Friday, 23 May 2014

Flashback Friday - Bertha

Bertha, lovely Bertha, you are a lovely machine
Any anyone who works with you will know just what I mean.
Bertha, lovely Bertha, sometimes I thing you're a dream,
When we work out what you have to do,
You can always turn the goods out, always turn the goods out,
We can depend upon you.

A hidden gem of 80s TV that gets blank expressions when I mention it to people.    Perhaps because there was only 13 episodes made and broadcast on BBC in 1985/6, sadly, whilst the DVD (and books if you can get hold of them) remains it was never repeated or revived.

Bertha was a British animated children's television series about a factory machine of that name.  The characters were designed by the very talented Ivor Wood, and the series was produced by his company, Woodland Animations. 


The series is set in the "Spottiswood Factory", a small manufacturing plant producing a wide range of goods.  Throughout the series you follow the trials and tribulations of each of these including: garden gnomes, beach balls, bathroom sponges, cuckoo clocks, Jack-in-the-boxes, electric kangaroos and T.O.M. (a robot).  
Bertha's manufacture of these items never runs smoothly with a crisis affecting production in every episode.  Fortunately the factory workers are on hand to help Berta out and resolve the issues.

Main characters

 Episode list

The Great Painting Job
The Windmills
A Mouse in the Works 
The Best Machine Competition 
TOM Gets Lost 
The Flying Bear
The Tea Nurse
More Speed, Less Work 
The Big Order 
The Burglars 
Bertha's Birthday Party
The Big Sneeze
TOM's New Friend


Do you remember Bertha?  What was your favourite program as a child?


  1. I * loved* Bertha! Although how anyone years ago thought a programme about a machine and a group of factory workers would appeal to the under 5's is a complete mystery... :-) x

  2. you do wonder don't you. .... then again what were the producers of Button Moon on?