|The ever-watchful Dinger
Dinger the Clock
Our 'storyteller', Dinger
is a turret-clock that is part of the Town Hall at the port of Flitterwick. At the time of the book's writing (1956),
Dinger claims to be about 150 years old, and professes to be Big Ben's uncle (Yes, that Big
Ben!). In turn, Dinger also has an uncle who is 200. One must not seek to become too literal-minded in terms of just
how this lineage came about!
Located on a tower near
the jetty, Dinger has four clock faces with a vantage point that enables him to see and know what's going on for miles
around in every direction. He often notices Mr. Lordly peering at him with binoculars from across the harbour in
order to set the time. The other Flitterwick Harbour characters regale him with the day's adventures when they are docked
close to him at night. Another factoid is that Dinger never sleeps, which comes naturally to a clock, I suppose.
|Flip the Ferry
In his role as a ferry-bridge, 'Flip' ferries traffic from the coast road on one side of the bay across
to Flitterwick. Flip is equipped with a steel ramp on each end that is raised/lowered in order to take on or discharge vehicles.
Flip enjoys frightening Sandy the sand-barge with forecasts of rough weather, especially when Sandy is headed out to sea with
a heavy load of mud and sand.
|Introducing Tubby the Tugboat and his Captain's son,Tommy
The main character of ToFH, Tubby is a harbour tug-boat, and is described as being a very
strong, cheerful and willing worker. Tubby's services are always in great demand by cargo ship captains for safe passage into
the harbour. The tug also enjoys singing to his charges as they are being towed in order to calm them down - especially
|Sandy the Sand-Barge and Donald the Dredger
An engineless dredger equipped with a crane
and large scoop. Donald is tasked with dredging the bottom of the harbour, and emptying each scoopful of mud and sand into
Sandy the sand-barge. Donald relies on Tubby to be moved to and from work locations. Once, having endured enough
of Tubby's teasing about his malodorous stench (caused
by the mud), Donald paid him out by dropping a load of mud straight into Tubby's funnel! Other than that
one incident, Donald and Tubby are good friends.
engineless sand-barge who is loaded to capacity with mud from Donald's dredging. Once full, Sandy is towed out to
sea by Tubby, where he dumps his load of sand and mud into the deep ocean. Sandy is often nervous about heading to sea with
a full load, since his keel becomes very low to the water line. Sandy is also known to be a chronic complainer, with
a rough and hoarse voice as if he had sand in his throat.
Strung outside the harbour in two long lines, the buoys are gossips, chatterers
and love to joke around. They are prone to have bad-hair days, since they are often covered in seaweed. I guess that in the
end, buoys will be buoys (sorry, I couldn't resist!)
|The Pride of Flitterwick a.k.a. 'Percy Paddle'
Pride of Flitterwick a.k.a. Percy Paddle
A pleasure steamer who
commutes between Flitterwick and Swancombe. The ship is adorned in white, and crowned with a red-banded yellow funnel. Percy
is conceited and rarely speaks with the other ships unless he is in an extremely good mood. Tubby envies Percy's
looks and status.
THE HUMAN CHARACTERS
|A few of the major characters from Flitterwick Harbour
The Harbour Master :Described as Tubby's real boss (akin to the Fat Controller's relationship
is to his engines.)
Tubby's Captain: A peripheral character in in the stories.
Tommy is the son of Tubby’s captain, and has a reputation
for playing tricks.
Mayor: Naturally, the Mayor of the town of Flitterwick.
Lordly: A very proud, vain and wealthy man living
on the other side of the harbour. He sets all of the clocks in his house to Dinger's time. He's a married father of
a nine-year-old daughter named Jane. He is especially proud of his shiny new car. An impatient man who is always in a hurry,
Lordly does not have a fondness for queues.