I think that I got my love of dolls from my mother. She used to tell me about the dolls she had owned as a child in the 1930s. She enjoyed making rag dolls and dolls clothes and I think that she was delighted to have two little girls to play dolls with when my sister and I came along.
I had all sorts of dolls, big hard plastic baby dolls, a walking doll and smaller vinyl dolls. When I was about seven mum got me a Tressy doll for Christmas. I have to confess that although it was fun to make her hair grow I didn’t care for her white hair all that much. To this day I don’t really care for white-haired dolls. I preferred Sindy who had a sweeter expression and Tammy and funny faced, freckled Patch.
We also had dollshouse sized dolls. dolls in costumes and even paper dolls.
I played with them all well into my teens when fear of ridicule made me put them aside. Many were given away but a few special ones stayed with me through the years.
For the next few years mum and I would often go and look at the dolls if we were shopping in the city together but she eventually accepted there would be no grand daughters to play dollies with.
Eventually I started to buy dolls for myself, furtively at first hoping that shop assistants would assume I was buying them for a child. At first it was simply looking for replacements for lost child hood dolls like my Kader baby and Patch, or dolls that I wished that I’d had like Sindy’s boyfriend Paul.
Then eBay came into my life and suddenly dolls were coming from everywhere. I had become a collector.