A set of Camberwick Green & Trumpton "Rag Bricks" by Dean & Son.
Dean & Son produced lots of washable rag books over the years,and
I suppose this was a fairly logical extension of the concept.
But only logical to them it seems as they actually invented the whole
concept of a squashable toy brick.
Because prior to that they'd always been made of wood.
And there's more about their patent at the bottom of the page.
I'm not exactly sure when these came out,as there's no copyright date.
But it's definitely no later than the 1980's.
And I do know that this was the only Trumptonshire set they produced.
Which is a pity,because they're really tactile,colourful items.
And if you think the artwork looks familiar,you'd be right.
Because illustrator Josephine Wilkinson also did the Cambw. rag books.
And very appealing it is too.
The set has 9 "bricks" in a transparent plastic hold-all style bag (not pictured).
With each one being a 4" square piece of squidgee foam covered in fabric.
So,each brick has 6 sides :-
1 side has individual Camberwick characters & 1 side has individual Trumpton characters [shown above]
2 sides have parts of images that only make sense when all put together to form a scene from both Camberwick and Trumpton. [shown below]
The 5th side is blank [red].And the final side is also blank [green]
It's strange that they didn't try to fill those 2 blank sides with Chigley characters.
And if these were indeed produced after 1969,then it's the usual damning indictment of the series that they didn't.
It's also interesting that these were designed and drawn by a woman,and that the Camberwick and Trumpton scenes both have female characters as their centre point. [shown below]
Why interesting ?
Well Gordon Murray had a reputation for being somewhat of an old-school chauvanist.And I think it's fair to say they probably wouldn't have been his preferred choice had he been creatively involved.Because it's no coincidence that Mrs.Honeyman and Miss Lovelace were the most prominent females in Camberwick and Trumpton simply by dint of being the loudest and brashest.And you kind of get the feeling that someone like low key house-mum Mrs.Murphy would've been far more to his liking.
Anyhow,all good fun.And kids would've enjoyed bouncing them off the walls and trying to find out what was in them... which probably wouldn't have been too difficult,as they only had stitched seams for protection.
Below is a photo of the front and back of the label they came with.
Despite the claims,it would be interesting to know just how resilient [and colourfast] they actually were.
And I like the bit,top right,that seems to infer that users of traditional wooden toy bricks were at serious risk !
I've managed to track down the patent details for anyone that's interested. It's quite a short page here