brand - for all the good it ultimately did them.
So let's hope I'm wrong.
A typical base,with the figure number applied in a rather amateurish scrawl.