Hello once again. Today I want to show you my two vintage sailor dolls. They are both souvenir dolls from ships that once graced our oceans. These two are from the Arcadia and the Fairstar. Here are a few pictures I took of them.
I think one of them could be a Nora Wellings sailor doll. He certainly looks like the ones I have seen online. The Fairstar sailor in the box was easy to identify simply because he was in his box when I got him. He looks as if he has dozed off in there. I expect it was the bright sunlight. He is a Rogark Character Doll. He has sleep eyes but he is not posable although you can move his little arms. His uniform is made of some sort of felt like material. He is around six and a half inches in length. It says he was made in Wales on the box.
Vanda and I both had a sailor doll like the Nora Wellings one. Mum got us one each when we sailed to Australia on the Castel Felice. They had the ship’s name printed on their hats like my Arcadia sailor does. We named them Franco and Small Fry after the two Italian Stewards that looked after us on the ship. I can remember them as Mum often joked with them when they came to clean our cabin. They were very friendly and I remember them being quite young. When I was holding my sailor dolls today memories flooded back to me of our voyage and here is one of them I would like to share.
One day I remember straying away from Mum and Vanda and I met one of the stewards in the stairwell near our cabin. He thought it would be funny to hide me from Mum for a joke and he coaxed me to duck down behind the railings with him. When Mum and Vanda came a minute or two later they were both puzzled because I was no where to be seen. Mum went back and forth a few times. I know she was thinking “She couldn’t have gone far, where could she be.” Well we both jumped out from our hiding place and there was much laughter. Mum gave the steward a ticking off in a friendly way because it was just a joke. I know today it might have caused a lot of stress and been very frightening to the parents. Back in 1965/66 (we sailed in December arriving in Melbourne in January) there was more trust and less fear I guess.
If you would like to see some more sailor dolls there are a few on Ebay at the moment and I found some nice pictures of them in my “Images” web search. There is also quite a bit about Nora Wellings on the Internet. I’m still having trouble adding links but I have asked Vanda if she can add some for me later. She is away this week end to celebrate her best friend’s 60th. The links will be added shortly. Until next time Stay safe and enjoy your doll collecting.
And here are the links:
I still have my Norah Wellings sailor too although sadly he no longer has his hat. They are made of a sort of velveteen fabric with features painted on to their stockinette faces. I think it was our month long voyage to Australia that gave us our love of travelling by sea.
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I agree. Mum used to walk me around the deck in the evening before our bedtime. She wanted me to have plenty of sea air. I loved those evening walks with Mum on the ship.